The Bible talks about “spiritual maturity” and “growing up” into Christ. What does this mean? What Bible verses speak of a believer’s spiritual maturity and how can we get it?
Table of contents
- 1 #7 – Hebrews 6:1-4
- 2 #6 – 1 Corinthians 14:20
- 3 #5 – Hebrews 5:12-14
- 4 #4 – Ephesians 4:11-14
- 5 # 3 – 2 Peter 3:16-18
- 6 # 2 – 1 Corinthians 2:6
- 7 #1 – Colossians 1:9-10
- 8 Conclusion
- 9 Spiritual Ceremonies in Mexico – How to Start?
- 10 What Kind of Ceremony?
- 11 The Truth about Spiritual Ceremonies
- 12 How Spiritual Ceremonies work
- 13 Addicts, People with Trauma who use Ceremonies
- 14 Why Some people will discourage You
- 15 Who to Listen to
- 16 Top Spiritual Quotes
#7 – Hebrews 6:1-4
“Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instruction about washings the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits.”
Every time you see the word “therefore” you must ask; what is the “therefore” there for? It is always about what came just prior to that word. In this case, it was Hebrews chapter five which was a warning against apostasy. Apostasy is a revolt or a leaving of the basic truths and principles of the Bible and biblical teachings about salvation. The way to spot apostasy is to “leave the elementary doctrine of Christ” and to “go on to maturity.” The author of Hebrews is telling us to move on from what we already know about the essential doctrines of grace and to not go backwards into man made rules and regulations such as those contained in the Mosaic Laws. He wants them to move on from that onto those things that will help them to identify apostate teachings when they encounter them.
#6 – 1 Corinthians 14:20
“Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.”
Here is where Paul contrasts maturity to that of being children but not in being child-like. We are to be like Children as far as our faith (Matt 18:2-4) but not childish in the sense of being foolish like children are at a young age (Prov 22:15). The context of chapter 14 is that the church at Corinth was trying to say that they were superior to others because they had certain gifts that the others didn’t. This is similar to two young boys saying “my dad can beat your dad up.” Paul doesn’t want the Corinthians to feel superior to the others who had what they thought were superior gifts compared to the other church members. At the same time, he wanted them to be child-like regarding what is evil in the sense that they were to avoid it but in their thinking, act like an adult and not like children who can sometimes argue over who is best.
#5 – Hebrews 5:12-14
“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”
These verses precede the verses in Hebrews 6:1-4 which we read earlier about moving on to maturity. Many in the church were apparently satisfied with the “basic principles of the oracles (teachings) of God” and in comparing them to babies still drinking milk they were not growing up in “the word of righteousness.” This was a type of laziness. This may have been due to the fact that they were not reading or studying the Scriptures on a regular basis. Anyone still drinking milk is not going to grow and will forever remain “unskilled in the word of righteousness” and by remaining immature, they will not be able to “distinguish good from evil” or sound biblical doctrine from apostate or evil teachings of the many false teachers that were around in that day and perhaps are more prevalent in our day today. Regular, consistent Bible study gives us spiritual discernment and the ability to distinguish true biblical teachings from those that are false.
#4 – Ephesians 4:11-14
“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.”
Once more maturity is invaluable for our ability to avoid “doctrine human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes” because children are not “tossed to and from by the waves (of false teachings) and carried about by every wind of doctrine.” Who can help us avoid being deceived by false teachers and their teachings? God provides the church with teachers, evangelists, and shepherds (pastors) and this helps to build “up the body of Christ (the church), until we attain to the unity of faith to mature manhood.” We cannot go it alone. We need the church’s leadership and their teachings to take us beyond the milk of the word and to the meat and this creates discernment in order that we can avoid the “craftiness in deceitful schemes.”
# 3 – 2 Peter 3:16-18
“There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
The Bible is difficult to understand in places. Those who are ignorant of the Scriptures can take text out of context to create a pretext and a false one at that. One way to avoid this is to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord” which means that since Jesus is the Word (John 1) we need to be in the Word. If you are in the Bible the Bible gets into you and then you can rightly divide and discern what the context means when reading difficult verses.
# 2 – 1 Corinthians 2:6
“Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away.”
