Summary: PENTECOST 11 -- Our gracious God gives generous gifts. God gives gifts of faith for the common good. God gives gifts of faith to glorify God.
OUR GRACIOUS GOD GIVES GENEROUS GIFTS (Outline)
August 28, 2011 -
Pentecost 11 -
INTRO: Gifts and presents often provide happiness and joy for many people. Broad smiles and kind words reflect the thankfulness of receiving a gift. God’s spiritual gifts bring greater happiness and joy than any earthly present can ever offer. Our heavenly Father knows exactly what we truly need. What we need is far more important than the many things that we think we want. "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" (JAMES 1:16). God’s gifts are good because God’s gifts are perfect.
OUR GRACIOUS GOD GIVES GENEROUS GIFTS. I. Gifts of faith for the common good. II. Gifts of faith for God’s glory.
I. GOD GIVES US GIFTS OF FAITH FOR THE COMMON GOOD
A. Verse 7. God’s gifts from the Holy Spirit to the believers are always meant for the church’s good.
B. Verse 8. Believers are given the knowledge of God. Believers grow in faith and God’s wisdom.
1. Verse 9. Without faith no one possesses any of God’s generous gifts.
2. Verses 9b, 10a. Spirit given, faith working gifts, brings power from the Lord God Almighty.
a. Spiritual healing comes by forgiveness. b. Believing God’s forgiveness is a miracle.
C. Verse 10b. Prophecy means proclaiming God’s gospel. To proclaim God’s word one must know it.
1. Believers who know God’s word will recognize the Spirit of God as opposed to other spirits.
2. Verse 10c. Speaking in tongues refers to other languages that people understand.
a. Gifts are for the common good. b. Unknown tongues do not build up God’s church.
D. Look at the generous gifts of God. Every gift God gives is truly amazing for us, for our lives, and for the common good of God’s church. The most important gift of the Holy Spirit is faith. Without faith we do not believe and possess nothing good. A sometimes person become so wrapped up in all God’s other gifts that we might overlook faith as God’s most miraculous gift. None of us deserves eternal life. By grace through faith we are saved. This is God’s gift. "I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart" (JEREMIAH 24:7). Faith makes us know, believe, and confess the Lord God Almighty is our Lord. Think of the many millions who dwell in darkness and do not know the Lord. We are God’s people.
E. All gifts given to believers are gifts that are above and beyond God’s free gift of faith. Any gift that any believer has is given by God for the common good of the community of believers. Those gifts that do not build up or edify other believers are to be used in private (read Chapter 14). The gift of tongues is best understood as different languages. There are many different languages in this world. Consider what took place at Pentecost. The apostles spoke as the Holy Spirit moved them to speak. These were ordinary men who were given an extraordinary gift. "Utterly amazed, they asked: "Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?" (ACTS 2:7, 8). Knowing another language to use to proclaim God’s word to other nations is God’s gift of tongues.
F. Key in this section of gifts from the Holy Spirit is the term “given for the common good”. God gives to each and every believer a gift or gifts to use for the common good of God’s kingdom. These gifts are to be used for the building up of the Christian church. Each person is important as a member in the very body of Christ, the church (read the rest of Chapter 12). "From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work" (EPHESIANS 4:16). Too many today would promote themselves and their gifts for their own personal glory. This does not build up the body of Christ. Such self-promotion is not for the common good at all. We become less so that God may increase. Humble service is also a precious gift from God.
OUR GRACIOUS GOD GIVES GENEROUS GIFTS. The Spirit gives gifts for the common good.
II. GOD GIVES GIFTS OF FAITH FOR THE LORD’S GLORY
A. Verse 1. These believers came out of a life of pagan worship. They were not wise in all God’s ways.
1. Verse 2. These believers previously followed idols of wood and stone – who did not speak.