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But the same God who works in all things. A continuation of the teaching on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. 1 Cor 12:4-7

Yes, there are varieties, but the same God who works in all things, in all persons.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7 NASB Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5) And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6) There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. 7) But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
You would at least say; that sounds familiar if you read my previous post where I used Moffatt's translation of Romans 12:6. This passage tells us, “Our talents differ with the grace that is given us. How much easier life would be if we could just accept that this is the way it is. Sadly, we are broken people and struggle with acceptance issues, all while secretly wanting the accolades, just as much as the next person. Although most of us will not admit that we long for the attention, it is as if we cannot accept that God has a plan that does not require us to be at center stage.
So there are varieties, differences, but what are they? Moffatt's translation lays them out nicely:
  • "There are varieties of talents, but the same Spirit;"
    What Moffatt's called talents, the NASB translated gifts. Gifts are the Greek word Charisma, a common word a few years back when the Holy Spirit and gifts seem to come alive again. The word charisma means a gift of grace, but it is derived from charizomai, pronounced khar-id'-zom-ahee, which means to grant as a favor.
    My take from this leans more into the, apply what God has entrusted you with and stop being envious of some gifting He has given another person.
  • "varieties of service, but the same Lord;"
    Service is the word Moffatt's translation used, and it may be very appropriate. However, the Greek word is diakonia which carries a wide variety of meanings, ranging from:
      • preparations,
      • relief,
      • serving,
      • support.
    These words give a whole new meaning to the concept of ministry, as these are at their core, base, simple tasks, that need to be done.
    That thing portrayed as the ministry, by men like Joel Osteen, who drive around in Rolls Royce automobiles, create the idea that everyone should be like this, and being in the ministry is the way to make that happen.
  • "varieties of effects, but the same God who effects everything in everyone."
But, it is the same God who works all things in all persons.”
Effects are the Greek word energēma; and is accurately conveyed in Moffatt's translation as, an effect, or operation.
Having been raised in a Pentecostal church, I would say that I have seen everything and in every form. I have acquaintances who at one point berated me for continuing to attend a church, where, from what they had heard, had people responding to the Holy Spirit by clucking like chickens and barking like dogs. I can't say I ever heard that in church, but I have listened as people screeched while demons came out of them. Bottom line, who am I to say how God operates. Having had the prophetic work through me at times, I can say that there was tremendous satisfaction in seeing the peace and freedom gained from the words the Holy Spirit gave me for those dear people.
Verse 7 becomes important in our understanding of dispersement.
  • But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”
    Given is the Greek word didōmi and means just that, to give. However, it can mean to allow, and that is a horse of a different color altogether. For to allow implies the availability, but not for you, or, not right now.
    I can understand why I would not have wanted me to give a word, and that would have to do with my insertion of far too much of my own emotion into the word. Strangely, God used me in spite of myself. So I am not sure I understand this allowance aspect fully.
    Manifestation – From the Greek word phanerōsis, phonetically pronounced fan-er'-o-sis From G5319; It means exhibition, that is, (figuratively) expression, (by extension) a bestowment: - manifestation.
    If it leans more toward an exhibition, then we might think that God was merely using us to show off His talents. Look at the definition of an exhibition.
    1. The offering, producing or showing of titles, authorities or papers of any kind before a tribunal.
    2. Public show; representation of feats or actions in public; display of oratory in public; any public show.
    In either case, God is putting you in the spotlight. Some people do not relish that idea and therefore fight against it.
    To be an expression, on the other hand, allows for a broader interpretation, as anyone, speaking God's word and heart, under the power of the Holy Spirit, could then be manifesting the Spirit. The critical person will find no good in a statement like this, as operating UNDER the power of the Holy Spirit must be clearly defined and work within parameters.
    Who is the one to say how the Holy Spirit, that thing best described as the wind, operates. Just because you saw or had it happen such way, does not mean it has to occur in that particular manner now. If this idea bothers you, then consider that Jesus, when performing miracles, rarely did the same thing twice.
    Bestowment - The act of giving gratuitously, a conferring. Bestowment demonstrates God's character. The other terms are certainly aspects of who God is and how He operates, but the idea of bestowing gifts upon people, freely, are practically a trademark.
    Paul, as I mentioned previously, admonished us to pursue the prophetic. We find this in:
    1 Corinthians 14:1 NASB 1) Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.
So, even though I find my gift to be service at the moment, the idea that God will bestow upon me other gifts, at a moment's notice, fascinates me.
One last thing here.
None of this about you, and has but one purpose, “ the common good.”
The words, common and good, have the same Greek word assigned to them. Duplication often means emphasis. Here the Greek word sumpherō means to bring together or to be profitable. Who then are we bringing together? Primarily believers although I can see how and why this would not exclude the Gentiles, those outside of a relationship with the Father. Why would we need to do that? Because, even in church, we are fractured, believing a wide variety of things with little consistency between us. How is that even possible? It is possible because of inconsistent teaching that includes opinion rather than God's word, tradition rather than truth, and false characterizations of God's nature.
At the church I now attend, our Pastor emphasizes that we are one body, with many locations. One body with a common thread between us. I like the premise that we are one body, with many locations; it is very open and accepting, but I struggle with the statement because it includes so many religions. Our Mormon friends for example, should I include them in this group, as they attribute Jesus with being a brother of Satan. Is it the fact that they may say Jesus gives us our common ground?
Not that long ago I attended an Assembly of God church. As a youth, this church was wildly Pentecostal, and I found it fascinating, all of it. Now, years later, there are few traces of the Pentecostal ways, but the traditions and opinions run deep. Most of the Bible teachers I met during the eighteen months I was there, strained at anything that tried to operate outside their box of tradition. Let me give you an example. Because I spent a large portion of my life there into my early twenties and participated in praying with people down front, it is something I am not only familiar with, but comfortable being involved in. Having been back for only a short time, this particular night the Pastor ended with if you have had a miracle in your life come down front and join the prayer team as they pray over people. I added myself to the six people down front. Only a couple of people came down for prayer, but no one came near me. I suspect that people feared to have a big grizzly bear pray for them. As I stood there looking back at the audience, I made eye contact with a person. At that point the Holy Spirit said, that's the one, get them. I pointed at them and motioned. There were the regular lip movements as they asked, who me? And so I did as the Holy Spirit had told me, and I went after them. I am sure that it was as intimidating as it sounds, but strangely, the whole family came. I told them what I was doing and why and then prayed. I don't remember what I prayed, but after a minute or two and much tears, they hugged me and returned to their seats.
How did that work out for me? Quickly, after family sat down, I was accosted by a female pastor who wanted to know who had given me permission to come down front, unapproved, without the approved prayer oil and pray over people. I told her to talk to the pastor who was still nearby and had made the invitation. Where was our common thread that night? I could not say it was love, but there was certainly a disdain for operating outside of tradition.


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