1 Corinthians 12:1-11, Understand Spiritual Gifts
1. Understand That The Spirit Will Always Glorify Jesus (v1-3)
2. Understand The Different Gifts From Your Triune God (v4-6)
3. Understand That The Spirit Gifts You To Help Others (v7-11)
1 Corinthians 12:1-11, Understand Spiritual Gifts
1 Corinthians 12:1-11, Understand Spiritual Gifts
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Well, this morning, as we look at 1 Corinthians Chapter 12, we're of course looking at one of those passages. Famous passages the core passages where we are talking about spiritual gifts, and so I've titled the message understand spiritual gifts. Understand spiritual gifts. And we're not going to. To cover every possible topic and conversation and point about spiritual gifts. But I pray this morning that you would, if you don't know much about spiritual gifts, that this would help you kind of begin your journey, or if you are well versed in the subject of spiritual gifts, perhaps the Lord would renew in you. Fresh perspective to help you pray about and seek him for his direction and what he has in mind for you and for your. Paul here is he's writing to the Corinthian church. We find that the Corinthian church was pretty confused about a lot of things. Spiritual gifts was one of those things. But he's been addressing some issues and answering some questions throughout this letter. And as he as you read through the book, the way that Paul is addressing these different subjects, it makes it clear. They had written him some questions. In Chapter 7, we see some questions about marriage. Whether we, you know, are OK. To get married or. Whether we should just stay single and what kind of relationship should we have as husband and wife? And what if there is a believer married to an unbeliever? These questions were going around in the Corinthians minds and they didn't understand it. They didn't know how to handle. Some specific situations that were happening in their midst, and so there Paul addresses those questions in Chapters 8 through 10. We see Paul answering their question about eating meat that was sacrificed to it. Rules and there was some contention within the church and disputes that were going on and some issues that had arisen. And so they presented the question to Paul, and Paul spends a few chapters addressing the question answering the question, not just answering, you know, a quick yes. No, but really delving into the heart of it and the heart of the matter. And then we see a similar approach here in this question that they have about the proper use of spiritual. And so now Paul is going to begin to address that. And it's not just here in verses one through 11 that he's addressing spiritual gifts. But chapter 1213 and 14 is Paul's response to their question about spiritual gifts. And so we see that introduced in verse one, he says. Now, dear brothers and sisters, regarding your question. About the special abilities the spirit gives us, I don't want you to misunderstand. And so, Paul says, you have questions about this, and that's OK. It's OK to have. Questions you're not. Expected to know everything all at once and automatically. That the questions are appropriate. The questions are good. You're asking questions. Now let me answer those questions Paul says. And and I want to be clear, it's important that you don't misunderstand this. That that there is some necessary explanation that there is some necessary deliberate investigation to not misunderstand, because well, what was happening in Corinth at the time was a pretty. Pretty serious misunderstanding of spiritual gifts. And so Paul is wanting to kind of correct that to reinstitute to re educate them about spiritual gifts and their proper usage, specifically within their gatherings together as believers. And so understanding spiritual gifts is something he says is important, and I would also encourage you to take note that this is 1 Corinthians. Not for Timothy, not Titus. Not one of the pastoral epistles. That this is something that only you know. Spiritual leaders need to know and understand. But he's writing to the church and he's saying you need church. Every believer needs to understand spiritual gifts. You need to have some experience with and some understanding of and exposure to and practice of. Of spiritual gifts in your life. And so again, we're not going to cover all things spiritual gifts, not able to. It's such a big subject we can't cover it all at once, but to help give you a framework of some understanding of spiritual gifts so that you can seek the. Lord further and. Walk with him and what he calls you too. In regards to your spiritual gifts and his calling in your life, and so we're going to walk through three points together this morning to help us understand spiritual gift. Here's point number one at a verses one through the. We understand that the spirit will always glorify Jesus when it comes to spiritual gifts. This is a good foundational peace to stand on to, to begin, to grasp, hold of the working of the Holy Spirit will always be in the direction of. Bringing glory to Jesus being bringing glory and honor to the name of Jesus Christ. Let's read verses one through 3 again. It says now, dear brothers and sisters, regarding your question about special ability. Qualities the spirit gives us. I don't want you to misunderstand this. You know that when you were still pagans, you were led astray and swept along in worshipping speechless idols. So I want you to know that no one speaking by the spirit of God will curse Jesus. And no one can say Jesus is Lord except. By the Holy Spirit. Here is Paul introduces his answer to their question about spiritual gifts. Again, he says very clearly. I don't want you to misunderstand this. They have questions, there's vagueness and and what's interesting is although Paul has written this, it's understandable that before Paul wrote this, the Corinthians were confused and misunderstanding. Right. But Paul has written this. And so afterwards you would. We expect and hope that the Corinthians would have a better understanding of spiritual gifts. And we pray that that was true. When Paul writes again, second Corinthians, he doesn't have to address the same issues regarding spiritual gifts. It seems that they updated their understanding and it helped them fall in line with the will of God and plan of God for them. In regards to spiritual gifts. And and yet, although that was true for the Church of Corinth, generally speaking for the church