THE MORE EXCELLENT WAY

The manifestation of the Holy Spirit's gifts, like all ministry, can be ministered in a unthinking, questionable way, as was the case with the Corinthians.

At the beginning of his first letter to the Corinthians Paul described them, saying:

"... you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge,

even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that you come short in no gift,

eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ," 1'5-6.

Consequently, they were encouraged to:

"... earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way (1 Corinthians 12'31).

The "excellent way" is the way of ministering in love and excelling in being part of the building up of the Saints:

Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.

Even so you, since you are zealous for spirituals, let it be for the edification of Christ's People that you seek to excel (1 Corinthians 12'31;14:1,12).

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Paul emphasised the high importance of ministering in love:

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing," 1 Corinthians 13'1-4.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy;

love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;

does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;

does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;

bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails".

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"And now abide faith, hope, love, these three;

but the greatest of these is love,"

1 Corinthians 13'4-8,13.