This evening, we will get together for Week 11 of 12 in our “Make Disciples.” series. Below you will find links to an overview of the full 12 weeks and for the eleventh area on the map, Experiencing God’s Power: Spiritual Gifts.
During the 12 weeks, we are addressing areas on a comprehensive discipleship map. After discussing each area, we will try to establish Milestones that would provide evidence of personal spiritual growth – markers that we work toward.
We might imagine we have to be very special people to be used in some significant way by the Almighty. If we think so we are mistaken. In this very personal letter we know as 3 John, the elderly apostle reveals that it is a very simple thing to become a fellow worker for the truth.
Immaturity can be defined as imperfection, greenness, unpreparedness, inexperience, childishness or ineptitude. In this section, Paul shows us how a church can grow up – how a church can become mature, ripe and fruitful in the deepest spiritual sense.
Chuck Smith in his book Charisma Versus Charismania begins with a story of the abuse of the gift of tongues that he witnessed as a young man. The church in 1st Century Corinth bore some similarity to the church of Chuck Smith’s 20th Century youth. It seems some of things that made Chuck uneasy made the Apostle Paul uneasy too. Today’s chapter deals with a church’s prioritizing and use of the Holy Spirit’s gifts.
Perhaps the biggest problem in the Corinthian Church was disunity. This disunity came out in any number of ways, but these were mostly symptoms of one core fault: The church in Corinth as a group did not value each member’s place within the church. Paul takes on this problem of disunity by comparing the church to a body, specifically, the body of Christ. He explains that the body is composed of people who all have differing spiritual gifts.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (NKJV)
The Father, through the Holy Spirit within each believer, has given each of us some kind of spiritual gift. He wants us to use them for His glory to build up the body of Christ. God gives each of us gifts. There are no gift-less Christians.
1 Corinthians 7:7 (NKJV) … each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7 (NKJV) There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.
Gifts are something we need to use intentionally. Every Christian has a gift, but not all use them. We need to “stir them up” and make sure that we don’t neglect them – just as Paul had to encourage Timothy.
1 Timothy 4:14 (NKJV) Do not neglect the gift that is in you, …
2 Timothy 1:6 (NKJV) Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you …
If you’d like some help in determining your gift(s) here’s a link to a little test that just may do the job.