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Now concerning the spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you be ignorant ( 1 Corinthians 12:1 ).
An interesting statement of Paul, because I think that in the church one of the areas where the greatest ignorance does exist today is in the area of spiritual gifts, and their operation within the church. And this ignorance is on both sides of the fence.
Within the Pentecostal churches there is a lot of abuse of the gifts of the Spirit, because people are ignorant of their true operation within the church. On the other side of the fence, among some of the fundamental churches there is a lot of ignorance of the gifts of the Spirit as they dismiss them to another age and do not see any validity for them today. So where Paul says, "I would not have you to be ignorant," sad but true, there is a great deal of ignorance today.
Now you know that you were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as you were led. So I give you to understand that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Spirit ( 1 Corinthians 12:2-3 ).
Evidently there was a rumor in Paul's day that someone speaking in tongues was overheard by someone who understood the language that he was speaking in, and he was actually blaspheming God. Paul said, "Impossible. No man by the Spirit calls Jesus accursed." Now that rumor probably started in Corinth, but it hasn't died yet. I often today hear people say, "Oh, there was a meeting, and my aunt knew a woman who attended a service . . . " Never will you ever hear a firsthand evidence of that rumor, it is always someone who knew somebody, somewhere. "And there was this meeting and someone got up and spoke in tongues, and someone was there from Egypt who understood the language, and they were blaspheming God and all." That rumor persists to the present day. However, know this, no man by the Spirit calls Jesus accursed, impossible.
"Also, if you have a son who comes to you and asks for bread, you are not going to give him a stone. If he asks for a fish, you're not going to give him a scorpion. Or if he asked for an egg, you're not going to give him a serpent. If you earthly fathers know how to give good gifts to your children: how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those that ask Him?" ( Luke 11:11-13 )
I am tired of these boogie man stories of, "You had better be careful when you yield yourself and open up yourself to God, because you don't know what spirit might come in." False. Your heavenly Father is much more gracious than we are as earthly fathers. And if I, as a sincere child of God, am seeking the fullness of God's Spirit and asking Him to give me more of His Spirit indwelling me and empowering me, it would be blasphemous to say that God would allow some false or evil spirit to come in and to take control of my life. That is an extremely blasphemous concept of God that I utterly reject.
The second part of this is also interesting, "No man can call Jesus Lord except by the Holy Spirit." If I really confess Jesus Christ as Lord, I can only do that as the result of the work of the Holy Spirit within my life. If you have made that confession, it is because the work of the Holy Spirit within your life. You can't do it apart from the work of the Holy Spirit; you cannot make a genuine confession that Jesus is Lord except the Holy Spirit has done His work within your life.
Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit ( 1 Corinthians 12:4 ).
There are many different gifts. There is a partial listing here. Paul gives us another listing in Romans 12 , in which he adds some that are not here. There are many different types of gifts, but there is just one Spirit, the same Spirit.
There are differences of administrations ( 1 Corinthians 12:5 ),
Now he speaks about governments, and helps and things of this nature, and there are different administrations.
and yet it is the same Lord. There are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all ( 1 Corinthians 12:5-6 ).
So even with the diversities of gifts, then there are diversities of the operations of that gift. I may possess a certain gift of the Spirit and you may possess the same gift of the Spirit, but it may operate in my life differently than it operates in your life.
One thing about God is that He will not be pigeonholed by us. He refuses to be conformed to our patterns and to our mindsets. He allows Himself that liberty of working as He wills and as He desires. It doesn't always follow my patterns. Therefore, it is wrong to seek to receive the same kind of an experience that someone else receives. God may work differently in your life. A mistake that we often make when we hear a person give a glorious testimony of how they receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, or how they receive some gift of the Spirit in their lives. They think, "Oh, that's the way it happens," and so they try to look for the same kind of sensations, the same kind of feelings, as some people are very . . . the sanguine especially can describe things so vividly. "I was under the piano and I began to get this warm feeling that started at the top of my head. And it was just like it came right on down through me and my whole body was just tingling with these . . . " And they can go on. And so I am waiting upon God and say, "Oh Lord, I want to receive more of Your Spirit," and then I wait for this warm glow to start in the top of my head, and nothing happens. I wait, and wait, and I don't get this warm glow, and I think, "Well, maybe another night." Because I am looking to imitate someone else's experience.
