Called to be Unique: There Are No Twins In the Kingdom of Heaven

Today’s selected reading continues in the first New Testament epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the Corinthian saints. More specifically today’s passage is found in the thirteenth chapter of this New Testament book. “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).

 

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth. Not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away” (1 Corinthians 13:8-10).  

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I though as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity” (1 Corinthians 13:11-13)

 

When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find what is perhaps the most beloved and well-known passage of this first epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the Corinthian saints. Upon coming to the thirteenth chapter you will encounter the incredible language surrounding love—and not merely the language surrounding love but love in the context of the spiritual gifts. If you take the time to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you must needs recognize that it comes directly on the heels of the words the apostle Paul wrote concerning spiritual gifts. What’s more is that it not only comes on the heels of the words the apostle Paul spoke concerning spiritual gifts but also concerning the unity and function of the body. In all reality I am convinced that you cannot truly understand the words and language found in this passage of Scripture without and apart from recognizing it in the context of the spiritual gifts. In the first and opening chapter of this particular epistle we find the apostle Paul writing unto the Corinthian saints how they came behind in no spiritual gifts, however, when you come to the twelfth chapter of this same epistle you will find the apostle instructing them concerning spiritual gifts. The simple fact the apostle Paul sought to take time out to write concerning spiritual gifts is truly astonishing and remarkable for it’s almost as if the apostle Paul was seeking to bring a measure of guidance and instruction unto the Corinthians concerning these spiritual gifts within and among their body and congregation of believers.

 

Before we delve into the words which are found in the thirteenth chapter of this first epistle written unto the Corinthian saints it is absolutely necessary to first consider the words which are found in the previous chapter. The words which we find in the previous chapter deal exclusively and specifically with the spiritual gifts—and not only the spiritual gifts but also the spiritual gifts in the context of the unity and community of the body. SPIRITUAL GIFTS IN THE CONTEXT OF THE BODY! SPIRITUAL GIFTS IN THE CONTEXT OF LOVE! LOVE AS THE FOUNDATION OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS! Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for within it we are brought face to face with the awesome and powerful truth surrounding the true and ultimate framework for spiritual gifts which is not necessarily the manifestation of the gifts but the manifestation of those gifts and ministrations in love. In all reality I have to say that there are a number of men and women who get caught up in the word “gift” when it comes to the words and language found here in this passage of Scripture and while the opening verse of the twelfth chapter speaks of “spiritual gifts” I am convinced that more often than not men and women can become puffed up, arrogant, prideful and boastful when they think about spiritual gifts. There are and there have been men and women who pride themselves in being gifted and even in our modern day culture and society much of our reality is shaped by “gifts” and being “gifted.” I would dare say that there are and there have been countless men and women among us who wrongly and gravely misunderstand the natural of spiritual gifts and think of them in terms of something which they possess.

 

I sit here this morning writing these words and I can’t help but be absolutely and completely gripped and captivated with the tremendous truth surrounding spiritual gifts and how it is not so much about us possessing the spiritual gifts as much as it is about the Spirit possessing us. There would be those who would like to think that the spiritual gifts should and ought to be understood in terms of something which we ourselves possess and lay hold of within our hearts and lives. The truth of the matter, however, is not only that spiritual gifts describe that which was bestowed upon us as believers but also about the true and ultimate manifestation of the Holy Spirit within our lives. In order for spiritual gifts to truly be understood they must be understood—not in the context of us possessing the spiritual gifts but rather the Holy Spirit possessing us. I can’t help but be reminded of the day of Pentecost and how Luke wrote concerning the cloven tongues of fire which rested upon each of the one-hundred and twenty who were present in the upper room how they spoke with other tongues “as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Please do not miss and lose sight of this incredible truth for it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely awesome and powerful truth surrounding the person and presence of the Holy Spirit within our lives and how it is the Spirit who bestows unto us that which is needful—not only for the edification of the body but also for a witness and testimony unto those who don’t yet believe. If there is one thing we must needs recognize concerning the day of Pentecost is that the one-hundred and twenty who were present within the upper room it’s that their speaking in tongues wasn’t necessarily about those tongues being retained in the upper room as a witness among themselves but rather outside the upper room as a witness unto those who were present in the midst of the city of Jerusalem.

