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Summary: A final look at Excellence through Spiritual Gifts

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Excellence - Spiritual Gifts

February 21, 2016

1 Corinthians 12:4-7

Sometimes it’s difficult to know where you fit in! We may have those issues at home . . . where and how do you fit into your family system. We have that at school — it happens at work. Really wherever you go and whatever you are part of, there are questions about where we fit in.

This is just as true . . . when you attend a church on a regular basis. If you’ve been here long enough, you tend to know where you fit in. But often times it takes years before we figure it out, and then things change and we have to refigure it out all over again.

We’ve been talking about excellence within the church and excellence in our lives as well. In order to achieve excellence, or at least move in that direction, we must have an understanding of where we fit in within the church. Part of it is knowing who we are, knowing our personality, our skills and abilities, our passions . . . and our giftedness.

Two weeks ago we started looking at Spiritual Gifts. I think we gave out about 60 Spiritual Gift Inventories. There are still some on the table in the lobby area. If you want to know what your gifts are, and I really think you should want to know what your gifts are for a some very important reasons.

We’ve all been gifted differently and so we act differently and we serve differently. Friends, this church has every gift that is needed in order to function as a biblical community. But, if we don’t know our giftedness, then we will never be the church Christ calls us to be. We will never make a difference in the manner and magnitude Christ desires. And that grieves our Lord.

We need to better understand spiritual gifts as we allow the Holy Spirit to change us into the people we are called to be. If we are to fulfill our calling in life, then we need to be able to identify our spiritual gifts.

A couple of weeks ago, I read from 1 Corinthians 12, as Paul told the people ~

4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;

6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.

7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

Paul is reminding us there are a variety of gifts, about 23 Spiritual Gifts in all. And it is the Lord who gives us Spiritual Gifts for the common good. Never for our glory. And as Paul wrote, it is God who empowers these gifts within us to be used for His glory and honor. God will give us the power and ability to use these gifts.

Paul told the church in Ephesus ~ From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. – Ephesians 4:16

Do you see - - - each part is supposed to do their work. Paul uses the image of a body because every part functions to work together. When our body is not working properly, it’s like an alarm goes off in our body. We experience pain, a tingling sensation, cramping, whatever it is . . . we recognize the pain when our body is not working as it should.

But within the church, when we aren’t working properly, often times we don’t know it. We allow for a ‘less than’ approach, we make excuses for people, and we allow things to slip and fade away. Imagine having a headache, and you make excuses day after day after day. You do nothing for it. That’s what we do in the church world. Doing that does not bring glory to God. In many respects we’re desecrating the cross and work of Christ when we choose not to be involved in His kingdom.

Gifts are given so they can be used in service to others so that the church will be strengthened. Remember gifts are received, not achieved. As Paul said — The Spirit gives to each one, just as He determines. – 1 Corinthians 12:11

I’m working off the assumption you know Jesus. That you’ve proclaimed Jesus as your Lord and Savior. When you do that, you are supernaturally filled with the Holy Spirit and with Spiritual Gifts. You may not feel this, but this is what occurs in your life. If you don’t know Jesus, then let’s talk about Him after worship.

If you do know Jesus, then we need to move forward in order to identify your gifts and that occurs through the Spiritual Gift inventories. When you turn them back in to me, I will score them and get you your results in a couple of days.

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