today, for Christians today, I I think it's fair to say that we find, generally speaking, believers. These misunderstand spiritual gifts and this is something that Paul says I don't want you to misunderstand and we have. The passage is written for us, and so we have the opportunity to correct our misunderstandings, to inform our ignorances and to develop good doctrine about the special abilities. And the Holy Spirit gives the spiritual gifts that he desires to work in and through our lives. But as he begins to. Help them understand better. He takes a step back. And he says I want. You to think about when you were still pagans before you knew the Lord. And you were caught up in idolatry. You were worshipping these false gods, these speechless idols you came out of a really different background. And so the for the first thing to understand is that it's OK that you don't understand everything about spiritual gifts and everything about the spirit because. You didn't come from a Christian heritage. He he's saying to the Corinthians. Now we generally, you know, here in Southern California have a little bit more exposure to Christianity even before we become believers in Jesus. And so we might come from a background that is more familiar or we might be like. The Corinthians here having no exposure to. The things of the Lord. The the things of the Scriptures and so regardless of whether we have become familiar with these things or known these things or never known these things, he said. Look you you came from a really different background. It it makes sense that you have some confusion about this. And so let me try to set some things in order. You used to operate. In worship towards idols that are speechless. Think about how it used to be for you before you knew the Lord. Even if you practiced kinds of worship, you worshipped gods that were not alive, that did not speak, that were not able to lead you and guide you. But things have changed now. And and in Christ we have relationship with God and worship of God, who is alive, who is able to speak, who desires to speak, who wants to minister to our hearts and move in US and through us it's a completely different experience than what we used to know. Pastor Warren Wisby puts it this way. Paul contrasted their experience as unconverted idolaters with their present experience as Christians. They had worshipped dead idols, but now they belong to the living God. Their idols never spoke to them, but God spoke to them. By his spirit. And he even spoke through them in the gift of prophecy. This was all new for them. They hadn't experienced this in their previous life. This wasn't part of their Pagan idolatry, their worship of idols. Now having the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the gifting of the Holy Spirit. They were experiencing new things as the Holy Spirit was working through them, and the Corinthian church had a kind of a massive, you might say, outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the gifts of the spirit, as demonstrated by Paul's instruction here in 1 Corinthians 12/13 and 14. So you came out of complete ignorance. No surprise then walking into this that you have some misunderstandings and some things that are a little bit out of line and and need to be brought back into the parameters that God would provide. Idols are. Now Paul has also been talking about idols in the previous chapters. And making reference to yes, there is no other God and idols are dumb, but also the reality of the demonic element of idolatry. And so it also could be the case that some of the Corinthians came out of idolatry. Where they didn't consider the idol as speechless, but where they had some interaction with some type of spiritual being, some type of spiritual interaction in their practice of work. Where there was that demonic influence and perhaps even demonic utterings and similar things, perhaps that they have experienced now in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the working of the Holy Spirit, that there was some issues that came about because. Their prior experiences. We're not based in the things of the Lord, but we're based. In their idolatry, and so whether it was ignorance of idols and and being speechless and not knowing anything, or having some spiritual encounters that were not with the Lord. Paul is saying I don't want you to misunderstand this. There's there's some instruction here. There's some parameters that you need to establish and understand about the working of the Holy Spirit and how these things operate in our lives. Verse three, he says. So I want you to know. Notice, don't misunderstand the verse one and verse two. You know, think about your past life. You you know how things used to be. And so now I want you to know he wants us to update our mind, update our thinking to to establish a framework of doctrine in our mind. So that we can better understand the operation of the Holy Spirit. No one speaking by the spirit of God will curse Jesus. And no one can say Jesus's Lord except. By the Holy Spirit. Now, essentially what Paul is saying here is you can trust. The Holy Spirit. Or putting it in the way I did is point #1 today you can understand that the spirit will always glorify Jesus. In a situation where there is a dramatic move of the Holy Spirit. There can oftentimes be quite a bit of freaking out. Amongst people. It's uncomfortable for many when the gifts of the Holy Spirit are being poured out and there is a movement of the Holy Spirit, it can be quite dramatic. It can be quite. Uncomfortable or or disturbing for some. It's outside of the norm. It's outside of our control sometimes and and you know how we would want things to happen or how we would. Want things to go? But but Paul here is, first of all, establishing that you can trust. The Holy Spirit. You can rest assured that. Someone who is under the influence of the spirit. Is not going to curse Jesus. Now, the Corinthian churches they were gathering together, they were gathering together and having time in their service. For the operation of the. Gifts of the Holy Spirit. But the problem that Paul is addressing here is that time was chaotic. That people were speaking over each other, that there was this back and forth. There was all kinds of things that. Were out of control. And it's not hard to imagine in a scenario like that. Perhaps this is something that Paula is addressing because it actually happened, or at least they were concerned that maybe it had happened. That in the