Faithlife Sermons

An Introduction To The Gifts Of The Holy Spirit

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During the French Revolution, there were three Christians who were sentenced to die by the guillotine. One Christian had the gift of faith, the other had the gift of prophecy, the other had the gift of helps.
The Christian with the gift of faith was to be executed first. He was asked if he wanted to wear a hood over his head. He declined and said he was not afraid to die. "I have faith that God will deliver me!" he shouted bravely. His head was positioned under the guillotine, with his neck on the chopping block. He looked up at the sharp blade, said a short prayer and waited confidently. The rope was pulled, but nothing happened.
His executioners were amazed and, believing that this must have been an act of God, they freed the man.
The Christian with the gift of prophecy was next. His head was positioned under the guillotine blade and he too was asked if he wanted the hood.
"No," he said, "I am not afraid to die. However, I predict that God will deliver me from this guillotine!" At that, the rope was pulled and again, nothing happened. Once, again the puzzled executioners assumed this must be a miracle of God, and they freed the man.
The third Christian, with the gift of helps, was next. He was brought to the guillotine and likewise asked if he wanted to wear a hood.
"No," he said, "I'm just as brave as those other two guys." The executioners then positioned him face up under the guillotine and were about to pull the rope when the man stopped them. "Hey wait a minute," he said. "I think I just found the problem with your guillotine."

Historical/Cultural Context -

Paul preached the gospel in Corinth in the early 50s AD during his second missionary journey (Acts 18:1–18). When opposition grew fierce there, the Lord Jesus spoke to him in a vision assuring him that he had ‘many people’ in the city (Acts 18:10). With this encouragement, Paul stayed on for eighteen months, ‘teaching them the word of God’ (Acts 18:11). God used Paul’s ministry to bring about the birth and establishment of the church in Corinth.

Biblical Text -

1 Corinthians 12:1–11 NKJV
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. 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. There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 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. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.


Life Principle - The Holy Spirit Gives Supernatural Gifts For The Uplifting Of All Christians, But Watch Out For False Signs & Wonders

Life Point- Watch Out For False Signs & Wonders

Exegetical -

1 Corinthians 12:1–3 NLT
Now, dear brothers and sisters, regarding your question about the special abilities 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 worshiping 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.

Homiletical -

Here we come to a great problem that has been happening in the Corinthian church. The problem is so large that we find Paul will spend three chapters on the subject. That is 12, 13, and 14.
We will see later that not only was this church zealous for spiritual gifts, especially the speaking gifts, that they had abused them and were probably a bit fleshly when it came to them.
Apparently Paul was asked to address this issue in the churches. So he writes back.
So what is in view here?
1) These gifts are not natural abilities, but are supernatural in origin. They were and are given by the Holy Spirit.
2) These gifts are not worked up by the flesh or through the thoughts of another man or movement. They come from the Holy Spirit Himself.
1 Corinthians 12:2 NLT
You know that when you were still pagans, you were led astray and swept along in worshiping speechless idols.
He reminds them that before they came to Jesus they were led astray by those claiming to be prophets of these idols and did whatever the so-called prophet would say and practice things that were detestable before God.
1 Corinthians 12:3 NLT
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.
This is interesting isn’t it? This means that no one who is truly lead by the Spirit of God will curse Jesus. This means that someone empowered by God will not say or do things that bring total dishonor to the name of Jesus.
We see examples all over the place today with this one.
We see so-called pastors divorcing their wives because they say The Holy Spirit told them to do so.
God will never go against God. He does not have Multiple Personality Disorder. God is one.
Malachi 2:16 NLT
“For I hate divorce!” says the Lord, the God of Israel. “To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “So guard your heart; do not be unfaithful to your wife.”
We are watching as pastors and denominational leaders are giving up on Biblical Marriage and are embracing what they call same-sex marriage, which is no marriage at all.
Some speakers, and I call them speakers because they aren’t God’s pastors, have said they have heard from the Lord that this is ok now and God approves.
That’s not what His word says:
Romans 1:21–32 NLT
Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles. So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved. Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.
I’m not sure how someone can misinterpret this passage, however many people have tried. They are amazing at doing theological gymnastics to excuse their behavior.
To attribute to Jesus things that he never said and to do things you know He would never do is to call Jesus accursed. To come out and say to someone Jesus is accursed by God is evil and sinful.
Then Paul says that no one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.
Now what is that supposed to mean? Anyone can say that at any time right? No, not really to truly say and truly see that Jesus is Lord of their life means that there has been some real change in them.
The person who says Jesus is Lord and has no evidence of the Spirit in operation in their lives and gives out false prophecies and false gifts ought to be pushed away from. They ought to be called heretics and you should run the opposite direction.
How do you know if a person truly has Jesus as Lord? They will have the fruit of the Spirit active in their lives.
Galatians 5:22–26 NLT
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.
If you don’t think there are false signs and lying wonders then you are living in a fairy tale world of your own making.
1 Peter 5:8 NLT
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
So how to tell if it is a lying sign or wonder. Here some practical advice from Betty Miller who wrote:
Does the sign, miracle or wonder line up with the Word of God? Is God receiving the glory for this miracle or is a man or woman being exalted? Can you picture Christ performing this miracle? Does the miracle draw attention to Christ or to the man performing the miracle? Does this wonder cause you love and worship God more? What is the purpose for this miracle? The Lord does not perform miracles just to exhibit His power to men. He does them for specific purposes and reasons.