 

The more I sit here and think about this particular truth surrounding spiritual gifts, the truth surrounding the unity and fellowship of the body of Christ, and even spiritual gifts in the context and framework of love the more I am brought face to face with the words and language which is found in the second chapter of the New Testament book of Acts. I cannot escape the incredible truth and reality surrounding the words and language found in the second chapter of the New Testament book of Acts for when you consider the cloven tongues of fire which rested upon the heads of each of the one-hundred and twenty who were present in the upper room you will find them speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. What’s more is that you will find and discover that they did not remain nor did they abide in the upper room. If you truly take the time to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will come face to face with the awesome and incredible truth surrounding their speaking in tongues outside the upper room in the hearing of all those who were gathered unto Jerusalem for one of the Jewish feasts. If there is something we must needs recognize and understand concerning the day of Pentecost it’s that the eternal and only begotten Son sent the person and presence of the Holy Spirit unto the one-hundred and twenty who were present in that upper room during a time when the city of Jerusalem would have been filled and bustling with countless Jews from throughout the regions, nations and lands round about the city of Jerusalem. It is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the second chapter of the New Testament book of Acts beginning to read with and from the first and opening verse of the chapter:

 

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine” (Acts 2:1-13).

 

AND THERE WERE DWELLING AT JERUSALEM JEWS, DEVOUT MEN, OUT OF EVERY NATION UNDER HEAVEN! OUT OF EVERY NATION UNDER HEAVEN! Please don’t miss and lose sight of the words and language which is found in the second chapter of the New Testament book of Acts for within this passage of Scripture we encounter the tremendous truth surrounding the day of Pentecost and how the eternal Father deliberately and intentionally chose this Jewish feast ordained and appointed in the Sprint to send the promise of the Holy Spirit into the earth. The eternal and only begotten Son of the Father deliberately and intentionally chose to send the Holy Spirit unto and upon one-hundred and twenty souls who were present in the upper room during this particular feast knowing the city itself would be completely and utterly filled—not only with those Jews which dwelt in the midst of the city of Jerusalem but devout Jews from every nation under heaven. I have to admit how absolutely incredible it is to sit here and read these words for when we think about the sound of a mighty rushing wind filling the whole room where they were and cloven tongues like as of fire sitting upon each of them we must needs recognize that while this was perhaps the initial manifestation and evidence of the arrival of the Holy Spirit it would be the Holy Spirit that would give unto each of them the ability to speak with other tongues according to His utterance. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it brings us face to face with the absolutely awesome and powerful truth surrounding the manifestation of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost and how one of the manifestations and evidences of the Holy Spirit was indeed speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

 

I sit and read about the words which are found in the second chapter of this New Testament book surrounding the day of Pentecost and I am brought face to face with the incredible truth surrounding the one-hundred and twenty who were present in the upper room and how the Holy Spirit rested upon them and gave each of them the ability and utterance to speak with other tongues. What’s more is that we must needs recognize that their speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance was not for their own benefit nor for their own edification—at least not initially—but rather for a witness and testimony unto all those devout Jews who were present in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. Scripture makes it perfectly and abundantly clear that at the time of this feast in the city of Jerusalem there were devout Jews out of every nation under heaven who heard it noised and reported of what had happened in an upper room within the city. Oh there is a part of me that can’t help but think about and wonder what it was like when these one-hundred and twenty who were present in the upper room stepped out of the upper room still speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. I do not at all believe that all of Jerusalem gathered themselves together unto the upper room nor perhaps even to the house wherein these one-hundred and twenty were gathered together which ultimately means that the manifestation of the Holy Spirit was released from the midst of this upper room into the streets of the city of Jerusalem. Not only this but when the apostle Peter stood up in the midst of those who were gathered in the city of Jerusalem he was able to address so many that on that day three thousand souls believed, were baptized and were added unto their number.

