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Types of Gifts

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A Well Oiled Machine

I enjoy World War II.
I enjoy the heroes.
I think it was a great war when the enemy was obvious.
You have the good guys and you have the bad guys.
It is pretty black and white.
I think that World War II featured great heroes who did what it took to accomplish their task.
One of my favorite personalities in the war was George Patton, he was the 4 star general of the third army.
He fought in Africa, and was a huge part of the invasion into Europe.
He knew how to motivate his troops.
Some would say he didn’t know how to motivate his troops as well, or that he did it wrong.
One time, he slapped a shell-shocked soldier for refusing to fight, and he was publicly humiliated and taken out of combat, which for Patton, was a huge penalty.
World War II was what he lived for.
Regardless of what people think about Patton, his army was a well oiled machine.
His army, was always on the move.
They had a goal in mind, and they were going to meet it.
Patton never wanted to stop.
I don't want to get any messages saying, "I am holding my position." We are not holding a Goddamned thing. Let the Germans do that. We are advancing constantly and we are not interested in holding onto anything, except the enemy's balls. We are going to twist his balls and kick the living shit out of him all of the time. Our basic plan of operation is to advance and to keep on advancing regardless of whether we have to go over, under, or through the enemy.
One time he said,
“I don't want to get any messages saying, "I am holding my position." We are not holding anything thing. Let the Germans do that. We are advancing constantly and we are not interested in holding onto anything, ... Our basic plan of operation is to advance and to keep on advancing regardless of whether we have to go over, under, or through the enemy.”
And he did just that.
His superiors often had different goals than Patton.
And he would loudly disobey their orders.
He was convinced he could win the war, and get it over with quickly.
As his superiors were holding him back, Patton was running forward at full speed.
He said, “We have, at this time, the greatest chance to win the war ever presented. … If they will let me move on … we can be in Germany in ten days.”
But his words fell on deaf ears, he said of his superiors, “It is such a sure thing that I fear these blind moles don’t see it.”
The truth is, that there were politics involved, and Patton wasn’t a part of their plans.
His superiors ultimately found out how to slow him down.
They cut his supply lines.
He was not receiving gas for his tanks.
He said, “My men can eat their belts … but my tanks gotta have gas.”
Patton, had a fine army, but when that machine wasn’t working, when his supply lines were cut, his war machine came to a halt.
I want to see Southwest be a unit that moves forward.
We are to be active.
We are to be moving.
We are to go into the world and make disciples.
It was brought up in CU last week, that Christ will build his church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Gates aren’t offensive weapons.
You don’t hear of gates being offensive too much.
There are no guns that shoot gates at people.
Gates keep people out.
And Christ has promised that even the gates of Hell shall not prevail over the church.
Christ said that He saw Satan cast out of heaven like lightning.
The strong man is bound.
And now his kingdom is being looted.
God is transferring people out of the domain of darkness, and into Christ’s kingdom.
says of the early church that they were turning the world upside down.
Christ has promised a victory.
There’s this beauty of what the church is.
Individually, we are weak.
In our preconverted state, we are not who you would pick.
On Wednesday night, Ron brought up the old memory of a school yard, and two captains picking their teams for Dodgeball.
You know how it goes.
The athletic kids get picked.
The tall kids get picked.
And the last ones to get picked … are the ones no one wants.
And if you had a team of those kids that no one wanted … it’d be a bad team.
But guess what?
God is building a team of those that no one would want.
says that God has chosen those who are low and despised.
You would think that means we will be defeated.
But he doesn’t send us out defenseless.
God isn’t fielding a team of rejects.
That would just be cruel.
Those He converts, He sends the Holy Spirit upon.
And those who receive the Holy Spirit, then are gifted.
Last week we read, “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”
Last week we learned that God has gifted the church for service.
And in case I didn’t make this clear let me try and make it clearer.
When we say that God has gifted us, or that there are spiritual gifts, when the Bible says spiritual gifts, this isn’t us giving gifts.
This isn’t us giving sacrifices to God.
We are not talking about our gift to God.
We are talking about God’s gift to us, or the Spirit’s gift to us.
He gifts us.
We are the recipients of that gift.
Then we use it.
At Christmas you receive a present.
It’s a pretty box.
It’s wrapped up with expensive paper that in moments you will rip up and throw away.
On that box is a tag.
On the top line it says, “TO: Luke”
And underneath it, “From: Mom.”
A spiritual gift is to you, and it is from God.
And then you use that gift for the church.
Today we will look at what these gifts are, and how they shape us.
We are continuing in
I had grand plans to preach through the rest of the chapter today, then as I was writing my notes, I realized … there’s no way that’s gonna happen.
So we will read , then skip down to verses 28-30.
Then next week, we will fill in the blank.
Read ,
There is some really fascinating stuff in this chapter.
Some of it is scary stuff, scary because it is controversial.
There’s a lot of great things to dive into in this chapter, and my challenge in preaching is to not get side-tracked in this sermon.
I’ve got to preach what Paul’s goal was, and that is that you be a well-oiled machine.
Corinth was not a well-oiled machine.
They were crazy.
They were chaotic.
People used communion as an opportunity to get drunk and party.
A man was having an affair with his stepmom.
People were suing each other … in the church.
Taking them to court.
This wasn’t a picture of a unified body.
So Paul writes this chapter to correct the Corinthians church.
To let them know that
The Spirit has gifted them.
That they are united in the Spirit.
And to be what God has made them to be.
That’s the big idea of the chapter.
Therefore, I can’t go down every rabbit trail in this chapter.
Later this year, we will have a CU class on spiritual gifts.
And there we can dive deeper into some of these things.
So for example, there are lots of different gifts listed in this chapter.
Some of them are permanent, meaning they never stop or stopped.
And others have stopped.
I can’t go into all the details of these things.
Feel free to talk to me, but for now, I have a limited amount of time.
And I want to get into Paul’s mind, find what God is saying in this text and preach it to you.
So that we would not be a chaotic church, or a fragmented church, but a unified church that is filled with the Spirit.