midst of the chaos that somebody had spoken. Presented as thus sayeth the Lord. But but then the message that they gave was contrary to what they. Knew of the Lord. And what Paul is saying here is you can validate the message and understand whether or not that truly was of the spirit of God. No one speaking by the spirit of God will curse Jesus. It's not hard to understand. It's not hard to picture a situation like that where there is a lot going on and and someone standing up and saying something that is completely out of the blue out of line with who Jesus is, what God says. Something out of line with the scriptures. He goes on to say, and no one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. Now, don't take that in like a super ultra literal way that like that. You know, if you, if you could say those exact words that you know it's only by the Holy Spirit in in one sense, yes. Because God holds your breath in his hands, right? But but what he's saying is that when you have the Holy Spirit. That the Lord is going to be the focus. He is going to be the center. Only someone who is. Empowered with the Holy Spirit is truly submitted to the Lord. And so we can trust we can rest in the Holy Spirit. He will always glorify Jesus. If you want Jesus glorified. Then you want. The working of the Holy Spirit. If you want Jesus glorified in your life, then you want the Holy Spirit to be at work to be manifesting himself through you. You want the operation of spiritual gifts. That way Jesus is glorified. Jesus told his disciples in John Chapter 16 as he's preparing his disciples for his departure. He's about to go to the cross. He tells them several times in John, 14 and then now in John 16. I'm going but the the father is going to send or I'm going to pray to the father. And he'll send the Holy Spirit. John 1613, when the spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. All that belongs to the father is mine. This is why I said the spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me. The father, the son, the spirit, the try, you nature of God, always permanently working together. One heart, one purpose, one mind. And so Jesus says, I'm going to give you the Holy Spirit. And here's what he's going to be doing. He's going to be helping you to learn the truth. He's also going to help you remember the truth because, well, there's a lot of things that we forget. It's one of the reasons why we're able to go through the scriptures and then when we get to the end, we go back to the beginning because. Oh yeah, there's some reminders I need. I've I've heard those things. I've learned lots of things, but there's new things that God wants to show me, and there's things I've learned that I've forgotten that have kind of fallen out of practice in my life. And I need to be renewed in and encouraged in. And so the Holy Spirit's role for us is that to teach us. To remind us, and Jesus says he will bring me glory. He is about the business of Jesus. He's directing our hearts to Jesus. He is about the business of glorifying Jesus and lifting him higher. And so we don't need to fear. The working of the Holy Spirit. If we want Jesus glorified now, if we don't want Jesus glorified, that's a whole different subject. But but if you want the Lord to be glorified, if you want his name to be lifted, higher him to be magnified him to receive all honor and all glory. Then you don't need to be hesitant. Reluctant, concerned, overwhelmed. Freaked out, nervous about the working of. The Holy Spirit. Because his role. Is to teach us. To remind us. And to glorify Jesus to us. And through us. You know, there's lots of weird things that happen that are blamed. On the Holy Spirit. But you can evaluate some of those things. By how they glorify Jesus, that's what. Paul is saying here. No one speaking by the spirit of. God will curse Jesus. And and those who are glorifying Jesus and professing Jesus as Lord and lifting up Christ High in their lives, that's the work of the Holy Spirit. So you don't have to be concerned. About the operation of the Holy Spirit. Yes, there will be those. Things that are out of line that don't line up with. The Holy Spirit, but. You can identify those things that do not glorify Jesus and understand that is not it. It might be under the name of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit might be blamed for those things, those behaviors, those practices, those instances. But the Holy Spirit will always be glorifying Jesus. Again, as we get into Chapter 14 of 1 Corinthians, as we continue on tomorrow and are reading through the Bible in three years, we'll we'll see Paul's specific instruction about their church services. And and you'll understand the key chaos that was going on. And the Holy Spirit was being blamed for it. Why are more than one people talking at a time? Well, the Holy Spirit prompted my heart. Paul says in 1 Corinthians chapter 14, check out verse 32. It's only the page away, probably 1st Corinthians 1432. Remember that people who prophecy are in control of their spirit and can take turns. But there are a lot of people who would say I couldn't control it. I didn't have an option. I had to stand up in the middle of somebody else speaking and disrupt and interrupt and talk over. I had to. It was just the move of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was upon me, brother, and so I just. I had to, Paul says false. Remember those who prophecy are in control of their spirit. They have the capacity to take turns. To wait for the appropriate time. And so Paul set some structure and some guidelines to their gatherings. It shouldn't be everybody talking at once or talking over each other. There should be decency. There should be order. And so in the evaluating of these things, the message matters. Not the voice that it's given in, and sometimes there's a. Kind of a persona, a character. That delivers a message in a way that is meant to convey this. Is from the Lord. Ohh brother, I was in the Holy Spirit last night and the Holy Spirit told me. I've never heard anybody do that. I just made that up on the fly. But you get the point. This wasn't in my notes. You know how you even put that in your notes, but. Sometimes a special voice. It it's delivered with this. Character with this exuberance, with this enthusiasm, listen. In some ways, that doesn't matter. That doesn't mean that it's from the Holy Spirit. Just cause it sounds spiritual or it sounds dramatic or it sounds. Like, whoa, they're really. Experiencing