Faithlife Sermons

Gifts of the Spirit

Be United! Book of First Corinthians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  40:55
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The Body of Christ

Paul wanted the church to know, to be informed, not to be ignorant (1Cor12:1) about the unity of the body that comes from the diversity of gifts within the body. Today we will look at his analogy and take a look at some of the gifts and set up for the bond that holds the gifts together.
It has once been said that we are the body, we are the Christ that people see today.
“He has no hands but our hands to do His work today; He has no feet but our feet to lead en in His way; He has no voice but our voice to tell en how He died; HE has no help but our help to lead them to His side.” - author unknown
I read that quote from commentary by William Barclay and he did not have the source of the quote, but I’m sure I read it elsewhere before too.
Unity without diversity = uniformity
We are human beings, not doings, we are not robots, God has made us diverse, and in diversity we grow
Uniformity can bring about death of the body
Dr Vance Havner said “This helps us to explain why some churches (and other Christian ministries) have weakened and died: There was not sufficient diversity to keep unity from becoming uniformity. He went on to say “First there is a man, then a movement, then a machine, and then a monument.”
We do not want there to be dead orthodoxy by discounting or dismissing the diversity that God has given us to serve the body.
Sufficient diversity needed to keep unity from becoming uniformity.
Now there does need to be a balance between diversity and uniformity so there is no disorder in the body, or anarchy. When we get to the end of our passage today you see the set up for the more excellent way, which is love.
Questions to consider:
Can the body live without the head?
Can the body live without the heart?
Can the body live without the foot?
Does the body function better when all parts are operating, functioning properly?
Important facts to carry into our passage.
Realize that we need one another.
God created us, the Spirit gifted us, the word tells us we are to serve one another, which means we need one another.
Respect one another.
It may be easy to look at spiritual gifts and body parts as one is better than the other. We know that the Corinthian church did, they thought tongues was important. In our spiritual giftedness we need to have respect for one another for whatever gift God has blessed someone with.
Sympathize with one another
Since we are one body, we operate together as one body, so if one part of the body is hurting, we all hurt, we share the hurt, but we also share the victories too! So, have sympathy for one another, care for one another, remember we are unified! Do not let any division be found among us.
(Transition) So this morning may we look at the importance of diversity that promotes unity because of the more excellent way (love)
Our points this morning are
The body needs it’s different parts (1Cor12:14-20)
The body is interdependent on one another (1Cor12:21-26)
Diversity of members fulfills Gods will for the body (1Cor12:27-31)

Body needs different parts

The body does the body good. I know we have used that phrase before and Paul goes on to say not only does it do the body good, it is needed, all parts are needed.
1 Corinthians 12:14–15 NASB95
14 For the body is not one member, but many. 15 If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body.
1 Corinthians 12:16–17 NASB95
16 And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?
1 Corinthians 12:18–20 NASB95
18 But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. 19 If they were all one member, where would the body be? 20 But now there are many members, but one body.
What do you see, what do you notice, what sticks out to you?
Maybe before gleaning from the scripture we should back up a couple of verses so to keep everything in context.
1 Corinthians 12:12–13 NASB95
12 For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are 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 we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
Question: What are key words you notice in (vv.12-13)?
Body, one and members
we are all One because of the One Spirit
Question: Paul makes a shift in (v.14) from one to what?
we are not one member, one many members
Question: there is another key phrase Paul uses in describing the body in (vv.15-19), what is it?
Not of the body” is the phrase, why do you think Paul uses that phrase?
(transition) then in (v.20) he goes from the many members that make up the one body.
Each part of the body functions differently. All different parts are needed if the body is to function properly. If we want to live, grow and serve the Lord we all need each other.
each part is different, each part is important
All gifts, all diverse gifts are needed in the body, Paul refutes the escalation of any particular gift in this passage. Diversity of gifts does not suggest inferiority of any gift. The Spirit (God) bestows gifts on whom He wills (1Cor12:11)
(Transition) So, we have a diversity of gifts for a diverse but not divided body and that is what Paul is addressing, unity through diversity not division. For we are one body with many members, so now may we look at our interdependence to and with each other.

