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You Are Different

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YOU ARE DIFFERENT!

HAVE YOU NOTICED THAT WE'RE DIFFERENT?

JUST LIKE SNOWFLAKES,

THERE'S NO TWO OF US THAT ARE EXACTLY THE SAME.

I THINK GOD REALLY LIKES VARIETY.

____________________________________________________________

HAS ANYONE HERE BEEN WATCHING THAT PROGRAM CALLED,

AMERICA'S GOT TALENT?

HAVE YOU SEEN HOW MANY DIFFERENT KINDS OF ACTS THERE ARE?

ONE ACT IS A GROUP OF GUYS THAT JUMP AND FLIP ALL OVER THE STAGE,

THE NEXT IS A LITTLE GIRL WHO SINGS.

ANOTHER IS A GROUP THAT DOES CHOREOGRAPHED MOVEMENTS ALL TOGETHER.

AND THEN THERE'S A YOUNG MAN WHO PLAYS THE GUITAR.

THEY'RE ALL DIFFERENT AND YET THEY'RE ALL TALENTED.

YOU MY FRIEND ARE DIFFERENT!

1 CORINTHIANS 12:1-11 (NIV)
12     NOW ABOUT SPIRITUAL GIFTS, BROTHERS, I DO NOT WANT YOU TO BE IGNORANT.

 

2 YOU KNOW THAT WHEN YOU WERE PAGANS,

SOMEHOW OR OTHER YOU WERE INFLUENCED

AND LED ASTRAY TO MUTE IDOLS.

 

3 THEREFORE I TELL YOU THAT NO ONE WHO IS SPEAKING BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD SAYS, “JESUS BE CURSED,”

AND NO ONE CAN SAY,

“JESUS IS LORD,” EXCEPT BY THE HOLY SPIRIT.

 

4 THERE ARE DIFFERENT KINDS OF GIFTS,

BUT THE SAME SPIRIT.

 

5 THERE ARE DIFFERENT KINDS OF SERVICE,

BUT THE SAME LORD.

 

6 THERE ARE DIFFERENT KINDS OF WORKING,

BUT THE SAME GOD WORKS ALL OF THEM IN ALL MEN.

 

7 NOW TO EACH ONE THE MANIFESTATION OF THE SPIRIT IS GIVEN FOR THE COMMON GOOD.

 

8 TO ONE THERE IS GIVEN THROUGH THE SPIRIT

THE MESSAGE OF WISDOM,

TO ANOTHER THE MESSAGE OF KNOWLEDGE BY MEANS OF THE SAME SPIRIT,

 

 

9 TO ANOTHER FAITH BY THE SAME SPIRIT,

TO ANOTHER GIFTS OF HEALING BY THAT ONE SPIRIT,

 

10 TO ANOTHER MIRACULOUS POWERS,

TO ANOTHER PROPHECY,

TO ANOTHER DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN SPIRITS,

 

TO ANOTHER SPEAKING IN DIFFERENT KINDS OF TONGUES,

AND TO STILL ANOTHER THE INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES.

 

11 ALL THESE ARE THE WORK OF ONE AND THE SAME SPIRIT,

 

AND HE GIVES THEM TO EACH ONE, JUST AS HE DETERMINES.

_________________________________________________________________


INTRODUCTION:

1. HAVE YOU EVER COME ACROSS SOMEONE THAT HAD A HARD TIME GETTING IT RIGHT?

ILL NOTEBOOK: STUPID (X)

TWO FRIENDS RENTED A BOAT AND WENT FISHING IN A LAKE.

THE FIRST DAY, THEY CAUGHT 30 FISH.

AS THEY WERE GETTING READY TO GO INTO SHORE,

ONE GUY SAID TO THE OTHER,

"LET’S MARK THIS SPOT

SO WE CAN COME HERE AGAIN TOMORROW."

THE NEXT DAY, WHEN THEY WERE DRIVING TO RENT THE BOAT,

THE SAME GUY SAID, "DID YOU MARK THAT SPOT?"

HIS FRIEND REPLIED,

"YEAH, I PUT A BIG ’X’ ON THE BOTTOM OF THE BOAT."