But we, all of us, relate to God in our own ways, and God relates to us in His own way. And our experiences can vary dramatically, though we do have and can be exercising the same gift of the Spirit. The way it works in me is different than the way it works in you. The sensations that I may feel would be different from the sensations that you may feel. Thus, we should not be trying to receive some experience or predicate the fact that I have received the experience because I have had a warm glow or felt like a bath or felt like this or felt like that. The faith should never be in the feelings that I receive, because I may not have any feelings at all that I can describe. All I've got is pure faith in the promise of God. "Oh, what a shame!" No, what a blessing! I've got God's Word and I stand upon the Word of God.
The same with salvation. Some people describe these marvelous feelings when they receive Jesus Christ. So people are looking for some kind of a feeling rather than just taking the Word of God at face value. God has said it, He has promised it; I put my faith in the Word and the promise of God, and establish it there. Rather than, "Well, brother, let me tell you, this is how it happened to me." It is important that our faith be established in the Word, because it doesn't change, my feelings do. My feelings can change radically from tonight to tomorrow morning, but the Word of God doesn't change.
Thus, when my faith is established upon the Word then I have a solid relationship. Diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. The same Lord, the same God, and of course, here you have the Father, Son, and the Spirit.
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man for the profit of all ( 1 Corinthians 12:7 ).
If God does give to me a gift of the Spirit, it isn't for my own personal pleasure. It isn't a toy for me to play with; it is for the profit of the whole body of Christ. There is only one gift spoken of that is to be used in one's personal devotion and it is for their personal benefit, and that is the gift of tongues. And we will get to that next Sunday night as we study the fourteenth chapter, the proper use of tongues in the life of the believer.
The gifts are given for the profit of the whole body of Christ.
To one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom ( 1 Corinthians 12:8 );
This word of wisdom is exercised in, of course, different ways--diversities of operations.
In the early church there arose a dispute between the Hellenist, the Grecians, and the Hebrews. Some of the Jews were following the Hellenistic culture. Some were following the Hebrew culture. Those that were following the Hellenist culture felt that their widows were getting a second-rate treatment from the church's welfare program. So they came to the apostles with their complaint, "Our widows are getting second-class treatment over there at the welfare tables." So the apostles got together, the word of wisdom, "Let us appoint seven men of good reputation, filled with the Holy Spirit, that they might take the duty of administering the church's welfare in order that we might continue to give ourselves to fasting and to prayer and to the Word of God. For it isn't right that we should leave our ministries to take care of distributing of the church's welfare program." Word of wisdom, further wisdom is manifested probably in the fact that of the seven men, five of them have Grecian names, which mean they probably came from the Hellenistic culture.
When certain brethren came to the church of Antioch and saw the Gentiles and their liberty in Christ, they said, "Hey, wait a minute, you can't be saved unless you are circumcised. You keep the law of Moses." So Paul and Barnabas gathered these guys together and, "We'll go right on down to Jerusalem. We'll settle this right now once and for all." So they came to the church in Jerusalem and there was a big division over this. Peter got up and said, "God called me to the Gentiles, and while I was speaking the Holy Spirit came upon me. Who was I to resist the Word of God? I don't think that we ought to try and put a yoke of bondage on them that we have never been able to keep." Then others of them, Paul and Barnabas, told the work that God had done, the miracles that we accomplished among their ministry in the Gentiles. Then James, with a word of wisdom, said, "I suggest let's just write to them and tell them, keep themselves from fornication and things that were offered to idols, things that were strangled; if they do that they do well. Let's not lay the whole thing on them, just know the essentials." Word of wisdom, everybody is happy, "Yes, let's do that."
So often when there are differences, disagreements, there is the possibility of people of polarizing, the word of wisdom so often can just come in and someone will speak up and say, "I think we ought to do that." And everybody says, "Hey, ya. That is a good idea. How did you ever think of that?" Really, it is just the word of wisdom coming forth. So there are some that God just gifts this way; it isn't the reservoir of wisdom that I can just tap on at anytime and it is there. But in a situation that arises the Lord just gives that word of wisdom that is satisfying to everybody.