Wisdom comes from other, more mature teachers and that is why every Timothy needs a Paul but this is not a worldly “wisdom of this age of the rulers” because they “are doomed to pass away.” This wisdom comes from the Holy Spirit, from the Word of God and from teachers who diligently study the Word on a regular basis. Maturity does not happen automatically. It is hard work but we can also ask God for wisdom and there is no reason that He won’t grant it to us (James 1:5).
#1 – Colossians 1:9-10
“And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
What I love about Paul’s passion is that he was a praying man and for the Colossians, he didn’t stop praying for the church and what did he ask for? He prayed for them to be “filled with the knowledge of his (God’s) will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as (or in order to) walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” That is an awesome thing to pray for when we pray for others and for those who are our teachers, pastors, elders, and deacons.
The most mature thing you can do, if you haven’t done so already, is to pray to God for His Holy Spirit to bring you the wisdom of God when you read the Scriptures but there is also wisdom that is found in the Word of God, the Bible. If you are not a Christian, you cannot fully grasp the meaning of the Word because the things of God are foolishness without the Spirit of God (1 Cor 2:14) and worse than that, your day of judgment is coming where God will judge all those who have refused to believe in the only One Who can save them…Jesus Christ (John 3:16-17). I beg you today to consider repenting before the Day of the Lord and then put your trust in Christ. That is the most mature thing that you could ever do.
Related reading: Bible Verses by Topic
Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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Spiritual Ceremonies in Mexico – How to Start?
There is many interesting Ceremonies in Mexico, but why, with whom, how do you do them and how does it feel?
You can check what there is below. See the videos about spiritual practices and ceremonies from experienced people. Choose wisely according to your inner guidance.
What Kind of Ceremony?
Technically, there are different Spiritual Ceremonies like Ayahuasca, Peyote, Mushrooms, DMT, Cannabis, Kambo, and Temazcal. Some of them have no medicines (substances), others are very potent plant mixes, like Ayahuasca (drinkable) or DMT (smokeable).
The bottom line here is that you will find videos describing all these above and more, from the source – from the best shamans and particular practitioners that I know.
Steph about the Peyote Ceremony
Important Notice: Ceremonies are NOT for fun. Some of the substances need to be controlled to some degree with a Shaman’s help. Many ceremonies require days of preparation without eating meat or consuming drugs and alcohol. Be Aware. I am not recommending ceremonies to people who are Not Ready for it – not ready mentally, physically, maybe even spiritually.
The Truth about Spiritual Ceremonies
The first thing I would like to share is that these ceremonies, even though some of them very powerful, are not as scary or dangerous as the governments and ‘regular people’ are saying. So it’s all right to go and participate without fear (when you are prepared and ready).
All of the ceremonies have many beautiful things in common:
– Your heart technically opens, you feel more love-full
– You learn about yourself
– You feel connected to your spirit or universe
– Sometimes you can have visions, a deeper understanding
– Some substances make it easier to have an ‘Out of Body Experience’ (OBE)
– You see your egoic processes
– You can let go of some fears when you see the truth (how much you have been living a lie?)
– You start to understand yourself and others
– The universe and cause-effect become understandable
– You become stronger after intense experiences (some of the sessions are very strong)
So basically, all of the above can awake you more if you are already awakened, or give you reason to go deeper into the rabbit hole if you don’t know yet what Awakening or a Happy Life is.
How Spiritual Ceremonies work
What I am trying to say is to forget everything you have been told since when you were a child, forget about fears and ‘dangerous drugs’. It’s all a lot of BS. Most likely, any ceremony will bring you closer to yourself, and give you liberation and a true Understanding of Life. These are beautiful moments. Here in Mexico, they say the plants are tremendous teachers if you already know how to work a little with your processes and if you just have a good intention.
Addicts, People with Trauma who use Ceremonies
The other side of the story is that if you do it for fun or any wrong reason, or you overdose on some substance, you might meet unpleasant consequences. All of the above is about opening and closing the third eye and other chakras. You have to know how to manage it when it opens very wide. But again, from my experience, ‘inappropriate things’ happen to people who push things in the wrong way (they, for example, take 5-10 times more of a substance than necessary). So if you are already crazy enough to take 10 times more of a substance that is already strong, it’s no surprise you lose control in that process. Be aware of who you are and do not follow these crazy stories that you might sometimes hear from ‘experienced’ or fearful people. Those stories mostly concern individuals who came unprepared, were silly, disregarded all the rules, with the lots of fear instead of trust.
