Summary: As we continue to look at this area of “gift empowered ministry”, we move ourselves in to the area of seeing our gifts with regard to the life and vitality of the local body the church. What becomes clearly evident, by the way Paul address the issue, is
GIFT EMPOWERED MINISTRY
INTRODUCTION: As we continue to look at this area of “gift empowered ministry”, we move ourselves in to the area of seeing our gifts with regard to the life and vitality of the local body the church. What becomes clearly evident, by the way Paul address the issue, is that the Corinthian church was a church that could and would easily amputate a limb or remove an organ, with little regard for the overall affect of such and action.
Paul brings to light, once again that each member of the body is placed there by God, hence God is in the placement service for the body.
PROPOSITION: Knowing our place in the body is essential for our service in the body.
I THE UNDERLYING UNITY OF OUR GIFTS. – 1 Corinthians 12:12-13
A God’s gifts are diverse
1 Earlier in the chapter, Paul referred to three different classifications of gifts
a Gifts of intellect
b Gifts of special faith
3 Prophecy of future events
4 Discerning of spirits
c Gifts related to language
2 Interpretation of tongues
2 Later in the chapter, Paul will list gifts in ordinal fashion – looking at their value to the church as a whole
B God’s Desire is Unity
a One from many
b Harmonious unit
C Believers are unified at the most foundational level
1 Believers are unified by the baptizing work of the Holy Spirit
a Baptism is a universal work of the Holy Spirit
1 Notice the word, “all”
2 We cannot be a believer and NOT have the Holy Spirit
Romans 8:9 (NIV) 9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.
b Baptism is a impartial work of the Holy Spirit
1 Not based on our nationality
2 Not based on our social status
c Baptism is a direction changing work of the Holy Spirit
Romans 6:3-5 (NIV) 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.
1 Baptism buried us with Christ – we experienced a death. Our old sinful life died
2 Baptism raised us with Christ – we experienced a resurrection. Our new life began
3 Baptism united us with Christ – we received a new purpose. Our present ministry was set in motion
II THE SUM AND VALUE OF OUR PARTS – 1 Corinthians 12:14-21
A Within the body of Christ, each member is necessary and has an essential function
1 A body operates only if enough members function as they should.
2 Some bodies barely function
a Heart does not pump blood well
b Bones are brittle
c Muscles cramp up
d Yet if even a minimal of the parts function the way they should, the body operates.
3 Some bodies function quite well
a Aware of there abilities
b Aware of limitations
c Trained to function better
d End result is a body that functions well
AS A CHURCH WE CHOOSE IF AND HOW WELL WE WILL FUNCTION AS A BODY!
B Bodies with insufficient parts operating as they should become handicapped.
1 Parts are not able to function – stokes, or amputations
2 Parts act on the own – Hodgkin’s, or MS
C The efficiency of the local church body is based on the functioning of individual believers.
D God has not given gifts to the church haphazardly, but in perfect arraignment – verse 18
E The Church cannot exist apart from the harmonious use of the variety of gifts God has given – verse 19-21
1 We are all mutually dependant on each other
2 Mutual dependence means full function
3 Each gift and gifted believer is in his or her needed place.
Now that brings an interesting point up, …. If we are not using our gifts here, why is that?
• We don’t know what our gifts are.
• We don not know where our gifts can be used
• We don’t belong here.
Now I can help you with the first two, but you gotta decide about number three. If you believe that you belong here, then I am telling you that you gotta get involved and use your gifts, because God put you here for that purpose.