Summary: We use our individual gifts for the benefit of all.
LIVE IN THE DIFFERENCE
S: Spiritual Gifts
C: Spiritual gifts are to be used.
Th: Live the Difference
Pr: WE USE OUR INDIVIDUAL GIFTS FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL.
?: What? What do we need to know to do it correctly?
TS: We will find in our study of I Corinthians 12:27-31 three factors we need to know in order to use our individual gifts for the benefit of all.
The _____ factor is…
I. CIRCUMSTANCES (27)
II. CONGLOMERATION (28)
III. CONTEXT (29-31)
PA: How is the change to be observed?
RMBC 26 September 04 AM
Have you ever had trouble getting in?
For more than a year, a little old cleaning woman, who was living “on the wrong side of the tracks,” had been trying to join a popular, fashionable downtown church. The pastor was not eager to have a seedy looking person in faded, out-of-style clothing sitting in a pew next to his more affluent members. When she called for the fifth time to discuss membership, he put her off again as had been his practice.
“I’ll tell you what,” said the pastor, “you just go home tonight and have a talk with God about it. Later, you can tell me what He said.”
The poor woman went her way. Weeks moved into months, and the pastor saw no more of her. Then one day, he encountered her scrubbing floors in an office building, and felt impelled to inquire, “Did you have that little talk with God?”
“Oh, my, yes,” she said, “I talked with God as you suggested.”
“Ah, and what answer did He give you?”
“Well, pastor,” she answered as she pushed back a wisp of hair with a sudsy hand, “God said for me not to get discouraged, but to keep trying. He said that He Himself had been trying to get into your church for twenty years, with no more success than I have had.”
Well, as we might smile at the story, the problem is, if it is true, it is an awful indictment, isn’t it?
You see, when we consider ourselves superior, we disinvite God.
For we have taken the place that rightfully belongs to Him alone.
We make God unwelcome.
The Corinthians were living in that contradiction.
There were some in the Corinthian church that were feeling superior.
They had focused on the “showy” gifts and had, in effect, claimed a superior spiritual status.
In particular, there had been an improper focus on the gift of tongues
So, as we have been studying the 12th chapter of Corinthians, we have seen that Paul has been actively refuting that thinking.
Because, whether they realized it or not, they had disinvited God.
They were abusing the good gifts that God had given them.
You have probably realized by now, that our theme this month has been that…
1. Spiritual gifts are for everyone.
If you are a believer today, you have been given one or more spiritual gifts.
You did not receive these gifts because you earned them.
They came to you because of God’s grace.
As the apostle Paul corrects the Corinthians’ use of these gifts, he outlines how they come to be in the church.
There is a way that these gifts have appeared.
They come because of God’s work in our lives.
The first work is that….
2. We have been placed into the body (13).
Note v. 13…
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — Jews or Greeks, slaves or free — and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
When you received Jesus as your Savior and your Lord, and you came into relationship with Him, a very special thing happened.
The Holy Spirit came into you.
You became a temple of the Holy Spirit.
You became His residence.
And in turn, He placed you into the body of Christ.
You and I became members of something much bigger than our individual selves.
This is the truest description of what the baptism of the Spirit is.
The baptism of the Spirit is not a separate event from your salvation experience.
It is not speaking in tongues or some other kind of spectacular event.
It is simply the marvelous introduction into the body of Christ, the church.
But this is not all that God has done for us.
For the second work is…
3. We have been designed by God (18).
Note v. 18…
But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.
Each one of us has been specially designed by God.
God has arranged you just as He wanted.
You are unique.
God has used His creative ability to make each one of us different.