The second that he lists here or speaks about is,
the word of knowledge ( 1 Corinthians 12:8 ),
Now, this is how that you intuitively or somehow inwardly just have knowledge of something that is going on, and you can't tell how you know it. You just . . . the Spirit has just revealed it and you have from the Spirit knowledge of a situation, knowledge of a person's circumstance. I have looked at people sometimes and the Lord just gave me all kinds of understanding of the problems that the person was going through, things that were happening in their lives. I can't tell you where I received it, or how, but it was just there.
The word of knowledge was probably exercised by Peter when this fellow Simon was seeking to buy the power that whosoever laid his hands on they might receive also the gift of the Holy Spirit. But Peter said, "Your money perishes with you. I perceive that in your heart there is bitterness, there is jealousy, there is envy that is there. You had better pray and repent." Peter was reading the fellow. This word of knowledge is interesting. I am not really always aware when it is being exercised. Many times in the pulpit ministering the word of knowledge is exercised and I am not even aware of it.
One time, every once in a while I get on these kicks of these evangelists or these men who have a paper ministry. It is all in letters. They go out and take pictures, "This is my great meeting here and continue to send in your support for God's work to go on." And they are doing nothing but sitting and typing these pitiful letters to their constituents and to their mailing list, and they really do no service for God. And I was going on about these kind of people one night and I said, "You know, they live down on Lido Island, and they drive white Cadillacs," and I go on and all. I was going on describing the scenario. Monday morning I received an irate call, because these services are broadcast. I received an irate call from a guy who lives down on Lido Island, who drives a white Cadillac who has a mailing ministry. He said, "You have no right speaking about my ministry. You don't know what I am doing for the Lord." I said, "I really don't. Who are you?" "You were talking about me last night, talking about my home here on Lido and my white Cadillac." I said, "Sir, I don't know anything about you. I have never heard of you in my life. I was just making up an example because the Lido is a plush area, I named Lido, and white Cadillacs is an epidemic for these guys." And I said, "But I don't know you." But I said, "If I were you, I would sure examine myself." The word of knowledge. Now, it does happen sometimes in very peculiar circumstances. I mean weird kind of things.
I was at a Rose Bowl game--S.C. and Ohio State. S.C. had the ball down on their own fifteen-yard line. And so this friend that I was at the game with, I said, "Watch on this next play, Davis is going to take the ball around the left end and he is going to go all the way in one play." My wife says that my voice carries, and she always says, "Honey, talk softer when you are in a restaurant, everybody can hear you." So people around me heard me. The very next play, the ball was given to Davis, around left end and ran all the way for a touchdown. Everybody in five rows turned around and looked at me, and they said, "What is going to happen next?" I don't know why I said it. I have never said anything like that in my life. But it was just something that came out, and then when it happened, I was as amazed as everybody.
Word of knowledge is a very interesting thing, and just how it operates a person just doesn't really know. You know, I think that one thing is that the supernatural often operates so naturally that we fail to recognize it as a supernatural. There is an awful lot of supernatural happening around us that we are totally oblivious to. We are not even aware of it. Because it happens so naturally. I expect if God speaks to me that there is going to be the, "Chuuuuuck . . . oh, oh," your hair standing on end; God is talking, you know. I mean, you can tell His voice, it has that shake to it. So we are looking for some type of supernatural phenomena in order to recognize the work of God, or the voice of God, but it oftentimes happens in a very still, small voice. An inner awareness, a sudden thought or an inspiration, a sudden desire as God speaks to our hearts and plants His truth within our hearts. I have learned not to look for the fire, not to look for the earthquake, not to look for the rushing wind, but to listen to that still, small voice as God speaks to our hearts, the word of knowledge by the same Spirit.
To another faith ( 1 Corinthians 12:9 ),
Now, we are told to every man is given a measure of faith. That faith by which I believed in Jesus Christ was a gift of God, for by grace are we saved through faith, and that not of ourselves; it is a gift of God. The faith to believe in Jesus Christ was given to me by God.
