Putting the Body Together
1 Cor 12
1 And now, dear brothers and sisters, F60 I will write about the special abilities the Holy Spirit gives to each of us, for I must correct your misunderstandings about them. 2 You know that when you were still pagans you were led astray and swept along in worshiping speechless idols. 3 So I want you to know how to discern what is truly from God: No one speaking by the Spirit of God can curse Jesus, and no one is able to say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit. 4 Now there are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but it is the same Holy Spirit who is the source of them all. 5 There are different kinds of service in the church, but it is the same Lord we are serving. 6 There are different ways God works in our lives, but it is the same God who does the work through all of us. 7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church. 8 To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another he gives the gift of special knowledge. 9 The Spirit gives special faith to another, and to someone else he gives the power to heal the sick. 10 He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and to another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to know whether it is really the Spirit of God or another spirit that is speaking. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, F61 and another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. 11 It is the one and only Holy Spirit who distributes these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.
12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up only one body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into Christ's body by one Spirit, and we have all received the same Spirit. F62 14 Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. 15 If the foot says, "I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand," that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, "I am not part of the body because I am only an ear and not an eye," would that make it any less a part of the body? 17 Suppose the whole body were an eye - then how would you hear? Or if your whole body were just one big ear, how could you smell anything? 18 But God made our bodies with many parts, and he has put each part just where he wants it. 19 What a strange thing a body would be if it had only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21 The eye can never say to the hand, "I don't need you." The head can't say to the feet, "I don't need you." 22 In fact, some of the parts that seem weakest and least important are really the most necessary. 23 And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect from the eyes of others those parts that should not be seen, 24 while other parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together in such a way that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other equally. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.
27 Now all of you together are Christ's body, and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it. 28 Here is a list of some of the members that God has placed in the body of Christ: first are apostles, second are prophets, third are teachers, then those who do miracles, those who have the gift of healing, those who can help others, those who can get others to work together, those who speak in unknown languages. 29 Is everyone an apostle? Of course not. Is everyone a prophet? No. Are all teachers? Does everyone have the power to do miracles? 30 Does everyone have the gift of healing? Of course not. Does God give all of us the ability to speak in unknown languages? Can everyone interpret unknown languages? No! 31 And in any event, you should desire the most helpful gifts. First, however, let me tell you about something else that is better than any of them!
I. Each of us a part of the Body of Christ
a. We are each responsible for our gifts
b. We are each necessary for the church to survive and be healthy
c. Without any one of us the church is incomplete and handicapped.
II. We are defined by our activity
a. We bring our experiences and talents
b. The Holy Spirit gives us gifts and vision
c. We bring our ideas and inspirations
d. We interact with others who have all those things in operation.
III. We are held together by a bond of love (1 Cor 13)
a. 1 If I could speak in any language in heaven or on earth F63 but didn't love others, I would only be making meaningless noise like a loud gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I knew all the mysteries of the future and knew everything about everything, but didn't love others, what good would I be? And if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, without love I would be no good to anybody. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; F64 but if I didn't love others, I would be of no value whatsoever. 4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. 6 It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 8 Love will last forever, but prophecy and speaking in unknown languages F65 and special knowledge will all disappear. 9 Now we know only a little, and even the gift of prophecy reveals little! 10 But when the end comes, these special gifts will all disappear. 11 It's like this: When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. F66 All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now. 13 There are three things that will endure - faith, hope, and love - and the greatest of these is love.
b. The motivation for using our gifts and being a church is love
c. We fulfill God's will through love - Ro 13:8 - Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
d. Love is the proof that the Holy Spirit is truly in operation - John 13:34 - So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples."
IV. Knowing the Character of the Holy Spirit is critical for being used by Him.
a. We must learn how the Holy Spirit operates by the Word
b. The best way know someone's character is to spend time with them
c. Awareness of the Holy Spirit's presence is the first step
d. Intimate, sanctified time with Him is where He can give you direct personal, revelation of Himself.
e. This time is best spent in dedicate prayer and fasting, as Jesus did in the desert.
f. Many people have never spent intimate time with the Holy Spirit.
g. He is the one sent by Jesus to continue the work He started.
h. He is your teacher, counselor, friend, and mentor.
i. He is God.
j. I Cor 2:9-12 - 2:9 - That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him." 2:10 But we know these things because God has revealed them to us by his Spirit, and his Spirit searches out everything and shows us even God's deep secrets. 2:11 No one can know what anyone else is really thinking except that person alone, and no one can know God's thoughts except God's own Spirit. 2:12 And God has actually given us his Spirit (not the world's spirit) so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.
V. Ministry Time
a. A Time of Worship & Ministry to the Holy Spirit