Gifts for the Common Good Part 3

1 Corinthians 12:27-31

Posted by Dan Jarms on January 21, 2024
Gifts for the Common Good Part 3
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Main idea: Embrace your privileges and responsibilities as a person gifted and placed into the Body of Christ.

  1. Embrace Your Privileges (12:27a)
  2. Embrace your responsibility (12:27b-28)
  1. Evade the temptation to minimize, despise or covet other gifts (12:29-30)
  2. Earnestly desire the best for the body of Christ (12:31)
  • Automated Transcription
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    Let's turn our attention we have been in the middle of a section about spiritual gifts turn our attention to First Corinthians 1227 through 3031 and stand for the reading of God's Word. The gospel is extraordinary Jesus descended, he descended to us. And he lived and obeyed the Father He suffered died, rose sins forgiven, salvation secured. And he gifted the people in his church to represent him. So often we fail to go all the way around the corner to see the fullness of the product of the gospel. And we're we're looking at that and rejoicing in it. So do that as we finish off this section, here in First Corinthians chapter 12. Now you are the body of Christ, and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third, teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping administrating various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles, Are all prophets are all teachers do all work, miracles do all possess gifts of healing, to all speak with tongues to all interpret, but earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way. This is the word of the Lord. God, we do resound our thank you to us for giving us your word. We know what the apostles taught because you had it written down. And it is here for us. It has been carefully preserved. We know what the prophets taught those ones who gave Scripture because it is here in front of us. Thank you for it. And we're paying attention to those higher gifts, even by the hearing, and preaching of this word. And I would pray that you would make us people ready to hear and apply this. I think of churches in our neighborhood first church just up the hill from us, just west and pray that you would strengthen them. They're preaching of the Word, their faithful service, and representation of Christ. May we do that today as we hear the word and as we continue to serve in an informal ways. And we pray that you'd be glorified Christ's name. Amen. You may be seated. Let's pick back up we've been going through First Corinthians. We're at the end of chapter 12. We use the analogy last week about the Suburban. So the suburban there is an oil plug and there's an ignition. They do different jobs, but the the suburban doesn't run without it. Okay, so we get that picture. The body analogy helps us that way. It's helpful to ask this question, what's the purpose of a Suburban? What's a suburban for? To carry a large family with lots of stuff from place to place. And light of that purpose, you know, why every part is placed where it is. You know, why the steering wheel is where it is. You know, why the bench seats are where they are? You know, why? Why it's all put together how it's all put together? That question is really important to ask, looking at Paul's brilliant analogy of the body, the body of Christ. What is the purpose of the Body of Christ? It is to represent Jesus. It is to speak Jesus message. It is to do Jesus work in the community of Jesus and in the world. And every member of a local church fulfills a specific role in that mission in that purpose, Jesus says, it says succinctly, we are to make disciples of all nations that is learners of Jesus. That's our mission statement, a loving community making disciples of Jesus Christ. And the church does that through worship. A church does that through edifying equipping each other with scripture. A church does that by serving the practical needs of others. And its community a church does that by speaking the gospel to the last. So again, if