When Peter was going with John into the temple and the man was seeking alms and Peter said, "Silver and gold I don't have, but what I have I will be glad to give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth stand to your feet and walk," and he took the man and lifted him to his feet. That was an act of faith on Peter's part, lifting a lame man to his feet. And immediately he received strength and he began to run and leap and praise God. And then, as he made his circuit through the temple, people said, "Isn't that the lame man who has been at the gate for many years?" "Yes, it sure looks like him. What is he doing running around?" "I don't know. Let's find out." And so as he came back out to Solomon's Porch where Peter was still standing, he took hold of Peter and he began to hug him, and all of the people began to relate the miracle to Peter. And so Peter said, "You men of Israel," about five thousand had gathered, "why marvel you at this? Or why look upon me, or upon us as though we through our own righteousness have done this good deed to this lame man? Be it made known unto you that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth that this man stands before you whole. He is the stone that was set of nought by your builders, He has become the chief cornerstone. It is through the faith of Him that this man has perfect soundness in the presence of you all" ( Acts 3:6-16 ).
Peter didn't say, "It is my faith, my great faith. I prayed for years and God finally gave this to me." But Peter said, "It is through the faith of Him," the gift of faith, the faith of Him, "that this man has perfect soundness in the presence of you all." So Peter recognized that this wasn't just some faith that I have, I can go around and lift every lame man to his feet. But the Lord gave him faith in that particular instance, and he had that gift of faith for that instance, and he lifted the man to the feet by faith and God healed him. The gift of faith, and that is a special faith in a special situation. It isn't that you have faith in every situation. Men of faith oftentimes have great times of failure.
Abraham, the father of those who believe, God said, "I am going to give you a son, Abraham." God kept saying, "I am going to give you a son, Abraham," the older he got. Sarah went through menopause, God said, "I am going to give you a son, Abraham." Sarah said, "Abraham, let's quit fooling ourselves. God needs help. It's obvious. He wants to give you a son, so you take my handmaiden Hagar, go in unto her. And then when the child is born I will be the midwife and I will take the child from her womb and it will be like my child and it will be your son. And we'll help God out, because at this point, we have got to be practical." So Ishmael was born. One day when Ishmael was about thirteen years old playing outside, the Lord said to Abraham, "Abraham, I am going to bless you and give you a son." Abraham laughed and said, "Let Ishmael live before You forever, Lord. That's all right, Lord, there he is. I accept it." The Lord said, "No, through Sarah shall your seed be called."
Here is a man of faith, but he had a lapse of faith. It wasn't faith in every situation, he said, "Hey, Sarah, you are so beautiful they will kill me to take you away from me. So when we get out of there just say you are my sister. Don't tell them you are my wife." The man of faith, pawning off his wife as his sister. Sometimes we are discouraged because the faith is not always there. Men of faith often have lapses of faith.
Elijah, right after his contest with the prophets of Baal, when he said, "You build your altar, and I will build my altar, and we will pray to God and the god who answers by fire, let him be the God." They said, "Fair enough." They built their altar and they prayed all morning. Nothing happened. And Elijah came to them and said, "I bet your god is asleep. Have you ever thought of that? You probably will have to cry louder to wake him up, or it could be that he is off on a vacation, that would be a shame. Or it could be that he has gone to the restroom and relieving himself." That's what he said; he is a crude guy. And so these guys began to jump up and down and slash themselves with knives and throw themselves on the altar and all, and still nothing happened. So then Elijah said, "All right, now bring some water and pour it on my sacrifice there." And they brought the water and poured it on. "Pour on more, pour on more." Finally the whole thing was just sopped. They had dug a trench around it full of water, and he said, "Now okay, God, now show these guys." And the fire came and consumed the sacrifice, burned up the rocks upon which the altar was built, licked up all the water; a great man of faith.
While he had the roll going, he took the four hundred prophets of Baal down to the stream, the brook Kidron, and killed them all. And then that wicked queen Jezebel came back and she heard what Elijah did, and she said, "God help me if I don't have that guy's head by tomorrow afternoon." And Elijah heard, "Jezebel is after you," and he took off running. This great man of faith ran over a hundred miles, down to the Sinai where he hid in a cave. A great man of faith, hiding in a cave from Jezebel. You see, men of faith can have lapses of faith, and if you have the gift of faith, it doesn't mean it is going to operate all the time. "Hey, I've got finally the little genie here, and any time you want to rub it . . . shazam . . . alakazam, here it is," you know.