Interdependent on one another

We were created to have fellowship with God and to have fellowship with one another. Paul brings home the point of unity and let no “schism” (1Cor12:25) be a part of the body. Again, unity through diversity is needed.
1 Corinthians 12:21–22 NASB95
21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary;
1 Corinthians 12:23–24 NASB95
23 and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, 24 whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked,
1 Corinthians 12:25–26 NASB95
25 so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
What do you see, what do you notice, what sticks out to you?
Gleaning from the scripture:
Question: In (v.21) Paul uses a term a couple of times, what is it?
I have no need for you!
You can see Paul is using a statement to make the point of the problem. They were trying to be independent instead of interdependent on one another and that makes no sense . Each member needs the other members. When we become independent then the body becomes weak and it can lead to sickness and death (spiritual) just as physically if you body operated independently, for the body to operate at its best it needs all it’s parts.
Question: look at (vv.23-24) Paul identifies some assumptions the people are making regarding their giftedness, what are they?
Some are looked as weaker (v.23); others as less honorable (v.24).
(expand) look at self-worth within the body, can we do this exact thing, not that somebody else does that, and in the Corinthian church they did, but do this to ourselves?
(Transition) Paul talks about presentable and unpresentable parts. The presentable are those that you see within the body, to them the Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Teachers. vs. the unseen, those who work behind the scenes, we will get more into that in a few minutes. He then brings in a couple more points to learn from.
Question: Paul gives a command and an application (v.25), what is it?
Let there be no division (schism); have the same care for one another.
In the NKJV it uses the word schism, I think it is a pretty descriptive word
a split or division between strongly opposed sections or parties, caused by differences in opinion or belief.
another definition found is
the formal separation of a Church into two Churches or the secession of a group owing to doctrinal and other differences.
Can you see the importance of addressing and dealing with this potential church splitting issue?
Diversity leads to disunity and division when all the members compete with one another, but then look at (v.25) and you see the solution.
1 Corinthians 12:25 NASB95
25 so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.
Have the same care for one another. Regardless of gifting or or lack of gifting, be one together. How does diversity promote unity when it comes to spiritual giftedness? When we all bring them together for the body as a whole, For the body does the body good when each does his part.
In (v.26) what we do impacts the whole. What he offers up is an illustration.
Question: What is the illustrations used (v.26)?
One suffers we all suffer, one honored then all are honored.
We are one body with many members that make up the body (v.12). Now may we look at the diversity that brings unity to fulfill the will of God.

Diversity in fulfilling the will of God

God’s grand plan included the church and that is what you are the church. Equipped to do the will of God. God’s plan of unity came through diversity, first of peoples (Jews, Gentiles) then gifts and that is what we will take a few minutes to discuss now.
What do you see, what do you notice, what sticks out to you?
God’s plan was for all nations, all people, it included the church, the universal church, the local church and the people within the local church. God gives each congregation just the right gifts needed, when they are needed. Some may take precedence in the establishing and growing the church then, but all are needed.
Gleaning from the scripture:
Question: What does Paul tell the church they are in (v.21)?
They are the body of Christ; members individually.
Together we make up the body of Christ, which is the members individually too, (One body, many members)
(Transition) Paul now goes on to tell us a partial list of the gifts of the Spirit, some we have looked at before some we have not, and the list is not extensive.
It is worth mentioning something as we head into the following verses.
1 Corinthians 12:28 NASB95
28 And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.
God appointed, God gifted, to the church. It is not men doing it is God doing it.
Question: Looking at (v.28) what are the first three gifts?
Apostles, second prophets and teachers.
The Apostles and the prophets we have discussed before they were foundational for the church (can see that (Eph2:20) in fact let me give you the verse, it is not on your outline
Ephesians 2:20 NASB95
20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone,
Then he adds teachers. They were needed to continue to fulfill the great commission (Mt28:20) in teaching them. In the early church they knew nothing about being a Christian, there was no instruction manual The teachers were needed to build on the faith of the believers to help root the church in the cornerstone Jesus Christ.
Question: In (v.28) it says “after that or then” and lists some other gifts of the Spirit, what are they?
Miracles, then healings, helps, administrations and tongues.
These other gifts were needed to help administer and grow the church, or to build the church on the foundation of the apostles, prophets and then teachers.
(Transition) while not getting into each of the gifts individually, there is more for us to glean from the scripture and I believe it is important.
In looking at (v.29-30) I want to put those back up and talk about these verses
1 Corinthians 12:29–30 NASB95
29 All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they? 30 All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they?
Question: Do you see a phrase used several times in (v.29-30)?
All are not, all do not
expand on this, he is making a similar statement much like you see in the gospels, “if you are the son of God”
Not everyone has the same gifts, not all gifts are needed today.
Without a doubt in the church today the preachers the teachers are in the forefront, but the other gifts are needed behind the scenes for the church to operate as God wants it to operate.
All gifts needed, all gifts are important, now comes the question
Are you bringing your gifts to the body?
It is proper to desire these gifts (1Cor14:1) but the most important is given to all and needs to be put into action to bring to maturity the body of Christ which has many members. It is not enough to have the gift of the Spirit, and the gifts from the Spirit, they need to be coupled with the graces of the Spirit as we use our gifts to serve on another. Next week we will look ath the maturity of the body through the graces of the Spirit.
(Prayer) (exit)
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