Why Some people will discourage You
There is also other group in the population (I have to mention them) who will say that substances and ceremonies (even spiritual ceremonies under a shaman’s jurisdiction) are dangerous because of this or that fear they themselves have. Some of them will consciously discourage you because they think it is appropriate to be like them, to live in fear with limitations. Others don’t want you to get awakened because you won’t be a perfect slave anymore.
Michelle about Mushrooms.
Some groups of people are unconscious followers (me in the past) of fearful grandmas. Even those people have no idea about Ayahuasca; they never smoked a joint, they never tried mushrooms, but for sure they are experts who can tell you why you shouldn’t try it, or why is it dangerous. If you listen to those people, you will just be another part of the poor slavery mass that is most of our population already. DO NOT listen to people in fear, your grandmas, moms, friends who have no life experience or any higher knowledge – they will always say the same thing, they will spill their fear on you.
Who to Listen to
Be brave, be an Independent Thinker. Experiment. Leave obstacles and fearful mammas and grandmas behind; they will always dispense their fear and failure, they will not push you to awakening, enlightenment or even a happy fife. Find and surround yourself with people who are developed, who have knowledge, and who can lead you to freedom, awakening, your encounter with realization, and happiness in your true self.
Shaman about Temazcal Ceremony.
Notes from the Videos:
– Peace, Love, Awakening, winning with Ego, ‘Seeing things’
Top Spiritual Quotes
Browse top 2079 famous quotes and sayings about Spiritual by most favorite authors.
Favorite Spiritual Quotes
1. “Science has carried us to the gateway to the universe. And yet our conception of our surroundings remains the disproportionate view of the still-small child. We are spiritually and culturally paralyzed, unable to face the vastness, to embrace our lack of centrality and find our actual place in the fabric of nature. We batter this planet as if we had someplace else to go. That we even do science is a hopeful glimmer of mental health. However, it’s not enough merely to accept these insights intellectually while we cling to a spiritual ideology that is not only rootless in nature but also, in many ways, contemptuous of what is natural.”
Author: Ann Druyan
2. “No matter your spiritual beliefs, if you hold any, the answer is the same: sometimes, why is not knowable. If you open the refrigerator door and a tub of Kozy Shack tapioca pudding tumbles out and splats open onto the floor, you clean it. You don’t stand there and question why it happened, how it was possible. Why doesn’t matter now.”
Author: Augusten Burroughs
3. “Any age is rough for it’s own reasons. There is a time for every season, is not just a song. It is life. Everything, even the freaking planets & stars all have seasons.My 30’s have been my best so far. I have learned some the best lessons, I have seen the best examples of friendship & fellowship. Some of the people I have met in my 30’s could potentially be my first real & true best friends for life. I have grown emotionally, intellectually and spiritually more in the last 6 or so years, than it seems possible.So, embrace all of the years of life experience instead of rejecting or fearing them. They don’t teach this shit in school people! Live life, live to learn, live to love and live it to its limits! You have universe of power and potential, strive for it.Life is too damn short not to!”
Author: Bambi Dean
4. “I’ve decided that if I had my life to live over again, I would not only climb more mountains, swim more rivers, and watch more sunsets; I wouldn’t only jettison my hot water bottle, raincoat, umbrella, parachute, and raft; I would not only go barefoot earlier in the spring and stay out later in the fall; but I would devote not one more minute to monitoring my spiritual growth. No, not one.”
Author: Brennan Manning
5. “The dominant characteristic of an authentic spiritual life is the gratitude that flows from trust – not only for all the gifts that I receive from God, but gratitude for all the suffering. Because in that purifying experience, suffering has often been the shortest path to intimacy with God.”
Author: Brennan Manning
6. “Inner peace is impossible without patience. Wisdom requires patience. Spiritual growth implies the mastery of patience. Patience allows the unfolding of destiny to proceed at its won unhurried pace.”
Author: Brian L. Weiss
7. “I reject at once an idea which lingers in the mind of some modern people that cultural activities are in their own right spiritual and meritorious–as though scholars and poets were intrinsically more pleasing to God than scavengers and bootblacks.”
Author: C.S. Lewis
8. “You could have just said Ngozi is your tribal name and Ifemelu is your jungle name and throw in one more as your spiritual name. They’ll believe all kinds of shit about Africa.”
Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
9. “But finally we begin to question what spirituality means really. Is it simply a matter of attempting to be religious, pious, and good? Or is it trying to know more than other people, trying to learn more about the significance of life? What does it really mean, spirituality? The familiar theories of our family church and its doctrine are always available, but somehow these are not the answers we seek; they are a bit too ineffective, not applicable. So we fall away from the doctrines and dogmas of the religion we were born to.”
Author: Chögyam Trungpa
10. “I sometimes forgot about how spiritual Henry was. I had been raised as a Methodist where the highest sacrament was the bake sale.”
Author: Craig Johnson
11. “Spirituality was the main issue. Connection with God was the main issue.”
Author: Daniel Berrigan
12. “The River of Baptism I met, my spiritual adoption confirmed. The changing dramas in my life I experienced. The Holy language preceded my salvation found tongue, candidate of heavenly power I’m made.”
Author: Darmie Orem
13. “Our lack of community is intensely painful. A TV talk show is not community. A couple of hours in a church pew each Sabbath is not community. A multinational corporation is neither a human nor a community, and in the sweatshops, defiled agribusiness fields, genetic mutation labs, ecological dead zones, the inhumanity is showing. Without genuine spiritual community, life becomes a struggle so lonely and grim that even Hillary Clinton has admitted “it takes a village”.”
Author: David James Duncan
14. “As a spiritual person, nature for me has always been a healing place. Going back all the way to my childhood on the farm, the fields and forests were places of adventure and self-discovery. Animals were companions and friends, and the world moved at a slower, more rational pace than the bustling cities where I’d resided my adult life.”
Author: David Mixner
15. “Human love is directed to the other person for his own sake, spiritual love loves him for Christ’s sake. Therefore, human love seeks direct contact with the other person; it loves him not as a free person but as one whom it binds to itself. It wants to gain, to capture by every means; it uses force. It desires to be irresistible, to rule.”
Author: Dietrich Bonhoeffer
16. “…I want my spirituality to rid me of hate, not give me reason for it.”
Author: Donald Miller
17. “Whether the Bible is Law or Gospel depends on the spiritual condition of the one hearing it. If someone is regenerate and loves God, then the whole Bible is Gospel to him. If someone is unregenerate and hates God, the whole Bible is Law to him, the whole thing condemns him.”
Author: Douglas Wilson
18. “The notes I have made are not a diary in the ordinary sense, but partly lengthy records of my spiritual experiences, and partly poems in prose.”
Author: Edvard Munch
19. “The true traveller is the one urged to move about for physical, aesthetic, intellectual as well as spiritual reasons.”
Author: Ella Maillart
20. “For the spiritual sense of the Word treats everywhere of the spiritual world, that is, of the state of the church in the heavens, as well as in the earth; hence the Word is spiritual and Divine.”
Author: Emanuel Swedenborg
21. “Generations of women have sacrificed their lives to become their mothers. But we do not have that luxury any more. The world has changed too much to let us have the lives our mothers had. And we can no longer afford the guilt we feel at not being our mothers. We cannot afford any guilt that pulls us back to the past. We have to grow up, whether we want to or not. We have to stop blaming men and mothers and seize every second of our lives with passion. We can no longer afford to waste our creativity. We cannot afford spiritual laziness.”
Author: Erica Jong
22. “So much of life, it seems to me, is the framing and naming of things. I had been so busy creating a future of love that I never identified the life I was living as the life of love, because up until then I had never felt entitled enough or free enough or, honestly, brave enough to embrace my own narrative. Ironically, I had gone ahead and created the life I secretly must have wanted, but it had to be covert and off the record. Chemo was burning away the wrapper and suddenly I was in my version of life. Thus began the ecstasy – the joy, the pure joy of a spiritual pirate who finds the secret treasure.”
Author: Eve Ensler
23. “Much of our modern difficulty, in religion and other things, arises merely from this: that we confuse the word “indefinable” with the word “vague.” If some one speaks of a spiritual fact as “indefinable” we promptly picture something misty, a cloud with indeterminate edges. But this is an error even in commonplace logic. The thing that cannot be defined is the first thing; the primary fact. It is our arms and legs, our pots and pans, that are indefinable. The indefinable is the indisputable. The man next door is indefinable, because he is too actual to be defined. And there are some to whom spiritual things have the same fierce and practical proximity; some to whom God is too actual to be defined.”
