IPA Shelter House

Gifts to be used to unify the church and not for pride

"For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?" (1 Corinthians 4:7)

Factionalism was so strong in Corinth church that made St. Paul write a lot of analogies. He first asked them to examine whether they were living as spiritual minded as they should be. He then asked them to build with good works on the foundation of the Lord Jesus Christ. He even comes to the point that both Apollos and himself were stewards of the mysteries of God and that, they too were accountable to the Lord. Now people tried to glorify and exalt the differences they had amongst themselves. Some were spiritually gifted than others. They compared the differences between the ministry of Paul, Apollos and Peter and imitated whom they followed and liked most. Rather than unifying the body of Christ, this divided the strong church. How unprofitable it is when we use the spiritual grace in our lives to divide the church!

Paul could clearly sense that it was not how the Corinth church was at the beginning. As they began to receive the ministry from the three stalwarts, God gave them gifts and they could not handle or use it properly. They stepped beyond the written word of God and became proud of their revelations and experiences. Gifts that were given to be humbly used became the USP factor of the factions. St. Paul through these verses comes strongly against the divisive forces and reminded them that it was all received. The thought that we received the gifts and that we did not have it on our own should make us more humble. Remember, child of God we have nothing other than what we have received from the good hands of God. We are accountable for it and should be eager to use it humbly for the display of His glory and not ours.

For further reading: Luke 17:10, Luke 12:48