the move of the spirit. That doesn't matter if the message does not line up with the word of God, and if Jesus is not glorified. So the message is what matters. That's what Paul saying. You can trust the Holy Spirit. Going to glorify Jesus. It's always going to be something that lifts him up and that directs hearts and minds and attention upon him. And when hearts and minds and attention is directed elsewhere. That is not. The operation of the Holy Spirit that is not the Holy Spirit's work. He's always focused on Jesus. And so the message matters in order matters. At the right time. You're able to take turns. The spirit will always. Glorify Jesus. In an orderly way might be a surprising way. Maybe in an incredibly powerful way, but still with a message that is appropriate and with an order that is decent. Pastor Thomas Constable puts it this way. Enthusiasm or ecstasy or inspired utterance. Do not necessarily indicate spirituality by in spite of utterance I I mean that any utterance that the speaker claimed came from God, not necessarily a truly inspired new revelation from God. Paul's original readers needed to pay attention to what the person speaking in such a state. Don't just listen to the tone. Don't just be impressed. You know, by the presentation. Is the message. Again in 1 Corinthians 14, as the opportunity to prophecy is given and a prophecy goes forth, Paul says great. Now let the others judge all the ones who are not prophesying. Here's what their job is. Let me check that out. Is that really fit with the word of God? Is that glorify Jesus? Does that honor? Verify that message, validate it. Make sure yes, this glorifies Jesus. Yes, it is consistent with the scriptures. Yes, it's decent and in order. That is a genuine word of the Lord. Understand that the spirit will always glorify Jesus. You can trust the Holy Spirit in this, and so if you want Jesus glorified, then you want the Holy Spirit to work. If you want him glorified in your life, if you want him glorified in this church, if you want him glorified in your workplace, if you want him glorified wherever you are. You want the Holy Spirit to work well, point #2 moving on to verses 4 through 6. Understand the different gifts from your try yune God. Understand the different gifts. Let's check out verse four or five and six. There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work. In all of us. Here, as we look at these verses, Paul gives us a bit of an outline and references. The three. Distinct portions members. Persons of our triune God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Do you see that and verse 4? Different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same spirit. So verse 4, he's talking about the holy. The spiritual gifts given by the Holy Spirit, then verse five. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. Now, in one sense, yes, we could call the Holy Spirit Lord, but the typical method of addressing Jesus in the scriptures is by the word Lord it it fits that we understand that when Paul says we serve the same Lord he's talking about, we all serve Jesus. And yet there's different kinds of service under Jesus that that it's not all exactly the same, and not all identical. In verse 6, God. Now again, Jesus is God. The Holy Spirit is God, but typically using the word God. The authors, intending for us to understand the father, the father, works in different ways. But it is the same father who does the work in all of us. And so there's some subtle reference here too. The triune nature of God. And I I think this is important and I pointed out because it helps us to understand. The topic of spiritual gifts and the passages that address spiritual gifts in the scriptures. You can think. About earlier in the book of Corinthians where. The Corinthians were arguing over. Which Minister they followed, some said. I followed Paul, some said I follow Apollos. Some said I like Peter, and some said I only follow Jesus. And in that there was this division, this arguing back and forth. And and it makes sense that Paul would have to walk through verse 4-5 and six here to say, understand. Yeah, you appreciated different things in these different guys in these different ministries that were done in your midst. You need to understand that one does not mean that that's of the Lord and the other is not. That we should expect differences. There are different kinds. Of spiritual gifts, there are different kinds of service. There are different ways that God works. There is great variety in the way that God works in an individual person's life and through their life. There's great variety, many different ways that God works. And spending time in these verses. Many years ago now caused me to. Begin to think differently about spiritual gifts, and I want to encourage you to consider that as well. Typically talking about spiritual gifts. We we know there's the kind of the three mean. There's another fourth one you could look at it verse Peter 4 as well. But three main passages that address the subject of spiritual gifts, Romans Chapter 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians Chapter 4. And many times looking at these different things and trying to understand spiritual gifts, we kind of pile them all together in a big pile and we count them up. And we say all right, there's 21 spiritual gifts, or maybe 19 spiritual gifts, depending on which ones we count and how we count. And all of that. But I would suggest to you that there's maybe a different approach and so I would encourage you to rethink spiritual gifts cross. All that out. Let's understand a little bit, maybe kind of set that aside for a minute. AA, minute and and set up a new framework in your mind to understand. Spiritual gifts. Based on the outline that Paul gives us here in verse 4-5 and six, understanding the gifts from your triune God. In verse four, we see that the Holy Spirit gives different kinds of spiritual gifts. Then in verse five we see that Jesus gives different kinds of service and then in verse 6 the Father gives different kinds of works. And so we're talking about spiritual gifts. We're talking about service we're talking about works. The whole idea here is not to dissect exactly what every one of those you know, gifts versus service versus works is but. But to factor into our understanding of spiritual gifts, who is the one that is giving the gift? The Holy Spirit works in your life and gives you gifts in a particular way of a particular kind that the Jesus