you are a Christ, Follow if you have trusted Christ or repented and turn from your sins to Christ, you have been gifted by His Spirit, and you have been placed into a body of believers to fulfill that mission. And if you're not a Christian, maybe you're new with us today. And you have a real question how do people see or experience Jesus? Who is in heaven? Well, we certainly do it through Christ's gospel, this this Bible, we know him through this gospel. But we also know him through his body, the church. All of you, if you are not yet a follower of Christ, are still a brick and a side lot. I use the analogy with a stick a bag of fingers on attached, like, and there is a purpose and a place for you. There is a purpose and a place for you. Not only when you trust Christ, do you have your sins forgiven, but you are brought into a body of believers that love you and care for you and you can care for them. This imperfect, flawed by sin, yet truly transforming group of believers is unified and gifted to represent Christ here on Earth. And we Christians have seen the grace of God and Christ and the gospel. And what Paul has been emphasizing is how we see the grace of God and Christ in the church, by these gifts that the Spirit has given. As we've been looking at it in our growth groups, because we're all tied together growth groups and sermons, the encouragement, the feedbacks been really encouraging. And one of the things I'm most excited about is people who've never thought about it are thinking what's, what are my gifts? And how do I use them? I want to help you with that a little bit. Today, we have to do most of that work in our growth groups. But we'll help you with a little bit of that today. Here's the big idea. As we round off the chapter, we are called here to embrace our privileges and responsibilities. As a person gifted and placed into the Body of Christ speaking to the Christians in Corinth, he is telling them to embrace their privileges and responsibilities. Are you unsure about your gifts? What are my gifts? Are you plagued by insecurities? Do you find yourself fearful to step into an area of service? Do you think I just don't want to make a mess of it all. I mean, if I try to teach, I'm gonna ruin everything. Or if I try to step in this area, I don't know what to do. Like sometimes insecurity plagues us. Do you find yourself on the other hand jealous of other people's gifts? Do you? Do you wish that you had a more behind the scenes roles? I don't really like attention. So can I just can I just do something behind the scenes? Or do you feel like you know, I would like a more prominent noticeable gift. Do you find yourself frustrated because faith Bible Church maybe doesn't have the opportunities that you think suits your gifts. These are all common feelings. They're all common feelings. Paul's gonna help us think through these. This week and next, especially next week, when Ian takes us through the loved chapter, First Corinthians 13. And it's really important to think of that chapter. As as the apostle is telling everybody their gifts next week, he's going to tell us the prevailing attitude and conviction we need to have we need to use those and love. So today we're going to look at two of the most common questions that come up and I promised that we would what of these gifts are operational. And what are my gifts in the list. We're going to look at that it's going to be really important for you in your groups to learn how to get the feedback of developing those if you don't know those yet. For now let's let's take it in four parts, four parts First, let's let's recognize the privileges. We're going to recognize the privileges we're going to recognize the responsibilities we are going to make sure we we put aside any coveting or jealousy about gifts. And, and then we're going to see what it means to desire the higher gifts So let's start with this recognizing the privileges. If you heard the gospel, if you've heard the gospel refund responded in faith repented and been given that enormous gift called forgiveness and reconciliation.