 

I have to admit the more I think about and consider the words which are found in this particular passage of Scripture the more I am brought face to face with the incredible and awesome truth surrounding the day of Pentecost and how the manifestation of the Spirit wasn’t meant to remain and abide in that upper room but rather was meant to explode forth from it like a tidal wave. There is not a doubt in my mind the manifestation of the Holy Spirit sought to bring for the one-hundred and twenty who were present in the upper room into the streets of Jerusalem still speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance that there might be a witness and testimony unto all those who were present in the midst of the city. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible it truly is for when we think about the manifestation of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost we must recognize that it wasn’t even necessarily for the benefit of the one-hundred and twenty alone but for the benefit of those who were present in the city of Jerusalem. How absolutely incredible it is to think about the fact that there were out of every nation gathered together devout Jews unto the city of Jerusalem at the time of this Jewish feast and it would be in Jerusalem at the time of the day of Pentecost the manifestation of the Holy Spirit would be present in the city. Oh I find it absolutely incredible to think about and consider the awesome and powerful truth surrounding the day of Pentecost and how on the day of Pentecost there were one-hundred and twenty souls who were present in that upper room who were each filled with the Holy Spirit—and not only filled with the Holy Spirit but also spoke with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

 

As we continue to ponder and consider the words which are found in the second chapter of the New Testament book of Acts we must needs recognize and understand that the words and language contained therein bring us face to face with the tremendous truth that the manifestation of the Holy Spirit was not necessarily for the benefit of the one-hundred and twenty souls who were present in the upper room. If you turn and direct your attention back to the final chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke as well as the first chapter in the New Testament book of Acts you will find Jesus instructing His disciples and followers to tarry and abide in the city of Jerusalem until they be endowed with power from on high. What’s more is that just prior to His ascension the Lord Jesus emphatically declared unto His disciples and followers how after that they would receive power and they would be witnesses unto and for Him—first in the city of Jerusalem and then unto Judaea, Samaria and ultimately the ends of the earth. It is absolutely necessary for us to pay close and careful attention to this for when we think about the manifestation of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost we must needs recognize the power of witness and testimony that oftentimes gets overlooked. There are and there have been many who have allowed themselves to get so caught up and consumed in describing “the initial physical evidence of being baptized in the Holy Spirit as speaking with other tongues” that they completely and utterly miss the point of the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize how the manifestation of the Holy Spirit was that the one-hundred and twenty who were gathered together in the upper room might be witnesses there in the midst of that city. The fact that the Holy Spirit gave them each utterance to speak with other tongues is incredibly powerful when you take the time to think about it for the manifestation of the Holy Spirit was for a witness unto all those who were present in the midst of the city of Jerusalem.

 

If you continue reading the second chapter of the New Testament book of Acts you will find that when these Jews out of every nation under heaven heard these Galileans—not only speaking with other tongues but speaking in their own tongues—they were all amazed and marvelled. Luke writes and records how in addition to their amazement and marvel they asked themselves if these men were not Galileans, and if they were in fact Galileans then how was it they heard them speaking the wonderful works of God. In the eighth verse of this passage we read of the Jews out of every nation under heaven marvelling, being amazed and being confounded because every man heard them speak in his own language. Those Jews out of every nation under heaven were amazed and marvelled because these Galileans spoke with the tongues wherein they were born. Eventually and ultimately we find those who were present in the midst of the city of Jerusalem continuing to marvel and wonder at how these Galileans spoke in their tongues the wonderful works of God. Oh we must needs recognize and understand how absolutely incredible this truly is for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding the manifestation of the Holy Spirit as a witness and testimony unto all those who had come out of every nation under heaven to the city of Jerusalem. Oh how absolutely incredible it is to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and consider how the manifestation of the Holy Spirit was indeed and was in fact that these one-hundred and twenty might be a witness and testimony unto those Jews out of every nation under heaven as they spoke the wonderful works of God.

 

The words and language presented here in the second chapter of the New Testament book of Acts are incredibly powerful when you take the time to think about them for they bring us face to face with the awesome and powerful truth surrounding the manifestation of the Holy Spirit for the benefit of others. There would be those who allow themselves to be puffed up in their own spiritual gifts and have absolutely no understanding that the manifestation of the spiritual gifts are for the benefit of others. In all reality I would dare say this was precisely and ultimately what the apostle Paul sought to convey unto the Corinthian saints in the first epistle which was written unto them. If you take the time to read the words which are found in the twelfth chapter of this first epistle you will find the apostle Paul speaking unto them concerning spiritual gifts that they might recognize and understand that it was one and the selfsame Spirit who granted unto each man a measure of Himself. What we must needs recognize concerning spiritual gifts is that spiritual gifts themselves are indeed a direct manifestation of the person, the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit for the edification of the body as well as for a witness and testimony unto those who do not yet believe and name the name of the Lord Jesus. If you consider the words which are found in the twelfth chapter of this first epistle written unto the Corinthian saints you will find the apostle Paul declaring concerning spiritual gifts and how he would not have them ignorant. The apostle Paul would then go on to remind them how they were Gentiles who were carried away by dumb idols as they were being led. This would immediately be followed by the apostle Paul emphatically declaring how no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed. Similarly no man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost. In other words it is the Holy Spirit which bears witness unto the person and presence of the Lord Jesus Himself and does not speak of Himself but speaks of the eternal and only begotten Son of the Father.

