Summary: Believe week 17 looks at Spiritual Gifts

Believe 17: Spiritual Gifts

February 15, 2015

A few years ago Neiman-Marcus was selling 3 Ford Taurus cars built by Roush Racing, and driven by Mark Martin in NASCAR races. The car was being sold for those men who have everything. It was a Father’s Day special. What do you think this car was worth? Keep this in mind - - - It is a used Ford Taurus, without power windows and locks. In fact, it doesn’t have windows at all; it just has a net. There are no doors, you enter through the windowless window. It doesn’t have eight-way power seats; it has one uncomfortable bucket seat, bolted down. There are no headlights, muffler or CD player. It gets five miles per gallon. There is no air conditioning. Trunk space is limited since the gas tank takes up most of the trunk. It doesn’t have alloy wheels, no treads on the tires, no windshield wipers.

According to Kelly’s Blue Book, a used 2006 Ford Taurus in good condition, without those options, would cost about $4,300. Do you think Neiman Marcus sold that car for $4,300? Nope!

They sold it for $125,000. That’s crazy! Well, what makes that car so valuable? It’s because it’s not an ordinary Ford Taurus. It was designed and built for a special purpose — — for NASCAR racing.

And the same can be said for every one of you. God designed you, built you and equipped you for a special job within the body of Christ and that is what makes you valuable. You are not some ordinary Ford Taurus. You are a special, unique child of God. We are valuable; we have more worth and value than we can imagine; and that is because our worth and value comes from God.

Before we jump into our text in 1 Corinthians 12, let me set the scene. The Corinthian church had lots of problems. The church was filled with division, arguments, lawsuits, and immorality. On top of that, there was confusion about marriage, food sacrificed to idols, worship, the Lord’s Supper, the Resurrection, giving, and spiritual gifts. Some people thought they were more important than others because they had some pretty spectacular gifts. When Paul wrote this letter to the church he addressed these issues.

In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul began to address the issue of spiritual gifts. In the first SLIDEverse Paul said, 1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, I do not want you to be uninformed.

Paul wanted to end all of the arguing and disputing about spiritual gifts. He wanted these new Christ-followers to understand these mysterious blessings. He wanted them to understand more about faith in Christ. Paul wrote ~

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 the people

there are a variety of gifts

there are a variety of services

there are a variety of activities

BUT - - - it is the same Spirit, the same Lord and Same God who gives and empowers these in every Christ-follower. And why are they given to each believer? For the common good!

Let me give you what I believe is one of the best definitions of Spiritual Gifts. It comes from Bruce Bugbee, founder and president of Network Ministries. This ministry also has what I believe is the best Spiritual Gift inventory to help you determine your gifts. We have used this tool to help people as well.

Bugbee said ~ “Spiritual gifts are divine abilities distributed by the Holy Spirit to every believer according to God’s design and grace for the common good of the body of Christ” (“What You Do Best in the Body of Christ,” Page 52).

Your spiritual gifts are given to you by the Holy Spirit and they are given to every believer in Jesus. Nobody who has faith in Jesus can ever say they are not gifted, because you are. These gifts are not given to you for you to become popular or stand out in any way, they are given to you for the common good of the body of believers, the church.

We also need to understand there is a difference between natural abilities and spiritual gifts. Some people have natural abilities. It could be an artist, musician or athlete for example. They may not know Jesus, but they have great talent and they allow the world to see it. But they are not doing it for the body of believers. They may be the greatest singer you’ve ever heard. It is their talent, not a spiritual gift.

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