Lesson # 17 “Spiritual Gifts” 1 Cor. 12:4-31
As we continue in this 3rd lesson concerning “spiritual gifts,” we are again cautioned of the danger of ignorance (or the “lack of knowledge, lack of awareness) of spiritual phenomenon. A phenomenon is: “something extraordinary, surprising, a jaw dropping event.”
1. For the last 2 weeks we have been given biblical examples & illustrations of spiritual extraordinary acts when it came to Jesus earthly ministry. The working of miracles, wonders, healing physical ailments, casting out demons, & performing other mighty acts. But Why? These mighty acts were “signs of the times” (Matt. 16:1-3). They were “signs” confirming & validating to the people of Israel that the Word of God was true, & the kingdom was close “at hand.”
2. And we also learned that Satan in Time Past, & during this present Disp. of grace & in the Ages to Come, will continue to counterfeit the power of God through spiritual phenomenon, duping folk in each dispensation.
3. We also know that God gave spiritual gifts temporarily, to Paul and the Corinthian church/BOC in its infancy. Why? Because the Word of God was incomplete! So, God gave the early CBOC sign gifts. Why? so they could communicate the Word of God, thereby edifying the BOC. *(Here is where the rubber meets the road folks). When Paul received the whole revelation of the mystery of Christ, the Word of God was complete. The sign gifts were no longer needed, so they (Sign Gifts) ceased to exit & they do not exit today!!!
4. However, in this disp. of grace, SPOE is still counterfeiting the power of God How? Via bogus sign gifts & spiritual phenomenon, through Satan’s ministers. And Last week, I shared with you (BOC) a very real personal spiritual phenomenon that I had experienced, and I found out I was not alone, in that experience.
5. As we study today’s lesson, we learn that the temporary spiritual gifts in the early church, at the beginning of this dispensation of grace, were for ministry &
worship, that the whole BOC might be edified. But confusion had raised its ugly head, In the CBOC, and Paul had to issue some corrective doctrine. The Corinthians Saints were confused about the spiritual gifts.
6. VSS 4-6, show us how gifts worked in the early church. The same Holy Spirit gave diverse (different) spiritual gifts to people. The same Lord administered (managed) the gifts differently. There were diverse or (different) ways the gifts operated or functioned by the same God.
7. Notice how the entire Godhead, (The Trinity) was working in concert, functioning in order. The gifts were designed to work together! Vs.4 “same Spirit,” Vs5. “same Lord,” Vs6. “same God.” Each person of the Godhead is a Spirit (John 4:24). God is Spirit & must be worshipped in Spirit and truth.”
8. The distribution of gifts were assigned to the 1st person, The Holy Spirit. The administration or management of gifts was assigned to the 2nd person, The Lord Jesus Christ. And they both were subservient (subordinate) to the office of operations which was the 3rd person, God the Father, who drew up the blueprint.
9. Vs 7, speaks of the manifestation of the Holy Spirit or the actions. Gifts were divinely given by the Holy Spirit. Why? For the purpose of equipping & perfecting all the members of the early church/BOC.
10. Vss. 8-11, illustrate what Paul means. He lists some (10) gifts given by the Holy Spirit: For to one is given 1. the word of wisdom, 2. to another, word of knowledge, by the same spirit; 3. to another, faith; by the same spirit, 4. to another, gift of healing; by the same spirit, 5. to another, working of miracles; 6. to another prophecy; 7. to another, discerning of spirits; 8. to another, divers (or many kinds) of tongues; 9. and yet 10. to another, gift of interpretation of tongues; ALL, by the same Holy Spirit.
11. Notice, they all did not have the same gifts! The Holy Spirit distributed gifts after his own will. We also notice tongues are last on the list. Keep this in mind.
NOW WE COME TO THE PROBLEM CONCERNING GIFTS WITHIN THE CBOC.