The first point, is in order to be a well-oiled machine, We need gifts.

Jesus has commanded that we love one another.
In Jesus says, ““This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
Some of it is scary stuff, scary because it might be controversial.
There’s a lot of great things to dive into in this chapter, and my challenge in preaching is to not get side-tracked in this sermon.
says, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
We are to love one another.
I’ve got to preach what Paul’s goal was, and that is that you be a well-oiled machine.
Corinth was not a well-oiled machine.
They were crazy.
Not just are we to love another, but they serve one another.
They were chaotic.
says, “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
People used communion as an opportunity to get drunk and party.
A man was having an affair with his stepmom.
But how do we serve one another?
People were suing each other … in the church.
Taking them to court.
How do you serve one another?
How do we love one another?
Many church’s struggle with these questions.
This wasn’t a picture of a unified body.
They come up with clever strategies on how to serve one another.
They have good motivation behind them.
But many times they are short lived or gimmicky.
I remember once upon a time, here at Southwest, every person who came was given a $5 bill.
And we were told to go and use that $5 to serve others.
Some people used that money to make something.
Others paid for the car behind them in the drive through.
Imagine doing that at Starbucks.
It wouldn’t pay for the whole drink.
God hasn’t left this question so open ended.
He has given us His Spirit, and He has gifted us.
And here in this passage He mentions the gifts.
Wisdom
Knowledge
Faith
Healing
Miracles
Prophecy
Distinguishing between spirits
Tongues
Interpretation of tongues
Then if we skip down to verse 28 we see a few more:
Apostles
Prophets
Teachers
And administration
Out of these gifts 5 of them are no longer today.
They have ceased.
Some of the big reasons is that they are no longer needed.
This will come up again in chapter 13, which we will look at in a couple weeks in greater detail.
The gifts that have ceased are:
Healing
Miracles
Tongues
Interpretation of Tongues
And apostles.
The moment I say this, there’s going to be someone who says, “What you don’t think God heals?”
Or better yet, someone will say, “You don’t think I should pray for God to heal someone?
This doesn’t mean God doesn’t heal, or God doesn’t work miracles.
What this means is that men aren’t gifted in the way that anymore.
These sign gifts, miracles, healings and tongues were present to validate the authority of the apostles.
And even then, the miracles and healings were a rare occurence.
For example, Paul didn’t heal every person he encountered.
Paul’s friend Epaphroditus was extremely sick, and almost died.
When Timothy was in Ephesus, Paul left him there, and told him to drink a little wine, but he didn’t heal him.
So we continue to pray for God to work, and we continue to pray for Him to heal people, but as far as us healing people the way Christ did … that doesn’t happen.
The gift of apostles isn’t present anymore.
says that the church was “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,”
Apostles were those:
Who were directly commissioned by Christ.
And who witnessed the resurrected Christ.
They were instrumental in establishing the church.
Or were directly commissioned by someone who did.
They wrote the New Testament.
Gave instructions to the new church that was being birthed.
And proved their authority by working miracles.
We will see in the next chapter, that these specific gifts have ceased.
Out of all these gifts
But not all the gifts cease.
There are permanent gifts that remain in the church for the building up of the body.
And these are:
Wisdom
Knowledge
Faith
Prophecy
Distinguishing between spirits
Teachers
Helps
and Administration.
These are not all the gifts given in the Bible.
What I want you to start thinking about is if the Spirit has gifted, I’d like you to know how he has gifted you.
If you are a tool in the Lord’s toolbox, what tool are you?
What is your purpose in His toolbox.
says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:”
We are stewards of God’s gift.
If you asked if you could borrow my car and I said yea, it’d be helpful if you knew what car it was that you were borrowing.
And the same with gifts.
If you have a gift, and if you are here for a purpose, it’d be helpful to know what gift you have.
I’d like you to be able to say what gift you have.
I’m going to review these active gifts.
But listen closely while I do it.
You might think you already know what gift you have is and so you don’t have to listen.
You might find out that the gift you thought you had, you don’t have.