THE FIRST ONE SAID, "THAT WAS DUMB!

WHAT IF WE DON’T GET THE SAME BOAT TODAY?"

SOME PEOPLE HAVE TROUBLE GETTING IT RIGHT, DON’T THEY?

IN THE FIRST LETTER TO THE CORINTHIANS,

WE FIND THAT THEY HAD TROUBLE UNDERSTANDING

THE REAL NATURE OF THE CHURCH.


THEY TREATED THE CHURCH AS A HUMAN ORGANIZATION,

LIKE A CLUB. 

LIKE SOMETHING THAT WAS CREATED BY MAN.

BUT THEY WERE WRONG.


JOHN MACARTHUR HAS SAID,

“IT (THE CHURCH) IS A SUPERNATURAL ORGANISM,

CREATED, ESTABLISHED, EMPOWERED,

AND LED BY THE LORD HIMSELF.”

BECAUSE THESE PEOPLE WERE NOT SPIRIT LED,

WHEN IT CAME TO HOW THE CHURCH OUGHT TO WORK,

THEY KEPT MESSING IT UP.

FOR EXAMPLE…

2. THE CORINTHIANS DIDN'T HAVE IT RIGHT WHEN IT CAME TO WORSHIP.

THIS CHURCH NEEDED HELP,

BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT GOD-CENTERED.

THEY WERE SELF-CENTERED.

BECAUSE OF THEIR OWN SNOBBISHNESS,

THEY WERE CHARACTERIZED BY DIVISION.

THEY WEREN'T SHOWING THE LOVE AND UNITY

THAT IS SUPPOSED TO CHARACTERIZE

BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST.


WE CAN SEE BACK IN CHAPTER 11, THAT…

3. THEY HAD BEEN STRUGGLING WITH ISSUES OF AUTHORITY.

IN FACT, HAD PROBLEMS WITH BOTH AUTHORITY AND EQUALITY.


THEY WERE STRIVING WITH THE ISSUES OF HEADSHIP.
THEY WERE IGNORING CULTURAL SENSITIVITIES THAT WERE HURTING THEIR ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE THE GOOD NEWS.
AND, THEY WERE FAILING TO UNDERSTAND AND APPLY THE FACT THAT GOD WAS IN CHARGE OF THEIR LIVES.

AS WE ALSO STUDIED IN I CORINTHIANS 11 THAT…

4. THEY HAD BEEN ACTING SELFISHLY DURING THE AGAPE MEAL.

WHEN THE CORINTHIANS WERE MEETING TOGETHER FOR THE LORD’S SUPPER, THEY WERE DOING IT IN AN UNWORTHY MANNER.
THOSE THAT WERE BETTER OFF FINANCIALLY WERE ARRIVING FIRST.
INSTEAD OF WAITING FOR ONE ANOTHER, THEY WERE GOING AHEAD AND EATING THE MEAL, WHILE THOSE THAT ARRIVED LATER WERE LEFT WITH NOTHING TO EAT.
THEIR FOCUS WAS ON THEMSELVES, NOT ON JESUS, AS IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN.

NOW, WHEN WE COME TO I CORINTHIANS 12, WE DISCOVER THAT THEIR WORSHIP SERVICES WERE A MESS.
FOR…

5. THEY HAD BEEN FAVORING CERTAIN GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT OVER OTHERS.

THEY WERE EXPERIENCING THE SPIRIT, BUT THIS DOESN’T MEAN THEY WERE SPIRIT LED.
IN FACT, THEIR PRACTICE WAS IRRESPONSIBLE.
THEIR WORSHIP WAS CHAOTIC.
WITH A FANATICAL EMPHASIS ON THE SPECTACULAR, THEY WERE CLEARLY MISUSING THE GIFTS.
IN PARTICULAR, THE SPIRITUAL GIFT OF TONGUES WAS BEING USED IN SUCH A WAY, THAT THERE WAS CONFUSION INSTEAD OF CLARITY.
THERE WAS AN UNINTELLIGIBLE COMMUNICATION THAT FED AN UNGODLY ATTITUDE OF SUPERIORITY.
THOSE THAT WERE CLAIMING TO SPEAK THE LANGUAGE OF ANGELS WERE CLAIMING A SPIRITUAL SUPERIORITY.
BUT WHAT PAUL IS GOING TO DISCUSS IS THAT THERE ARE NO SUPERIOR GIFTS, AND THUS, THERE ARE NO SUPERIOR PEOPLE IN THE CHURCH.
WHAT IS TO BE VALUED ARE THOSE THAT ARE ENGAGED IN KINGDOM WORK BY VIRTUE OF THEIR USE OF THEIR SPIRITUAL GIFTS.

