Are you “charismatic”? I am not speaking in terms of a personality that is smooth and personable and influential—what we would call “charisma”. I am speaking in the spiritual sense!
You might answer by saying, “No, I am a Baptist…or Methodist…or Catholic.” Some might even have a negative response to the idea of a “charismatic church”. The picture in your mind of a charismatic church might be one of weirdness and discomfort. It involves things like “speaking in tongues” and raising your hands—things that freak people out and make them uncomfortable!
In chapters 12-14, Paul opens a new discussion regarding the “gifts of the Spirit.” The Corinthian church was a “charismatic church” for sure! How do I know? Well, the word “charismatic” is a direct translation of the Greek word for “gift”: charis. Casting off the denominational label of “charismatic”, and embracing the actual Biblical understanding, a “charismatic church” is a church that experiences the gifts of the Spirit! Should this be every church? Our understanding, usage, and enjoyment of the gifts is based on the Bible and not an isolated and personal experience aside from the Bible!
Paul starts by saying that he doesn’t want the Corinthians to be ignorant about spiritual gifts. It has been my experience, and maybe yours too, that many Christians are ignorant (without knowledge) about Spiritual gifts! Many pulpits avoid the topic as too controversial and therefore people just don’t know. So stay tuned as we develop a biblically balanced understanding of spiritual gifts and their place and purpose in worship.
Are you confused about spiritual gifts? Have you learned to avoid them from past church experience? Are spiritual gifts and natural talents the same thing? Is “speaking in tongues” the only reliable sign that a person is really “spirit-filled”? Were these things just for the early church or are they for the church today as well?
Listen in and hear what God has to say through the apostle Paul about spiritual gifts!