Knowing God Through (Instructions About) Spiritual Gifts, Part 3

1 Corinthians 12-14 is about spiritual gifts.  But all of Scripture is about God.  Therefore, even in instruction about spiritual gifts we can also learn about who God is and what he is like.  In other words.  1 Corinthians 12-14 both teaches us how spiritual gifts help us to know and love God and it teaches about God.  

God speaks.

God empowers.

God loves.

God is just.


Rather than being a distance and disinterested God like the pagan gods, God is among his people.  But unlike the Old Testament, where God’s presence was known especially through the temple, God now is present in his people and Word-saturated worship (14:25).  


 1 Corinthians 14:33: “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.” He is not the author of confusion.  God is a God of order, not chaos.  God is peace, not confusion. For Paul, the character of God becomes the foundation of ordered worship.  God is not like other gods with fickle but insatiable fetishes.  So when we worship God, we do not fear whether or not his appetites have changed from day to day. He finds no pleasure in man’s attempt to please him through their own idiotic contrivances.  We worship orderly to reflect God’s character and boldly knowing that true worship is acceptable to God only through the work of Jesus Christ


Even the midst of practical truths are surrounded with rich theology. When Paul unpacks unity in the diversity of spiritual gifts, he grounds it in the doctrine of the Trinity. “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord, and there varieties of activities but it is the same God who empowers them all” (1 Cor. 12:4-6, ESV, emphasis mine).  I don’t think that this is an accident or stylistic writing.  Throughout this passage Paul shows how all three Persons of the Trinity are engaged in the life and unity of the church.

All Scripture communicates the character of God.  Whether it’s an Old Testament story, a psalm, or even instruction on the church, we should still ask the question, “How can I know and love God more through these verses?"