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Summary: The discovery and use of our spiritual gift will help us grow to be like Christ.

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Series: What Now

Title: Work Out

Text: I Corinthians 12:1-30

Truth: The discovery and use of our spiritual gift will help us grow to be like Christ.

Aim: To encourage them to find and use their spiritual gift.

INTRODUCTION

Use a child’s puzzle with big pieces so people can see easily.

What’s wrong with this puzzle? (They’ll answer a piece is missing.)

Some of you enjoy jigsaw puzzles. You are patient and meticulous. You enjoy discovering how a thousand pieces of a pastoral scene fit together. If you want to pull a prank on someone, just remove one piece of the puzzle. When they have completed the picture and show it to others the first question people will ask is, “Where’s the missing piece?” Or, they’ll say, “You have a piece missing?” If you dare, that would be a good time to hand over the missing piece.

I wonder how incomplete the ministry of our church is because members refuse to bring their puzzle pieces, their spiritual gifts and abilities, to the table of ministry? Instead, they hide them in their pockets and join others in the chorus of why our church isn’t doing this ministry or that ministry. Many ministries in our churches suffer because the members are holding on to the missing piece.

After a person is saved they often ask, “What now?” After salvation the big goal in life is to become like Jesus Christ. This means we are to develop the character and lifestyle of Jesus Christ. Christians are to progressively develop the mindset and thought life of Jesus. We are to love and forgive like Jesus. Like Jesus we are to be compassionate for others and seek out the lost in order for them to be saved. A Christian’s goal is to become like Jesus Christ. But how does this transformation take place?

We’ve seen in our series that God uses the Bible, prayer, and the church in order to encounter Him and His power. God uses these means to teach us, convict us, and empower us to live differently. Another means to encountering the living God so that we become like Christ, is the discovery and use of our spiritual gift.

Every Christian plays an important role in the work of God. The OU football team would have a difficult time winning any game if it played with ten players instead of eleven. Yet, the church is expected to field a team and score big though half its starters are sitting on the bench.

There are many metaphors the Bible uses to describe the importance of a Christian serving in his church. The Bible says Christians are members of a body, we are the bride of Christ, we are brothers and sisters in a family, and we are stones that make up a building. Think how hampered you would be if you were missing an arm or an eye or a leg. Would you think it a little matter to the comfort and safety of your home if a hole the size of a brick were left in an outside wall?

Jesus didn’t save us only to go to heaven someday. He saved us because he wants to proclaim the glory of God and the Good News of Jesus Christ to others through our lives. Jesus was not interested in preaching to a succession of audiences. Jesus was primarily interested in having followers through whom He could multiply himself over and over. Because of that it is important to find out how the Spirit of God has equipped us to be used by Jesus. This is one of the ways we meet God and are changed to become like Christ.

Every Christian receives from the Holy Spirit a spiritual gift that is to be used for God’s service. Read I Cor. 12:7. Every Christian has a spiritual gift, and every spiritual gift is to serve God and his church.

The Bible speaks of spiritual gifts often. There is a list of spiritual gifts provided in Romans 12, I Corinthians 12, I Peter 4, and Ephesians 4. When these passages are combined there are listed more than thirty different gifts. Most scholars believe that these lists are simply representative of a larger number of spiritual gifts. There are as many spiritual gifts as are needed by the church.

A spiritual gift is a provision by the Holy Spirit, an ability that equips you to do the work of God. For example, He wants his church to know the Word of God. He outfits a church with teachers who have an ability to help children, youth, and adults to understand and apply the Bible. Teaching is a spiritual gift by the Holy Spirit to the church to accomplish the work of God.

The church at Corinth was in a mess. They were arrogant, they acted disgracefully in public worship, they abused the Lord’s Supper, and they were divided over the different personalities of their pastors. The church was confused over some basic Christian doctrines. Yet they were so endowed with spiritual gifts that Paul said they didn’t need anymore in order to do what God wanted done in that city. But they didn’t understand some basics about spiritual gifts.

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