Summary: In Paul's opening remarks to the Corinthian Christians, he reminds them that they have been given spiritual gifts for a purpose.

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Gifted For A Purpose

1 Corinthians 1: 4-9

Intro: During the depression there was a sheep ranch owned by a man named Yates. Mr. Yates wasn’t able to make enough on his ranching operation to pay the principal and interest on the mortgage, so he was in danger of losing his ranch.

With little money for clothes or food, his family (like many others) had to live on government subsidy.

Day after day, as he grazed his sheep over those rolling West Texas hills, he was no doubt greatly troubled about how he would pay his bills. Then a seismographic crew from an oil company came into the area and told him there might be oil on his land. They asked permission to drill a wildcat well, and he signed a lease contract.

At 1,115 feet they struck a huge oil reserve. The first well came in at 80,000 barrels a day. Many subsequent wells were more than twice as large. In fact, 30 years after the discovery, a government test of one of the wells showed it still had the potential flow of 125,000 barrels of oil a day.

And Mr. Yates owned it all.

The day he purchased the land he had received the oil and mineral rights. Yet, he’d been living on relief.

A multimillionaire living in poverty.

The problem? He didn’t know the oil was there even though he owned it.

Many Christians live in spiritual poverty.

They are entitled to the gifts of the Holy Spirit and his energizing power, but they are not aware of their birthright.

. God has given them and the church all they need to be rich spiritually and functionally in their life.

. The church struggles when it’s members let their gifts lay dormant and the individual never experiences the full riches that is found in Christ Jesus until they take hold of and use the gift that God has given them.

. This morning’s passage from 1 Corinthians tells us much about God’s gifts to the Church.

. Lets look at our passage. 1 Corinthians 1: 4-9

4I always thank my God for you and for the gracious gifts he has given you, now that you belong to Christ Jesus.

5Through him, God has enriched your church in every way—with all of your eloquent words and all of your knowledge.

6This confirms that what I told you about Christ is true.

7Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

8He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns.

9God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

. Paul started his letter reminding the Corinthian believers that they had been called out, set apart, looked upon as saints by God.

. The he reminded them of the gifts that God had given them and why they were given.

. The first thing we see here is that gifts are:

. Given at salvation

Look at verse 4 again.

. 4I always thank my God for you and for the gracious gifts he has given you, now that you belong to Christ Jesus.

. Now that they belong to Christ, now that they have been saved, been redeemed, been set apart, become part of the family of God, they were given spiritual gifts.

. We must first have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ in order to receive our spiritual gift.

.If you are here this morning and have truly placed your faith and trust in Jesus, you have a spiritual gift.

. I do not know what your gift is but you have one.

. There are many gifts given by God through the Holy Spirit and this is not the sermon to examine them. Just realize that if you are here this morning, God has a plan for you in your life. A plan that will not only give you a sense of fulfillment but also a sense of purpose.

. Paul says that he thanks God for those gifts because he has seen them at work in their lives.

. I thank God this morning for you who are in a relationship with Christ for bringing you here to serve and minister.

. Next we see that God gives Christians gifts in order to:

. Enrich the Church.

.Look at verse 5 again.

5Through him, God has enriched your church in every way—with all of your eloquent words and all of your knowledge.

. These gifts enrich the church.

. As we will see as we go through 1 Corinthians, God has enriched the Corinthian church with eloquent speakers, those with the gift of exhortation.

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Nellie Cloninger

commented on Jan 14, 2017

You highlight the key points of the scripture and your illustration from the sport of wrestling really brings home the importance of our using our gifts for the benefit of the Church community for those who do not yet know Jesus so they too can share Jesus' blessings. Thank you for sharing your inspiration.

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