    You have been placed into the Body of Christ, verse 27. And it's the summary statement of chapter 12. Now, you, and it's a you all, it's a plural. Now you all are the body of Christ, and individually members of it. Perfect metaphor, different parts of a body all making up a whole. There is such an intimate union with Christ, and with each other. That each part is connected like a body part. And Paul is telling the Corinthians you are the body of Christ. I mean, it's some summarizing this teaching we've heard back in 12, seven assists to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. So every member of a body contributes to the whole or the purpose of the body. And you've all been given a manifestation of the Spirit for that verse 11. Look at that. It says, For all these are empowered by one in the same spirit, there's no fight in the spirit, about what everybody has who apportions to each one individually, as he will you see God's sovereign grace, here and that apportionment, often the the phrase sovereign grace shows up when we're talking about one of the songs we sang about how from eternity past, God had a plan for a people that he was going to select, and we usually relegated merely to the salvation experience. But the Apostle is saying, not only is the salvation experience by God's sovereign grace, but so is the gifting in a local church get portions to each one as He wills for in one Spirit. We were all baptized into one body, Jews or Greeks, slaves are free. We were all made to drink of one spirit. There's a unity and diversity. So just pause for a minute. This is an unbelievable blessing of God. It's a privilege to be part of Christ's body. It's not a right. And I find it really interesting because it's to the Corinthians. What do we know about the Corinthians those who've been hanging with us for a while they were divisive. They were proud. They relied often more on cultural philosophy than biblical wisdom. Many thought participating in sexual immorality was just fine. Many thought that participating in local idolatry was just fine. There were people getting drunk, going into the Lord's Supper and their their community meals. There was pride over which gifts were best. And Jesus tells them Jesus tells them, Paul tells them Jesus does through Paul, but Paul tells them you are the body of Christ. And we're all going them. They're representing Christ. And Paul uses that in two ways. One is you are not acting what God has made you to be, step up to it, step up to it. And the other way he's using that as to say, recognize the grace of God, that you have been given.