But God gives to you, in certain situations, special faith. And it is glorious when God gives you the faith that He is going to work, and you just have that confidence and that faith, and that trust, and rest in God. A beautiful experience. It doesn't happen in every case, but it is glorious when it does happen.
to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit ( 1 Corinthians 12:9 );
Operates much the same as the gift of faith.
To another the working of miracles ( 1 Corinthians 12:10 );
Again, not in every situation, but a lot of miracles happening.
to another prophecy ( 1 Corinthians 12:10 );
Which is really speaking forth the truth of God through the anointing of the Spirit.
to another the discerning of spirits ( 1 Corinthians 12:10 );
For there are many spirits that have gone out into the world, and not all are of God.
to another the various kinds of tongues; and to another the interpretation of tongues ( 1 Corinthians 12:10 ):
And we will save our commentary on this till next Sunday night when we get into chapter 14.
But all of these are working that the one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he wills ( 1 Corinthians 12:11 ).
These gifts of the Spirit are something that are wrapped up in the sovereignty of the Spirit of God. I cannot demand that a particular gift be operating in my life. The Spirit is sovereign in the dispensing of these gifts.
Now as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ ( 1 Corinthians 12:12 ).
So we are the body of Christ.
Now, in your body you have many different parts to your body. You have your fingers, you have your hands, you have your arms, you have your wrists, your eyes, your ears, your nose, your mouth, your legs, your feet, your toes, various parts of your body. Many parts of your body, but yet, you are one body.
Now, if you drop a lead pipe on your toe, where do you hurt? You hurt all over. One member is suffering, the whole body suffers. It is hard to divide the areas of pain when I am hurting.
The body of Christ, here we are many members, but we are not the whole body of Christ. The many members of the body of Christ include the Presbyterian Church down the street, the Lutheran Church over in Mesa Verde, the Baptist Church down on Baker; we are all members of the body of Christ. We are all, then, a part of each other, a part of that one body. God help us to come to this awareness and realization.
There are always those who seek to want to divide the body of Christ. The recognition of themselves to the exclusion of other parts. Or, there are always those who think that they are the most important part of the body of Christ. But every part is necessary for the other. And if the whole body were just an ear, then where would be the seeing? If the whole body were just an eye, then how could you hear? So God has brought the body of Christ of many members, brought them together. We are all one body, and in recognition of this, if one member of the body is suffering, then we should all be feeling it. If one member of the body is being exalted, then we should all rejoice in the exaltation of that part of the body.
So Paul teaches this beautiful lesson of the oneness of the body of Jesus Christ, an important lesson that I pray that God, by His Holy Spirit, will help us to all grasp and to put into practice in our own mental concepts, in our own thinking processes. That we will not be guilty of just thinking of ourselves exclusively or looking for our own benefits exclusively, or just one segment of the body of Christ to the exclusion of others.
We have not yet heard on Channel 30 whether or not the interim license will be given to us. We are supposed to hear any day, but it is a government agency and they're not always the most dependable. They were have supposed to have issued it by the fourth, by their previous declaration, but they are no doubt deliberating it. And whatever the decision they come up with we will surely abide with, but we do intend, if they grant to us that permit for Channel 30, I intend to immediately call Chuck Swindoll, James Dobson, Dave--over in Santa Ana at the Calvary Church-Hocking, John MacArthur, and get these fellows together and say, "Look, here is what God has laid in our laps. Let's pray together and seek the Lord how to best use this facility for His glory." Get many different representatives from the body of Christ. Giving them exposure, giving their ministries exposure on television, rather than just representing one small spectrum of the Christian body on television. I would like to see all of the spectrums of the Christian body represented; the true body of Christ, those who own to the lordship of Jesus Christ.
So John and I disagree in some areas, but we are still brothers in Christ Jesus and one in Him. And that oneness that we share in Christ is far greater than any disagreement that we might have concerning the issues that we are talking about tonight. We need to have that awareness that when we get to heaven there is not going to be a section for the Methodist, and another for the Presbyterian, and another for Baptist, but in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, barbarian, Scythian, bond or free, Baptist or Methodist, Presbyterian or Nazarene, or Church of God, or Church of Christ, but they are all one in Him. Beautiful lessons here that Paul teaches concerning the oneness of the body.
