Christianity is widely spread around the world and comes in different shapes according to people’s convictions. This sometimes brings questions for onlookers as they do not understand why there are so much varieties from one Christian church to another while we all find our base in the Bible. My brother, my sister, are we really free when we become Christians? The answer is definitely “No”. Yet, many Christians mix freedom and choice. And the reasons there are varieties in Christian churches is that people mostly follow their choices, their preferences instead of giving the Spirit full expression. This said, let’s examine today’s verses, because spiritual gifts are very often a subject of controversy within the Body of Christ, such much that they can even cause division in a church.
Today’s verses says this: “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt” (verses 19 and 20). It is a warning, not to say an order telling us not to ignore or toss aside the gifts the Holy Spirit gives, especially as far as prophecies are concerned. All He says is that when we receive a prophecy, we should always “test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.” (verses 21 and 22). Yes, it is true that as far as prophecies are concerned, we are on dangerous ground because so many self-proclaimed prophets are out there. Therefore, my friend, you should always pray for the discernment of the Lord and carefully check out what you are told as a prophecy in the light of the Word.
Yet, it is important to recall that the warning of Apostle Paul is about those churches that try to smother the gifts of the Spirit, just to avoid taking risk or for personal convictions. The Bible is clear:”The manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills” (1 Corinthians 12:7-11).
We should not stifle the Holy Spirit’s work in anyone’s life because it impoverishes the Church. Instead, we should encourage the full expression of spiritual gifts to benefit the whole Body of Christ. Stay blessed in Jesus’ name.