    It's not as if you say, when you realize you have gifts, that you are a gift to God today. You're not a gift to God, you're a liability to God. Until Jesus Christ transforms your life. And you then in a being changed person have a contribution. It's also not to say that any of us could say, I am God's gift to faith Bible Church. In the sense of you're welcome. It's a privilege. It's a great gift. Everyplace. Paul talks about spiritual gifts, Romans 12 Ephesians four, this one. And when Peter talks about it's all about God's grace, Romans 12 Six, for instance, the parallel passage having gifts that differ according to the grace given To us, each of us are allotted a kind of grace. So the work of Christ, through the gospel has taken you from a pile of bricks in the yard to cementing you into the temple of the Holy Spirit, or a foot out in a pile and sewn in and given new life.

    It's privilege. And serving in the local church may seem hard at times, it definitely does take a servant heart and sacrificial heart. It may seem like sacrifice, but it's always an honor. It's always an honor to serve Christ and his body to represent him. A body, this body represents Jesus to the world.

    Pastor tried to make it really simple for his congregation to think about evangelism, he would say, find somebody who doesn't know Jesus. Tell them what you know about Jesus, and bring them to Jesus. And by bringing them to Jesus, I mean, bring them to the body of Christ. Bring them to Jesus, the representation of Jesus here, find tell bring a high view of the local church, when you can say, I'm going to bring them to my people, they're going to see Jesus through their love and their care. First, recognize the privileges. Second, embrace the responsibility, embrace your responsibility. It's been clear and 1118 and 20, that God gifts in places people according to a sovereign will and purpose. And so he again brings this to a head and gives a placement priority. So you're the body of Christ, verse 27, verse 28, and God has appointed we're back to those sovereign decisions by God God has appointed in the church first apostles, second, prophets, third, teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administering. And finally various kinds of tongues. The Corinthians were arguing about the superiority of tongues, as if tongues was the the gift of all gifts, it was the pre eminent gift. It's like it's the gift everybody should have, or it's the only one that we should think is important. And Paul goes out of his way to put tongs last in the list. They need a dose of humility. And he's going to talk even more about that in chapter 14, because it created a real disorder in the gathering of the church. Tongues on its own is the least valuable of the gifts because it is only helpful when interpreted, what is tongues freetrack, from Acts two, through the book of Acts, it was the gift was a language, a Christian got it, it was a language, that they could speak to somebody that was there that they had never learned. So it's a real known language and Acts chapter two, and it that's affirmed, and the other places tongues were talked about real known languages that they had not learned and there was an audience for those languages, we're going to find later that it's as a testimony to unbelievers. We're gonna get more on it.