works in your life and gives you gifts of a particular kind, and the father works in your life and gives gifts of a particular kind. And I suggest to you that these three differences, the. Giver of the gift. This fall, in line with those three main passages that I already mentioned about the gifts of the Holy Spirit and so the spirit gives different kinds of spiritual gifts. Rooted there in 1 Corinthians, chapter 12, verse 4. Corresponds with verses 7 through 11 here of 1 Corinthians 12 that we'll get into in just a few moments. But then Jesus gives different kinds of service rooted here in 1 Corinthians chapter 12 verse 5 corresponds with Ephesians chapter 4 verses 11 through 16. And then the father gives different kinds of works. Rooted in 1 Corinthians chapter 12 verse 6 corresponds with Romans chapter 12 verses 4 through 8 and if you come early on Sunday mornings at 10:00 AM you, you'll be a little bit familiar with this because we always pray for on Sunday mornings in regards to the church services that are about to unfold out of Romans chapter. 12 and the roles in the body of. And I suggest that these kind of outline for us ways for us to think about, to pray about and to understand. The gifts that God has for you. And and making a distinction between the father and the son and the Holy Spirit following the outline that Paul gives here helps us to understand, perhaps a little bit differently, to be able to pray and and be open and willing in a new way to what it is that God wants to do in US and through us. And so I would rephrase it this way to just kind of help us grasp hold of these things starting at verse 4. Again, the spirit gives different kinds of spiritual gifts. Let me rephrase that to say. The spirit gives you tools to help others. This passage year versus 7 through 11 outlined the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the manifestations, or the revelation of the Holy Spirit in someone's life. And Paul lays out the purpose in verse. A spiritual gift is given to each one of us, so we can help each other. The whole purpose of the spiritual gift is to help. And so I like to think of these spiritual gifts that are listed here. As tools in the toolbox. What tool do you need? Well, it depends on what the problem is. What I'm working on, what I'm trying to resolve here, and so sometimes a hammer is needed. Sometimes a screwdriver is needed, sometimes a wrench is needed, some, sometimes an impact driver is needed. It's appropriate to what it is that is being done. In what situation is right there. But the thing that I would emphasize about this is that 1 Corinthians chapter 12, these tools, this is the toolbox of the Holy Spirit. Because verse 11 tells us it is the one and only spirit who distributes all these gifts. And so it's not a toolbox that is yours, it's a toolbox that is the Holy Spirit. But the Holy Spirit is, in a sense, your assistant. And so here you are dealing with the situation and the Holy Spirit says here you need this hammer right now. Or hey, you need this wrench right now. There's 1/2 inch. It's like the perfect size for this exact situation. This is what you need for what is at hand. And I think it's important to evaluate it that way to understand these tools in the toolbox of 1 Corinthians 12 are gifts that are available to any believer at any time. Anytime the Holy Spirit wants to give you a gift to help you address the situation that you face. Many times we think of spiritual gifts and it's like I. I know what my gift is. That's my gift for life, and that's the only gift I ever have. Or I have many gifts. But you know, this is the one and it's like a permanent. It's like an all in or not at all kind of situation. But I would say these are moment by moment. These are just tools in the toolbox. The right tool for the. Right job at the right time, that's what. The Holy Spirit gives us to enable us. That glorify Jesus. In the situations that we face. Well, moving on to verse 5, Jesus giving different kinds of service, I would rephrase that this way corresponding with Ephesians chapter 4. Jesus gives you leaders. To help you. The Holy Spirit is giving you spiritual gifts so that you can help others, enabling you at the time to help others around you. Jesus gives a different kind of gift. You can look there at Ephesians, Chapter 4 in verse 11 it tells us. These are the gifts Christ gave to the church. And he lists them, the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God's people to do his work and build up the. Church the body of Christ. And so these spiritual gifts are a little bit different. These are not tools in a toolbox that, you know, are just kind of given to you at the moment. These are positions of leadership that Jesus established within the church. And then people that Jesus appoints to those positions of leadership. To equip the church. To build up and edify the church. So that we can develop to become the body of Christ. That God has called us to be. So it's important to understand leaders in the church. Are the gift of Jesus. And so here you are a brand new believer. God has a present for you. You open it up. What is it? All right. It's pastor Jonathan. Gift from Jesus to equip. Me to help me develop. And fulfill my part in the body of Christ. Leaders don't always feel like a gift. And sometimes we bristle against the leadership of the authority within the body of Christ. But we need to understand Jesus established the positions, the authority, the roles, and then appointed. Men and women to fill those roles as leaders within the body of Christ. Well, thirdly, continuing on now, we've looked at the spirit. We've looked at Jesus now looking at the father. The father gives different kinds of works. Corresponding with their Romans, chapter 12 versus 4 through 8. I would rephrase it this way. The father gives you roles in the body. The father gives you roles in the body of Christ, Romans chapter 12. Talks about the body just as our bodies have many parts. And each part has a special function, so it is with Christ's body. We are many parts of 1 body. We all belong to each other in his grace. God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophecy, speak out with its with as much faith as God has given you. In this third aspect of spiritual gifts. We're looking at what? Does the father give you? The father gives you. A police. Membership within the body of Christ, and this is what Paul will go on to address, and the verses we're not looking at today in 1 Corinthians 