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Summary: EPIPHANY 2(C) - Believers are God’s gifted people to believe that there is only one Lord who provides many gifts.

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BELIEVERS ARE GOD’S GIFTED PEOPLE

1 CORINTHIANS 12:1-11 JANUARY 19, 2003

1 CORINTHIANS 12:1-11

1Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant. 2You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.

4There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.

7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

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Dearest Fellow-Redeemed and Saints in the Lord:

Today we look at Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. We’re going to be studying it for the next few weeks. Paul talks about ‘gifts’ that God gives to every believer because they have faith and they now have God’s grace rather than standing outside of God’s grace. Now the disciples, at one time, were concerned. They came to Jesus saying, ‘There is someone doing miracles and driving out demons.’ They were upset and worried because they didn’t know this man. He wasn’t one of the twelve. Jesus reminded them that he had been given God’s gifts to do such things. Jesus was not going to stop him. He said, ‘If he is for us, he cannot be against us.’ He was trying to remind them that God’s gifts, whatever they might be, are good and perfect. They are meant for all His believers.

We read in James: "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows"(JAMES 1:17). We need to remind ourselves of that. As believers, we are God’s gifted people and that the gifts that God gives to us are perfect gifts, good gifts. We’re going to look at what the Apostle Paul, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, speaks to us about this morning—that you and I are, as believers, God’s gifted people.

BELIEVERS ARE GOD’S GIFTED PEOPLE

I. There is only one Lord

II. There are many gifts

I. There is only one Lord

Paul wrote to the people in Corinth. Corinth was a metropolitan area. It sat in the middle of a trade route. It was a bustling city. It had a great number of pagan temples. One of those temples was for the temple worship of Aphrodite, the goddess of love. As part of the temple worship, those who served in the temple were known as the shrine prostitutes. There were a thousand of these prostitutes who served there. That’s why we heard already in Chapter six in today’s second lesson of 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, how Paul warned against uniting with a prostitute. It was a common practice of the day. These Corinthians were new Christians. In a sense, they had just found Christ. In reality, Christ had found them. Paul wanted to remind them that their God, whom they could not see and had never seen and of whom there weren’t images of and for whom there wasn’t a temple for in Corinth yet, was the true God. He says, ‘you know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols.’ Mute idols refer to those who could not speak, the statues that adorned the temples. The false gods could not give anything back, even though the people had given them much and worshipped them. Paul was telling these believers to hold fast to the true God, who is not only your ‘giving’ God, but He is your forgiving God and He is your living God. He did not want them to backslide into the false worship they once had.


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