Sermon Series: Many Gifts, One Spirit. Discerning Our Calling From God.
Message 2of 5: Spiritual Gifts
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11
Notes from a message offered Sunday, 10/6/19 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota Florida.
Each and every one of us as followers of Jesus has a calling from God. We have a mission. We have a purpose for our lives.
The first calling from God is “Come, follow me.”
- Call to a relationship with God
- Call to salvation
The second calling from God is also “Come, follow me.”
- Call to relationship, to follow Jesus out into the world in relationship and service to others
Upward to God and outward to others- it’s cross-shaped. We have both callings.
The series theme verse is 1 Peter 4:10-11
Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.
I have a call to be and a call to do. The big question is, “God, what do you want me to do?” We spend a great deal of time thinking about this and if we’re honest, we’re anxious about this. We’re trying to figure it out and we’re not sure and what if I make a mistake. I want to do the right thing, but it’s a hard thing…
Hear the Good News!
If you are a follower of Jesus, you not only have a calling from God
God gives you spiritual gifts to help you figure out that calling
God gives you spiritual gifts to help you fulfill that calling
God never asks you to do something without equipping you to do it
An easy way to think about spiritual gifts is to think of them like superpowers. Have you ever wanted a superpower? Which one did you want? (When I was little and going through my superhero stage, I wanted to be Lisa Super Steel Nurse.)
We have superpowers, spiritual gifts from God, and we get to join God in saving the world. It’s exciting and God wants us to know about this.
1 Corinthians 12:1-11
1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed.
God wants us to be informed about spiritual gifts.
Paul then goes into a section about how persons were unbelievers but now they are believers and their lives are to be transformed. You have salvation, you have the Holy Spirit, and you have spiritual gifts.
DESCRIPTION OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS
4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
A Spiritual Gift is a Divine Enablement (v. 4-6)
- A God-given superpower
- Spirit, Lord, God activates spiritual gifts. This must be important because it’s repeated three times. You don’t have to fall into a vat of radioactive goop. You don’t have to be bitten by a spider. You’re given them for being a follower of Jesus Christ.
- Variety of gifts, Variety of services, Variety of activities. There’s a great variety of gifts which must be important because it’s repeated three times.
- Every believer has a least one spiritual gift, many believers have a few- a gift mix that makes you you (v. 7) No human possesses all the gifts. Each person possesses some. The gifts complement one another. We are better together.
Freely given by God
- Just like salvation is a free gift of God. Just like God’s presence with us in the Holy Spirit is a free gift of God. Spiritual gifts are a free gift of God.
- Spiritual Gifts cannot be earned or merited or chosen. They are distributed and empowered by the Holy Spirit as the Spirit chooses (v. 11) God is God. We are not.
Given for the benefit of others, the common good (v. 7)
- Specifically to build up others and to glorify of God. Again, cross-shaped.
- If you use your spiritual gifts for yourself, it’s like becoming a supervillain.
EXAMPLES OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS
This is the largest list of all the gift lists. There are two other lists plus other miscellaneous scriptures. How many can you find?
8 To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.
Wisdom– the divine enablement to apply spiritual truth effectively and practically to meet a need. Folks with the gift of wisdom hear the Spirit providing direction. They see consequences others have trouble seeing. Biblical Example: Abigail in 1 Samuel 25.
The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. – James 3:17
Prophecy– to speak truth to power in order folks can see the truth, in order folks can turn towards God and away from wickedness, in order for folks to be encouraged to do what is right, true, and good. Biblical Examples: Old Testament Prophets, John the Baptist, Jesus in Matthew 23.
Faith- We become followers of Jesus by faith, by placing our trust in Jesus to save us. The spiritual gift of faith is not only faith in God it is confidence in God. Unwavering belief, especially in the face of trouble. Biblical Example: David the shepherd boy facing Goliath.
Isn’t it exciting to think you have some of these superpowers! God has entrusted you with God’s presence. God has entrusted you with the filling of the Holy Spirit. God has entrusted you with a call on your life. God has entrusted you with spiritual gifts in order to know your call and fulfill your call.
Invitation to discover your spiritual gifts
The message concludes with the prayer before Holy Communion.
Sermon on Spiritual Gifts © 2019 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
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