"Know Your Gift" (2)

Know Your gift  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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It's not only important to know what your gift is but also how to use it!

1 Corinthians 12:1–2 NKJV
1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: 2 You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led.
We have concerning gifts a great deal to learn. The purpose of Paul’s letter to this church was needed today as much as then. Paul says “I do not want you to be ignorant”, not that these believers denied the presence of gifts but rather the usefulness of them. Paul is saying “look after I am done, it’s on you”. We even today look at gifts to be used for our own recognition as a sort of the level of our walk with Christ. Paul is about to set things up in such a way that one can fully understand the purpose and procedure for usefulness of Spiritual gifts.
He tells them there are things that you may be ignorant about but there are also things you know. We know that we were once alienated from God. Having complete control over our lives and believing that we were some how divinely appointed to be in control. Paul says you were carried away by these dumb idols. Dumb in the sense of nonspeaking, nonfunctional, not useful, unpowerful lower case gods. He says it doesn’t matter how you were led the fact remains you followed. We therefore are without excuse. Remember your were in control!
1 Corinthians 12:3 NKJV
3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.
Paul tells them I want to make known to you that you can’t operate in the Holy Spirit of God and deny Jesus as the Son. We see Jesus confront these people who were not Gentiles but rather Jews in the Gospels. Jesus tells them how their thought process is ridiculous in that “a house divided against itself can not stand”. Jesus further more tells His disciples that when the Holy Spirit comes upon them they shall bear witness of Him. Paul also makes a startling proclamation here in that “no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit”. The flesh doesn’t like this does it? Why? Because it takes the power away from us. All of a sudden being born again isn’t an inside game is it. I have been attacked on a frequent bases because of this. It always seems crazy to me that it always come from Bible readers. If you don’t believe this than you can’t possibly believe Jesus either. John 6:44 Jesus tells those following Him that no one comes to the Son unless he be drawn by the Father. Paul is reminding them that we can not do anything in the flesh. The scripture tells us it is impossible to please God in the flesh.
1 Corinthians 12:4–7 NKJV
4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:
Paul tells this church that there are in fact different gifts, different ministries and different activities but they all come from the same source. It is evident in the working of the local church. There are those gifted in teaching, those gifted in singing, those gifted in nursery ministry, those gifted in children’s ministry, those gifted in serving others, those gifted in prayer, those gifted in giving and so on. It is the greatest example of God using many different gifts in order to first glorify Himself and to advance His Kingdom work. Not one person is gifted in all or can be all but through God giving each one a special gift they work together to do His will. Perfectly orchestrated together to reach the same goal. It is the very definition of synergism. We see different people, from different backgrounds, with different God given abilities working together to reach a lost world with the Gospel of Christ. Paul says that the same God who works all in all. He is the both the supplier and the receiver of these activities. So what happens when one of the ministries works through the gift given to them to only profit themselves? We see the whole body to suffer. Did you know that when you use your gift to make yourself feel better about you or to draw attention to you that you make a mockery out of your gift. It was never intended to bring you glory or recognition. The sole purpose for your existence is for the Lord’s glory. Everything you do should point everyone to Him and His purpose. When you choose to live for this reason you find purpose but when you live outside of His will you live only to yourself. He tells them the manifestation of the Spirit in your life is for the profit of all. Does what you use your gift for edify others or you? What do believe the purpose of God revealing Himself through you is intended? A pat on the back, affirmation? Would you still use your gift to serve Him if no one noticed or better yet if no appreciated what you did. You see we are to serve Him with the same intensity and passion even when no one notices, because He notices. If we would start using the gift God has given us to serve us last we would find a lasting work!
1 Corinthians 12:8–10 NKJV
8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
word of wisdom The Greek phrase used here, logos sophias, likely alludes to Paul’s discussion from I Corinthians 1:17–29 and should be understood in light of his teaching about wisdom from the Spirit in 2:6–16. The emphasis is not on wisdom itself but on the word or message produced by that wisdom. Wisdom is characterized by observing the natural order of things, or cause and effect. Biblical wisdom involves discerning what God would have someone do as a result of that observation.