SO…

6. WE WILL FIND IN OUR STUDY OF I CORINTHIANS 12:1-6 THREE ISSUES THAT PAUL DISCUSSES AS HE BEGINS THE SUBJECT OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS.

OUR STUDY:


I. THE FIRST ISSUE IS DUMBNESS (1-2).

[1] NOW CONCERNING SPIRITUAL GIFTS, BROTHERS, I DO NOT WANT YOU TO BE UNINFORMED. [2] YOU KNOW THAT WHEN YOU WERE PAGANS YOU WERE LED ASTRAY TO MUTE IDOLS, HOWEVER YOU WERE LED.

ILL NOTEBOOK: IGNORANT (IGNORAMUSES)

ONE DAY OUR PROFESSOR WAS DISCUSSING A PARTICULARLY COMPLICATED CONCEPT. A PRE-MED STUDENT RUDELY INTERRUPTED TO ASK "WHY DO WE HAVE TO STUDY THIS STUFF?"

"TO SAVE LIVES," THE PROFESSOR RESPONDED AND CONTINUED WITH THE LECTURE.

A FEW MINUTES LATER THE SAME STUDENT SPOKE UP AGAIN. "SO, HOW DOES PHYSICS SAVE LIVES?" HE PERSISTED.

"IT KEEPS THE IGNORAMUSES OUT OF MEDICAL SCHOOL," REPLIED THE PROFESSOR.

WELL, JUST AS WE DON’T WANT OUR MEDICAL STUDENTS TO BE IGNORANT AS THEY ARE OUR FUTURE DOCTORS, AS BELIEVERS, WE ARE NOT TO BE IGNORANT ABOUT THAT WHICH IS SPIRITUAL.
THIS IS PAUL’S GOAL HERE.
HE NEEDS TO DRIVE OUT THE IGNORANCE OF MANY OF THE CORINTHIANS.
YOU SEE…

1. WHEN IT COMES TO SPIRITUAL THINGS, WE NEED TO GET IT RIGHT.

AS I STUDIED THIS PASSAGE, I CAME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT MANY OF THE TRANSLATIONS INTERPRET TOO MUCH HERE, INCLUDING THE ESV.
THE TEXT LITERALLY SAYS, “NOW CONCERNING THAT WHICH IS SPIRITUAL…”.
IT IS NOT THE WORD FOR SPIRITUAL GIFTS THAT WILL COME LATER.
IT IS A MORE GENERIC TERM THAN SPECIFIC.
SOME HAVE INTERPRETED THE WORD AS SPIRITUAL GIFT, BECAUSE OF THE CONTEXT OF THE CHAPTER.
BUT I THINK PAUL IS REFERRING TO THE GENERAL SUBJECT AREA BEFORE HE GETS TO THE SPECIFICS.
IN OTHER WORDS, PAUL IS SAYING, THAT WE ARE TO KNOW THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT, WHICH WILL INCLUDE THE GIFTS.
WE ARE TO BE WISE AND KNOWLEDGEABLE, AND HAVE A BIBLICAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.

THE PROBLEM IS THAT THE CORINTHIANS WERE BEING LED ASTRAY BY THEIR OWN EXPERIENCE.
BECAUSE THEY WERE SO SELF-CENTERED, THEY WERE UNABLE TO DISCERN WHAT WAS TRULY FROM GOD.

