By Akin Ojumu

To those who may be saying, “Duh! We always knew that” and those whose bulging eyeballs are about popping out of their sockets I say, “No, I’m not an idiot in the sense you are thinking right now, and I’m going to prove that to you if you would just hang on for just a little bit.”

“But all these worketh (Greek – energeo) that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally (Greek – idios) as He will” - (1 Corinthians 12:11 KJV)

To aid my understanding of the Word of God, I routinely use the Strong’s Concordance and other available resources – and there are many good ones out there by the way – as study aids. You’d be astounded what you’d discover when you study the Word of God the way it ought to be studied.

So, as I wont to do, I picked up my Strong’s Concordance and looked up the word “severally”.

The word “severally” in 1 Corinthians 12:11 is a very interesting word. It was translated from the Greek word idios. In other places in the King’s James Version of the Bible, the same word is also translated to mean; privately, his own, their own, your own, etc.

By now, my juice of curiosity is starting to heat up.

Next thing I did, having not fully understood the meaning within the context of the scripture, was to Google the word idios to research its origin. 

Surprise, surprise! Idios is the Greek word from which the English word “idiot” was derived. 

Now, we all know who an idiot is. It is the imbecile, the moron, the simpleton, the nitwit, the nincompoop. These are all the adjectives that come to the mind of the English-speaking person when someone is called an idiot, as I’m sure it was what came to your mind, and most likely what drew your attention, when you saw the title of this write up.

At this stage, the question I’m asking myself was how in the world the scripture about the gifts of the Holy Spirit would be associated with the word idios…idiot.

So, I kept on digging.

In the original Greek, idios actually meant someone who is unique, special, distinct, exclusive, and peculiar. It is someone who is one of a kind…one and only. An idios is somebody like whom there is nobody else.

It is quite interesting, the evolution of languages. From country to country and from generation to generation, languages and words tend to evolve and take on new meaning.

The illuminating light of understanding suddenly washed over my mind and the blinding scale of ignorance fell off my spritual eyes.

You see, the Holy Spirit indwells all those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. He has endowed, universally and without exception, all believers in Christ with spiritual gifts and abilities. There is no believer that does not have the gifts of the Holy Spirit within them. In all of us are varieties and diversities of these Spiritual gifts…and they come in different packages and diverse combinations. But we are all spiritually gifted by the same Holy Spirit.

Contrary to popular beliefs, God did not create spiritual elites within the Body of Christ. The Church of God has no spiritual V.I.Ps. There are no special breeds of Christians. The Holy Spirit did not establish a caste system in the Household of faith. No spiritual giants and no spiritual midgets. Before God, we are all equal and our different spiritual gifts are equally important for the building up of the Body of Christ. 

The combination of gifts of the Holy Spirit in each of us is, however, not the same for all of us. Your gifts are different from mine, and my gifts are different from yours. Nobody’s gifts are like anybody else’s. The gifts of the Holy Spirit in each person are uniquely their own..idios...severally. Individuals’ unique gifts manifest in unique ways and in different dimensions. But the gifts are given to us, by grace, by the same Holy Spirit.

Furthermore, the Spiritual gifts and abilities given unto us are not meant to be used for our own personal benefit. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are not intended for self-service. God gave them to us to help up and build up other people. The exercise of our Spiritual gifts is meant for the service of others. It is in this diversity of gifts and abilities that the Church grows and matures. Our diversity of gifts and abilities is what binds and unites us together as one Holy Church.

The Spirit of God distributes His gifts to every man severally and as he wills. We cannot go and seek a gift. We cannot pray to have the gifts. We cannot demand it from God. The gifts are God’s and He gives them just as He chooses.

So, since I’m an idios – somebody like whom there is nobody else – I am the only one who can fulfil the ability the Holy Spirit has given me. My assignment cannot be completed by another man. God has entrusted unto me the responsibility to use the gifts He has given me to build His Church. If I fail to carry out my spiritual duties, the Body of Christ is denied of the blessings of Heaven.

To effectually carry out our assignment, God has also given us the grace according to the right measure of gifts. The Holy Spirit empowers and energizes us to function in the capacity that He has endowed us with. It is this enablement of the Holy Spirit in the performance of our spiritual duties that makes all the difference in the world. It is the reason we are able to carry on in the face of adversity, disappointment, and the discouragement that we face on daily basis. The energy and power that we have to do His will comes from the infusion of the right measure of grace into us by the Holy Spirit.

If who you are today within the Church is of your own making and not God’s calling, then you are someone you ought not to be and the Body of Christ is paying the penalty. If what you are today within the Church is by your own imagination and not God’s ordination, then you are what you ought not to be and the House of God is dealing with the repercussions. If where you are today within the Church is all because of your own guile and not God’s guide, then you’re somewhere you ought not to be and the entire Household of Faith is suffering the consequence.

Even though I have read 1 Corinthians countless times, that I could again draw so much water from the well of knowledge in this one verse, blew my mind away.

Thank God Almighty for making me a spiritually gifted idiot.


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