“Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12: 7). We are called to work together; work as one body; grow as people of the same Kingdom. There is a common goal in all the work we do. There is a selfless aim in all the steps we take in the extension of God’s Kingdom. We work for Him together. We work towards a common good.
While writing about Spiritual Gifts in 1 Corinthians 12: 7, the apostle Paul says, “now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” I just wondered at this particular phrase ‘Common Good’.
This is a point where the spiritual gifts are involved. A potential point for any worker in the Kingdom of God to fail; to fail in the run towards the bigger purpose, the common good. As Paul begins his words on spiritual gifts to Corinthians (1 Cor. 12: 1) he asks them not to be ignorant towards their gifts. This is an important part in our ministry which should be understood with respect to the greater purpose of God, than being restricted in our own chambers of personal ministries. God is blessing us with Spiritual Gifts so that all of us together can work for Him. Through this the bigger purpose of God’s Kingdom is being achieved; the bigger purpose in which everyone receives His blessings abundantly.
The verse 11 says that God gives these Spiritual Gifts to each one, just as He determines. I want to remind you that the spiritual gifts God has given you had His own determinations and His greater purpose towards making you part of the great mission of Christ. Let me remind you that if you and your fellow servants in the Kingdom of God are given the Spiritual Gifts then “all these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and He gives them to each one, just as He determines” (1 Cor. 12: 11). Thus it is for a common good; a common purpose. At any time if you feel that your own self is trying to influence or gain through these Spiritual Gifts then you need to pause. You need to do a quick check up. You need to scan it through the filter of ‘common good’.
The verse 4 says it all. Even though there are many gifts given among us, it is by the same one Spirit. In spite of our different kinds of service we realize that it is for the same Lord. We also learn that there are different kinds of working among us but the same God works all of them in all of us. Thus, we find at the end of this passage, we are called to use our Spiritual Gifts for the common good and working together. Not to place each other superior or inferior based on the Spiritual Gifts we have received, but to remember that it is all given by the same Spirit who leads us toward this work.
Let us realize that the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the Common Good and not for our own self ambitions. Let’s work together in His Kingdom as servants of God who are working for a common good with the Spirit given Gifts.
Ebenezer Breman Veerasingam