YOU SEE, THEY WERE REPEATING THEIR PAST.
THEY HAD BEEN SPIRITUALLY BLIND.
THEY HAD BEEN SPIRITUALLY WEAK.
THEY HAD BEEN BOUND AND UNABLE TO COMPREHEND THE TRUTH.
BUT THAT WAS NOT TO BE TRUE ANYMORE.
THEY WEREN’T SUPPOSED TO RETURN TO THAT WAY OF LIFE.
BUT BECAUSE THEY HAD BECOME SO EXPERIENCE-ORIENTED, THEY WERE ONCE AGAIN BEING MADE CAPTIVE.

YOU SEE…

2. WE ARE TO RESIST CAPTIVITY.

WE ARE NOT TO BE LED AWAY BY EXPERIENCE.
WE ARE TO REMAIN ABSOLUTELY FOUNDED ON THE TRUTH OF GOD’S WORD, BECAUSE THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL NEVER CONTRADICT THAT WHICH HE HAS BREATHED (INSPIRED) INTO EXISTENCE.
SO WE MUST ALWAYS MEASURE WHAT WE ARE EXPERIENCING AGAINST THE STANDARD OF WHAT GOD HAS ALREADY COMMUNICATED.
AND IF OUR EXPERIENCE DOESN’T MEASURE UP, WE MUST COME TO A DIFFERENT UNDERSTANDING ABOUT IT.

THIS WAS ANOTHER PROBLEM THAT THE CORINTHIANS WERE FACING.
THEY WERE BELIEVING THAT SINCE THEY WERE EXPERIENCING SOMETHING, THAT THEIR CONCLUSIONS ABOUT IT MUST BE TRUE.
THE PROBLEM IS THAT THEY WERE NOT VERY INTROSPECTIVE.
IF THEY HAD BEEN MORE SERIOUS IN THEIR THINKING, THEY WOULD HAVE EVALUATED THEIR OWN SITUATION BETTER.
THE ANCIENT PAGAN MYSTERY CULTS WERE VERY MUCH A PART OF THE CORINTHIAN CULTURE.
AND IN THESE MYSTERY CULTS, SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES WERE COMMON AND STRONG.
IN FACT, THE PRACTICES WERE DRAMATIC AND BIZARRE.

PAUL ASKS THE CORINTHIANS TO REMEMBER THEIR ORIGINS.
THEY HAD BEEN HELD CAPTIVE BY DUMB, POINTLESS IDOLS THAT COULDN’T TAKE THEM ANYWHERE.
BUT THERE WAS A POWER BEHIND THE POWERLESS IDOLS.
IT WAS SATAN AT WORK.
AT ONE TIME, THEY HAD BEEN BOUND IN HIS DECEPTION.
THEY WERE NOT TO FALL INTO THAT AGAIN.

ALL OF US NEED TO REMEMBER THAT SATAN IS A MASTER COUNTERFEITER.
AND DO NOT FORGET, THAT ONLY THAT WHICH IS VALUABLE IS COUNTERFEITED.
SATAN IS ALWAYS ON THE PROWL, LOOKING TO DEVOUR PEOPLE WHO ARE GULLIBLE.
HE IS COUNTERFEITING THAT WHICH IS GOOD AND RIGHTEOUS.
HIS DECEPTIONS WORK, ESPECIALLY AMONG US WHO ARE SELF-CENTERED AND WORLDLY.

THIS IS WHY WE MUST BE DISCERNING.
THAT WHICH GOD HAS PROVIDED FOR THE CHURCH WILL BE DISTORTED AND WARPED BY THE ENEMY.
BUT, WE CAN FIND THE DIFFERENCE, BECAUSE WE SERVE A LIVING GOD WHO HAS SPOKEN AND CONTINUES TO SPEAK THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT.
AND HE NEVER CONTRADICTS HIMSELF.

II. THE SECOND ISSUE IS DOMINION (3).

THEREFORE I WANT YOU TO UNDERSTAND THAT NO ONE SPEAKING IN THE SPIRIT OF GOD EVER SAYS "JESUS IS ACCURSED!" AND NO ONE CAN SAY "JESUS IS LORD" EXCEPT IN THE HOLY SPIRIT.

