Editorial – May 2024

‘Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit’, 1 Cor. 12. 4.

‘Variety’s the very spice of life, that gives it all its flavour’ is an observation attributed to the poet William Cowper.

As we consider the amazing diversity of life on earth, how blessed we are to inhabit a world so beautiful, so filled with wonder. Reflecting on the heavens and the earth and man’s responsible role as steward, the psalmist could exclaim, ‘how excellent is thy name in all the earth!’ Ps. 8. 1, 9.

Turning to the world of humanity, we observe that global economic forces, war, and developments in travel and communications have combined to greatly increase the diversity of the society and culture in which we live and serve Christ. Some see this as a negative thing, but if we take seriously Christ’s commission to preach the gospel to every nation, and how this fired the zeal of the Apostle Paul, we should surely embrace the challenges with relish. Many assemblies have been enriched by a new diversity of believers, in terms of background, ethnicity, and culture, yet gloriously ‘all one in Christ Jesus’, Gal. 3. 28.

Turning to the headline scripture, despite what they thought, many in the Corinthian assembly were spiritually immature, and Paul is concerned throughout to redirect them toward true spirituality. Influenced by worldly patterns of Greek celebrities and their devotees, they were in danger of degenerating into cliques aligned to favourite servants of God, and thereby impoverishing themselves, when in fact they were heirs to a far broader range of teachers and truths, 1 Cor. 3. 21-23.

Selfishness and indulgence were also evident at a number of levels, 8. 10; 11. 21; 12. 14, 21, all of which tended to deny the reality of the believers as one body in Christ. In particular, their attitude to spiritual gifts and their use was unedifying, 14. 23. There is always the possibility that we favour believers who have similar interests and outlook to ourselves, and undervalue those whose gifts and ministries differ. How blessed is the assembly where each and every gift that God has given is encouraged to develop and flourish under the presidency of the Holy Spirit!

Unity and diversity are surely also reflected in the rich library of scripture. Whilst the ancient writings reveal a variety of genres and circumstances of their composition, they continue to convey the living truths of God to every nation and language in a divinely effective manner.

Conscious of this, we make every effort in this magazine to ensure that the diverse truths of scripture are clearly presented in a fresh, relevant, and balanced way.

Once again in this issue we are very grateful to our dedicated contributors, and trust that the articles will prove timely, interesting, and edifying.

Ken Totton
Ministry Articles Editor


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