Monday, March 18, 2013

The Morning After: Spiritual Gifts, Finding Your Place in the Body of Christ


I am towards the very end of my series on the church. Our goal in this series has been to investigate the Scriptures to discover how God designed the church to function and operate. This week, we spent time talking about the nature of spiritual gifts. Our main idea in this message was . . .

Every Christian Has Been Called & Gifted To Meet 
A Need In The Church!

Many Christians fail to realize not only how God has gifted them, but the importance of their gift for the body of Christ. We treat this special endowment of grace, a spiritual gift, like we treat a present we didn't want for Christmas. It gets put in the closet or garage, hardly ever taken out to make an appearance. But that is not God's plan. God's plan is that it be used and for a specific purpose. That purpose is explained in my definition for spiritual gifts. 
A spiritual gift is a special act of grace that God gives to the Christian to meet a need in the body of Christ for the spiritual growth of the church (Eph. 4:11-12; 1 Cor. 14:12) to the glory of God (1 Peter 4:11).
This means that if you are a Christian, God has given you a special manifestation of grace that enables you to do something for His glory as it builds up the body of Christ. It helps the church, the people of the church, to grow into the image of Jesus Christ. And when it is used, it is counted as authentic worship before the Lord.

My specific goal in my sermon was not to answer all the questions that usually come up about spiritual gifts (like the really important charismatic questions). We did not have time for all of that. My goal was simply to lay the biblical evidence before people that if they are in Christ, they have been called and gifted to meet a need in the body of Christ. I wanted to motivate them as to the importance of jumping in and serving. I don't want people to ignore their gifts. I'm tired of people sweeping their gifts under the rug. God has called all Christians to something and gifted them to do it for the good of the church and the glory of His name.

This has meant so much to me in the past and especially the last several weeks that I am going to break my thoughts down into several blog posts over the next week. But I will share my main points from my sermon that I will articulate in separate posts coming very soon. It is my understanding in 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 that Paul tries to motivate the people of Corinth to jump in and use their gifts. He does that by giving three different motivations concerning the purpose of spiritual gifts.

#1 - Spiritual Gifts Are Designed To Promote Unity (vs. 12-13)
#2 - Spiritual Gifts Are Designed To Alleviate Inferiority (vs. 14-20)
#3 - Spiritual Gifts Are Designed To Eliminate Superiority (vs. 21-31)

If you simply cannot wait and want to see more of this, you can check out my notes or listen to the sermon HERE. But the next week or so, I plan on articulating each one of these points in further depth, all for the good of the church and the glory of Jesus.

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