1. WE MUST BE ATTENTIVE TO PERVERSIONS THAT MAKE THEIR WAY INTO THE CHURCH.

PAUL TELLS THE CORINTHIANS THAT THEY NEED TO BE ABLE TO JUDGE BETWEEN WHAT IS AUTHENTIC AND WHAT IS INAUTHENTIC.
IT SEEMS THAT SOMEONE IN THE CHURCH, IN THE MIDST OF AN EMOTIONAL FRENZY OR A SO CALLED “SPIRITUAL UTTERANCE” DENIED THE LORDSHIP OF JESUS.
PAUL WANTS TO BE CLEAR HERE.
IF SOMEONE DOES NOT ACCEPT JESUS’ LORDSHIP, THEY ARE NOT BEING LED BY GOD’S SPIRIT.
THERE WILL NOT BE A CONTRADICTION BETWEEN JESUS AND THE HOLY SPIRIT.
NOT EVER.

SO CONTENT, THAT WHICH IS COMMUNICATED, NO MATTER WHAT OR WHO THE VEHICLE, IS NOT TO BE IGNORED!
THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL NOT CONTRADICT HIMSELF.

WHAT THE HOLY SPIRIT DOES DO IS LEAD US TO FAITH IN JESUS.
THE HOLY SPIRIT PROCLAIMS JESUS.
THE HOLY SPIRIT LIFTS UP JESUS.
THE HOLY SPIRIT LEADS US INTO SPIRITUAL GROWTH IN OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST.
THE HOLY SPIRIT IS ALL ABOUT JESUS!

ILL NOTEBOOK: HOLY SPIRIT (EDWARDS REVIVAL)

IN THE 1730S AND 40S, THERE WAS A GREAT REVIVAL THAT SWEPT THROUGH THE AMERICAN COLONIES. CHURCHES WHICH HAD BECOME COLD AND LIFELESS WERE TRANSFORMED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT.

IN THE MIDST OF THAT, THERE WERE SOME STRANGE THINGS THAT WENT ON. JONATHAN EDWARDS PRESENTED THE MESSAGE, “SINNERS IN THE HANDS OF AN ANGRY GOD.” IN THE SERMON, HE OUTLINED THE CERTAINTY OF ETERNAL DAMNATION FOR THOSE WHO DIE APART FROM CHRIST. AS HE PREACHED, PEOPLE BEGAN TO SCREAM, WAIL, AND EVEN FAINT.

WHY DID THIS HAPPEN? EDWARDS CERTAINLY DID NOT “WORK THE CROWD” TRYING TO WHIP UP EMOTION. IN FACT, HE WAS KNOWN FOR HIS DRY DELIVERY OF HANDWRITTEN MANUSCRIPTS.

PEOPLE RESPONDED BECAUSE THEY WERE OVERCOME WITH THE CONVICTION OF SIN. IT WAS THE NATURAL OVERFLOW OF THE HOLY SPIRIT CONVICTING OF SIN AND DIRECTING PEOPLE TO CHRIST.

THE HOLY SPIRIT ALWAYS DRIVES US TO JESUS.
THIS MEANS, THEN…

2. WE ARE TO BE CLEAR IN OUR SUBMISSION TO JESUS.

WHEN BELIEVERS SAID “JESUS IS LORD” DURING THOSE TIMES, IT WAS NO BUMPER STICKER SLOGAN.
THESE PEOPLE WERE RULED BY THE ROMANS WHO WANTED AND FORCED THEIR SUBJECTS TO WORSHIP CAESAR ABOVE ALL OTHER GODS.
AS FAR AS THEY WERE CONCERNED, YOU COULD WORSHIP ALL THE IDOLS YOU WANT, AS LONG AS CAESAR WAS LORD ABOVE ALL.

BUT FOR TRUE BELIEVERS, THIS WAS ABSOLUTE ALLEGIANCE TO JESUS, THAT SET THEM APART FROM BOTH THE JEWS AND THE GENTILES OF THE WORLD.
IT WAS A CONVICTION THAT HAD EVERY POTENTIAL OF BEING COSTLY.

NEVERTHELESS, THE HOLY SPIRIT IS ALWAYS GOING TO REINFORCE THIS TRUTH IN OUR LIVES.
JESUS, THE CRUCIFIED ONE, IS, BY HIS RESURRECTION, LORD OF ALL THE UNIVERSE.

