Quarter’s Theme: ORDERLINESS IN THE CHURCH
Unit 3: Orderliness In Worship – Unity In Diversity (Lessons 7-9)
LESSON 7 19/4/2015
THE USE OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS IN PUBLIC WORSHIP
Suggested Hymns: G.H.B. 148, 150
Devotional Reading: ROMANS 12:3-8
Topic For Adults
DON’T ENVY OTHERS’ GIFTS, APPRECIATE YOURS
Topic For Youths
IDENTIFY, DEVELOP AND USE YOUR GIFT
Topic For Intermediates
YOUR GIFT IS A WEAPON
1 COR. 12:1-11
Memory Verse: There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit (1 Cor. 12:4) NKJV
DAILY DEVOTIONAL READING
Your Gifs Is To Profit All
1 Cor. 12:7-11
The spiritual gifts have a unity of source (vv. 4-6), and they also had a unity in purpose. They are given, not for personal enrichment, but for the common good of the body of Christ, that is the building up of others. The gifts are bestowed for utility or profit. They are conferred on individual believers to do good for the church and for other people. They are to promote the common welfare, the common peace and edification of the whole church. It therefore, follows that if the gifts of some are not serving the above purpose, but are being used to cause strife or division in the church, such people and their gifts are questionable. The Holy Spirit does not give gifts that scatter the church but those that build the church up.
Point of Emphasis: But the manifestation of the spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.
Prayer Point: Help me Lord to use Your gift in me according to Your purpose.
When a person is born again and is baptised in the Holy Spirit, he or she should
know that the Holy Spirit has deposited certain spiritual gifts or endowments to his or her life. When the gifts start manifesting, there is the temptation to want to feel more important than others. Hence, this week’s lesson focuses on how to treat and make use of the spiritual gifts for the growth of the church.
NOTES ON THE LESSON
(1) PROOF OF INSPIRATION BY THE HOLY SPIRIT (1 COR. 12:1-3)
It is probable that one of the questions written to Paul by the Corinthian church some of whom had been blessed with spiritual gifts, is what measure of honor should be given to those that had been endowed with such gifts and how they can distinguish between genuine and counterfeit inspiration or influences by the Holy Spirit. In response to their letter in chapter 12, Paul asked them not to be ignorant about the operations and purpose of the Holy Spirit and His endowments (v. 1)
As a result of the fact that some who are idolaters were also laying claims to the inspiration from their idols to be able to know the mind of their gods through their priests, Paul reminded the Corinthian Christians their former way of life in order to make them more sensible of their advantages as Christians (v. 2). Paul often refers Christians to their former condition, to excite in them gratitude for the mercies that God has conferred on them in the gospel (1 Cor. 6:11; Rom. 6:17; Eph. 2:11, 12; Tit. 3:3). He called the gods whom they were once carried by their priests, “dumb idols” which could not speak but which their priests deluded them with the notion that oracles were uttered by the idols.
Having reminded them of their past, Paul then gave them the rule that can guide them to differentiate between genuine and counterfeit inspiration of the Holy Spirit in the lives of members of the church of God. That rule was that all who were truly influenced by the Holy Spirit would be disposed to acknowledge and know Jesus Christ. Therefore, it is very questionable if an unbeliever who does not believe in Jesus and has not accepted Jesus is claiming to be under the influence of the Holy Spirit. In other words, if any man or demons, no matter the position and charisma, pretended to be under the influence of the Holy Spirit, but yet curses the name of Jesus or blaspheme His name, it is a full proof that the person was an impostor.
Conversely, the rule also states that no one can say or has the capacity to say that Jesus is Lord unless he is aided by the Holy Spirit. This means no one will be heartily disposed to say Jesus is the Messiah, no one will acknowledge Him as his or her Lord; it can never happen that anyone will confess Him as the true Messiah who has not been brought to this state by the power, grace and assistance of the Holy Spirit.
(2) HOLY SPIRIT: GIVER OF ALL GIFTS (1 COR. 12:4-6)
The second thing which apostle Paul taught concerning spiritual gifts was their diversity in connection with the unity of their source and purpose. However, we are not to understand him as dividing these gifts into three classes, under the heads of “gifts” “ministries”, and “operation or works”. Rather, he is presenting three different aspects of each and all of them. When these endowments are viewed in relation to the Spirit, they are gifts; in relation to the Lord, they are ministries; in relation to God, they are operations or works. Yet, it is the same spirit, the same Lord, and the same God who are concerned in them all.
