Waynedale United Methodist Church
Saturday, April 04, 2020
Making Disciples of Jesus for the Transformation of the World!

Apr 17, 2016 Sermon

“Spiritual Gifts:  Gifted to Grow”
1 Corinthians 12:1 – 11
Ted Jansen  April 17, 2016  Waynedale UMC
1.)        It is your birthday and your family and friends are gathered around you.  They all sing “Happy Birthday” to you while a cake is brought before you.  All the candles are lit as you look around at all their happy faces.  You blow out the candles and all the people cheer for you.  The people encourage you to begin opening your birthday gifts.  This is your special day.  You are with people who love you and enjoy you.        
2.)        God loves you and gives many gifts to each of us.  God’s amazing grace continues each moment of our lives.  God gives the gift of life, the gift of health, the gift of creation.  There are gifts like salvation, hope, comfort, and love that await us.  When we ask Christ to come into our heart we have some special gifts that are given to us. 
3.)        One way of thinking of God’s love and the work of the Holy Spirit is through the three expressions of Grace that John Wesley taught. 
            Prevenient Grace is God’s Holy Spirit at work in you and around you giving evidence of God’s love and pointing you to Jesus Christ.  You are not aware of anything “spiritual” but grace creates an awakening in you.   
            Justifying Grace is God’s Holy Spirit affirming in your spirit that you are loved.  The Holy Spirit gives you confidence that you are justified.  It is “just if I’d” never sinned in your relationship with God.  When you acknowledge that you are a sinner and accept Christ’s love you are justified and have a relationship with God because of what Christ did.    
            Sanctifying Grace is God’s Holy Spirit that continues to work in our life making you more loving, more holy and more like Christ.  It is God’s sanctifying grace that we experience the spiritual gifts Paul teaches about.    
4.)        Each disciple of Jesus Christ has been given spiritual gifts.  Did you know that?  We are going to explore the topic of spiritual gifts for the next two weeks by looking at Paul’s teaching to the church.  I want divide the 1 Corinthians 12:1 – 11 in four sections and offer some teaching on Paul’s thoughts.  I am going to quiz you after the message to see if you were able to learn anything as a result of this teaching.  Be prepared!         
5.)        Paul’s desire to teach all disciples about the gifts. (Verses 1, 2, 3)
Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed.  You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols.   Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.
            Paul wants the church to know that the Holy Spirit leads a disciple to affirm that Jesus is Lord.  The Holy Spirit in each disciple leads us in God’s direction.    
6.)        Here is some scripture about what the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives looks like. 
*John 3:16 (For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.) teaches us that when a person receives Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior they have eternal life.  At a moment of belief the Holy Spirit comes inside the heart. 
            *2 Corinthians 5:17 (Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!) teaches us that God’s Spirit is going to do something new in them.  We are in Christ as a new creation. 
            *Galatians 5:22, 23 ( But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control.) teaches us that through the Holy Spirit spiritual fruit begins to be produced in our hearts.  A person will have more love, patience, kindness, as the Spirit works. 
            *Hebrews 10:24 – 25 (And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.) teaches us that as God grows us on the inside our growth continues through being connected in relationship with other disciples.  Each person is connected, spiritually, to the church, the community of faith.  We are not meant to live or grow spiritually all by ourselves.  We are meant to be connected.          
            *1 Corinthians 12:7 (Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.) teaches us the Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts for the disciple to use for the community.  The gifts are not given for us to hold on to, but to use.   
7.)        Paul’s counsel on how the different ways gifts are used. (Verses 4, 5, 6)
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.  There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.  There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
            Paul teaches the church that each person receives different spiritual gifts.  God has a divine purpose for the different gifts that have been given.    
            Spiritual gifts are to be used in different ways, through different personalities, in different settings and with different churches/community of faith.
8.)        A practical example would be to consider the spiritual gift of service.  You can use this gift to help a need in the life of the church, like washing dishes.  You can also use this gift to mow a neighbor’s yard.  Another person might tutor a child with homework.  If you have the gift of service there are many ways it can be used.  There is not one way to use spiritual gifts.       
9.)        Paul’s affirmation of how the gifts are used.  (Verse 7)
 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 
            Paul teaches that spiritual gifts are to be used for the common good, for the church, for the sake of the ministry, for others.  When you use your gifts a by-product is that you grow spiritually as you serve others.  That is great. 
10.)      A practical example would be if a person with the gift of music is asked to sing or play.  When they share this musical ministry that person feels fulfilled and others are lifted up in spirit. 
If you serve in an area that is not in your giftedness you will not be fulfilled and others in the church might not grow in grace.       
            Another way to look at this is if a person is asked to teach a group and they don’t have the gift of teaching they will not do a good job and feel terrible.  The people will not be lifted up because it will be bad.    
If that person has the gift of intercessory prayer and they pray for people with power and grace all will be blessed and touched by God, but not by teaching but by praying.      
11.)      Paul’s instruction on the different gifts.   (Verses 8 – 11)  
 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.  All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
            Paul teaches in this scripture and in Romans 12:6 – 8, 1 Corinthians 12:28, and Ephesians 4:11 the spiritual gifts.
            I looked up several different websites from churches, ministries and leaders on the number of spiritual gifts.  There is about 19 or so that most agree on.  An inventory that I have used was developed by Ginghamsburg UMC that lists 24 gifts.  The resource I was given years ago and have permission to use also gives a description of the gifts and some scripture. 
12.)      What are your spiritual gifts?  I have an inventory that you can take to discern what your spiritual gifts are.  You answer questions by giving yourself a score.  Then add up the responses and this will show you your gifts.  When you identify your spiritual gifts ask others in the church what they think.  Use your spiritual gifts in the life of the church.  Each gift can be used.        
            Can you guess what my spiritual gifts are?  I have gifts in teaching, knowledge, encouraging.  I pray that I am using them as a pastor of this community of faith.       
13.)      The guests are waiting for you after they have sung, “Happy Birthday,” to you!  They have cheered as you blew out the candles, they brought gifts to you and have invited you to open them.  They want to see your reaction to their gifts.     
            What would happen if you would say to them, “Thanks for coming to this Birthday Party.  I don’t plan on opening any of my gifts that you brought me!”  
            People might be shocked, saddened and perhaps a little angry!   They brought you a gift so that you would open it.  Why wouldn’t you want to open it?    
            God loves you and as a disciple, who by the Holy Spirit, can say “Jesus is Lord, you have some spiritual gifts to open.  Go ahead and see what God has given you. 
14.)      Here is a review of the teaching on Spiritual Gifts.  There are five questions.  See how you would answer them.   
What are the spiritual gifts?  (They are gifts given by the Holy Spirit to disciples.) 
How do you receive spiritual gifts?   (When you receive Christ as Lord, the Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts.) 
Why are the spiritual gifts given?   (The gifts are given for the purpose of serving the needs of others.) 
How do we discover what our spiritual gifts are?  (We take an inventory and talk to other disciples and as we use our gifts we discover if we are growing spiritually.)
How do we use our spiritual gifts?  (When we have discovered out spiritual gifts we find a ministry, a way of serving in and through the church.  We need to pray and ask the Lord to help us show how to best use our gifts.)
Prayer – Lord, I pray for one person here today to open their spiritual gifts and begin using them for the Kingdom of God.  Let that person come and get an inventory to discover their gift!