12, the one body with many members. It is the body of Christ, but who gives you that place that that role within the body of Christ that is. Your Heavenly Father, he gives you opportunity. He gives you a place, he gives you the capacity to fulfill a role within the body of Christ. Now as I. Mentioned this isn't meant to be exhaustive, covering every aspect of spiritual gifts. I would love to spend the time right now to just walk through all of the roles and then all of the spiritual gifts and all the positions of leadership and authority. But I'm giving you some framework to work with and information if you want to dig into these on your own that there is. More opportunity for you to develop your understanding so that you don't misunderstand spiritual gifts. But I understand these things are a little bit different, a little bit challenging. And so let me present it to you another way that maybe will help a little bit with your understanding that you can pray through the gifts that you have from your triune God. And I would label it this way as we talk about the gifts given to you by the Holy Spirit, the tools that he gives you to help others think about it. If you're playing sports, you're on a team, let's say baseball or football or something like that. You can think about the Holy Spirit and the gifts that he gives. To help you on your team, the body of Christ. The Holy Spirit gives you the equipment that you need. The equipment that you need and so maybe you need a glove, maybe you need a helmet. Maybe you need special shoes or uniform. Maybe you need, you know, a bat or some certain things. The Holy Spirit gives you the equipment that you need to. Do your parts on the team and then Jesus gives you leaders or in team terminology. He gives you coaches. Gives you those who have authority who can help direct and correct and help line things up and educate you and train you and build you up to make you even. Better at your. Execution of the gifts and the usage. Of the equipment. Those coaches are there as a gift from the Lord to help you be the teammates, the team member. That you are capable of being. And then the father giving you a role in the body of Christ or in team terminology, he gives you a position on the team you play center field. You play left base. You're the catcher. And and giving you a place on the team giving you a position to play with coaches, to help guide you and direct you and train you and the equipment that you need now. Now you have everything that you need to be an awesome teammates to be a awesome member of the body of Christ and to receive. All the gifts that God has for you. To contribute to the work of the. Kingdom of God. And so this is one way that I like to think about these things in spiritual gifts. And I pray that it helps you to think through and pray through these things if you want to dive in a little bit deeper. A while back we did a course equipped to serve that walks through these things in a lot more detail, and so we have that. Build on the website and you can check that out. But why is all this important? It's not so that I can have some really clever, unique take on the subject to present to you today, right? It's not like, wow, this is great. And so Jerry developed all of this so that he could have, you know, something new to share, something that we've never heard before. And it's also not that we can have interesting lists in. Our heads like. Let me impress you with some great trivia, some interesting doctrines, some interesting cross referencing of these different things. That's not the purpose of understanding and looking at these things in this way. The purpose is to have an openness to be used by God, a better understanding of. I'm not just trying to get through life and God can. Help me a little bit. But I am. A player I'm a team member. On God's team and he's given me a position. He's given me coaches and he promises to give me all the equipment that I need. To be able to fill my role to to do that position with his strength, with his power, to the best of my ability. The purpose of looking at these things is to help us develop in even greater reliance upon God, recognizing that. This is all God's work. He's strategically. Fashioned US and formed us. Developed our physical characteristics, developed our personalities, our mental capacities, and our spiritual understandings. He he's developed all of these things. In conjunction with. The position that he's given us on on his team, the coaches that he sent over us and the equipment that the Holy Spirit will give us all of these. Things work together. As we rely upon the Lord to help us. Fulfill the role and do the things that God has set before us. My purpose for sharing these things with you this morning is. To deepen your prayer. And to broaden your invitation for. God to use you. So that when you come to church on a Sunday morning, you would understand you're you're not just here to sit. They're in the chairs. But that you come as a member of the team as a member. Of the body of Christ. And I would encourage you to think of the roles. That the father gives you. Many times those are roles that you have for a season that there are, you know, long periods of your life that the the father is established for you a role. But I would also suggest that we would. Approach our gatherings together with a kind of a flexibility. Saying Father, what role do you have for me today? I'm going to be there in the kids ministry hanging out with the kids. Is my role. Prophecy or teaching or exhortation, or maybe mercy? I just need to. Really over the top. Demonstrate your love. And care for the kids. One of the kids. Some of the kids. Maybe there's some real leading that needs to. Take place. You know when you play baseball in the major leagues, your position's pretty permanent. But when you're playing baseball in the neighborhood. Your position changes every game. Sometimes you're the pitcher, sometimes you're the catcher, sometimes you're. All of the above, right? In a similar way we. We can approach our gatherings together, understanding that well, sometimes I'm in a men's Bible study environment. Sometimes I'm in a Sunday morning environment, sometimes in a Wednesday night environment. Sometimes I'm in a workplace study environment or random meeting at anywhere in the world and and. Any role is possible. For that event for that gathering. The father might call me to teach, although that's not necessarily what I'm most comfortable with, but. But