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Summary: True life in the Holy Spirit means a life that is supernaturally empowered to live in this sin-infected world as weak people of flesh and yet victorious through the Spirit!


A Study in 1 Corinthians Applied To The Church Today


D.) ROLES & EQUIPMENT (Source of Spiritual Gifts)

“THE TRAINER” (1 Cor. 12:1-11)

Rev. Todd G. Leupold, Perth Bible Church, June 21, 2009 AM


Spiritual trainer, Wesley Tracy, laments: “Some people have the notion that following your spiritual gifts is spending the days and years of your life doing only those things which come naturally, easily, with no effort, discipline, or practice.”

Most of us are sensitive against that kind of attitude when it comes to our participation in sports, our work and our hobbies. But what about when it comes to serving the Most High God?

In this next section of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth, he addresses the culmination of their differences – in particular what it means to be ’spiritual.’ The Corinthians took it upon themselves to see ’life in the Spirit’ as transforming them into something super-human and ’above’ the world. Paul, on the other hand, understood that true “life in the Spirit” means a life that is supernaturally empowered to live in this sin-infected world as weak people of flesh and yet victorious through the Spirit!


“About matters of the spirit”

This is the key issue and foundation of dispute and error.

“... not ... unaware ... dumb idols ... led astray ... Therefore I am informing you ...”

Clearly, the church in Corinth has this all wrong. They have permitted themselves to be both ignorant of the truth and deceived by the ideas and influences of others.

Idolatry – anything that takes our faith, devotion, obedience, thinking, or time away from God – is both stupidness and the mark of error.

In other words, God’s Holy Word has not been their absolute or even primary standard!

“... ’Jesus is cursed’ ... ’Jesus is Lord’ ...”

The purpose, nature and power of the Spirit is to exalt Jesus as Lord. Nobody empowered by the Spirit of God can do any different.

By contrast, anything – even that which appears, sounds or feels ’spiritual’ – that does not directly and clearly exalt Christ cannot be of God’s Spirit!

The true Spirit of God, and all that comes from and is empowered by Him points to Jesus and glorifies Christ. All else demeans Him.


A.) Many Under One (vv. 4-6)

This principle of diversity balanced with unity is exemplified and lived out by the nature and character of our Triune God, Himself!

Different gifts . . . same Spirit

different ministries . . . same Lord

different activities . . . same God

The Spirit empowers us with supernatural gifts, Jesus directs us with His calling and opportunities, and God the Father is the ’mover and shaker’ who sovereignly makes it all come together and happen.

Both diversity AND unity are necessary in the Body of God!

... active in everyone and everything.

Every person and everything (abilities, gifts, organizations, resources, opportunities) depend on the person and activity of Almighty God.

It’s not about what each of us can’t do, but what are we doing with how God has enabled us?

Illustration: In 1932, an aspiring young man made the rounds of Hollywood’s talent judges looking for his ’break.’ On one of his early screen tests, one talent judge wrote: “Can’t act. Can’t sing. Can dance a little.” Rather than get discouraged about his weakness and failures, this young man focused on what he was given and went from there. Oh, his name was Fred Astaire.

It’s not about what each of us can’t do, but what are we doing with how God has enabled us?

B.) Spiritual Empowerment For Kingdom Benefit (vv. 7-10)

These spiritual gifts are given by the Holy Spirit in order to empower us to serve Christ according to His Will and opportunities in the power of God and for His glory!

When each one of us allow Him to empower and lead us, and in response apply ourselves in this way, the results will always be good and beneficial – as God Himself judges such.

Illustration: It was reported some years ago that, each week, people in the US generate 4 million tons of trash and 5 million tons between Thanksgiving & Christmas. To give just one example of how and what we really waste: if each person in America throws away just one bite of edible turkey, that comes out to 8.1 million pounds of edible turkey in the trash can. Each New Year’s Day, the NY City sanitation Department cleans up 42 tons of extra garbage. Environmentalists and advocates for world hunger are not the only ones who detest waste. God, too, hates waste. Most of all, He hates to see valuable resources that He bestows on His people – such as spiritual gifts, time, money, ability, opportunity, and energy – lost and/or unused.

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