There’s No Excuse for an Attitude of Spiritual Superiority!

For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what has thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?
— 1 Corinthians 4:7

In the January 17 Sparkling Gem, I wrote about the feeling of inferiority that once tried to rule my life. If you are struggling with inferiority, I encourage you to go back and read that teaching again. However, today I want to address an issue at the opposite end of the spectrum — a spirit of superiority. When a person has this attitude, he feels he is spiritually superior to other people because of giftings, experience, social or economic status, or position in the church. But regardless of the reason a person feels superior to others, make no mistake — this attitude is absolutely unacceptable for a Christian.

In First Corinthians 4:7, we find that an attitude of spiritual snobbery was beginning to surface in the church of Corinth. This spirit of superiority was so prevalent that it had begun to permeate the entire Corinthian congregation. Paul responded with a sharp rebuke, saying, “For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what has thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?”

From its very beginnings, the church at Corinth had experienced an amazing amount of supernatural grace, which had manifested in a variety of ways. However, one way it had especially manifested was in the gifts of the Spirit that operated in their congregation. In fact, Paul even told them, “So that ye come behind in no spiritual gift…” (1 Corinthians 1:7), implying that the Corinthians had a greater measure of spiritual gifts operating in their midst than any other New Testament church. The phrase “come behind” is a translation of the Greek word hustereo, which means to be behind, to fall short of, or to be inferior. Thus, this verse could be translated, “You fall behind no one else in respect to spiritual gifts…” or “You are not inferior to anyone when it comes to spiritual gifts.…” In modern language, it could read, “When it comes to the gifts of the Spirit, you are second to none!”

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Sparkling Gems 2 by Rick RennerAuthor and Bible teacher Rick Renner invested thousands of hours into prayer and study in the writing of Sparkling Gems From the Greek 2. It is his sincere prayer that God will use this book and all the time invested into it to help you go deeper and rise higher than ever before in your relationship with Jesus Christ.

Rick delves deep into God’s Word to unveil hidden riches from the Scriptures that will help you build your life daily upon a solid foundation. Through sound doctrine and empowering insights, Rick clarifies the path to an intimate and uncompromising walk with God. You will also receive vital equipment to cultivate your character and ignite your passion for Jesus so you can stand strong and victorious in the pursuit of His purposes in these uncertain times.

Although this book is designed as a daily devotional, Rick has included Greek-English indices at the back, along with more than 1,000 new Greek word studies, to make Sparkling Gems 2 a useful Greek reference tool for your own personal study.