Sunday School Material 5-10-15: Gifts of the Spirit

(I Cor. 12:1-11; 5/10/15)

Introduction:A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is Paul teaches the church about spiritual gifts. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to discern and use our gifts in ways that bring glory to God.

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Read I Corinthians 12:1-3

I. Unity in Christ. In our Sunday School material Paul wants his readers to be informed, as opposed to them being ignorant. He is about to address the subject of gifts of the Spirit. No one speaking ill of Jesus is of God. And those who talk about Jesus being Lord are of the Holy Spirit.

Applications –

- Teaching, learning, and living. Notice in vs. 1 that it is important to help Christians understand, instead of allowing them to remain in ignorance. It should be obvious why God sends teaching Pastors and why Pastor’s train and instruct teachers.

However, no matter how well the Pastor and teachers teach, if the members don’t come and learn, there will be too much ignorance. Let’s work on being a teaching, learning, and living church.

The church is called to teach how to live by God’s will. The church is to learn how to live by God’s will. And then we are to live by God’s will.

- Growing beyond our past sins. Notice in vs. 2 of our Sunday School material that the readers had a past that they had grown to improve upon. Some have done some rather terrible things in their lifetimes – sold drugs, slept around, and even caused great harm to others.

Every believer used to be a Hell bound sinner. We have at least grown to accept Jesus as our savior by faith. However, we should continue to improve in the areas of loving God with all that we have and to love others, as we love ourselves. Let’s work on growing from beyond our past sins.

- True spirituality. Notice in vs. 3 that the test of spirituality centers around Jesus. Those who reject or curse Him do not belong to God. Those who call on Him as Lord and strive to live like He is Lord belong to God. Let’s live like we are spiritual - Christ believing and following.

This means the greatest test of our spirituality is not found in what we say or do in the classroom or worship space. The greatest measure is found in what we do outside the church campus.

 Read I Corinthians 12:4-11

II. Variety of Gifts. In our Sunday School material Paul talks about how the same Spirit gives to each believer a gift. Gifts, service, and work are treated as equivalents. There is a list of examples like the gift of having a message of wisdom, a message of knowledge, and miraculous powers.

The commentator does a good job of giving some description to the gifts mentioned, with the acknowledgment that some things are still unknown. All of the gifts are for the common good.

Applications –

- Gifted for the common good. Notice in vss. 4-7 that God gives His people the ability to do something that helps the body or common good for believers. First, notice how gifts, service, and working are equivalents and all speak to doing something.

Second, notice how the Spirit, Lord, and God are equivalents, which could be a support for the trinity doctrine. Third, notice that the gifts are given to be used for the common good. They are not given for bragging rights or self-gratification. Let’s work on discerning and using our gifts, abilities to serve, or abilities to work for the common good of God’s people.

- Collaboration. Notice in vss. 8-11 that there are many gifts given by the Spirit, and all of them are to work together for the good of God’s people. First, those listed in our text are not all of the gifts. Any ability to serve or work to respond to the needs of people is a gift of God.

Making phone calls, driving the church’s van, operating the media equipment, cooking in the kitchen, helping to clean up, and coordinating youth activities are all spiritual gifts to the extent that they are used for God’s glory.

Second, the gifted people are to use their gifts in collaboration for the up building of the body and carrying out God’s mission. We embarrass God, when we arrogantly suppose that our gifts are so much better than others that we don’t want to be bothered with them.

Just as the brain needs the baby toe and the left ring finger, so the Pastor needs every choir member, and bulletin folder. We are all members of the same body.

Third, the Spirit gives gifts as He determines. There is no room for boasting, since we have what we have because of the Spirit, not because of our goodness or worthiness. Let’s work on using our gifts collaboratively to bring glory to God.

Conclusion: Let’s work on discerning and using our gifts in ways that bring glory to God. God has much for those who obey His will.

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