Summary: As we look at spiritual gifts, we need to first look as love.

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Title: The Rules of a Pentecostal Church

Text: 1 Corinthians 13:1-8

Date: November 5, 1995

By: Pastor Rick MacDonald

Introduction: Life is governed by rules. Without rules - absolutes - we become people who have no boundaries and therefore are controlled only by our urges. As a result we live according to chaos. A study was done with two groups of kindergartners. Both were place on a playground and told to go play. One playground was fenced while the other was open. The children on the fenced playground played openly and happily. Those on the open playground, huddled close to the classroom and played in small groups. We need boundaries.

Not only do we need boundaries, but there must be a consistency to those boundaries. College football and professional football have different rules even though they basically play the same game. If a college ref and a pro ref were officiating the same game, there would be chaos - not because of no boundaries, but because of inconsistent boundaries.

When I grew-up in church, I was given a set of rules with regard to spiritual gifts. When we gathered together for worship, if someone who didn’t worship according to our rules participated in our congregation, we were fearful. Paul, heard how the church in Corinth had openly embraced the fullness of the gospel, and were operating in all the gifts, but were doing so without rules. While Paul does lay down some very specific operational rules in using the gifts, he dealt first with the most important gift which motivates all gifts.

When Jesus was asked what was the most important commandment He said that we should love the Lord our God with all our hearts. He then added a new commandment that we love our brother as we love ourself. So, as we will look at spiritual gifts, we need to first look as love.

Illustration: Love of God:

Wilbur Reese writes with biting sarcasm:

I would like to buy $3 worth of God, please not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep, but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk or a snooze in the sunshine.

I don’t want enough of him to make me love a black man or pick beets with a migrant.

I want ecstasy, not transformation.

I want the warmth of the womb not a new birth.

I want about a pound of the eternal in a paper sack.

I’d like to buy $3 worth of God, please.

How much of God do you want?

1. Let’s not be ignorant

(1 Corinthians 12:1-3) Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware. {2}You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the dumb idols, however you were led. {3}Therefore I make known to you, that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus is accursed"; and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.

A. The necessary prerequisite for using spiritual gifts is don’t be ignorant. (v. 1)

1. Ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law.

B. We must realize that our presumptions from spiritual gifts were taught to us. (vs. 2-3)

1. For the Corinthians, pagan worship was very frenzied. They were exercising spiritual gifts according to they was they were taught to worship.

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