Title: The Holy Equipper Part II: The Holy Spirit equips us with gifts
Bible verses: Luke 4:16-21, Acts 1:14-21, 1 Corinthians 14:1-5
1 Corinthians 12:4-11
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
What we want for our people (Main Point of the Message): The Holy spirit empowers us with gifts and to be effective; we must know what they are!
Historical Context for this week:
It is important to remember that Luke and Acts are part of one long story. Jesus’s ministry in Luke is the model of ministry for the church in Acts. In the same way as Jesus announces his Spirit Anointing in Luke 4 referencing Isaiah which sets the tone for the book. In the same way Luke uses Isaiah and Joel to announce the Spirit Anointing of the Church, setting the agenda for Acts.
This emphasises that it is the same Spirit empowering Jesus and His Church. The body of Christ on the earth should have the same type of empowerment in principle, that Jesus had. Craig Keener, Gift and the Giver, P53
There were various issues in the church in Corinth that are addressed in this letter. For the passages we are dealing with the issue was concerned mostly with Spiritual superiority based on gifts. People were elevating some spiritual gifts and therefore the people who exhibited them. There were also ecstatic behaviours that were out of order. All of this was causing disunity. Paul emphasises in these passages these things
- These are gifts of the Spirit, under the Lordship of Jesus
- The gifts are the sovereign work of the Spirit and do not indicate a person’s superiority
- There is one body – unity
- There are different gifts – diversity
- Gifts are meant to be operated in love to build each other up
- The gift list like the fruit list is probably not exhaustive but we can know that these were gifts that were operating in a New Testament church. As with fruit they indicate the heart of the Father, Son and Spirit for humanity.
- The Spirit of the Lord is upon the church – as he was upon Jesus for purpose – Luke 4:16-21. Gifts are for others – to bind up the broken hearted, to set people free
- He gives Gifts – 1 Corinthians 12 :4-11. We do not own the gifts; they are given to us by the Spirit to be submitted to the Lordship of Jesus. Gifts should be operated in Love -1 Cor 13 – 1 Corinthians chapter 13 is not a digression from the point, it outlines the heart from which gifts should operate)
- 1 Cor:1-5 Prophesy was a gift that was well known to the first century church – and includes what we know as Prophesy, as well as Preaching of the Word that convict and inspires. Prophesy is an important gift as it expresses a revelation from God. Give a story from personal experience about the power of prophesy.
There appears to be three types of tongues in scripture
- Tongues that are people speaking in a language that they do not know eg Day of Pentecost Acts 1:6
In these passages
- Tongues that are interpreted
- Personal Tongues
In these passages the main function of personal tongues is
- Spirit-led prayer and worship
- Edifying the believer
- Is of lesser value in the public space but high value in the devotional world of a believer
- Allows for the defences of the mind and emotions to be dropped and the Spirit within us to intercede Keener – Gift and the Giver, P124. This can allow for believers to get revelation, conviction etc
- Tell personal stories that highlight the role of tongues in your own life
- Paul tells us to eagerly desire the Spiritual Gifts – at C3SYD we have tests you can do to help you discover what your spiritual gifts are. Encourage people to take their next step and unlock their gifts.
The first step in receiving Gifts is to be baptised in the Spirit. Encourage going on an altar call for Baptism in the Spirit – and for stirring up of the Gifts. Many people in our congregations may have experienced the gifts but have let them become dormant – pray for people to re-engage with the Spirit and the gifts he has available for them
Videos to watch:
Craig Keener – Are the Gifts for Today?
Frank Maccia – Have the Gifts Ceased?
Connect Group Discussion Questions:
GATHER: (ensure these questions centre around community)
- Take a look at the lists of spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 and also Romans 12:6-8. Which gifts have you noticed in the church? Any that you’ve never “seen in action”?
- If you are comfortable, share in the group, your stories of receiving spiritual gifts and using them.
GROW: (ensure these questions prompt discussion on personal growth)
- Have you identified your spiritual gifts or maybe you have let some of them lapse. What is your next step to identify your gift, revive your gift or to be refilled with the Spirit to help build the church?
- What would you say to someone who had spiritual gift envy? Why is it important that we “eagerly desire” spiritual gifts but operate them under authority and in love?
GO: (ensure these questions prompt discussion on spreading the good news)
- Spiritual gifts are for building up the body of Christ but non-believers are always fascinated by the supernatural. How can we approach their queries in a way that glorifies God?
- Gifts are for others: to bind up the broken hearted and to set people free. Who would you like to help with the gifts of mercy, wisdom, faith, service or generosity? Is there someone who needs healing or a miracle? Pray for the Holy Spirit to empower you and to intervene in their lives.