Spirituality or Futility? #2

Saturday, November 4, 2017

If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant (1 Corinthians 14:37,38 KJV).

Here, we see two alternatives—spirituality and futility. Our choice?

Today’s Scripture issues some extremely useful, corrective information. Had the professing church kept this passage forefront in its thinking 2,000 years ago when it was first penned, the professing church would not be presently disoriented, disabled, and defeated! We would do well to pay attention to it.

Despite the Corinthians’ passion in following “spiritual gifts,” it was nothing but the flesh (sin’s motions). First Corinthians 3:1-3 is such a sad commentary: “[1] And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. [2] I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. [3] For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?”

Sure, they “walked” (verse 3). They were laboring instead of sitting around idly. However, we must never let looks deceive us. All that intense activity amounted to zilch, nothing. Why? Their underlying thinking was thoroughly messed up. Instead of walking in the light of grace, they walked in the darkness of the flesh (“carnality”)! It was their own efforts instead of God the Holy Spirit working in and through them. Yet, in the confusion, they were unable to differentiate those two sources.

Who is truly a “prophet,” one who is speaking on behalf of God? Who is actually a “spiritual” person, one who is led by God the Holy Spirit? Today’s Scripture tells us, “…let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.” The Holy Spirit through Paul wrote today’s Scripture to provide the Corinthians with a standard to discern between their own efforts and God’s grace working in them. We would do well to follow that standard also, for it is literally the difference between spirituality and futility….