    So the first three, if you notice, Paul puts a 123. in it. There are offices in the church that in themselves have more best specific spiritual giftings, the first in these and more most important terms of function as apostle. And what's really important to say, is that the first second third, don't set up a class of people who are more special than other people, it sets a priority of what the body needs. So an apostle was a person specially called equipped and sent by Christ, to speak and act with the authority of Christ. If an apostle was there, it's as if Christ was there. The words were Christ, the actions were Christ, the decisions were Christ's. That's a heady gift. It had to come according to Acts chapter one. First Corinthians 15, Second Corinthians 12, it had to come with qualifications. It needed to be a person who had seen the risen Christ, it needed to be a person called by Christ, and have the ability to prove the credibility of Their message with signs and wonders they needed authentication. Remember, somebody could say, I have God's unfolding plan, you need to listen to it. And you as an audience would be like, Why do I need to listen to it just because you said so? Why should I listen to this just because you said I should listen to this. So when the apostles set out, it was the same thing. We saw the scripture reading about Jesus, Jesus steps onto the scene, and he starts teaching and people are blown away because he has teaching with authority. What does that mean? Yes, he was a powerful preacher. But it meant that what he taught that was advancing the progress of the storyline of the Scripture, announcing that he was king was verified by the signs that he did. The apostles needed the same thing. Not every church had an apostle. Apostolic teaching was the authority for all the churches. Second, is prophets, prophets were spokesman for God who delivered authoritative messages from God, Luke and Mark. In your, in your Bibles, who wrote gospels, who were close associates with apostles, we would consider them the writing prophets of the New Testament, as well as the writer of the book of Hebrews, since we don't exactly know who he is, these are the writing prophets. Their works were in Scripture narrated otherwise, both Old Testament and New Testament there were prophets who existed in cities or regions who spoke from God to very local situations. It was authoritative for the local situation, but it didn't get in Scripture rated. There were apparently from the end of the book of First Thessalonians where it says Do not despise prophecy. There were prophets in Thessalonica. There were local prophets in many places. But these were authoritative. And Paul wrote that the foundation of the church was the apostles and prophets and Ephesians 220. I would say that what Paul's talking about was the Old Testament scripture written by the prophets and the New Testament prophets, they were at the foundation of the church. So here we have God's direct revelation from apostles from prophets, naturally, that revelation should get first priority. Teachers were gifted to every church, their task is to explain and apply the Old Testament and apostolic teaching to the local congregation. Why is this critical? Because somebody then needed to take and expound, explain and apply the apostolic message the Old Testament scriptures, to God's people, they would teach doctrine, they would teach scripture. And just because they're 123, just because 123 didn't mean they have some superiority, inherently over another, they have an important function. In fact, in in chapter four of Corinthians, the apostle Paul says that he and apologists are servants of Christ for one and in in 411. He says to the present our we the apostles hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, we labor working with our own hands when we reviled, we bless when persecuted we endure when slandered we and treat we have become and are still like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things. Being an apostle, didn't get you a special class, it got you a special target. Shoot me here. It really wasn't a great cultural or church privilege to be an apostle, you become the target. But the point is that God does His work to save and change people. First through His Word by His Spirit. The preaching and teaching function of apostles, prophets and teachers are akin to the eyes and mouth that see and speak all the body works together for the message to go forth, and all the body benefits. It can't move forward unless there is sight and vision and direction. After this, he uses a couple of then statements then miracles. Even in Paul's day, it was more important that teaching God's word happened and miracles are healing happened. Notice that here, we would have this tendency to say that's a miracle worker, we should say pay special attention. Actually, the the attention you're always supposed to pay to pay is to the scripture. But healings and miracles were critical. according to Hebrews, two, four, they provided signs that authenticated the message about Christ. Their purpose was not to create heaven on earth. A situation would where people would never get sick or never die, or always be rescued quickly. It was never for that if you track the apostles, even those who had gifts of healings had signs and wonders didn't heal everybody around them. Yes, when someone was healed, it was an enormous blessing somebody raised from the dead, it was a major blessing that people would rejoice in. But everybody's still died. Many were still martyred was for the good of the church. For the practical benefit of the one who has healed or the family, but also for the benefit to say, God's really at work here, this is really his message. Then you notice there are two others helps and administration. And I think it corresponds to the gift of service. Romans 12, seven. The gift of helps is the idea of a person who comes alongside we have many Deacons in our church, they all essentially have the gift of helps Roy Henderson is our key deacon in the helps ministry. That is where if there's a practical need a basement, floods, something happens. You call Roy Roy organizes a bunch of people who are handy and they go help you fix it. That's like really practical stuff that shows the love of Christ in a practical way. The next is the gift of administration. And by the way, helps and service. How do you know if you have it? Do you see needs and do you want to help? I would help with that. I mean, I don't know how to do it. But if you train me I'm in. You probably have the gift of helps in service faith Bible Church, so many of you have the help the gift of service. The gift of administration is a gift of leadership that properly oversees the church's work. Don't think of fun with spreadsheets, think of the administration of a school or institution. So you have a president of an institution there in administration, its leadership. That's what this is focused more on the oversight. Then there were various kinds of tongues or language that ability to speak in a language a person had not heard. It was the least because without an interpreter, it was useless. I am grateful for Dima soba boy who translates for the Ukrainians like right now Dima is having to say his name while he's translating me, because he translates for Ukrainians and we have a profound thankfulness for DMOZ ability to do that. But if Dima started walking around, and he just started speaking to you and Ukrainian, you would be like one this is weird to you tap out at about eight words. I don't know what you're saying, and I don't care. Well, maybe you wouldn't be rude. You'd be like, how long do we do this?