12. These Saints did not understand the purpose, or the role of the gifts (imagine that, sounds like folk today doesn’t it?). Some gifts were more important than
others, the gifts, mind you NOT the Saints. “God is no respecter of persons” in the CBOC. But just like folk today, the Corinthians were ignorant, lacked knowledge of what the real purpose of each gift was for. They thought the gifts were for their vainglory, instead of God’s glory.
13. Here’s the problem, the SPOE was successful, in taking advantage of the ignorance of these early Corinthians Saints (just like he is doing today). These Saints were confused and using their gifts out of order. “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace” (1 Cor. 14:33). So, Paul begins with corrective doctrine. Paul sat the Saints down and said: “let’s straighten it out.”
14.The problem was the Saints did not know how to rank the gifts. They realized there were different gifts, but they did not realize there were different administrations (management) of the gifts, nor did they recognize there were different operations of the gifts, all according to God’s will at the time.
15.God had many out-working operations, in which the Holy Spirit, and the Lord Jesus Christ were subordinates in Gods plan for the CBOC. These saints were in need of understanding. Vss. 12-13: The CBOC is one body, made up of many members, working in unison. And all members are important (unlike religion, there are no Big “i’s” and little “U’s’’ in the BOC. (ROM. 12:3-8).
16. The BOC is made up of Jews and Gentiles today, and we all are made to drink, experience, partake, into one Spirit, the indwelling Holy Spirit. Amen. The Corinthians were ignorant of the order of the different gifts, and the administrations, as well as the purpose of the operations of the gifts. So, they were prime targets for the attack of Satan to take advantage of them through a spirit of confusion. *And believers are still ignorant of the purpose and order of these temporary gifts, to the early BOC, today. The Saints were ignorant of what God was doing, so they could not look at the gifts like God saw them. And the same is true today! Why? Because saints do not study the Word, rightly divided.
17. So, in order to get the Corinthian Saints (and us) to see what God is doing, Paul uses the human body analogy or comparison for the BOC.
Vss. 14-22: The BOC is made up of many members. The foot is for walki ng/standing, the hand is for handling/gripping. They do not have the same function, etc. If the whole body were the eye, where would the hearing be.
But each member works together to serve the whole body! So, Paul is saying God gave different gifts to the BOC so that they benefit from each others gifts, & grow like a living body. And accomplish the will of God. (Eph. 4:15-16).
18. If everyone were an eye, the body would be incomplete. If everyone had the same gift, the BOC would be limited! God has placed every member in the BOC after His own will. We, today in the BOC are all different, and have different talents, so the body can function well as a unit. Functional life! Not functional death, these Corinthian saints were not functioning properly. We all need one another in the BOC, in the local assembly, that’s God’s design.
19. Vs. 23. And Paul said, we should bestow more honor on the weaker brother, displaying Agape love, esteeming others before ourselves, making them more attractive. God has formed the BOC with a mixture of gifted (talented) people. There is to be spiritual unity in the BOC. All members complement one another, working together.
20. Vss. 25-27, Paul teaches that there is to be no schism (division) in the BOC. When some members of the Body do not follow the leading of the head, there will be strife and division (like there was in Corinth). And we all came out of the religious system and that is just what that was, , strife, confusion and division.
21. But in the BOC, when one member suffers, we all suffer. When one member is honored, we all rejoice. There is no favoritism in the BOC.
Vss. 28-31, Finally Paul ranks gifts in the early church in the order of importance: 1st apostles, 2. Prophets 3. Teachers 4. Workers of miracles 5. Gifts of healing 6. Helps 7. Government 8. And speaking in tongues (last).
There are no apostles, prophets, miracle workers, tongues, or any other spiritual gifts today. They were all TEMPORARY gifts to the infant CBOC. WE DO NOT
NEED SUPERNATURAL GIFTS TODAY BECAUSE WE HAVE SOMETHING FAR BETTER, WE HAVE THE COMPLETE WORD OF GOD, AND THE TEACHER, THE INDWELLING HOLY SPIRIT!