III. THE THIRD ISSUE IS DIVERSITY (4-6).

[4] NOW THERE ARE VARIETIES OF GIFTS, BUT THE SAME SPIRIT; [5] AND THERE ARE VARIETIES OF SERVICE, BUT THE SAME LORD; [6] AND THERE ARE VARIETIES OF ACTIVITIES, BUT IT IS THE SAME GOD WHO EMPOWERS THEM ALL IN EVERYONE.



 

ILL PERSONAL

WHILE WERE ON VACATION IN CAPE COD THIS SUMMER, WE SPENT A GREAT DEAL OF TIME WITH OUR GOOD FRIEND, PASTOR JIM CUMMINS. THOSE THAT HAVE GONE ON TOUR WITH THE NEW GENERATION SINGERS RECENTLY WILL REMEMBER HIM.

ON SUNDAY AFTERNOON, THE YOUTH OF THE CHURCH COME TOGETHER TO PLAY FOOTBALL. SO, BEING A YOUTH MYSELF, I JOINED JJ AND JOEL IN THE GAME.

BUT WHEN I ARRIVED, I WAS GIVEN A STARTLING REVELATION. SOMEONE SAID, “GREAT, WE HAVE ANOTHER QUARTERBACK.” IT TOOK ME A SECOND, FOR AS I LOOKED AROUND, I REALIZED THEY MEANT ME. BECAUSE I AM NOW SLOW AND OLD, IT WAS MY RESPONSIBILITY TO DISTRIBUTE THE BALL.

I HAVE NEVER BEEN MUCH OF A QUARTERBACK. I USUALLY HAVE TROUBLE SEEING WHO I SHOULD PASS TO, BUT, NEVERTHELESS, I TOOK IT ON.

WE HAD THE YOUNGEST PLAYER ON OUR TEAM. HE WAS A HAITIAN BOY ABOUT 5 YEARS OLD. ONE OF THE CUTEST BOYS I HAVE EVER SEEN, AND ALREADY, A GOOD ATHLETE.

ONE TIME, I THROUGH HIM THE BALL WHEN I WAS BEING RUSHED, BUT I THROUGH IT INTO THE GROUND IN FRONT OF HIM. HE CAME BACK TO THE HUDDLE AND ASKED ME WITH ALL SERIOUSNESS IF I WOULD THROW IT A LITTLE HIGHER NEXT TIME.

BUT BELIEVE IT OR NOT, HE BECAME AN ESSENTIAL PART OF OUR TEAM. NOT EVERYBODY COULD BE THE QUARTERBACK. NOT EVERYBODY COULD BE GOING OUT FOR A PASS. NOT EVERYBODY COULD BE BLOCKING. HE WAS VERY MUCH OUR SECRET WEAPON, AND PROBABLY HAD THE BEST MOVES OF ALL THE PEOPLE THERE.

I REALIZED THAT DAY, THOUGH IT WAS JUST A FUN GAME, THAT PART OF OUR SUCCESS THAT DAY WAS THAT 5 YEAR OLD HAITIAN BOY. WE DIDN’T NEED HIM TO BE SOMETHING HE WAS NOT. WE NEEDED HIM JUST AS HE WAS.

THIS IS SO TRUE IN THE CHURCH!
WE'RE NOT THE SAME.
IN FACT, YOU'RE DIFFERENT!
YOU SEE…

1. WE ARE CHARACTERIZED BY VARIETY.

YOU KNOW, IT IS A PRIVILEGE AND HONOR TO BE GIFTED BY GOD.
HE'S GIVEN US SPIRITUAL GIFTS.
DO YOU REMEMBER OUR DEFINITION FROM LAST WEEK?
SPIRITUAL GIFTS ARE SPECIAL ABILITIES DISTRIBUTED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT TO EVERY BELIEVER ACCORDING TO GOD’S DESIGN AND GRACE FOR THE COMMON GOOD OF THE BODY OF CHRIST.
THE LORD JUST HASN’T GIVEN US THESE SPECIAL ABILITIES; HE’S ASSIGNED THEM TO US.

