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God's Word for Today 1 Corinthians 12

July 7, 2012

 
 

Each Christian must know what his spiritual gifts are and what ministry (or ministries) he is to have in the local church. It is not wrong for a Christian to recognize gifts in his own life and in the lives of others. What is wrong is the tendency to have a false evaluation of ourselves. Nothing causes more damage in a local church than a believer who overrates himself and tries to perform a ministry that he cannot do. Sometimes the opposite is true, and people undervalue themselves. Both attitudes are wrong.  What we need to do, as Paul says here, is "to think soberly." We need to have a correct estimation of ourselves in relationship to other members of the church.

The gifts that we have came because of God’s grace. Since our gifts are from God, we cannot take the credit for them. All we can do is accept them and use them to honor His name. When the individual believers in a church know their gifts, accept them by faith, and use them for God’s glory, then God can bless in a wonderful way. 

Every believer receives the exact gift and resources best suited to fulfill his role in the body of Christ.  Each believer has a different gift, and God has bestowed these gifts so the local body can grow in a balanced way. But each Christian needs to participate for the church to be healthy, and each individual needs to use their gift.  We might not see the result of our ministry, but the Lord sees it and He blesses. Encouraging others is just as much a spiritual ministry as preaching or teaching. Giving and showing mercy are also important gifts. To some people, God has given the ability to rule, or to administer the various functions of the church. Whatever gift we have must be dedicated to God and used for the good of the whole church.

It is tragic when any one gift is emphasized in a local church beyond all the other gifts. We are not the same, as Christians, we have different gifts and abilities, also different callings and offices.  Not everyone is a pastor, a teacher, a leader, nor is everyone one who shows hospitality or mercy.  But each gift is given for the common good of the Body, this true both for the local church and the Body of Christ that includes all Christians.

The spiritual gifts mentioned in the New Testament, primarily in Romans 12 and in 1 Corinthians 12, fall into three categories: sign, speaking, and serving.   The gifts Paul mentions here were wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, to another the ability to discernment, tongues, and the interpretation of tongues.   Wisdom is fearing God and seeing life from His perspective.  Knowledge is knowing about God and having some special insights from God.    Those with the gift of faith, really can step out and trust God in a greater way than others.  They really believe God for things.  Some have a gift of healing, a sign gift especially in New Testament times when the Bible had been written yet, that would authenticate the message from God.   Prophecy can be foretelling of the future as told by God or forth telling of what God has already said.  The person with the gift of prophecy can easily distinguish between right and wrong.  The next gift of discernment, is the ability to see and understand spiritual things or spirits.  Then there is the gift of tongues, the ability to speak in a language you have not studied which may be used to share the Gospel with others who do speak that language or a heavenly language giving a special message from God.  The next gift is the ability to interpret one of those special messages in tongues.   For more and with Thai translation see www.wdbydana.com/sermon.html

 
 
 
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