Another way to find out what gift you have is by asking another believer what gift they think you have.
This means, someone might approach you and ask you to review them.
If you are going to review others … then you need to know about the gifts, not just the ones you think you have.
Let’s review some of these.
There is wisdom.
Definition.
Wisdom is the ability to know God’s Word.
Then by knowing God’s Word, being able to know what His revealed will is.
And then being able to apply His word to your life.
Remember these gifts are for building up the body
Solomon asked for wisdom, not so he could do well on Jeopardy, but so he could wisely govern Israel.
So he could serve the people.
Here are a few ways that wisdom can be used to build up the body.
Teaching.
You should have wisdom, if you are going to be a teacher of God’s Word.
Discipleship
If you are discipling someone, you are serving as a mentor over them, helping them better imitate Christ.
Then it’s important to be able to look into that person’s life and apply God’s Word to it.
Counseling.
Biblical Counseling is really looking at the whole of God’s Word, and helping the person who is in need understand how to apply it to his or her life.
If there is a couple with marriage troubles, the gift of wisdom is needed to carefully help them during their trial.
In our relationships to each other, in supporting one another and being truthful in giving good advice.
Then there’s knowledge.
Knowledge is different from wisdom.
But if you have wisdom, you probably should have knowledge.
This is the ability to study Scripture, and grasp deep truths.
The person with knowledge has this ability to memorize Scripture and events within it.
A teacher and preacher should have knowledge.
You need to know God’s Word if you are going to teach it.
Knowledge is worked out in:
Teaching
Preaching
Counseling
Discipleship
One idea I have is this person could help me with my sermon prep.
Do research on a text, or issues surrounding it.
You may not be gifted in preaching, but your gift helps me better serve you.
There is faith.
The gift of faith is different from a saving faith.
All believers must have faith.
says “The righteous shall live by faith.”
The gift of faith is an extraordinary, supernatural faith.
This is the ability to trust in the Lord during intense times.
I think I’ve seen this worked out in Mark Mandio during our Elders Meetings.
Sometimes the Elders will be talking about something tough.
There’s maybe even a little glimpse of panic in our eyes.
And he will remind us that the Lord will take care of us and has taken care of us.
In those moments he demonstrates an intense degree of faith.
The person with faith, may be what the world calls a positive thinker.
He is unwavering in his understanding and trust in the Lord’s promises.
The gift of faith is demonstrated in the church by:
Encouraging others.
He sees someone struggling, and takes that person to the Word of God.
He reminds the person of the Gospel.
If someone is physically suffering the one with faith reminds the person that Jesus is right now preparing a place for us in heaven.
Those gifted in faith are often leaders.
Because faith requires us to march forward boldly into difficult situations.
Leading the way, knowing that the Lord is directing us to go somewhere.
You hear someone with faith saying, “Hey church let’s do this ...” because they’re convicted by Scripture that this is exactly what God has called for us to do.
We see the gift of prophecy.
This word is a dangerous one.
And it depends on how we define prophecy.
If we define the word to be a new message from God, or foretelling then no this has ceased and it’s no longer active today
says that prophecy in that sense would cease.
We have a closed canon, the faith has as Jude verse 3 says, been “once for all delivered to the saints”.
There is no new message that we are waiting for. God has revealed all that He will reveal.
But if we define prophecy as proclaiming or forthtelling, then yes it’s a gift that is still active.
Prophecy doesn’t only mean telling a new message from God.
In the Old Testament, in Hebrew, prophecy meant to be a spokesman.
I’ve got this 2 volume set of books called The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament.
It takes the different words that are used in the Old Testament and has articles describing each word.
This 2 volume set takes the word prophecy and shows that it means to act as a spokesman.
To say, “Here is God’s Word, now let me proclaim it and pass it on to you.”
That’s what preaching is.
It’s acting as a spokesman, or a proclaimer and saying “Here is God’s Word” or thus saith the Lord.
But because of the way most people hear the word prophecy, I’d rather say preaching, because it’s understood better that way.
When I say preaching you go, “Oh you mean taking the Bible and saying, ‘Here’s God’s Word.”