 

If you continue reading in this passage of Scripture you will find the apostle Paul speaking of diversities of gifts but the same Spirit which works each and every one of those gifts. Moreover the apostle Paul goes on to write how there were differences of administrations but the same Lord as well as diversities of operations but how it is the same God which works all in all. In addition to this the apostle Paul would go on to write how the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. What I absolutely love about this particular truth is how the apostle Paul spoke of diversity in the body of Christ and how in the midst of that diversity there would and there could be unity. In fact this is precisely what the Holy Spirit came to bring and produce upon His entrance and arrival into the realm of time and space. I am absolutely and completely convinced the Holy Spirit came unto the earth that He might bring and produce unity among the saints and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ for only the Holy Spirit came produce unity. Pause and think about the fact that for ten days after the ascension of the Lord Jesus the disciples and followers we find the manifestation of the Holy Spirit upon the one-hundred and twenty who were present in the upper room. It would be the Holy Spirit that would not only produce community but also fellowship and unity among those who were gathered together in the upper room. Not only this but as you come to the end of the day of Pentecost—not only will you find three thousand souls being added unto the number of those who were present in the upper room but you will also find them all being of one mind, one purpose, one heart and having all things in common.

 

I sit here today thinking about and considering the words and language found in the twelfth chapter of this first epistle written unto the Corinthian saints and am brought face to face with the awesome and powerful truth surrounding diversity and yet unity. DIVERSE YET UNITED! GIFTED YET LOVING! In all reality I would dare say that if we are to truly understand the words which are found in the twelfth and thirteenth chapters of this first epistle written unto the Corinthian saints we must needs recognize and understand that the body of Christ was designed and intended to be diverse and yet united. When the head of the body—the Lord Jesus—sent the Holy Spirit unto the earth and those who were present in the upper room He did so that the body might be diverse and yet one. Not only this but the Holy Spirit came and was manifested in the earth that the body of Christ might be diverse and yet united. We must needs recognize that neither the Holy Spirit nor the Lord Jesus designed nor purposed the body of Christ to be one body made up of many members who were all the same. The sole purpose and function of the body was that it might be diverse and that each member might have their own purpose and function therein. Even when you read the words found in the twelfth chapter you must needs recognize and understand that the apostle Paul wrote and spoke of the eye and seeing and the ear hearing and the nose smelling. This was done deliberately and intentionally by the apostle Paul to demonstrate and illustrate the awesome truth surrounding the body of Christ and how it was conceived and brought into the world to be diverse in its members and functions. The body of Christ was never created nor conceived to be made up of many members who were all the same but rather that each and every member might be diverse in their own unique role, purpose, function, administration and place.

 

Oh the words and language which is found in the twelfth chapter of the first epistle written by the apostle Paul brings us face to face with the incredibly awesome and powerful truth surrounding the unity and diversity of the body and how when the Church was conceived and brought forth in the earth it was not brought forth to be made up of members who were all one and the same. Perhaps one of the greatest truths surrounding the words and language found in the twelfth chapter of this first epistle written by the apostle Paul is not only the diversity of the Spirit but also the diversity of the body. As you read the words written and contained within this passage of Scripture you will find that although the Holy Spirit is one with Himself and one with the triune Godhead He is also diverse. If there is one thing we must needs recognize when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture it’s that the Holy Spirit is united and yet diverse for the words which the apostle Paul wrote and spoke concerning the manifestation of the Holy is indeed diverse in its role, purpose, function and operation. The simple fact that the apostle Paul lays out nine different manifestation of the Holy Spirit clearly demonstrates and brings us face to face with the tremendous truth that although the Holy Spirit is indeed one with Himself, one with the Father and the Son and united within Himself He is also diverse. The day of Pentecost clearly demonstrated the awesome truth surrounding the Holy Spirit and the diversity that is found within Him as the Galileans who were present in the city of Jerusalem for the manifestation of the Holy Spirit produced the ability to speak with other tongues as men and women were given utterance.

