Spiritual Gifts
June 3, 2021, 1:31 PM

Spiritual Gifts 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 (Taken from a message pastor Carter preached on Wednesday 6/2/21. The Title of the message was “Serving in the Spirit.” From the sermon series: 1 Corinthians: Merciful Correction for a Messed-up Church) There is much confusion about spiritual gifts but when we go to God’s Word, it will clear up a lot of the disorder that we find in many churches. One of the first things Paul does when he instructs the Church of Corinth on spiritual gifts is to remind them to hear what God says on the matter and obey it or they will fall for the trap of the devil. That trap is this: take the focus off Jesus and put it on man. Take the glory away from Jesus and put it on man. When this happens, those in the church become a hindrance to the work of the Lord and God is not honored, neither is He pleased. So, consider this with me as we think about spiritual gifts. Paul talks about… 1. A trap that must be avoided The first thing Paul does on the matter of spiritual gifts is to set the record straight on a more fundamental issue. Namely, not everything that masquerades as a spiritual gift is spiritual. In order to avoid this trap, there must be an awareness of… A. The potential ignorance 1Corinthians 12:1 says, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.” It is possible that you are merely ignorant about spiritual gifts. You can be saved and not know about spiritual gifts. It is possible you are a new Christian and you have never heard this. But is it possible you have been backslidden, with spiritual wax in your ears, and even though it has been SAID you have not HEARD it? Well, you are not ignorant on this anymore! God’s Word is telling you all that you need to know about spiritual gifts. There is the potential ignorance but then Paul wants them to be aware of… B. The previous idolatry Look at verse 2. There Paul says, “Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.” Paul wanted the Corinthian Christians to remember that their past of pagan idolatry did not prepare them for an accurate understanding of spiritual gifts. He did not want them to be ignorant, but because they were Gentiles, they came to the issue of spiritual gifts as ignorant. Before they were saved, they went to pagan temples and participated in non-Christian worship. It seems many of the Corinthians had brought those pagan practices into the church. Pagans went into trances. Pagans spoke in gibberish languages. Pagans were ruled by mysticism and supposed miracles. Pagans based their worship on emotion, not on truth. Paul is telling them, let me show you what God says about all these things. Warning to believers today: Do not base how you worship and how to have church on what you see on television and what you see or hear about in other churches. Base it on the Bible. A lot of things that go on in churches are not Biblical, but we buy into it because a church that seems to be successful operates that way or because the crowd is doing it and God is not pleased because He is not receiving the glory and his people are not being edified. Do not base what you do on the world or even on another church but base it on the Word of God! Paul then challenges the people to take…6/3/21 C. The proper investigation He says in verse 3, “Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” Here, Paul lays down a broad principle for discerning matters regarding spiritual gifts – judge things by how they relate to Jesus Christ. Does a supposed spiritual gift glorify Jesus? Does it promote the true Jesus or a false one? Jesus made it plain, saying, and I paraphrase, when the Holy Spirit would come, He will testify of Me (John 15:26), and He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you (John 16:14). The ministry of the Holy Spirit is not to promote Himself or any man, but to glorify and represent Jesus. We can, therefore, trust that the true ministry of the Holy Spirit will be according to the nature of Jesus. Away with this: If it felt good, it must be good. If it drew a crowd, it must be of God. If it stirred the emotion, the Spirit must be on it. Paul gave a simple way of knowing whether or not something was from the Lord or not: Does the message confirm Biblical truth about Jesus? Does the messenger live a life that points to Jesus? We will look at all the spiritual gifts at a future date and determine what God’s Word says about them. We will see those gifts that have been abused and misused. We will also see whether or not we are walking in the gift that the spirit has given to us. But the first lesson that Paul was getting across was this: if it does not point people to Jesus and the gospel message, it is not of God

Pastor Jeff Carter