In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul exhorted the church concerning love being the greatest of all human virtues. Love is elevated above all the gifts of the spirit including anointed singing, speaking in tongues, being a good steward and even the gift of prophecy. Paul further expounds on the features of love being patient and kind. He also explained that love is not proud, boastful, rude, demanding, irritable or grudging. Paul explained that although spiritual gifts, like speaking in tongues and prophecy will pass away, love lasts forever. Love is eternal because God is love and his love for us is everlasting.
The gifts of the spirit are temporal and given to be used for the perfecting of the church. Speaking in tongues, prophecy and anointed singing are ministries assigned to help the church in preparation for the second coming of Jesus Christ. “But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless” (1 Corinthians 13:10). Once we are at home with Jesus, there will be no need for prophecy. Prophecy mainly tells of things to come and reveals information from God to the body of Christ. Once we are at home with God, nothing will be hidden from us and we will know all things.
It is useful and advantageous for believers to desire and cultivate the sincere gifts of the spirit. In doing so, the primary aim is to be perfected in love. “Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38). The second greatest commandment is to love your neighbour as you love yourself. Jesus also said that the entire law is centred around these two commandments. The greatest spiritual gifts will manifest through our love for God and our love for his people. It was God’s love for us which gave Jesus the power to die and be resurrected for the salvation of the world.
Even Prophets or those with the gift of prophecy, are limited in their revelations and knowledge of the things of God. I believe that God reveals some of his hidden mysteries and reveals what he believes is necessary for the church. Additionally, our capacity determines how much is revealed to us. Nevertheless, so that we don’t become arrogant, God will reveal different things to different people. This is so that the body of Christ will learn to rely on each other, as we need each other to come into the fullness of Christ.
“so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another”