But when I say prophecy, you think I go into a dark closet, wait for a secret message from God that has never been heard before and pass it on … weird.
And yes it is weird.
That has stopped.
Preaching is powerful, because when a person preaches, it is empowered by the Holy Spirit, and the Word of God is proclaimed in a supernatural way so that lives are changed.
Preaching is powerful, because when they hear the word preached, they receive faith.
says, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
This gift is seen in the church and used in the church:
In preaching.
It’s seen in evangelism.
It requires some other gifts such as wisdom and knowledge to be with it.
Next Paul mentions the ability to distinguish between spirits.
This is also known as discernment.
It’s the ability to tell truth from error.
It’s the ability to see through falsehood.
John MacArthur says that this person serves as the Spirit’s watchdog.
This person has the uncanny ability to see through someone, or see someone’s true intentions.
If only Corinth had more of these people.
If they did, these people weren’t doing their job well, because there was plenty of bad stuff happening in the Corinthian church.
The church suffered because there wasn’t much discernment going on.
Or perhaps they did their job well, but the others silenced them and wouldn’t allow them to exercise their gift.
And therefore, the rest of the body suffered.
Either way, it’s important for the church to have these people.
There is a danger with this gift.
If you have this gift, be careful.
The danger is being hypercritical, judgmental or too harsh.
We will see this in the next chapter, but all these gifts need to be exercised with love.
This gift is used in the church by being a watchdog.
Warning fellow members of current heresies and errors in the world that infiltrate the church.
It could even be used in helping discern the truth or help resolve conflict.
Christian’s shouldn’t be taking each other to court and suing each other.
Rather, we should let those who have the gift of discernment to exercise their gift and bring peace.
It could be instrumental in counseling or conflict management between two parties.
Richard LaPorte, by the way, is someone who’s gifted in discernment.
Towards the end of the chapter there’s a few more that are mentioned.
It says helping.
We all are to serve, but this is an exceptional servant.
The word means to grasp something, to come along side someone and take their burden upon yourself.
This person doesn’t do occasional service projects, and he has no concept what a random act of kindness is.
It’s all he or she does.
Her kindness is not random, it’s a supernatural desire to serve.
This is not a glamorous gift.
It’s often unnoticed.
Many people don’t even realize it’s there.
I also think, that this gift, might be one of the most common gifts, meaning many Christian have it.
In the church:
This is the person who really wants to help you move.
This is the person who is always late because he’s gets sidetracked helping people.
If you’ve ever watched Dolores Villa, this describes her.
She longs to serve people.
There is teaching.
This is not the same as preaching.
Though both are similar.
Teaching is working on a concept till you get it.
It’s not proclaiming, as much as it is trying to impart wisdom and knowledge to someone else.
It’s equipping a person.
On Wednesday nights, and during CU, I or one of the elders teach.
It’s conversational.
You ask questions.
There’s a dialogue.
When I preach, it’s me speaking to you, proclaiming to you, warning, there’s a sense of urgency.
Then theres one more gift, administration.
This is leadership.
It’s being able to govern.
It’s being able to shepherd.
It’s being able to take people from one destination to another.
This is important.
This reminds us that not all people are leaders.
God gives us people to rule over us, govern us, and to lead us.
This person pays attention to details.
He’s able to see the parts needed to get from point A to point B.
This gift is seen in the church in:
Heading up a ministry.
Or leading a ministry.
Those who are chair people of women’s events or committees might be gifted in this.
If you’ve got this gift, your church needs you.
This is seen in Elders.
If they are gonna lead, they need this gift.
Leaders need people with administration around them.
Sometimes I get ideas, but I don’t know to carry them out.
I need someone to hold me back.
Moses couldn’t do it alone, his father in law wisely told him to get some help.
So these are the gifts mentioned in that exist today.
There are more gifts in the Bible.
But I’m sure this is a sizeable chunk for us to think about today.
Are you starting to think about what kind of tool you are in God’s toolbox?
Is this giving you a starting place of something to think about?