that's the role he gives me for that occasion, for that gathering. And maybe there is some predominant roles that God gives you, and maybe there's an overlapping and a combination of roles and giftings, but. But again, the point is. I would encourage you please be in prayer. Don't just show up at church with the expectation of I'm just here to receive, but show up at church with the understanding I'm a member on the team. I don't know necessarily what my role is, but Father, I'm. I'm seeking you from my role. Is there an opportunity for me to contribute for me to be part of the gathering today? But of course this extends outside of church service as well, and maybe as a mechanic you're looking at the father and you're saying father, as I work on this vehicle for this person, what is my role in their life? Do you need me to teach them? Do I need to encourage them in something? Maybe about checking their oil every once in a while? Or maybe there's some mercy I need to extend and to demonstrate? Maybe it's not a mechanic situation, but it's a workplace business meeting situation. My experience for me is every meeting is different. The role that. The father gives to me is different. Sometimes I lead the meeting, sometimes my role is to be a voice of mercy in the meeting. Sometimes my role is to teach in the meeting that. There's different ways that God calls us to operate in God. Positions us. To represent him. At church, at home, in the workplace, wherever we might go and so understand the different gifts from your try, you and God. Why didn't your perspective a little bit help? Help to be more open. To be used by God, because then whatever role you. Received from the father. You know the Holy Spirit is going to give to you. And so if your role is prophecy. There's some. Unique gifts of the Holy Spirit that line up with that perfectly. If your role is mercy, there's some unique gifts that the Holy Spirit is going to give you to help you execute that role. To operate in that role. He's going to give you all the equipment that you need for whatever position he's established for you on the team. Whether that be a permanent position that you have for the rest of your life, or a position that changes from meeting to meeting from time to time. Understand the different gifts from your trying God. Deepen your prayer life and your invitation for God to use you in these things. Again, there's much more that we could get into, but moving along to finish it up versus 7 through 11 point #3 understand that the spirit gives you to help others. And so this is really focusing on the spiritual gifts given by the Holy Spirit. Verse 7 says a spiritual given. A spiritual gift is given to each of us, so we can help. Each other. And here the apostle Paul will go on to list out these nine different things in verses 8-9 and 10. As these spiritual gifts that the Holy Spirit will give the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, kinds of tongues, interpretation of tongues, these are manifestations or gifts. Of the Holy Spirit. And I'm not going to work through defining all of those, but on the back table I did have a print out here that has roles of the body of Christ on one side and gifts of the spirit on the other side. So you can see those scriptures and see each one with a kind of a simple explanation of each one. But please understand that like I'm. I'm simplifying these things so that we can talk about them, but there is much depth and complexity and I would suggest, even as Paul lists these nine things, it's not in in an intended way to say this is it. This is the only 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit. That's it. You know, there's no more. There's not ten. Like, it's not listed that way. These are examples. Of the way that the Holy Spirit will equip you, the roles are examples of the positions that the father might give you. The only one that might be really rigid and specific is the positions within the body of Christ that Jesus has established. Those ones have a lot more definition around them and structure to them. But these are. Meant to be examples to help us think through and understand that God could use us in a variety of ways. And so these are the gifts that are given for our positions or our roles within the body of Christ. Again, if you're playing ball and you're the catcher. You you need. Some different equipment than if you're the pitcher. You need something to guard your face. You need a glove that can handle that 100 mile, an hour fastball, right? Like you. You need to to. Be able to. Protect yourself. You need to be able to have what you need to be able to fill your role and play the position that you've been set to play. If you're the. You're not going to want those shin guards on in the cage on your face. And you know you're going to want some. Something more stripped down, trimmed down and and ready to hit. You're going to need a bat in your hands. You're going to. We need to be ready. To run, there's different equipment that. If you're the batter, the. Catcher, the pitcher. This is what the Holy Spirit provides for us. Whatever we need for the situation, for the role that God has given to us and and again these things are available to all believers at any time. Anytime the Holy Spirit wants to distribute them. It's his choice he distributes as. He wills. Get that he distributes as he wills. It's not just once and for all, but it's from time to time. And there's some gifts that he will give you regularly. And there's some gifts that he will give you seldom leave. And there's some gifts that perhaps he won't give you at all. Give them all to Harvey. It's his choice. He gets to choose. Which ones and when and for how long? Think about the example of Paul at acts chapter 19. It tells us that God works unusual miracles by the hands of Paul. The working of miracles is a gift of the spirit. In this case, unusual miracles, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons were brought from his body to the sick and the diseases left them, and the evil spirits went out of them. This wasn't always the case everywhere Paul went. Anytime a handkerchief that had, you know, been in his pocket was touched. Anybody that had been sick, that they were immediately healed, that that wasn't. He didn't have a healing ministry. But in that case. God had given him a position that required an unusual working of miracles. And so now the Holy Spirit is giving him all the equipment he needs. Here's another hinchliff