May 31 2016
1 Corinthians 12. 1-11 (Audio Sermon)
The Corinthian church was powerfully gifted but they had many questions about their experiences. Believers today have similar questions and Paul answers many of them. This sermon explains how to apply Paul’s answers in modern times. Click the arrow to play –
Speakers notes follow –
Spiritual Gifts – Who, When, Why & How?
1 Corinthians 12. 1-11
Source of Gifts
Many ask – ‘What if tongues is the devil?’ In 35 years I’ve never heard evil tongues – Listen to the experienced – the married – Paul was experienced in tongues (14.18) – Same for prophesy
‘Now about the gifts’ (1) answering their questions
‘No one who is speaking by the Spirit’ (3) – Concern of things uttered order inspiration – Previously followed mute idols (2) – now God who speaks thu his people
Basic way to judge utterances – no one speaking by the Spirit speaks against Jesus – only for Jesus (3) – ‘Lord‘ (Kyrios) Yahweh in LXX (their Bible) – Jesus declared Yahweh by the Spirit
‘Different kinds of gifts’ (4) but the same Spirit, Lord, God – don’t worry! – entire trinity involved
Gifts for common good (7) – the what? Good!
Chapters 12-14 gifts during worship (7-11) – Chapters 11-14 meeting setting – 14.26 ‘Each of you’ (open ministry) – emphasis is unprepared and spontaneous in Spirit – wisdom & knowledge not prepared sermons – as spontaneous as tongues (big topic here) – if not experienced in charismatic you’ll think its prepared messages
So God the Spirit is the source of all the gifts – they’re good!
Every Gift is Needed (12-14, 17, 21-23)
Body illustration (12) – every part needed – ok to bring song instead of prophecy, testimony instead of teaching
Secular Corinth – paraded their abilities (philosophy, poetry) – gave them status – continued after conversion – felt their gift superior – I’m a seer (the eye) – I have visions because I’m obedient – made others feel inferior – withdraw – ‘hey eye you need smell’ – can’t discern – need teacher, don’t know the word – he who flaunts a gift is immature
People need encouragement – Steve prays for Monique ‘hands loaded?’
First Apostles, Prophets, Teachers (28) (not contradiction) first because they’re leaders (authority) – desire greater gifts – you can grow into them
Love is More Important (13.1-13) than gifts
Tongues of men – earthly language, tongues of angels – heavenly language – Corinthians spoke both
Tongues without love clanging cymbal – noise (1) – empty of God, a hollow bell, God is love
‘Open your mouth!’ – left disillusioned – a number – only I knew it was empty – ever experienced loving prayer with no power – don’t want it to end!
Love affirms others – makes space for their gifts – thinks of effect on others
Nature of love (4-7) – patient with people, doesn’t boast, protects in ministry, not rude, not rejoice in evil, hopes – everyone gets better at ministry – perseveres
Love never fails (8) – Dont identify with gift – identity with Love – God’s nature
Gifts are in part – will cease (8-12) part of what heaven knows – poor reflection v face to face – ancient mirror of polish metal (12) – speak as children now – adults then (11)
When we know fully – wont need gifts
‘Perfection’ completeness (10) – some say referring to completed canon – but canon not in context – teleion related to teloa (end) and teleo (to bring to an end) – usually used to refer to Second Coming
Face to face (12) is about seeing him, not reading his book
Paul said don’t forbid tongues – eagerly desire prophesy (39) – if we dismiss this we dismiss chapter 14 – rather embrace all gifts and learn how to operate in them – as Paul is teaching
Corinth got a lot wrong (26-40) – disorderly – but were free in the gifts – all involved – I am jealous!
If a car isnt moving, no point trying to steer. I’d rather all were moving in gifts, making a mess and needing to be guided
I’ve been in messy situations – falling, babbling, screaming – it happens when the Spirit comes – give directions once the river is flowing
Love in Practice (14. 26-40) – being considerate and orderley
‘Each of you’ – Sounds like open ministry – like open prayer (26) – this is not a church that restricts ministry to a pastor & elders
Rules on tongues & prophecy not to be applied legalistically – a guide – don’t have to stop the 4th prophecy if its orderly (29)
Speak to himself and to God (28) – private tongues – have use!
Tongues together – Apostles didn’t say 120 speaking in tongues at Pentecost was disorderly (27-28) – private tongues together
Spirits of prophet under control of prophets (32) – not taken over – Spirit may burn in you but wait for right moment – godly people are disciplined
Prophecy to be weighed (29) for accuracy and orthodoxy
Women (wives) not to speak (34-35) – could pray & prophesy in 11.5 – Obviously addressing something different – A disruption of sorts
1) Wives not exposed to scriptures so asking questions in sermon. If sitting apart as in some synagogues they may have shouted – since prayer & prophecy allowed – disgraceful for women to speak in that way
A man stopped my sermon to question & argue – got same reaction
2) Wives prophesied – men judged it by scripture – when it was denounced they got upset and wanted their scripture literate husband to explain
Many today are biblically illiterate but want to speak what God has told them – they insist even when out of line with scripture – they put subjective feeling above what is written
Paul’s questions indicate a special problem – ‘Are you the only people it (the gospel) has reached?’ (36) Corinthians pride and self belief- ‘if anyone thinks they’re a prophet or otherwise gifted by the Spirit’
I’ve met people confident in their ability to hear & prophesy but who damage people with wrong words or bind with legalistic expectations – Paul puts such people such their place – he tells them to be accountable or they’II be ignored (36-38)
So Chapters 12-14 about embracing gifts – not seeing them as evil, but from the Holy Spirit – recognizing that each gift (tongues, prophecy) is needed – operating them in an orderly n loving way
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