 

I am sitting here right now thinking about and considering the words which are found in the second chapter of the New Testament book of Acts as well as the words which are found in the twelfth chapter of the first epistle written unto the Corinthian saints and I am brought face to face with the incredible truth surrounding the unity and diversity of the Holy Spirit. If there is one thing the day of Pentecost proved and demonstrated it was that the Holy Spirit manifested the diversity that was found present within Him through giving those one-hundred and twenty who were present in the upper room the ability to speak with other tongues as they were given utterance. Pause for a moment and consider the fact that when the Holy Spirit arrived upon the earth He didn’t come as the Holy Spirit of the Jews but rather as the Holy Spirit of the nations. THE HOLY SPIRIT OF THE NATIONS! When the Lord Jesus came to the earth He came unto His own and took upon Himself the seed of Abraham as being born unto and among the Jews. When you look at and examine the Lord Jesus in the flesh you will find that He was born of the seed of Abraham and was Himself a Jew and a Nazarene. What’s more is outside of and apart from going into Samaria and Tyre and Sidon at least once as mentioned within the Scriptures Jesus came primarily and solely unto the house of Israel—unto Jerusalem, unto Judaea and unto Galilee. What we must needs recognize concerning the person and presence of the Holy Spirit is that when the Holy Spirit came He came and manifested Himself as the Spirit of the nations of the earth. Oh it is incredibly important we recognize and pay close attention to this tremendous truth for on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was manifested He manifested Himself as being diverse—and not only diverse but also the Spirit of and unto the nations of the earth.

 

I have to admit I absolutely love the fact that Luke wrote how there was in Jerusalem devout Jews out of every nation under heaven and how each nation, tongue and language which was present in the city at that time each heard the wonderful works being spoken in their own tongue and language. What we have great need of understanding concerning the Holy Spirit is that although He is one within Himself and one with the triune Godhead He is diverse—not only diverse in manifestation, administrations and operation but also diverse in His manifestation among men. Perhaps the single greatest reality the day of Pentecost proved and demonstrated for us was that the Holy Spirit did not come as “the Spirit of the Jews” but rather as “the Spirit of the nations.” If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand concerning the Holy Spirit it’s that the Holy Spirit came and was manifested in the earth as the Spirit of and the Spirit unto the nations. In the first seven chapters of the New Testament book of Acts we find the Holy Spirit as being manifested solely and entirely unto and among the Jews which were in Jerusalem, however, when we come to the eighth chapter we find the Spirit demonstrating that He was also the Spirit of and the Spirit unto the Samaritans. Not only this but when we come to the tenth, sixteenth and nineteenth chapters of the New Testament book of Acts we find the Spirit proving and demonstrating that He was the Spirit of and the Spirit unto the Gentiles. It was in the tenth chapter we find the Spirit being poured out upon Cornelius and his entire household while in the sixteenth chapter we find the Spirit being poured out upon the Philippian jailor and his entire household. Not only this but in the nineteenth chapter we find the Holy Spirit as being poured out unto and among the disciples which were present in the midst of the Ephesus.

 

I have to admit I am absolutely and incredibly astonished when reading the words which are found in the second chapter of the New Testament book of Acts for what we find within it is a powerful demonstration and manifestation of the Holy Spirit as being diverse within and upon the earth. I absolutely love what we find and read in the second chapter of the New Testament book of Acts for what we find within it is a powerful picture of the diversity of the Holy Spirit in His witness and testimony upon and within the earth. The simple fact the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost and enabled the one-hundred and twenty to speak with the tongues of every nation under heaven proves and demonstrates the awesome and powerful truth that He is indeed diverse within Himself. What we must needs understand concerning the witness and testimony of the Holy Spirit is that it is and it was diverse in its operation and manifestation of the earth. When the Holy Spirit came unto the earth and filled those who were present in the upper room He offered a witness unto every nation under heaven as those in the upper room spoke with the tongues of those nations under heaven. Oh I can’t help but be captured and captivated with the fact that there were about one-hundred and twenty souls which were present in the upper room and whether or not there were one-hundred and twenty nations which were represented in the city of Jerusalem at the time of Pentecost. We don’t know for sure how many nations were represented in the city of Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost but we do know that there were devout Jews out of every nation under heaven which were present in the midst of the city.