NOW LISTEN TO THIS…
WHAT IS ESSENTIAL TO THE UNITY OF THE CHURCH IS ITS DIVERSITY.
I THINK THAT PAUL HAS DESCRIBED SPIRITUAL GIFTS IN THREE DIFFERENT WAYS.


1. THEY ARE NOT ONLY SPECIAL ABILITIES,

THEY ARE ACTS OF SERVICE.
2. WHEN WE USE OUR GIFTS,

WE SERVE OTHERS, DOING KINGDOM WORK.
3. THEY ARE NOT ONLY SPECIAL ABILITIES,

THEY'RE ACTIVITIES THAT REPRESENT GOD’S POWERFUL WORKING IN US AND THROUGH US.

AND NOW NOTE THIS AS WELL…

2. OUR RESOURCES FIND THEIR ORIGIN IN THE SYMPHONY OF THE TRINITY.

IN THESE THREE LINES IN VERSE 6, WE FIND THE HOLY SPIRIT, THE LORD JESUS AND GOD THE FATHER.
IT IS NOT A TRINITARIAN CONSTRUCT, SO TO SPEAK, BUT IT HAS THE STUFF, AND DEMONSTRATES WHY THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY WAS UNDERSTOOD EARLY IN CHURCH HISTORY.

IT IS INTERESTING TO NOTE THAT IN THE DIFFERENCES THAT WE FIND IN THE TRINITY, THAT THERE IS PERFECT UNITY.


AND THE SAME IS TRUE IN THE CHURCH.
WE HAVE MANY DIFFERENCES, BUT IF WE'RE DOING IT RIGHT,

THERE WILL BE PERFECT HARMONY.

APPLICATION:

WELL…

1. WE'RE SUPPOSED TO REJOICE IN OUR DIFFERENCES.

LAST WEEK, YOU MAY REMEMBER, I CHALLENGED YOU ABOUT WHAT SHAPE YOU ARE IN.
USING THE WORD SHAPE AS AN ACROSTIC, WE FIND THAT ARE A BLEND OF MANY THINGS.

S STANDS FOR SPIRITUAL GIFTS.
H STANDS FOR HEART, THAT WHICH WE HAVE A PASSION FOR.
A STANDS FOR ABILITIES, THOSE THINGS WE ARE BORN WITH.
P STANDS FOR PERSONALITY, THE “HOW” WE ARE MADE.
AND E STANDS FOR OUR EXPERIENCES.

EACH OF US IS A UNIQUE BLEND.
AND THUS, EACH ONE OF IS SPIRITUALLY UNIQUE.
BECAUSE OF THIS…

2. WE ARE TO GROW IN OUR KNOWLEDGE OF THAT WHICH IS SPIRITUAL.

THIS MEANS THAT WE ARE TO GROW IN OUR KNOWLEDGE OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS.
YOU MAY BE TEMPTED TO SAY, WELL, I KNOW MY SPIRITUAL GIFTS, I DON’T REALLY NEED TO KNOW ANYMORE.
BUT I WOULD ARGUE THAT IN EVERY AREA OF OUR CHRISTIAN LIFE WE ARE TO CONTINUE GROWING, INCLUDING OUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS.
FOR SPIRITUAL GIFTS ARE GOD’S MEANS OF MINISTERING HIS WORD AMONG HIS PEOPLE AND TO THE WORLD.
THEY ARE THE MEANS THROUGH WHICH BELIEVERS GROW, WORSHIP, WITNESS AND SERVE.
THEY ARE GIVEN TO MANIFEST ONENESS, HARMONY AND POWER.

THIS MEANS, THEN…

3. WE ARE TO APPLY OUR KNOWLEDGE ABOUT SPIRITUAL GIFTS.

WE ARE NOT TO MAKE EXCUSES AND COMPLAIN.
WE ARE, INSTEAD, TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY TO USE THE TALENTS AND GIFTS GOD HAS GIVEN US TO USE.
WE ARE TO ACCEPT OUR PLACE IN THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH, AND DO WHAT HE HAS CALLED US TO DO.




