1 Corinthians 12:1, “Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed.”
Who would you rather learn to fly a plane from, an experienced pilot or someone who has never even been in a plane? And better yet, who would you trust your life with if you had to take a flight in a plane, the pilot or the inexperienced person? Everyone would say the pilot because they have far greater knowledge and experience. But what if the inexperienced person had read a book about flying, would that change your choice? No, because having the information without the experience of actually flying a plane would still be insufficient, compared to the professionally trained and experienced pilot.
Those who have information and experience are always better off than those who just have information.
The same is true with spiritual gifts. Paul wrote in today’s passage, as an experienced disciple with spiritual gifts, that he didn’t want the Christians in Corinth to be “uninformed” about the proper usage of these gifts. Now whose advice would you rather follow about spiritual gifts, Paul or an inexperienced Christian? Sadly, there are actually some Christians today who don’t have the spiritual gifts, but they try to teach Christians who have them, that they don’t use them the right way. This would be the same idea as someone who has never flown a plane trying to teach a pilot how to fly!
There are many people alive today (approx. 500 million) who have actually experienced and witnessed the gifts of the Spirit in action. Therefore, it is pride for people who don’t operate in the gifts of the Spirit to try and teach people like myself about spiritual gifts. How could an inexperienced person have any real understanding of flying compared to a trained pilot? It doesn’t matter what arguments they come up with, if God’s Word says it and disciples have experienced it; that settles it! Anthony Freeman once said, “The person with experience is never at the mercy of a person with an argument.”
I urge you to follow Paul’s advice when it comes to spiritual gifts and not be uniformed or live in ignorance. Read the book of Acts and passages like 1 Corinthians 12-14 and ask yourself, “Do I want all that God has for me?” Then humbly accept and receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit and operate in the gifts, as experienced leaders train and equip you. I’d rather trust the Word of God than anyone who contradicts it. The spiritual gifts are for you and they’re for today!
- Pray to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit if you haven’t spoken in tongues yet.
- If you have already spoken in tongues, describe what other spiritual gifts you have been used in, “prophecy, word of wisdom, etc.” (See 1 Corinthians 12:7-10 for the full list).
- Whenever someone tries to dissuade you from your beliefs about spiritual gifts, remind them of the pilot example and say, “I’d rather fly high with the Holy Ghost, than stay on the ground with a failed argument!”