Illustration -

I was talking with a man once who had a friend from a different country. He had started going to a prayer meeting with others and invited him. Someone started speaking in tongues and the friend turned to him and said “we need to leave now.”
They left and the friend said, “the man was speaking my language but it wasn’t Jesus he was praising. He was speaking curses to Christ and blaspheming Him.”
So after that he went back to warn them about the lying tongues. Their response? “Thank you but we have someone who has the spiritual gift of translating tongues.”
So you’re telling me that someone who says they have the spiritual gift of translation over someone who actually speaks that language is right and he is wrong? I don’t think so.

Life Point - The Purpose Of God’s Power Through You, Is Not For You

Exegetical -

1 Corinthians 12:4–7 NLT
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. A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.

Homiletical -

As a christian, I want to let you know something that is absolutely going to transform your world and your life. It’s not about you at all. This life isn’t about what you can get, it’s about who God can draw to Himself Through you.
The purpose of the miraculous Spiritual Gifts is to draw people to Christ, not to man. If people are drawn to man and not to God, then what is going on may not be of God.
Acts 2:5–12 NLT
At that time there were devout Jews from every nation living in Jerusalem. When they heard the loud noise, everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers. They were completely amazed. “How can this be?” they exclaimed. “These people are all from Galilee, and yet we hear them speaking in our own native languages! Here we are—Parthians, Medes, Elamites, people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, the province of Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, and the areas of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism), Cretans, and Arabs. And we all hear these people speaking in our own languages about the wonderful things God has done!” They stood there amazed and perplexed. “What can this mean?” they asked each other.
This is a miracle that has never been repeated in its’ entirety in scripture again. But notice this here, what was the miracles purpose?
It says that they all heard in their own languages the wonderful works of God. God gets the glory out of all of it. His name is being praised. On this day 3,000 people were converted to Christianity.
That is the true purpose of all miracles of God.
Paul also let’s us know that all true spiritual gifts come from the Holy Spirit. No false gift can come from God.

Illustration -

I was speaking to a pastor once who had a soul winner in his church. He said it was very rare that he wouldn’t bring people to church and that he wouldn’t find him walking the isle with that person to surrender to Christ in salvation. This man was always talking about Jesus and what Jesus had done in his life and how God was blessing him that week.
Then one day the man went to a Charismatic meeting during the week and the only thing the soul winner would talk about is speaking in tongues and how great tongues were and how great the preacher was that helped him receive this gift.
You know what happened? He stopped inviting people to church and he stopped talking about Jesus and it was all about a particular gift.
Now I wasn’t there, but based on the story it sounds to me like there were some things out of order in his spiritual life. Whether it was lying signs or wonders I do not know. But what I can tell you is this story is very common and the church from the beginning has had problems keeping the gifts in balance with believer’s lives.

Life Point - The Holy Spirit Give Gifts Dynamically Not Permanently

Exegetical -

1 Corinthians 12:8–11 NLT
To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.

Homiletical -

You have all these gifts listed here. You have one listed of words of Wisdom, Words of Knowledge, The gift of extraordinary faith, gifts of healings, power to perform miracles, ability to prophesy, discernment of spirits, the ability to speak in an unknown language a person has never spoken before, and finally the ability to interpret what is being said so that it can applied to the believer’s lives.
Notice the focus though is not on the individual gifts. It is focused on the one who gives the gifts.
1 Corinthians 12:11 NKJV
But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
Notice these gifts are not at the believers’ will. You cannot just say that you own that gift because God gave it to you. Look at verse 11. He gives gifts as He wills. Meaning when he desires and as He desires. Not you.
I am going to make a statement you might disagree with, but this is coming from years of first hand knowledge and experience with the Word of God and with church meetings and people.
I would say 95%-99% of those churches and people that claim to have these Supernatural gifts are, in reality, from 2 different sources and not the Holy Spirit
1) From their own minds an fleshly desires.
2) From demonic sources
How can I say this? Because when I look at the majority of people’s lives I don’t see the fruit of the Spirit active in any way in their lives.
There are two types of people that are caught up in this stuff.
1) Is a Christian who doesn’t know any better, has been deceived, and eventually God will move them out of it.
2) Those that think they are Christians and really aren’t. They are deceived about salvation. They had an emotional experience, but not a true transformational experience. They will eventually fall away.
1 John 2:18–19 NKJV
Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.
We didn’t get into a lot today, but we will over the next few weeks. If you have any questions or concerns you can talk with me later.

Life Principle The Holy Spirit Gives Supernatural Gifts For The Uplifting Of All Christians, But Watch Out For False Signs & Wonders

Call to Action – altar call….

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