 

EXTRA STUFF:

COMMUNION:

AS WE CELEBRATE THE SPECIAL ABILITIES GOD HAS GIVEN US TODAY, LET’S REALIZE THAT THEY COME, NOT FROM ANYTHING WE HAVE DONE, BUT BECAUSE OF WHAT JESUS HAS DONE.
HE IS THE ONE THAT HAS SAVED US.
HE IS THE ONE THAT HAS GRACED US.
HE IS THE ONE THAT HAS SENT THE HOLY SPIRIT TO US.
SO, LET US REMEMBER WHAT UNITES US TOGETHER.
IT IS JESUS.

IF YOU KNOW JESUS TODAY, YOU ARE INVITED TO SHARE IN THE ELEMENTS OF THE TABLE.
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE A MEMBER OF OUR CHURCH, BUT WE DO ASK THAT YOU KNOW JESUS AND HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM.
IF YOU DO NOT KNOW JESUS, THAT IS, YOU HAVE NOT RECEIVED HIM AS YOUR SAVIOR AND LORD, OR YOU ARE JUST UNSURE, JUST LET THE ELEMENTS PASS BY.
PLEASE WAIT UNTIL THE TIME COMES WHEN YOU ARE CONFIDENT THAT YOU DO HAVE A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD JESUS.

WE PRACTICE “COMMUNION” BECAUSE WE ARE TO REMEMBER THE DEATH OF THE LORD JESUS.
WE TAKE THE BREAD TO REMIND US THAT IT WAS BY THE BODY OF OUR SAVIOR THAT OUR SALVATION CAME.
HE DIED IN OUR PLACE.
HE BECAME OUR SUBSTITUTE.
WE TAKE THE CUP TO REMIND US THAT IT WAS BY THE BLOOD OF OUR SAVIOR THAT OUR SALVATION CAME.
HE DIED FOR OUR SINS.
HE BECAME OUR SACRIFICE.

SAM RICHBART WILL NOW COME AND LEAD US IN PRAYER.

THE APOSTLE PAUL WRITES, "THE LORD JESUS, ON THE NIGHT HE WAS BETRAYED, TOOK BREAD, AND WHEN HE HAD GIVEN THANKS, HE BROKE IT AND SAID, THIS IS MY BODY, WHICH IS FOR YOU; DO THIS IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME."

LET’S PARTAKE TOGETHER.

AL MAURER WILL NOW COME AND LEAD US IN PRAYER.

AGAIN, THE APOSTLE PAUL WRITES, "IN THE SAME WAY, AFTER SUPPER HE TOOK THE CUP SAYING, THIS CUP IS THE NEW COVENANT IN MY BLOOD; DO THIS, WHENEVER YOU DRINK IT, IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME."

LET’S PARTAKE TOGETHER.

DEACON OFFERING DURING HYMN.







BENEDICTION: [COUNSELORS ARE ]

DON’T BE IGNORANT…DON’T LET THE TRUTH ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT TAKE SECOND PLACE TO YOUR EXPERIENCE; INSTEAD BE GOD-CENTERED IN ALL THAT YOU ARE AND DO.

ACKNOWLEDGE JESUS AS LORD…ACCEPT NO SUBSTITUTES, FOR HE IS THE CRUCIFIED ONE, WHO BY HIS RESURRECTION DEMONSTRATES THAT HE IS THE LORD OF THE UNIVERSE.

REJOICE IN THE DIFFERENCES…GOD HAS MADE EACH ONE OF US DIFFERENT, SO THAT TOGETHER, WE MIGHT FULFILL HIS PURPOSE IN THE WORLD.

NOW…

MAY THE GRACE OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, AND THE LOVE OF GOD, AND THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE HOLY SPIRIT BE WITH YOU ALL. AMEN.

RESOURCES:

BLOMBERG, CRAIG, THE NIV APPLICATION COMMENTARY
FEE, GORDON, THE NEW INTERNATIONAL COMMENTARY ON THE NEW TESTAMENT
MACARTHUR, JOHN, I CORINTHIANS

SERMONCENTRAL:

PRISMATIC GIFTS 1, MARY LEWIS
FINDING YOUR SWEET SPOT, JIM KANE
NO ONE RIDES THE PINE, RICK THIESSEN
WHAT’S YOUR GIFT? RUSSELL BROWNWORTH

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