July 4, 2023
The Bible Edge
Everyone needs an Edge, Believers can have a Bible Edge
For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;
The end of spiritual gifts is that the one who receives such a gift may be established in the faith. Proof? The very next verse. That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me. Paul, writing to Gentiles (the book of Romans) states that he desired to pass on spiritual gifts to others so that they would be established in the faith as he was, so that they could all be comforted together. This is a difficult concept to grasp and one that few ever consider.
Every pastor, every preacher, evangelist and missionary has this as a goal, although they may not state it as such. Their goal is that those to whom they minster or serve, may be established in the faith. Meaning they know what the faith is, they grow in faith, they are fixed or settled in the faith, and they share the faith. Jude said it like this: Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. (Jude 1:3) Faith is spiritual. It cannot be seen, proven, purchased or traded. Faith and spirituality are close cousins. Faith is individual wherein spirituality is collective.
Think about it like this, receiving the faith once delivered to the saints brings one into the spiritual realm. In that realm there is a hierarchy, rules, laws, beings and yes, gifts. The spiritual gifts given are different in nature but common in that they are gifts. Meaning they are not earned nor can they be earned. If they could be earned, they would not be gifts. Paul wrote to Timothy about his gift saying, Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. I Timothy 4:14 Spiritual gifts then can evidently be given, received, neglected and/or used. Sometimes the spiritual gift given to an individual is not recognized as a gift in that it is so easy to use. It is such a part of a person that they enjoy the use of the gift and grow to consider it just “who they are” or “what they have the ability to do,” or any other natural thought about their gift. As such they fail to see it as a spiritual gift given to them for necessary uses. Sometimes they misuse the gift by only using it for personal gain instead of the establishment of the faith in themselves and others.
Interestingly enough faith brings with it spiritual gifts and spiritual gifts establish faith. This is that which Paul communicates in today’s verse, and it’s an edge, a Bible Edge in understanding a chief purpose (but not the only purpose) of spiritual gifts.
William T. Howe, Ph.D.