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Introduction to the Gifts of the Spirit

1 Corinthians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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1 Corinthians 12:1–31 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. 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. 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: 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. 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. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be? 20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.

Introduction

We have just heard 1 Corinthians 12 read to us.
In this passage, Paul discusses the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
In this message, we will look at 10 general truths about spiritual gifts.

1 The gifts are to be present in the church until the return of Jesus

1 Corinthians 1:5–7 NKJV
that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Paul anticipated the Corinthians coming short in no gift, right up till the revelation (return) of Jesus Christ.

2 The gifts are not natural talents

1 Corinthians 12:7 NKJV
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:
They are the manifestation (shining forth) of the Spirit Himself.

3 There are a variety of gifts, but one Spirit

1 Corinthians 12:4 NKJV
There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
Just because someone has a particular gift, it doesn’t make them more spiritual than someone who has a different gift.

4 They are gifts, not rewards

“gifts” = charisma (Greek) = free gift
Charisma is from charis (grace - God’s undeserved favour)
Example: healed teenage (painful bump underarm), who wasn’t living as she should, who then healed someone else - grace!

5 Gifts do not indicate character

Someone can have character flaws yet still have gifts.
The gifts of the Spirit are not to be confused with the fruit of the Spirit.
Fruit of the Spirit = character (we will look at the fruit of the Spirit this evening at Bible Study)
Gifts of the Spirit = The ability God gives you to do His work
Samson had a supernatural gift of strength. After he killed 1,000 Philistines (who ruled over the Israelites in those days), we read:
Judges 16:1 NKJV
Now Samson went to Gaza and saw a harlot there, and went in to her.
Don’t judge someone's spirituality based on their gift!

6 The list of gifts is not exhaustive

There are also lists of spiritual gifts in Romans 12 and Ephesians 4 which include gifts not mentioned in our passage today.
These lists are not intended to be exhaustive. So don’t worry if your gift was not mentioned!

7 The gifts are for everyone

1 Corinthians 12:7 NKJV
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:
Note: “to each one”.
Not just for preachers, for us all.

8 The gifts are given according to the Spirit’s will

1 Corinthians 12:11–12 NKJV
But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. 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.
The Spirit gives gifts to individuals as He wishes, and in accordance with where He has placed you in the body of Christ.
A sock is not given to a hand, and a glove is not given to a foot.
The Spirit gives gifts according to your function in the body.
1 Corinthians 12:29–30 NKJV
Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?
The answer to these questions is “no”!
Note: When Paul asks, “do all speak with tongues”, he is referring to tongues as a function in the church (i.e. a message that is to be interpreted for the church’s edification). He is not referring to private praying in tongues, which is available to all believers (Mark 16:17).

9 There is a difference between having a gift, and operating in a gift

We are not all prophets, but we can all operate in the gift of the prophecy. In other words, we don’t all have (i.e. permanently possess) the gift of prophecy, but we can all operate in it.
1 Corinthians 12:29 NKJV
Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles?
1 Corinthians 14:31 NKJV
For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged.
We can all operate in the gifts of healings, but we don’t all have (permanently possess) that gift. Those who have the gifts of the healings have a special ministry in that area.
1 Corinthians 12:30 NKJV
Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?
Mark 16:17–18 NKJV
And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

10 We are to desire spiritual gifts

1 Corinthians 14:1 NKJV
Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.
Even if you are not called to be a prophet, you should still desire to operate in the prophetic!
Desire is a magnet that attracts the gifts!
Next week - we will focus on the gift of prophecy

Summary

The gifts are to be present until the return of Jesus
The gifts are not natural talents
There are a variety of gifts, but one Spirit
They are gifts, not rewards
Gifts do not indicate character
The list of gifts is not exhaustive
The gifts are for everyone
The gifts are given according to the Spirit’s will
There is a difference between having a gift, and operating in a gift
We are to desire spiritual gifts

Discussion Time

In groups of 4-5 discuss:
What gifts do you believe you have?
Are you using those gifts, or are they sitting on the shelf?
Spend some time praying that each person’s gifts will be stirred up. Also pray for one another’s requests.
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