These are gifts from the Holy Spirit.

Verse 11 says, “All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.”
So where are you gifted?
Notice the question, where are you gifted?
Not what gift would you like, or what ones sound the best, but where are you gifted?
Where has the Holy Spirit gifted you?
When you were a kid and Christmas morning came, you didn’t get to open just any present.
There was a present with your name on it, and that one was for you.
And the same is here, what gift is for you?
We don’t choose our gifts.
The Holy Spirit chooses the best gift for you to be who He wants you to be.
This is a sobering reminder that the church doesn’t belong to you.
And it doesn’t belong to me.
It belongs to Christ.
And He has sent the Holy Spirit, to dwell in the church and the members of her.
And the Holy Spirit has gifted us, so that we would be the church that He desires us to be.
Election and predestination aren’t just about salvation, they also have to do with how He’s making the church.
Jesus firmly said, “I will build my church ...”
This is His project.
We are His project.
From the ground up.
You don’t build the church, you are not the foundation.
That is Christ.
I read a quote this week that was too good to not share with you.
“A church is not a group of friends you’ve picked, it’s a group of brothers and sisters God has picked for you.”
This group, the people in this room are who God is building.
He wants them to be your closest friends.
He’s brought them here for a reason.
Treasure what you have.
And the way we treasure what we have is by using the gifts God has given you to serve one another.
And not only is He choosing who comes, but His purpose for us.
John the Baptist’s goal was to prepare the way for Christ.
Paul, was formerly Saul, a Hebrew of Hebrews, a persecutor of Christians, and he was someone that Jesus Himself said was a chosen instrument to carry his name to the Gentiles.
says that Jesus gave the church apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers.
These are people with unique roles and duties to serve the church.
So what are you in the church?
How has the Spirit gifted you?
Today, when you go out to lunch after church, or when you’re watching some football game, maybe don’t just consume food, maybe have a real conversation.
Ask a Christian near you what they think you’re gifted in, then ask them why.
Tell them where you think you are gifted and why.
Let’s really try and define how we are gifted so we can be that well-oiled machine.

Unity in the Spirit

Giver of Gifts
Source of our unity

Beautiful Diversity

Be who God made you to be.
Let others be who God made them to be.
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