This means, the Spirit is the giver of all spiritual gifts, it is He who is the immediate author of all the various endowments. It is the same Lord in whose service and by whose authority these various gifts are exercised. They are all different forms in which He is served, or ministered to. And it is the same God the Father, who having exalted the Lord Jesus to the supreme headship of the church, and having sent the Holy Spirit, works all the effects of the spiritual gifts in the minds of men.
Having this understanding, therefore, no member of the church is to be despised about what gift he or she has. No man is to regard himself as superior because of the gift he receives or treat others with contempt. The spirit has divided and conferred those gifts according to His sovereign will. All, therefore, should regard themselves as under the direction of the Trinity in their use of the spiritual gifts. If they regard their endowments as the gifts of God, they will be thankful for them, and they will not undervalue the ones given to them, neither will they undervalue others who have been placed in a more humble condition and rank in the church.
(3) BENEFIT ALL WITH YOUR GIFT (1 COR. 12:7-11)
Here, Paul stressed that the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one (v.7). This means, the spiritual gifts are given to each Christian that thirst for it and has been baptised in the Holy Spirit. It must be understood that only Christians can have this endowments of the Spirit, and not pagans and infidels. Paul also asserted the purpose of the endowment which is ‘for the profit of all” (v. 7). Whatever gifts God has bestowed or in what various ways the Spirit of God may have manifested Himself, it is all for the common benefit of the church. God has given no gift to any man for his own private advantage or exclusive profit. He has it for the benefit of others as well as for his own salvation.
Those that have been endowed with spiritual gifts must understand this, that they must use their gifts for the common good of the church. The gifts are bestowed not on all equally, but in such a manner as shall best serve the interest of piety and the church, and further the welfare of the whole Christian body.
From verses 8-10, mentioned the nine general gifts of the Holy Spirit which can be categoriesed into three classes: (i) Gifts of intellect, namely wisdom and knowledge; (ii) Gifts independent on a special faith, namely working of miracles, healings, prophecy of future events and discerning of spirits; (iii) Gifts referring to the tongues, namely diverse kinds of tongues and interpretation of tongues. (for more information on the individual gifts, check GOFAMINT Sunday (Bible) School pamphlet of April 2014, lessons 6 &7). Paul concluded that all these gifts are miraculously bestowed by the Holy Spirit, they cannot be acquired by human art or industry. The Holy Spirit distributes them as He wills, as He sees to be right and best.
Christians who have received spiritual gifts from the Holy Spirit must first of all be thankful to God for bestowing His gift on them, whatever the gift may be. They must value and appreciate the ones they are given. They must also use the gifts and not to hide or burry them for the common good of all, especially their fellow believers in the church.
(1) Why did Paul usually refer Christians to their past life?
(2) How can one know who is operating under the genuine influence of the Holy Spirit?
(3) How are the Trinity connected in the giving of spiritual gifts?
(4) What is the primary purpose of the giving of spiritual gifts?
(5) Mention the nine general gifts of the Spirit according to the lesson.
TON DON EST POUR L’UTILITE COMMUNE
1CO. 12 :7-11
Les dons spirituels ont une source commune (vs. 4-6) et avaient aussi un objectif commun. Ils sont donnés non à des fins d’enrichissement personnel mais pour le bien commun du corps de Christ, c’est-à-dire la croissance des autres. Les dons sont impartis pour des raisons d’utilité et de profit. Ils sont conférés à chacun des croyants pour faire du bien à l’église et aux autres personnes. Ils ont pour but de promouvoir le bien-être commun, la paix commune et l’édification de l’église toute entière. Il s’ensuit donc que si les dons d’autres personnes ne servent pas le but ci-dessus mais sont plutôt utilisés pour causer des conflits et de la division dans l’église, de telles personnes et leurs dons sont donc mis en doute. Le Saint-Esprit ne confère pas des dons qui balkanisent l’église mais plutôt ceux qui la font croître.
Point essentiel : Or, à chacun la manifestation de l’Esprit est donnée pour l’utilité commune.
Axe de prière : Aide-moi, Seigneur, à utiliser ton don en moi selon ton dessein.