    We don't have time for it, because I already went 10 minutes too long, first hour, so we don't have time for it. But what I did is I included a sidebar of gifts. And you should in your group, jump over to Romans 12, three through eight. And look at all of those gifts. I'll just list out the names of them. There is prophecy or repeated one service teaching, which we've already seen teaching exhortation, which is coming alongside and speaking in a way that either gives somebody a kick in the pants, or says Come on, don't be afraid you can do this. Either encouraging or exhorting. It's the same word depends on the need. There is contribution or general generosity or giving there are people who seem to have a special love to give resources. There is mercy. In the earlier part of First Corinthians chapter 12, there was a gift of faith a person who had an extraordinary trust in God for things there's a gift of discernment, to be able to tell what It's true from what's partially true or false. And the question that we have to ask is which ones are still in use today. And so there's a sidebar about the number of gifts. There's also a sidebar about the views. There's, there's four, I kind of put them in a spectrum to help us understand, although they don't work out all the way this way in history. But this gives you the spectrum of how they're used. The first is the total cessation view. It's it's been around for hundreds of years. And it's the idea that, as the apostles died off, they finished their task, completed their journey were welcomed into heaven, all of the spiritual gifts stopped. What God does is naturally give gifts to people and people have to use their natural gifts. That's that's not our view. But that's, that's one of the views. Another one is partial cessationism, or classic cessationism, is it might be called. So you could call it partial continuation ism to but it's typically called partial cessationism, or classic cessationism. And that's the idea that's been held by most of the church in church history, even before they had a name for it. It wasn't necessarily named for a long time. But that was the view. And that view was that the apostles prophets, and then the accompanying miracle signs and wonders passed off the scene with the apostles. Now, the classic Cessationist view, says, God still can do miracles. He still can use people for special purposes. But the miraculous or special revelation is not the norm. It's not the norm. Like you shouldn't expect to walk into a church and find an apostle, a prophet, and all of these things necessarily, it's not the normal, but what continued, were all of the teaching, edifying and serving type gifts. The third view is the continuation list view. And that's the sense that all these gifts are being used or could be in any church. In one sense, every charismatic and Pentecostal would hold this view. And they would expect these gifts in every church. And if they weren't there, they would be asking God for them. But this, this view applies. And what's usually tied to this is that the continuation list is going to set under the authority and sufficiency of Scripture. So people who we would label as continuation as are generally people who say God's word is still the final authority at all times, if we expect these gifts to show up, they're going to show up like they did in the Bible, which leads a lot of people to have an open but cautious view, John Piper would say, since I don't see a verse in the Bible that says that x time, with X circumstances, the gifts are going to stop, I'm still open. He has not seen them because he's going to hold a biblical standard to the expression of them. But he believes that they could still come, there would be continuation is like, like Bob Coughlin, who would always take whatever he thought was valid for today, and submit it to the authority of Scripture. And that's really the issue for faith Bible Church, for me and for faith Bible Church. And here's where the rubber meets the road. When you need to figure out what to do in a decision when you need to figure out what to do. You want to date, you want to get married, you want to pick a job, you have a tough conversation to have. You and your spouse are trying to decide a way forward to something elders in a church are trying to figure something out. The deacons are gathered together. Here's the question, what's going to be the final authority for how we make the decision? Is it going to be something that's currently been sent by the Spirit like, the classic? The Lord has just impressed on me. This, like I've said that God has laid this on my heart. Like is that from the spirit? How do we know this? So the continuation is that holds sufficiency and supremacy of Scripture are always going to say, the highest authority for making a decision is what's in God's word. And that's got to be true for you and me. It's got to be true. For you and me, it's what it's God's word. That's, that's my bottom line concern about this particular issue, who decides what the will of God is? A feeling that I got? Suppose that revelation, what if it contradicts with scripture? We always take Scripture. Always take Scripture. Okay, but Dan had been saying, for all my life, the Lord's laid this on my heart. Don't worry if this is what you mean. I read my Bible, and I want to do what it says. So I found the clear passages of Scripture to speak to my situation. It doesn't say everything. So I've been praying. And I'm developing some thoughts about that. After I'm praying, I've asked for wisdom from godly people who are also reading the Bible and also praying and also have a lot, a lot of experience. And they're saying, that makes sense. And if you're saying God's laid on my heart to do that, okay, that's what you mean. Great. Great, that's, that's fair. But it's also okay. Like, I think Brian and I, you know, Sayers and I would often like to say, just say, you know, I prayed about it thought about it had a lot of conversations, and this is what I want to do. Like, somehow we think that this is what I want to do is less spiritual, and God laid it on my heart is more spiritual. It's not more spiritual. I mean, Augustine said, Love God and do whatever you want. Because God will control what you're doing.