 

Oh I am absolutely gripped with the fact that when we think about the day of Pentecost we are brought face to face with the fact that the Holy Spirit demonstrated Himself as being diverse within Himself and being a Spirit unto the nations. It would be very easy to allow ourselves to get caught up in thinking the Holy Spirit was the Spirit unto the Jews and yet if there is one thing the day of Pentecost proved and demonstrated it was that the Holy Spirit did not come solely to be a Spirit unto the Jews but rather a Spirit unto every nation and tongue under heaven. THE SPIRIT SPEAKS YOUR LANGUAGE! Pause for a moment and consider just what the day of Pentecost represents and what the words which the beloved physician Luke wrote truly means for you—namely, that the Spirit knows and speaks your language. What’s more is that not only does the Spirit know and speak your language but the Spirit is the Spirit of every nation under heaven. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible it truly is for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous reality of the Holy Spirit being a Spirit unto every nation and tongue under heaven. With this being said we must needs understand that the Holy Spirit is indeed the Spirit of the nations and although at Babel the living God confused the tongues of men and scattered them upon the earth the Spirit is a Spirit of and unto the nations.

 

I fully realize and recognize that the thirteenth chapter of the New Testament book of Acts deals exclusively and specifically with love in the context of spiritual gifts—and not only love in the context of spiritual but love in the context of the community and fellowship of the body of Christ—and yet there is a great need for us to recognize and understand how the Holy Spirit is diverse in His manifestation and presence in the midst of the earth. We must needs recognize and understand that the Holy Spirit knows and speaks your language is as much the Spirit of the nation under heaven from which you are from as much as He is the Spirit of the Jews. The Spirit is not a Spirit unto one nation, one tongue and one people but is a Spirit unto and for all nations of the earth. The day of Pentecost proves and demonstrates the awesome and tremendous truth that when the Holy Spirit came and was manifested within and upon the earth He came as the Spirit unto the nations of the earth. Within the New Testament book of Acts we are brought face to face with the awesome and powerful truth that the Holy Spirit came to be a Spirit unto the nations while we also see the demonstration and manifestation of the Holy Spirit as being a Spirit unto the Gentiles as much as a Spirit unto the Jews. How wonderful and truly powerful it is to think about and consider this truly amazing truth for the Holy Spirit came not as the Spirit unto the Jews alone but as a Spirit unto the Gentiles as well. Oh there is something truly unique and powerful about the words we find in the New Testament book of Acts for within it we find the manifestation of the Holy Spirit as being a Spirit unto and for the nations. What’s more is the Holy Spirit wasn’t poured out unto and for one people and one nation under heaven but for and unto every nation under heaven.

 

I absolutely love the words and language found in the second chapter of the New Testament book of Acts as well as the words which are found in the twelfth chapter of the first epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the Corinthian saints for not only do we find the reality of the Holy Spirit as being the Spirit unto and for the nations but we also find the Holy Spirit as being a Spirit who is diverse within Himself. In the second chapter of the book of Acts we find the diversity of the Spirit as it pertains to the tongues of every nation under heaven while in the twelfth chapter of the New Testament book of First Corinthians we find the diversity of the Holy Spirit in terms of the manifestation in the midst of the body. The person and presence of the Holy Spirit did indeed and did in fact come that He might bring unity in the body, however with that unity in the body is also diversity. Oh if there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand is that while the Holy Spirit came to unite and make the body one He did not come to make the members of the body exactly identical. Although we have all been baptized into one body and although we have all partaken of that same spiritual drink and although we all worship one Lord and one God we have not been called to be exactly identical. THERE ARE NO TWINS IN THE KINGDOM! One thing I can’t help but escape is that just as no two snowflakes are the same so also are no two members of the body of Christ the same. When we think about the kingdom of heaven we must needs recognize and understand that there are no identical twins in the kingdom of heaven. Each and every member of the body of Christ is their own unique person as a son or daughter before the Father who is in heaven.

