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