DON'T BE IGNORANT!
When Paul wrote: "Concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant" (1 Corinthians 12'1-12) he was serious.
While referring to spiritual gifts, his knowledge of the Corinthian culture and its influence motivated him to also speak about it as it might influence Believers' thinking about the gifts.
God wanted the Corinthians, and all Believers, to be fully informed, to really understand and have the right thinking about gifts and culture. He knew that the enemy will deceive if he possibly can.
Back in chapter 10, verses 20-21, Paul had written to them about keeping themselves entirely separate from demons and from any involvement in demonic activity.
Now he is telling them that they can be sure about this, the spiritual experiences that happen in their meetings are all from God, by His Spirit, in Jesus' name.
He understands that they are partnering with the Holy Spirit in building up Christ's Body in ministering to one another.
These things have nothing to do with dumb idols or demons, he says. Information is power:
v1. "Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant:
v2. You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led.
v3. Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.
v4. There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
v5. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord.
v6. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.
v7. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:
v8. for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit,
v9. to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit,
v10. to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
v11. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
v12. For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.
This explanation reveals three areas of God's working:
diversities of gifts (v4), differences of ministries (v5) , diversities of activities (v6).
Paul is emphatic. These things are from "the same Spirit", "the same Lord", "the same God": that's the Holy Spirit, the Lord Jesus, the Father God.
Sad to say, the significance of Paul's explanation is lost on some Believers because they do not believe that these things are for today. But Paul says "I do not want you to be ignorant".
For Believers to be in ignorance was always of great concern to him. In his letters he chides his hearers with "do you not know?".
If God has left these things in the Word that Believers have today, surely they must be for today.
Ignorance robs Believers of the blessings of Jesus. And they grieve the Holy Spirit. And unbelief hinders Him greatly too. Matthew said that Jesus:
"... did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief,"13'58. That's tragic!
"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing,
in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies.
Test all things; hold fast what is good.
Abstain from every form of evil,"
1 Thessalonians 5'16-22.