 

I find myself coming face to face with the awesome and incredible truth surrounding the unity and diversity of the Holy Spirit and that if we truly wish to understand the person of the Holy Spirit we must needs recognize that He is both united and diverse in Himself and when He came to be manifested among us in the earth He came not only to bring unity but also diversity. Perhaps the single greatest truth that is found in the twelfth chapter of the first epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the Corinthians is that not only is the Holy Spirit diverse and united within Himself but He also came to bring unity and diversity in the body of Christ. What’s more is I would dare say there are and there have been countless men and women who have chosen to focus on the unity of the Holy Spirit while completely and utterly ignoring the tremendous truth surrounding the diversity of the Holy Spirit. There are and there have been countless men and women who have chosen to focus on the unity of the Holy Spirit and how the Holy Spirit comes to bring unity without also recognizing that the Holy Spirit came to bring diversity unto and among the body of Christ. I would dare say that if we want to truly recognize and understand the Holy Spirit we must needs understand that the Holy Spirit is both diverse and united within Himself and in that diversity and unity He came to produce it within the body of Christ. The body of Christ indeed one body made up of many members and yet the only way the body of Christ truly functions the way it was designed to is if each member operates in unity with each other while also remaining diverse.

 

With all of this being said please note and understand that I am not necessarily speaking of diversity in terms of race and gender alone. There would be those who would like to focus on diversity solely in terms of gender and race and yet when we speak of diversity in the body of Christ we must needs understand that this diversity extends beyond racial and gender lines and into the realm of the actual manifestation of the Holy Spirit. This diversity found in the person and presence of the Holy Spirit must needs be understood and acknowledged as a means of allowing the body to remain diverse from each other while at the same time being united together as one. Oh dear read would it shock and surprise you to consider the fact that it is possible to be united as one within the body of Christ and yet retain your diversity from the other members gathered together around you? Would it surprise you to think about and consider the fact that in order for unity to truly have its perfect work among us there must needs be diversity as we are each allowed to be our own unique person in the body of Christ? There is not a doubt in my mind that unity cannot truly operate and function in the body of Christ without and apart from diversity. Unity must needs be directly associated and connected to diversity for true unity is not about making all members like each other but allowing each member which is unique and diverse within themselves to be joined together as one under one head which is the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh there is a great need for us to recognize and understand this for this is what makes the words and language found in the second and fourth chapters of the book of Acts so incredibly unique and powerful. On the day of Pentecost we discover the Holy Spirit as being the Holy Spirit of the nations but we also discover the Holy Spirit as being diverse in Himself and uniting together in one heart and one mind those who are unique, diverse and different from each other and in their own way.

 

I have to admit that I absolutely love that which we find in this particular passage of Scripture for when we think about the person and presence of the Holy Spirit we must needs recognize that the Holy Spirit came to bring unity in the midst of the body of Christ but in the midst of that unity there must needs be diversity. True unity cannot function without and apart from diversity—and not only diversity in terms of race and gender but also diversity in role, function and place within the body of Christ. What we find in the twelfth chapter of the New Testament book of First Corinthians is a powerful truth surrounding the manifestation of the Holy Spirit and how the Holy Spirit comes to bring both unity and diversity. What’s more is that the Holy Spirit comes to bring unity in the body without asking the members to conform one to each other. Oh please don’t miss and lose sight of this for in order to be united together with and to the body of Christ you do not need to be conformed into the image of another member of the body of Christ. Unity in the body is not fostered nor is it created by calling you to be formed and fashioned into the image of another member of the body of Christ. Instead unity of the body is a work of the Holy Spirit alone as we are all fashioned and formed into the image of the head of the body which is the Lord Jesus. Unity in the body does not come nor is it produced when all members look like one another from an earthly or natural standpoint for the body was never conceived nor was it ever created that the members of it might look like one another as they are conformed into the image of their neighbor, brother and/or sister. Unity in the body has never and will never require you to be conformed into the image and likeness of another member of the body but rather you yourself being conformed into the image of the eternal and only begotten Son of the Father while remaining diverse within yourself and diverse in the midst of the body.

 

The more I think about this the more I am brought face to face with the awesome and incredible truth that unity cannot truly exist without and apart from diversity. The Holy Spirit is a Spirit of unity and yet at the very heart of that unity is diversity as the Holy Spirit unites the members of the body of Christ under one head while allowing them to remain different, unique and diverse among themselves. Oh please find great solace and freedom in the tremendous truth that the Holy Spirit did not join you to the body of Christ calling you to be like any other member of the body nor even being conformed into the image of another member of the body. You were not called to be conformed into my image any more than I haven’t been called to be conformed into your image. The unity of the body only works when at the very heart and center of it is diversity and love. There is not a doubt in my mind that in order for unity to truly work in the body of Christ we must needs understand that at the very heart and core of it is diversity and love. Pause for a moment and think about how love in and of itself is diverse in its makeup for not only have we been called to love the LORD our God with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our strength but we have also been called to love our neighbor as ourselves and love our enemies as ourselves. If you want to truly understand love you must needs recognize that in order for love itself to truly operate the way it was designed and intended to in the earth it must be diverse in its makeup and function within the earth. Just as there is diversity in unity so also is there diversity in love. There is not a doubt in my mind that when we read the words found in the thirteenth chapter of this first epistle written unto the Corinthian saints we must recognize that unity and diversity are intrinsically linked together just as diversity and love are intrinsically linked to each other.

