Summary: Paul tells us all to know our spiritual gifts and know how to use them for the common good of the church. We also need to know that we all have different gifts but this is God’s plan and it’s a good thing to have diversity. We also need to know that each
Series: What is the Spirit saying to the church?
I received the idea for this sermon at International House of Prayer during my spiritual retreat there. I have also been asking this question to every pastor I know. Their responses have varied but my series topics are based on their responses and the spirit speaking to my heart.
Quote: from: http://www.holyspiritinteractive.net/columns/fiomascarenhas/scripturallyspeaking/30.asp
The expression, "what the Spirit says to the churches" occurs in each of the seven letters to the particular churches in Revelation 2 and 3. In these letters, Christ refers to the merits and failings of each community, and offers appropriate encouragement or reproaches. The letters end with an exhortation, either for the church to change its ways (Ephesus, Pergamum, Sardis, and Laodicea) or to persevere in fidelity (Smyrna, Thyatira, and Philadelphia). The church that receives the most severe reprimand (Laodicea) is not accused of any grave fault but Christ condemns the existing state of tepidity and self-satisfaction ("neither hot nor cold"-3:15); this community enjoys material well-being and the absence of persecution…But Christ’s severe reproof is inspired by his love: for whoever will give attention to the call of Christ and will open to him ("Behold, I stand at the door and knock") will participate with the Lord in the joys of the banquet in the time that is to come.
These churches all received an address by Jesus. It’s the last recorded words of Jesus in the Bible. The addresses are to be taken seriously because 7 is the numerical sign for perfection so the messages do apply to us the churches of today. I know the Spirit of the Lord is speaking to churches across the globe today and we need to be ready to be used by his Spirit in these last days.
Sermon 1: Know the times
The Spirit today is saying to know the signs of the times and this will only happen in your life when you really know God’s Word and study it to recognize and discern His voice over the many false voices ringing out in this day.
Remember: The Laodicean church was rebuked for being lukewarm, they had grown apathetic to the Great Commission and they were not using their spiritual gifts because they were enjoying the life of ease as a result of wealth and prosperity. Jesus warned them to get their fire back or he would spit them out of His mouth.
Sermon: “Know your spiritual gifts!” and “Use your spiritual gifts!”
Video Illustration: Wingclips.com “The World Saw Evil That Day. Two Men Saw Something Else.”
In the aftermath of the World Trade Center disaster, hope is still alive. Refusing to bow down to terrorism, rescuers and family of the victims press forward. Their mission of rescue and recovery is driven by the faith that under each piece of rubble, a co-worker, a friend a family member may be found. This is the true story of John McLoughlin and William J. Jimeno, two of the last survivors extracted from Ground Zero and the rescuers who never gave up. It’s a story of the true heroes of that fateful time in the history of the United States when buildings would fall and heroes would rise, literally from the ashes to inspire the entire human race. One Marine would hear the call of God in church to go use his gifts to find survivors at the World Trade Center and in the end he would find these two survivors.
Thesis: Paul tells us all to know our spiritual gifts and know how to use them for the common good of the church. We also need to know that we all have different gifts but this is God’s plan and it’s a good thing to have diversity. We also need to know that each one of us with our gifts is valuable to the spread of the Gospel in our society.
Scripture Text: 1 Cor. 12
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.