1 Corinthians 1:17–29 NKJV
17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. 18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” 20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence.
word of knowledge This gift appears to specifically address the Corinthian overemphasis on knowledge while highlighting the pride that characterizes their knowledge I Corinthians 8:1–7. It likely has to do with enriching others, particularly in light of the testimony of Christ working among people (1:4–6).
1 Corinthians 8:1–7 NKJV
1 Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. 2 And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know. 3 But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him. 4 Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one. 5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), 6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live. 7 However, there is not in everyone that knowledge; for some, with consciousness of the idol, until now eat it as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.
healing This gift is given to the person whom God uses to restore someone. The Greek term used here, iama, can be used to refer to both physical healing and spiritual restoration. The basic meaning of iama has to do with restoring someone to health or well-being or reconciling them to God. Acts narrates Paul’s use of the gift of healing in his ministry Acts 14:8–10
Acts 14:8–10 NKJV
8 And in Lystra a certain man without strength in his feet was sitting, a cripple from his mother’s womb, who had never walked. 9 This man heard Paul speaking. Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed, 10 said with a loud voice, “Stand up straight on your feet!” And he leaped and walked.
miraculous powers The Greek phrase used here, which may be literally rendered as “activities of power,” refers to extraordinary activities like exorcizing demons and raising the dead (Acts 9:36–42; 19:11–12). This gift does not necessarily involve healing in the sense of physical wellness, but it could. Compare 2 Cor 12:12 Gal 3:5
Galatians 3:5 NKJV
5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
2 Corinthians 12:12 NKJV
12 Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds.
prophecy Refers to utterances inspired by the Holy Spirit. Like the OT prophets, this role involves social critique, calling people to repentance, and revealing God’s future plans for both judgment and salvation. Such utterances may include predictions of the future (e.g., Acts 11:28; 21:10–11), but they are intended to encourage believers, not confuse them 1 Cor 14:4–5 Paul’s discussion in I Corinthians 14:6–40 contrasts the benefits of the gift of prophecy with those of the gift of tongues.
1 Corinthians 14:4–5 NKJV
4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. 5 I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.
distinguishing of spirits This gift allows an individual to recognize whether an utterance comes from God or an evil spirit Acts 13:8–10 . Alternatively, it may involve the ability to distinguish between good and evil spirits—whether the spiritual activity being encountered comes from God or demons. Paul may have intended both ideas. Compare 1 Cor 14:29; 1 John 4:1
Acts 13:8–10 NKJV
8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9 Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord?
kinds of tongues The discussion in 1 Cor 14 indicates that the use of this gift was controversial, even in the days of the early church. The Greek word here, glōssa, is used both for the literal, physical tongue and metaphorically for language or speech.
interpretation of tongues The person with this gift translates the utterance spoken in a tongue into the native language of the believers gathered.
1 Corinthians 12:11–12 NKJV
11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. 12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.
Paul finishes with these final words. The Spirit both works in all gifts and distributes all gifts. The part we can not ignore because it is too beneficial is this done as He wills! This fact destroys the flesh because it takes the action away from us. We can never counterfeit true spiritual gifts. You may be talented in many areas but you will profit nothing using them by your own will. If your desire to be minister of God comes from a prideful place the best advice is to crucify that area of your life to spare yourself the crushing defeat that surely awaits the flesh. To proudly boast of revelations that God has only given you in a way to tear down other believers is never of the Lord but always from satan. If it doesn’t edify the body and only destroys you can bet it is from the flesh. If your gift can not be used in love then it is not a gift but pride. We are one body made up of many members that are sanctified and gifted for God’s glory to be useful to Him. We are called to be many in order to be one and one can never be many.
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