Today's Foundations Devotional: The lamp on the lampstand

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Memory verse:

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.

(1 Corinthians 12:7)

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Paul makes the same point again, what we’ve looked at yesterday, in this verse. Hel says that all of these various ministries and giftings have been set by God in the Church. That is, they are intended not merely for private use by individual believers but for public manifestation in the church, the congregation of God’s people as a whole.

This same truth is vividly illustrated by a brief parable of Jesus.

Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house (Matt. 5:15).

The two main symbols used in this parable are the lamp and the lampstand. The symbol of the lampstand may be interpreted by reference to Revelation 1:20.

The seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.

Throughout the whole of Scripture, a lampstand is used as a symbol of a church or a congregation. The symbol of the lighted lamp may be interpreted by reference to Proverbs 20:27.

The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord.

Thus the lighted lamp is a symbol of the spirit of the Spirit-baptised believer, made to burn and to shine by the fire of the indwelling Spirit.

Just as the lamp is appointed to take its place on the lampstand, so the Spirit-baptised believer is appointed to take his place in the public congregation of the church. A believer who has been baptised in the Holy Spirit but never exercises any spiritual gift in the service of the congregation is like a lamp under a basket. He fails to fulfil the purpose for which God gave him the gift.

When the presence and power of the Holy Spirit are publicly manifested through the various believers, the whole life and worship of the congregation are completely transformed. The main responsibility for the ministry and the conduct of the service is no longer borne by one or two individuals while the rest remain passive.

On the contrary, every member of the congregation participates actively in the service, and the various members minister to each other, rather than one or two ministering all the time to all the rest.

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Prayer:

Lord, thank You for the model I have seen so far in these daily

devotions; that we truly become a community if all individual

members contribute to the services and all further activities that

the church undertakes according to specific gifts and calling.

Help me to grow in this, Lord. Amen.

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