    The fourth view is the restoration view, not in time and church history. It actually comes first before the modern idea of continuation is a but here's what I mean. The restoration view or the third wave view, that's the 60s and 80s view of the spiritual gifts all being on the scene emerged in the early 1900s, the Azusa Street Revival, to peak, a revival, come out of traditions in the holiness movement where people were expecting revival. And many theologians, many pastors were were anticipating the return of Christ and a culmination of the end and establishment of the millennium, in which God would pour out a special blessing. And it would carry evangelism to the world, conversions to the world gifts to the world, and they believe they experience an outpouring of the Spirit. This is 1900. All of them said, their theologians, their time 19 119 30, that the gifts were off the scenes from 150 to 1900. But now God has brought them back. That's the restoration view or the third wave view. But unlike the continuation has two holes, the Scripture as final say, these are saying what the Holy Spirit says today is the final even if it disagrees with Scripture. And that's, of course, the danger in the movement. It's the most problematic view, because it doesn't define its gifts or its outpourings. With doctrinal tests of Scripture, it doesn't define itself by the biblical use of these gifts. It opens itself to just about any kind of assertion that a thing is from the Holy Spirit. And invariably develops a mini Pope and a mini congregation or in a mini movement that can't be argued with. They're typically called the apostle in that scenario is called The Lord's anointed, don't mess with the Lord's anointed, you'll be treated like Moses, like the Sons of Korah. Like all these threats are put onto this person. And cessationism is largely a reformation movement, because the Pope did think he got revelation from God and was to be obeyed, absolutely happens in churches over and over and over again, Josh and I are going to do a couple of podcasts on these. Because I know you have Christian friends and family members who hold some of those views. You should be asking a question right about now. Okay, you've explained our view, but how does Scripture develop our view? How do we get our view? I would call it a scriptural trajectory view. Here's what I mean. Scripture. or tells us that revelatory gifts and other gifts will come to an end. It starts in First Corinthians 13, eight, talking about the revelatory gifts of prophecy, tongues, and a word of knowledge, that knowledge corresponds to the word of knowledge. And all of those are going to see some pass away. Verse nine, when the perfect comes, there is something coming. If the perfect was Jesus, he I think Paul would have said Jesus, because Paul knows, Jesus. If it was the close of the cannon, and all the scriptures were fulfilled, I think Paul would have said that, but he he didn't know. He said, But there is going to come a time of completion of fullness of maturity, when these things will disappear. And what's going to be important is love. Love will be important. But we know from this verse, it's coming these these kinds of revelatory gifts are going to come to an end, and Ephesians 220, to carry the trajectory out. And so Corinth is early in church history. Ephesians is later Ephesians 220 speaks of the church being built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. foundations don't need to be relayed over and over. Hebrews two, verses three and four, talk about the apostolic teaching, being accompanied by signs and wonders, and, and the writer of Hebrews speaks of those in past tense. These were in the past, he's writing a story about something that's done and off the scene. Jude, one three, for instance, speaks of the faith once for all delivered to the saints. So there's, there's no new gospel, there's no new Scripture, the faith is delivered once for all. And by church history, we know by the mid second century, there were no record of continuing gifted apostles, prophets, or miracle workers. Were there occasionally people who might have spoke from God, where there are occasional merit miracles, again, church history would really help. I went just searching this out, I happen upon a Wikipedia article, which I find usually very helpful, because Wikipedia by requirement has to give both sides of an argument. So if you want to follow a pretty good listing out of the debate on it, look up the one on continuation versus cessation. Like it's there in a Wikipedia article for you. And I think I followed it pretty well. I was glad after I wrote all this out that Wikipedia agreed with me. Okay, with that said, how do I learn to use my gifts? In the podcast? Josh and I are gonna how do we relate to our charismatic friends? I don't have time to do all that today. But let's do this. How do I learn to use my gifts? Ask people who know you well, to review the list and see what fits you. Chris hornqvist has a great spiritual gifts inventory that he uses in the fundamentals of the faith class, if you've taken his class, you've already seen it. If not, feel free to look at the member directory and email him for a copy he will be happy to send you a copy for it, it's going to be a great activity for you to do in your growth group. So here's the gifts, then how do we develop them? Let's let's round this out. Number three, refuse to despise or covet any gifts. So we we embrace the privileges we embrace the responsibilities and then we refuse to despise or covet any gift. I think I I heard this, as this list is written out about first, second, third, and then miracles and healings helps administration all the poor helps and administration people just kind of sandwiched in the middle they're forgotten. Actually, the point is everything. But tongues is really important. Tongues had had its place as long as it's properly done. No gift is to be coveted. No gifts is to be despised. No gift is to be elevated, as if it's the only gift that matters. And he he answers this with a brilliant rhetorical series of questions all which have a no Are all apostles. You say? No, Are all prophets are all teachers? Do all work miracles, do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? Right? It's an emphatic and what he's trying to display to them is that there is a mutual interdependence in the church. You have been sovereignly assigned by God with your gift palette. That's kind of how Peter talks about the manifold gifts, a gift palette to use in the church, somebody else has been sovereignly assigned a gift palette, different gifts that work together to form a unique contribution. So you need somebody else's set. They need your set. There is not one this this first to me has always been the easiest answer to Pentecostal theology. Pentecostals say that first you get saved. And then there is a period of of seeking the Lord for consecration of one's whole life, a pleading for gifts for empowerment of service in the betterment of your spirituality. I was saved into a Pentecostal college fellowship and Assemblies of God fellowship. And so I was properly discipled in the Pentecostal way to start reading the Scripture and then start asking for the second blessing. Which the key manifestation of the second blessing is speaking in tongues. And so three months into being saved, I'm speaking in tongues and I'm trying to cast out demons out of various dorms of Eastern and trying to come up with words of wisdom. Then I was given helpful verse by verse exposition of this. When I transferred to a Christian college, I know the Pentecostal is going to jump over to chapter 14, which we will do in our own time, where it says, I wish you all spoke in tongues.