For by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body, whether we are Jews or Gentiles [Baptist or Presbyterians], whether we be bond or free; we have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many ( 1 Corinthians 12:13-14 ).
Can you imagine if the body was just . . . what a weird world this would be if your body had just one member and each of us were just a different part. "Look at that big toe going down the street. Isn't that weird looking?"
If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? ( 1 Corinthians 12:15 )
Now, if any part of your body had the right to complain it would probably be your foot; it lives in the dark most of the time. Stuffy and smelly environment, yet it never complains. Well, it does complain sometimes at night if you work too hard, but I mean, it is just there, it just functions, it just is a part of your whole body. It doesn't seek to exalt itself and move up and become appended to your knee or something. "I'm going to get out of this dirty smelly place. I want to be something different."
If the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? ( 1 Corinthians 12:16 )
There are those who say, "We are this, we are that, we are not part of the whole body," they don't see it.
If the whole body were an eye [it would be weird], where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? Now God has set the members every one of them in the body, as it has pleased him ( 1 Corinthians 12:17-18 ).
Again, "as it has pleased Him." An important phrase in the New Testament. Follow through in your concordance, "as it has pleased Him." God gives us a body as pleases Him, our new body.
And if they were all one member, then where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of you: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be sort of insignificant, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow the more abundant honor; and our uncomely parts the more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honor to that part which lacked ( 1 Corinthians 12:19-24 ):
And so God, creating the body of Christ and those parts that we sometimes look down upon, sort of look down our nose, "Well, you know they are . . . " Yet, God chose to bless and exalt them to bestow upon them honor.
That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffers, then all members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and members in particular ( 1 Corinthians 12:25-27 ).
You are all important. You all have a vital part to play in the body, a vital part to fill in the body, a ministry that the body might be whole and complete. And if you don't fill your part, then the body is missing in that area. So each of you have been placed in the body of Christ to fulfill your area of ministry there within the body.
And God has set some in the church, first of all the apostles, secondly the prophets, thirdly the teachers, and after that the miracles, and the gifts of healings, and the helps, and the governments, and the diversities of tongues ( 1 Corinthians 12:28 ).
Are all apostles? [No.] Are all prophets? [No.] Are all teachers? [No.] Do all work miracles? [No.] Have all the gifts of healing? [No.] Do all speak with tongues? [No.] Do all interpret? [No.] Therefore covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet I will show you a more excellent way ( 1 Corinthians 12:29-31 ).
A more excellent way than having these gifts of miracles, or healings, or whatever, operating in your life. God has something even better for you. We'll get to it next Sunday as we move along.
For these last few verses, this morning's sermon is an exposition of this latter portion, and so I would refer you to this morning's sermon to it for the exposition to this portion from verse 1 Corinthians 12:28 on. And next week we will move into that thirteenth chapter of Corinthians which has to be one of the greatest chapters in the entire Bible, as Paul defines for us this interesting and intriguing Greek word agape. And we get the definition for this kind of love that originates with God and that He wants to flow through our lives. Then in chapter 14, the proper use of the gift of tongues and interpretation of tongues. So interesting study next Sunday night.
Never think, "I'm unimportant. It doesn't really matter if I am there or not." It does. God has placed you in the body and God has chosen to place the greater honor on some of the more insignificant or parts that aren't as obvious or as noticed as others. In a sense, I guess God has made me a mouth, but if the whole body were a mouth, what a mess it would be. We each take our place within the body, opening our hearts to God that the Holy Spirit might cause us to function in a well-coordinated way. That God, then, might use us for His glory.
One of the problems with the church is that so often we find the church is spastic, because each part of the body is wanting it's own thing. We are not really sensitive and yielded to the Holy Spirit who is the one who coordinates the movement of the body. The church has not had as strong a testimony before the world as it should, because the body is fighting against itself.
Now, what if your body did that? What if your hand had a different idea than your arm of what it wanted to do? Or your legs, each of them had separate desires of where they wanted to go? And you get a picture of what the body of Christ looks like before the world many times, as everyone wants to do their own thing and not surrender to the Holy Spirit. How we need to be yielded to the Spirit that He might coordinate the activities of the church, the body of Jesus Christ.
Thus, may you be sensitive to the Spirit, open to the Spirit, used by the Spirit. In Jesus' name. "
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 12". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29