1 Corinthians 12:7-14 Message 10
We were reminded last week that the Lord used the Apostle Paul to teach the people, using illustrations that were familiar to them in order to help them understand that they were wrong in the way they both thought and acted. They, as well as we, need to know and do the will of God. His desire was that they would learn the truth, understand, and apply it to their lives, then care for others by teaching the same things –
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
As we continue to look at the singlemindedness commanded by the Lord in serving Him, we learn more about –
1. The administration of the gifts. 1 Corinthians 12:4-14
The Holy Spirit is –
a. Selective in Service.
1 Corinthians 12:4a “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit….”
Gifts, administrations, operations to individuals as He sees fit for the overall ministry in the church – different parts which make up the whole. Note the use of the word in –
1 Corinthians 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
The Holy Spirit is –
b. Supported in His action. Note the involvement of the Spirit, the Son, and the Father.
1 Corinthians 12:4-6 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
– toward this end we see that the Holy Spirit is –
c. Singular in His purpose. 1 Corinthians 12:7-14
1). To perfect the church.
1 Corinthians 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
We see this also ministry with the perfection of the church in mind in –
Ephesians 4:11-13 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
2). To provide that which each church needed to accomplish this perfection. 1 Corinthians 12:8-10
They did not have the completed revelation of God as yet, and the Holy Spirit equipped the church members with –
a). The provisions to minster 1 Corinthians 12:8-10
(1). The word of wisdom – the right decision.
(2). The word of knowledge – the right information.
(3). Faith – the encouragement to act.
(4). Power – healing, miracles – confirmation of the truth.
(5). Prophesy – proclaiming God’s Word, written or personally revealed.
(6). Discernment – knowing and verifying proclamation.
(7). Tongues – languages, Preaching the foreigners.
(8). Interpretation – making known to all what foreigners were saying.
The church members were given these special tools to use in the church for the good of the church and evangelization of the world. This was God’s working in each member –
b). Plan fulfilled –
The Holy Spirit gives to men to manifest to other men –
1 Corinthians 12:8-11 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
The Holy Spirit leads men to their place in the church –
1 Corinthians 12:12-13 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
Illustrations of the ministry of the Holy Spirit –
Page 1 The individual, you, when you were saved
Page 2 The individual obeying the Lord – “…baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” through the leadership of the Holy Spirit who is in you. The church is made up of saved, baptized individuals.
Page 3 The individuals in the church are given ministries in the church by the Holy Spirit for the instruction of the whole church.
Page 4 The individuals now each have the Bible, God’s completed Word, given by God through the leadership of the Holy Spirit –
2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
2 Peter 1:19-21 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
For the instruction of the whole church as we have seen in these verses –
3). To prevent divisions, promoting dependence in God and in one another.
1 Corinthians 12:14 For the body is not one member, but many.
2. The illustration of the body. 1 Corinthians 12:15-26
Last week we took time to carefully examine the illustration use by the Apostle Paul to help the church members understand that each of them was important to the whole. We will not repeat here what was said, but will emphasize the unity and care demanded by the Lord for His church as stated in –
1 Corinthians 12:25-26 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 suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
You will notice here that Paul is writing to the church in Corinth. This chapter in no way teaches what some believe to be a doctrine known as the Universal Invisible Church. It is taught by some that this chapter teaches that the Holy Spirit baptizes saved individuals, at the moment of their salvation, into the Universal Invisible Church. We have seen that the Holy Spirit leads saved individuals, whom He indwells at the moment of their salvation, to obey the Lord and be baptized, becoming a member of the church that baptizes them, and then leads them to serve the Lord in the church through His Word.
3. The exhortation to obedience.
1 Corinthians 12:27-31 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
Each member was to desire to use the tools the Holy Spirit equipped them with to the best of their ability for the Lord and for the church. The church had been divided in fellowship and desiring those gifts of God that would lead to exalting themselves with little thought of others. In chapters 13 and 14, Paul instructs them in the right way to serve the Lord with the ministry opportunities that He provided.
Today I ask you about your position before the Lord.
Are you saved?
Are you serving in the place the Lord has put you?
Are you serving with the tools the Lord has given into your possession –
The Word of God, the Bible
The prayers for others and for self
The love for God and for one another
The faithful fulfilment of responsibilities in your family
The faithful attendance and service in your church