Paul. Here's another hinchliff, Paul. Here's another handkerchief, Paul. And now he's. Able to fulfill his role and accomplish his purposes. And God could just as easily use you. And do unusual miracles. Through your prayers. Through handkerchiefs that are in your pocket. He could just as easily give you the gifts of healing or speak through you prophetically, or give you dynamic faith to trust God and take a huge step to glorify the name of Jesus. He could use you to speak out in an unknown tongue that you've never studied or learned or heard before, and he could use you to interpret. A word of tongues, a language you've never heard or known or studied before. Whatever equipment is appropriate for the. Role that you're given. But again, I'm not here to define all. Of that today what I think is important is for us to understand the structure a little bit. And the reason the purpose. Chapter 1213 and 14 are Paul's answer. To this question. Usually we just kind of think about Chapter 12 and then chapter 14. We skip over 13, we read 13. At weddings, it's all about love. But it's all tied together. You can't separate these things. Pulse point. If you jump down to 1 Corinthians chapter 12, verse 31. So you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts. But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all. And he. Goes on into verse 13 love. Desire spiritual gifts. Desire earnestly helpful gifts that you should have a a posture where you are anxious and and in a sense kind of begging. Lord, please let me Holy Spirit please gift me. To be helpful to the people around me. Because I love them. Because I love you. I want to help you and I want to be supernaturally enabled by the Holy Spirit to. To be an agent of the Lord on your behalf. With whatever is needed in your life at this time. Love, Love is the the motivation and the purpose behind. All of this. And then in chapter 14 verse one he says let love be your highest goal, but you should also desire the special abilities the spirit gives, especially the ability to prophecy. That there is this combination. These two are interlinked. If you love people, you will desire spiritual gifts. And a lot of times we desire spiritual gifts without the loving of the people because. There's different motivations on our hearts. But when we love people. Understanding God's given us a position on the team he's brought me alongside of you in this way for this season. For this reason, Holy Spirit equipped me to pray with you, to pray for you, to speak to you, to help you, to guide you, to instruct you, to build you up, and lift you up. Verse 11. It is the one and only spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have. He knows and he loves those people. Better than you and more than you. And he knows exactly what gifts. That you could operate that would be. Best for them. Healings, miracles, prophecy. Word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith. God could use any of. These things in your life. The spirit gives you to help others, and so it's not so much that you have to have a precise definition of all these things in order to operate in them. Really, the focus is pursue love and as you pursue love. The Holy Spirit will be equipping you. As you do your best to love people when you come on a Sunday morning as you do your best to love people, whenever you gather together or run into other believers as you do your. Best to love them. There will be the opportunity for the Holy Spirit to gift you that right piece of equipment, that right tool for the job that's at hand. You are part of God's solution to the. People around you. And and you don't have to look far. I would encourage you to suggest to you look at the hard situations you have to deal with those hard situations that you complain to everybody else about that you talk to everybody else about, that you're, you know, feel helpless in and and overwhelmed by. Those are the situations. How can I love the people Lord? How can I love them? What tools do you want to equip me with? That I can meet the needs that are here, that I can glorify Jesus and represent you in this situation. And so. Spiritual gifts 101 this morning I hope it helps a little bit that you would understand spiritual gifts. Understand that the spirit always. We'll glorify Jesus, and if you want, Jesus glorified, you want the Holy Spirit to work. Do you want to have that equipment necessary to fulfill your role? So that Jesus can be. Lifted up in his name known. Understand the different gifts from your triune God. This is so important. The fullness of the triune nature of God is at work in your life. It's not just the Holy Spirit that has gifts for you, but the father has gifts for you. The son has gifts for you and. The spirit has gifts for you. Let the understanding of that deep in your prayer and your invitation for God to use you, your opportunities to be part of God's work are abundant. Not seldom in few, and there's only, you know those couple of positions open on a church service. No, no, there there is so much. That God can do in your life and through your life, understand that the spirit gives you to help others. You're part of the solution. God wants to. Equip you to be the answers. To people's prayers. And he's going to give you the tools that you need. You don't have to come up with it. It's not your wisdom. He's going to give you a word of wisdom. It's not your methods, your resources, your answers. The Holy Spirit will give you what you need. To love the people that God has placed in your life. And to honor Jesus. In the way that. You relate to them, Lord, I thank you. That you're so good to us and you give us gift upon gift upon gift and every good and perfect gift that comes from you, Lord. And so Lord may we take full advantage. Help us, Lord, to earnestly desire spiritual gifts and obedience to your word. Help us to earnestly desire to see you glorified. Help us to earnestly desire. To know the role, the position that you've assigned to us. For any particular service or for our life in General, Lord, may we hear from you. We don't serve a dead God, a speechless idol. We serve a true and living God. Who reigns over all who speaks to our hearts and who has orchestrated all things? To give us an important and vital place. In the work. Things that have eternal value. Or may we grasp hold of these truths, but leaving you at your word? And step into you the life, the ministry, the service that you've called us to. I pray this in Jesus name.