Author: G.K. Chesterton
24. “A Christian is never dependent on the response of others to grow spiritually. It’s our own heart’s decisions that matter”
Author: Gary L. Thomas
25. “One way to express the spiritual crisis of our time is to say that most of us have an address but cannot be found there.”
Author: Henri J.M. Nouwen
26. “I pondered some time without fully comprehending the reason for this. Father Mapple enjoyed such a wide reputation for sincerity and sanctity, that I could not suspect him of courting notoriety by any mere tricks of the stage. No, thought I, there must be some sober reason for this thing; furthermore, it must symbolize something unseen. Can it be, then, that by that act of physical isolation, he signifies his spiritual withdrawal for the time, from all outward worldly ties and connexions? Yes, for replenished with the meat and wine of the word, to the faithful man of God, this pulpit, I see, is a self- containing stronghold – a lofty Ehrenbreitstein, with a perennial well of water within the walls.”
Author: Herman Melville
27. “His face was still smarter and more spiritual than others, but it rarely laughed, and assumed, one after another, those features which are so often found in the faces of rich people, those features of discontent, of sickliness, of ill-humour, of sloth, of a lack of love. Slowly the disease of the soul, which rich people have, grabbed hold of him”
Author: Hermann Hesse
28. “I’m a very spiritual person, and proud of my Mormon roots.”
Author: Jon Huntsman Jr.
29. “I came to understand that belief is a preconception about the way reality should be; faith is the willingness to experience reality as it is, including the acceptance of the unknown. An interesting way to understand the difference is to use the words interchangeably in the same sentence: I believe in Santa Claus. I have faith in Santa Claus. Belief can impede spiritual unfoldment; faith is supremely necessary for it.”
Author: Judith Hanson Lasater
30. “I am attracting a new audience now, one that is more open and more spiritually inclined.”
Author: Kenny Loggins
31. “I think that growth and spiritual awareness come in slow increments. Sometimes you don’t know it’s happening.”
Author: Mariel Hemingway
32. “Worship at its best is a social experience with people of all levels of life coming together to realize their oneness and unity under God. Whenever the church, consciously or unconsciously caters to one class it loses the spiritual force of the “whosoever will, let him come, doctrine and is in danger of becoming a little more than a social club with a thin veneer of religiosity.”
Author: Martin Luther King Jr.
33. “Harry Potter represents a much larger wave of cultural revolution that we’re all immersed in, and I believe it’s a spiritual revolution as well – a negative spiritual revolution.”
Author: Michael O’Brien
34. “…On television, religion, like everything else, is presented, quite simply and without apology, as an entertainment. Everything that makes religion an historic, profound, sacred human activity is stripped away; there is no ritual, no dogma, no tradition, no theology, and above all, no sense of spiritual transcendence.”
Author: Neil Postman
35. “Material success may result in the accumulation of possessions; but only spiritual success will enable you to enjoy them”
Author: Nido Qubein
36. “The Religious person follows the teachings of their Church,The Spiritual person follows the Guidance of their Soul.”
Author: Non Nomen
37. “It is the unseen and the spiritual in people that determines the outward and the actual.”
Author: Oswald Chambers
38. “There are two spiritual tests: The patience to wait for the right moment and the courage not to be diappointed to what you have encounter.”
Author: Paolo Coelho
39. “If we can’t forget, how can we forgive? I believe that forgiving can’t be done by willpower alone. I can will myself to write out my own memories and feelings. I can will myself to imagine onto the page how someone else may have felt. I can will myself to research someone else’s life in order to better understand what happened. But I don’t think I can forgive by simply willing to forgive. Forgiving happens to us when our hearts are ready. Sometimes it takes the form of working on our own story until quietly, often surprisingly, we simply let go of the hurt. Sometimes forgiving makes it possible to pick up the pieces of a broken relationship and begin again. Sometimes it means letting a relationship go. We can’t forgive through willpower. What we can do is work toward readiness of heart. Writing as a spiritual practice can be that kind of work.When our heart is ready, we often don’t even know it until forgiveness happens within us. It is a gift.”
Author: Pat Schneider
40. “We don’t know how bad we are until we try to be good. Nothing exposes our selfishness and spiritual pwerlessness like prayer.”
