But if, on the day that her husband comes to hear of it, he opposes her, then he makes void her vow that was on her, and the thoughtless utterance of her lips by which she bound herself. And the LORD will forgive her. Numbers 30:8 (ESV)
God is our Father and we are the Bride of Christ, so in this way there is a spiritual lessons to learn. We may say or declare something which ends up being a prison or burden to us, but God can reverse the foolish things we declare in our folly and lack of knowledge because his words and decrees are more powerful than ours and we are in a relationship with him were he is our covering and head / authority. Jesus told us to avoid foolish vows but to make our conversation plain simply saying yes or no in Matthew 5:37
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:13 (ESV)
All Christians are baptised and have the Holy Spirit living in them. We are by definition spiritual people or people of the Spirit. The Spirit is what essentially distinguishes us from the unbelievers and marks the beginning of our lives in Christ (see Galatians 3:2–3). The Holy Spirit above all is what makes a person a child of God because without the Holy Spirit we can not be born again. This common source and entry into God’s kingdom should cause us to walk in unity despite cultural and ethnic diversity. We are a new community in Christ.
But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 1 Corinthians 12:18 (ESV)
We should not be focused on position but purpose and function in the body, we have the gifts and position that God has given us, he has arranged the body and knows what will be the greatest blessing for the body as a whole and for the sake of the glory of his name and kingdom. So lets joyfully embrace the purpose God has for us in the body
which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. 1 Corinthians 12:24–26 (ESV)
We have interdependence to one another in the body, God has designed the body of Christ in this way so that we care for one another
Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 1 Corinthians 12:30 (ESV)
The answer to the rhetorical questions is no, we are not all prophets, we do not all work miracles or speak with or interpret tongues etc this is Paul’s point, we all have different gifts, callings and positions in the diverse but unified body of Christ.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1–3 (ESV)
Paul is now outlining the better way, which is not to use gifts to out do each other, to build ourselves up or in a competitive spirit but to use the gifts in love for our fellow believers to build them up. Paul begins this line of reasoning by using three hyperbolic (extreme) examples of the use of spiritual gifts and endeavours and pitches them against love, concluding that without love these great feats are nothing. So the gifts should never be used aside from love, otherwise the gifts can be abused and lead the one using the gift into a false sense of security and ultimate fruitlessness (I am nothing, I gain nothing). Love is essential.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4–7 (ESV)
Paul gives us a wonderful poetic description of love, stating what it is and is not. Pastor Dennis once got us to replace the word love with our own name, it is a good exercise to help you meditate on the way Agape love functions in your life
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13 (ESV)
When the new heaven and earth come and we see God face to face, knowing as we are known the the gifts will be surpassed but love will never be surpassed but is eternal and so more important than anything else in the Christian life
Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. Psalm 25:4–5 (ESV)
This should be the humble and needy prayer of our hearts today, how deeply need god to teach and instruct us. Thank God that we now have the Spirit of Truth to guide and lead us into all truth in accordance with God’s word as Jesus tells us in John 14:15-17, John 15:26 and John 16:13
The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant. Psalm 25:14 (ESV)
Only those who fear and obey the Lord can truly be called his friends. In John 15:15 Jesus said “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”