1 Corinthians 12:1-6
Remembering the activity of God, he is always active among his people. Ken told a story about a peach orchard in Texas, and the owner needed help to save the trees from the frost. With the light of sunrise bouncing off of the life of the trees, the orchard survived.
Every leaf on our tree in the sanctuary is a testimony to God’s faithfulness. He works in the church and works in your life, too. Philippians 3:12, he is at work in you to accomplish his will. We are made one through the Spirit. Working in the whole and each part working to produce the good works. Each leaf represents a person and their spiritual gift. This is how God brings the church to life, through the gifts he has given.
1 Corinthians 12:4, consider the source. One Spirit.
Identity – we did not come up with our giftedness, but God has placed it in us as he wills. 1 Corinthians 3:16, it is the Spirit who dwells in you.
Impact – it is an exceptional extraordinary work of God. 1 Corinthians 12:1-3, Paul’s introduction is like they were already in a conversation, answering several questions through letters. Were they emphasizing themselves over the role of Jesus?
God is producing a ministry within you. The sailing illustration, reading a book, then talking with sailors, and then get into a boat. We follow instructions and launch into the water. All this is good until we discover the wind is not blowing. God must be our wind source.
We don’t like to follow any authority in our culture. 1 Corinthians 12:5, the same Lord. Similar, yet different from the Spirit as source. Jesus as Lord is recognizing his rule and reign over our lives. He is over all things, the head. There is not one square inch of our life that he does not declare MINE.
Confidence. Jesus is head of the church. The pastor is not! A pastor is only an undershepherd. Don’t be fearful, Jesus is Lord. Lord over our calling.
Relevance. Colossians 3:23, whole-heartedly. Practical activity of the believer.
Obedience. Everything leads to obedience, Ephesians 1:22, the fullness of all things under his feet.
1 Corinthians 12:6 mentions the same God who brings the many effects, results, energy, life. Life to your calling. Results don’t need to be seen immediately.
1 Corinthians 3:5-7 mentions a divided camp, factions, preferences, this should not be an issue since God is over all and HE brings the increase.
Life Group Questions:
- What is one unique talent or ability you have (whether useful or pointless)?
- How did you find out what your greatest interests were?
- How do you take in Ken’s statement, “God is always active among his people”?
- Why did Paul give the Corinthians advice about spiritual gifts? (1 Corinthians 12:1)
- What was the condition of the Corinthians when they were pagans? (1 Corinthians 12:2)
- What is the only way a person can say, “Jesus is Lord”? (1 Corinthians 12:3)
- What common element exists in the diversity of gifts, service, and working? (1 Corinthians 12:4-6)
- Who works through the various gifts Christians have? (1 Corinthians 12:4-6)
- How are we ignorant about spiritual gifts today? Is the topic too super spiritual?
- Do we ever embrace a false sense of humility? (God can’t use me, I don’t have much to contribute…)
- Why do Christians today not realize they have been gifted for a purpose? Do they believe it, but fail to utilize their gifts?
- Ken quoted Philippians 2:13, that it is he who is at work in you both to will and to work for his good pleasure. What does this passage say to you? Do you believe that the Christians you know WANT to do God’s work?
- What spiritual gifts have you seen used at King’s Grant?
- What happens when Christians do not use their gifts?
- Ken talked about authority, and mentioned the rule and reign of Christ in your life. What does this say about a believer who does not know or exercise their gifts?
- Ken said that God’s authority means that there is not one square inch of your life that he cannot declare MINE. If God were to talk to you about your submission to him, what part of your life can he not claim as his own?
- What person do you know who would be encouraged by the knowledge that God gives a spiritual gift to every Christian?
- What is your spiritual gift? What did the inventory reveal? How have people who know you well affirmed your giftedness?
- Ken emphasized obedience by stating all this effort to discover and use spiritual gifts leads to obedience. Is there still a harbor for disobedience, something you have yet to yield to the authority of Jesus? How can this community of faith help you succeed?
- If you do not know what your spiritual gift is, what can you do to find out? For those who have done it, what did the survey reveal? Was it surprising or affirming what you already knew?
- How can you use your spiritual gift for the good of the people in our church or community?
- What can you learn from other Christians who faithfully use their spiritual gifts?
- What Christian discouraged by failure can you challenge to use the gifts God has given him or her?
- Since God is over all, and Christ is the head of the church, what room is there in the community of faith for factions, divisions in the camp, and personal preferences? (see 1 Corinthians 3:1-9)
- How can you use your spiritual gift this week for the benefit of others in our church?
- What observation could you share with another Christian to help him or her identify or use a spiritual gift?