Author: Paul E. Miller
41. “…the world is only the visible aspect of God. And that what alchemy does is to bring spiritual perfection into contact with the material plane.”
Author: Paulo Coelho
42. “Violence is spiritual junk food, and boredom is spiritual anorexia.”
Author: Peter Kreeft
43. “The de-spiritualization of asceticisms is probably the event in the current intellectual history of mankind that is the most comprehensive and, because of its large scale, the hardest to perceive, yet at once the most palpable and atmospherically powerful. Its counterpart is the informalization of spirituality – accompanied by its commercialization in the corresponding subcultures. The threshold values for these two tendencies provide the intellectual landmarks for the twentieth century: the first tendency is represented by sport, which has become a metaphor for achievement as such, and the second by popular music, that devotio postmoderna which covers the lives of contemporary individuals with unpredictable flashes of inner emergency.”
Author: Peter Sloterdijk
44. “The radiance of which he speaks is the scholastic quidditas, the whatness of a thing. The supreme quality is felt by the artist when the esthetic image is first conceived in his imagination. The mind in that mysterious instant Shelley likened beautifully to a fading coal. The instant wherein that supreme quality of beauty, the clear radiance of the esthetic image, is apprehended luminously by the mind which has been arrested by its wholeness and fascinated by its harmony is the luminous silent stasis of esthetic pleasure, a spiritual state very like to that cardiac condition which the Italian physiologist, Luigi Galvani, using a phrase almost as beautiful as Shelley’s, called the enchantment of the heart.”
45. “Karma theory is a spiritual philosophy used to explain and maintain the economic status of Asia.”
Author: Stephen H. Wolinsky
46. “Religious structure often dilutes the spiritual experience.”
Author: Steve Maraboli
47. “Resistance obstructs movement only from a lower sphere to a higher. It kicks in when we seek to pursue a calling in the arts, launch an innovative enterprise, or evolve to a high station morally, ethically, or spiritually.”
Author: Steven Pressfield
48. “All revolutions are spiritual at the source. All my activities have the sole purpose of achieving a union of hearts.”
Author: Vinoba Bhave
49. “To discover one’s own spiritual poverty is to achieve a positive conquest by the spirit.”
Author: William Barrett
50. “In my songs, the sex is all subliminal. It’s subliminal, spiritual.”
Author: Ziggy Marley
Understanding the purpose of spiritual gifts goes a long way in helping us think more clearly about their use. Clearly, spiritual gifts are not given for self-promotion or self-profiting.
Spiritual gifts are given for the common good (1 Corinthians 12:7, 14:12, 26). Literally, spiritual gifts (charismata) are given for profitability (1 Corinthians 12:7). The context in 1 Corinthians 12 and the statements in 1 Corinthians 14:12 and 26 (add to this the parallel ideas in Ephesians 4:11-16), help us to see that profitability refers not to self, but to others. Thus, the ESV translated the idea of profitability as “the common good.”
Unfortunately, much of what we see on television and hear about on the internet concern self-promoting, self-profiting spectacles. Generally, such spectacles are associated with the Health & Wealth “gospel”; however, that is NO gospel. In fact, the peddlers of such wares are described by Peter as false prophets/teachers: waterless springs and mists driven by a storm (2 Peter 2:1-22). Many of these so called preachers have been exposed as using their “gifts” for self-promotion and profit.
On the other hand, the Bible helps us to see that the gifts, ministries and workings of the Spirit are given to us for the benefit of others – the body (1 Corinthians 12:7; 14:12, 26). Obviously, we do derive benefit and blessing when we serve others, but the using of gifts shifts our focus away from ourselves and toward others (see Ephesians 4:11-16).
Since gifts are for the building up of the body, then the Spirit grants gifts as and when the body needs them. This means that while there are some gifts the body needs continually (teaching, administration, etc.), there may be other gifts that are granted temporarily, as needed (i.e., faith, healings, workings of power, etc.).
Since gifts are given for the benefit of the entire body, it is foolish to boast about our gifts and to promote ourselves for personal gain. How can you be proud about something that has been given to you by the Spirit for the profitability of others? It makes no sense does it.
Let us, then, repent of laziness, trust in Christ, and embrace the Spirit’s work in order that we may serve one another in love. Such service glorifies God (1 Peter 4:10-11).
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is in me – 1 Corinthians 15:10.