    Paul's gonna use hyperbole about prophecy and about tongues. Here. He says Not everybody has all of it. Between hyper hyperbole and sarcasm, those who insisted that the only gift that mattered was tongues are put in their proper place. And what he is saying here is that it's really simple. Whatever your gift palette is, remember, it is a privilege and a gift you can't do at all, neither can anyone else. So be fully immersed and being served and serving the body of Christ. And then finally, refuse to despise or covet, finally, desire the priority gifts in the right way. Desire the priority gifts in the right way, Paul ends the section with some very helpful instruction, especially as we keep in mind the purpose of a local church, number of personal purpose of a local church is to demonstrate the truthfulness of the Scripture by our love, a loving community, they will know you are my disciples, if you love one another. Being a loving community, making disciples of Jesus Christ, that's the purpose making disciples is going to require the Word of God. He says in verse 31, but earnestly desire the higher gifts. Now there's there's two ways this is often translated, if you have an ESV many of the modern versions, this is a command earnestly desire them, and this is a strong zeal or seriousness to see these. But the form in Greek could also be a simple declaration. You earnestly desire the higher gifts, but you earnestly desire the higher gifts. And then some would want to read a sarcasm into that because Paul has been trying to up end the pride. So how do we decide what this is? You decide what it is by the context. If we look at 14 114, one same word earnestly desired says this Pursue love after the love chapter and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. He can't mean that everybody prophesy because he's just said not everybody will. But he does say earnestly desire it. And I think he's meaning make sure that prophecy has its proper place. So the people of God are properly fed. And then the same kind of verses in 39 Verse 39. So my brothers earnestly desire to prophesy and do not forbid speaking in tongues. That time tongues hadn't fallen off the scene, so there's still a proper place for it, but put it in the right order. So, here's what Paul is not saying. He's not saying that apostles, prophets and teachers are a special Well superior class of people. He is saying this, that we all need to hear and be taught with Christ's gospel, the word of God. Jesus says, Man doesn't live by bread alone, but by every word that falls from the mouth of God. It is the word of God. That is our most important food. Paul says in Romans 1017, Faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of Christ. So there is a proper place to put. apostles, prophets and teachers, apostles and prophets are written in your Scripture, we put them in their proper place by expounding what's here and reading it. Teachers need to have their role so that they can equip the body. That's what he fusions chapter 410 and 11 say that there are these gifts given to the church and an ends with pastors and teachers, for the equipping of saints to do the work of ministry. So all of ministry matters. All of the practical things that you do for other people are the grace of Jesus, they personalized Jesus in the life of others, but you won't know how to use them properly or effectively unless you're equipped by God's word. So we need to put the steering wheel in the right place. And a gathering of believers be a terrible idea to pull out the steering wheel and put in an oil plug, put the oil plug underneath, it be a horrible idea, the oil plug is telling the steering wheel, get us to the right dinner, I'll get us to the right place all make sure we're still operating. I mean, I watch it work over and over and over again. It happened again this morning with people ready to step in to serve people coming across the ice. So that they could come in and sing to God and hear scripture and be fed and serve each other. We all need to be taught with Christ gospel. He is not saying seek to acquire the greater gifts for yourself. That's what I was told. You need to pray that you get the greater gifts, as if you're praying them for your self. He's saying desire that they operate effectively and orderly, to build up the church. If your church doesn't have a teacher, for instance, you need to pray to get one. out throughout the ages of the church churches have understood it. And he doubles down verse 31. And I will show you a still more excellent way you want to add to all of it the way of love, which is going to unpack us. Remember, it's really important when you walk into next week. Paul didn't get to this point and said, You know, Friends, we need a little break from spiritual gifts. We need something practical for marriage, you know, something to be read at weddings. So I'm going to take a little break. Here's something that we could read at weddings, know the love chapter is about how to love people within the church. It's going to help you love people in your marriage too, of course. So as I close, I want to say this again, the gospel of Jesus Christ shows how massive the grace of God is. If we could finish turn over to Ephesians. And I want you to see this, it's over to the right if you're new to your Bible, flick a couple of pages to the right and Ephesians chapter four, talking about the unity of the church and the one gospel and the One Lord. He says in four seven, but grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore it says when He ascended on high he led host a cap let a host of capitalist and He gave gifts to men. The point is Christ descended he suffered, he died for our sins, He rose from the dead. He rose victorious over sin and over Satan and over death and he ascended to a throne. And as the king sitting on his throne, he led to freedom those who are captive and He gave gifts. Here, here are gifts that's go serve that church here our gift sets go serve that church. You have been gifted as a divine representative to work in a body by the grace of King Jesus. It's an extraordinary privilege

    and when we're using them, God's word is clearly taught gospels clearly proclaimed, and you use them in love. Somebody's gonna come and say, I think Jesus is here. Our Father, thank You for this word, how powerful it is, how helpful it is. And I pray that you would continue to help us. anchor our souls in Christ so that we can properly use our gifts in the church. May you be glorified because of Christ's name. Amen.

Dan Jarms

Dr. Dan Jarms is teaching pastor and team leader at Faith Bible Church in Spokane Washington, as well as associate dean at TMS Spokane. He has been married for over 30 years to Linda, and has three adult children. He earned his B.A. in English at the Master’s College, B.Ed. at Eastern Washington University, M.Div and D.Min in Expository Preaching at The Master’s Seminary. His other interests include NCAA basketball, gardening, brick oven cooking.

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