 

Pause for a moment and consider what the body of Christ would and could be like if we were not only united to each other and to the eternal Head but also united while allowed to be diverse in and of ourselves. Stop and think about what it would be like for the body to be diverse in its makeup and composition and in that makeup truly walked in love with each other. The apostle Paul emphatically declared that gifts without love is completely and utterly useless in the sight and presence of the living God and we must needs recognize and understand this for it brings us face to face with the awesome and powerful truth that love is diverse in its composition and makeup and love allows us to be able to interact with each other despite our differences and despite the diversity that exists within ourselves as the body of Christ. Oh we must needs recognize and understand how absolutely incredible this truly is for when we think about the body of Christ we must needs recognize and understand that the body of Christ is and has been called to be unique and diverse in its composition and makeup and it’s only to the degree and measure that we are united and yet diverse and only to the degree and measure that we are diverse and yet love one another that the body of Christ can truly operate the way it was intended to. The body of Christ must be united together with one another under its one Head which is the Lord Jesus Christ and in that unity the members of the body are allowed to remain diverse and unique among themselves. Not only this but we must needs recognize and acknowledge that at the very heart of diversity is the ability to love one another through our diversities, through our uniqueness and through our differences.

 

As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the tremendous truth surrounding the words which are found in the twelfth and thirteenth chapters of this New Testament book. Within this New Testament book we find diversity in the Spirit—not only diversity among the members of the body but also diversity among the manifestations of the Holy Spirit Himself. We must needs acknowledge and understand that the body of Christ has indeed been called to be unique and diverse in its composition and makeup and that we have been granted permission to be unique and different while being conformed into the image of the Lord Jesus Christ. We have never been nor will we ever be called to be conformed into the image of another member of the body of the Lord Jesus Christ. We have been given complete and utter freedom to remain diverse within the body of Christ and be who God has called us to be while being conformed into the image of the eternal and only begotten Son of the Father. What’s more is that when we think about the Holy Spirit we must needs recognize that the Holy Spirit is indeed the Spirit of the nations and is diverse in terms of persons and ministrations and manifestations. If we want to truly understand the words which are written and recorded in the thirteenth chapter of this first epistle written unto the Corinthian saints we must needs acknowledge that unity without diversity is nothing more than a farce and that it is love that allows us to be diverse and yet operate among each other as the Holy Spirit designed and intended us to.

 

The more we read the words which are found in the thirteenth chapter of the first epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the Corinthian saints the more we must needs recognize and understand that we have indeed been given permission to remain diverse within the body of Christ as a unique member of the body under one head. What’s more is that we must needs acknowledge that the Holy Spirit did in fact come to unite the members of the body of Christ under one head while at the same time allowing the members of the body of Christ to remain diverse in and of themselves. True unity of the body is not fostered when we are conformed into the image and likeness of each other or perhaps even another member of the body. True unity of the body operates the way it was designed and intended to when we are allowed to remain diverse with and from each other and truly love one another as we have been loved by the eternal Father. What’s more is the only way the diversities of the manifestations of the Holy Spirit truly work among us the way they were intended to is when at the very heart and center of them is love—and not just love but an eternal and selfless love that is wrought and produced within us by the person of the Holy Spirit. Gifts in and of themselves are good, however, they are absolutely and utterly useless if they are not tempered together with the love of Christ. It was Jesus Himself who emphatically declared that it would be by our love one for another that men will know that we are His disciples and we must needs recognize and understand that if you want to truly demonstrate that you are a disciple of the Lord Jesus—and not only a disciple of the Lord Jesus but also united together as members of the body of Christ—you must needs commit yourself firmly and solely to loving one another even as Christ loved you. Oh that we would be those within the body of Christ who not only recognize the diversity in unity but also the diversity that is found in love and that we would truly be those who operate in the love of the Father among ourselves as the body of Christ in the earth.

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