You are Essential to Your Church

Bible Book: 1 Corinthians  12
Subject: Holy Spirit, Gifts of the; Holy Spirit, Work of

When Christ prayed for his church, he prayed for our wholeness, our cleanness, our witness, our protection, our safety as we assault the world the gospel of Jesus Christ. And we emphasized the last part of that prayer, was a prayer for the unity of the church. Because when we are one we comprise His body. The world doesn't believe in Jesus and doesn't read about Jesus in the book. The only Jesus it sees is us. As we come together and are in complete harmony with each other in one. Understanding our place in the Body. How essential we are as contributors to the whole. In that context the Holy Spirit brings the presences of Jesus, who is the head in heaven, flowing his life through this church. When we come together on Sunday, every week a miracle occurs. And the recreation of the presence of the Body of Christ happens. Into that congregation people are irresponsible drawn and blessed and are attracted to Jesus Christ. These teachings and gifts are not complete here in I Corinthians 12. They are just a sampler. To understand fully about the gifts of the spirit and the Body of Christ, one must study I Corinthians 12, Romans 12 and Ephesians 4.

I. Confusion Concerning The Holy Spirit

You have no reason to be confused and ignorant about the Holy Spirit. There is a great deal of confusion about the Holy Spirit in the Body of Christ. You can know clearly the doctrine and teaching of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit. (Verse 1-3) He said in your old days when you lived here in Corinth, you were involved in the confusion of mute idols. Corinthians, Corinth was the capital of idolatry. It was the capital of immorality. To Corinthize became a verb. It meant to be involved in prostitution. To be involved with a prostitute was to Corinthize. They were legendary for two things.

One was their immorality and the other was their spiritual ignorance. Not having the truth they did as they desired. And the reason they had no truth is they sought truth from things where there was no truth in mute idols, dumb idols, statues, and wooden idols, marble idols that never said anything. He said that you are not accustomed to receiving straight information from your former form of worship.

However, it is a new world, a new day. You are now in Jesus Christ and there is no reason for you to be confused because the Holy Spirit speaks black and white. He speaks clearly. He says: it is this way or not that way. He says; if it says that Jesus is not Lord it is not of the Holy Spirit. If a doctrine says Jesus is Lord, it's of the Holy Spirit. He uses that illustration to say how clearly in black and white is the issue. He did not want you to be ignorant. There is no reason to be confused. There is no issue in America, maybe in the Christian body, in which there is more ignorance and confusion. That is not how it was intended to be. You turn on charismatic television stations like PTL the 700 Club and you see people knocked over for no apparent reason. Confusion is everywhere. For example, a man in Indonesia claims that he had been picked up bodily by the Holy Ghost and transported in the Holy Spirit and set down 600 miles away. Another woman claimed to have received a new navel in answer to prayer and called in to praise the Lord. Every seventy-five to a hundred years throughout the history of the Christian church there has been a new resurgence of emphasis upon the Holy Spirit. There is always excitement, movement, and the running ahead of knowledge and doctrine and education about the Holy Spirit. It doesn't have to be that way. He sets out in this chapter and in thirteen and fourteen to explain the teaching of the Holy Spirit.

II. The Oneness Of The Holy Spirit

There is one Holy Spirit. But he does many different things in the body. We are not to assume that the diversity of operation of the Holy Spirit refers to many spirits. As the body does many things, even though it's just one body, so the Holy Spirit in the church does many different things. But there is just one Holy Spirit. (Verses 4-6) There are different kinds of faith but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. The purpose of all of this is to recreate Jesus Christ in his people. And he only does that, as he is able to manifest and recreate the person and personality and character and ministry of Jesus in individual people. The Holy Spirit is not able to recreate the ministry, life and work of Jesus in all of the people together in any greater degree than he is able to do that in our lives individually. We need to understand this about the Holy Spirit.

Remember that the single purpose of Jesus Christ in our lives is to make us like Christ. We go through a process from the day we are born in a state of justification. Until the day we are in heave in a state called glorification. Between there is sanctification. Sanctify means to “holify”. So all of our lives from the day we are saved to the day we get to heaven, we are growing in grace. In a process by which we are slowly becoming less like ourselves and more like Jesus Christ. When the process is completed and you stand before Him in heaven in a state called glorified. Paul says; we should be like Him for we shall see Him as he is. The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to make us like Christ. And at last, in heaven the process is completed and we are completely like Christ. Not gods, not worship, but like him in our character and in our being. In that process from self-conversion to glorification the Holy Spirit is doing two things in you.

First of all he is creating within you the fruit of the spirit. Secondly he is creating the gifts of the spirit. The purpose of the fruit of the spirit is to recreate the personality and character of Jesus. And the purpose of the gifts of the spirit is to create the ministry of Jesus, what he did, that we as a church might function like Jesus. That comes only as we as individuals are able to do that.

III. The Gifts Of The Holy Spirit

Each one's gift is to benefit another. The gifts are not personal and selfish. They are selfless. (Verse

7) The revelation, the manifestation, the out working of the Holy Spirit in your life as you operate your gift in the church is given for the common good. When you exercise your gift in another's presence you build them up. That will make the other stronger and you could exercise your gifts in their presences and build them up. What happens is that you have a cooperate hold in which the congregation selfishly understands all that they are and all they do is intended to benefit the whole. Not for themselves. The Apostle Paul says that he that speaks in an unknown tongue edifies himself. What he is saying sarcastically is, you are not supposed to use them that way. It is not for yourself it's for another. There is a purpose for which you speak in an unknown tongue to an unbelieving person that hears the gospel in his language. The purpose of all of these gifts is to edify each other and not to edify ourselves.(Verses 8-10)

IV. The Sovereignty Of The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit's distribution of these gifts is sovereign. (Verse 11) Not everyone has the same set of gifts. What if every member of the body (gift of the spirit in the body) were the same? What if you had a body that had no head, no eyes, no toes, no legs, but had 100 arms? There are some churches that love to call themselves the charismatic center of the city for this or that. What they mean is this is where we all speak in tongues. In a well-balanced congregation, all the gifts operate. We are not to work for this gift or be jealous of that gift. But know that he had said, in the body, as he knows we need certain kinds of people with certain kinds of gifts. The Holy Spirit wants a healthy well-balanced body. When somebody joins the church, God is saying there is something lacking. There is a need you can provide. That is why when the Holy Spirit prompts you. You need to respond to the invitation. You are essential to the health and the balance of the body.

V. The Emphasis Of The Holy Spirit

The gifts of the body create the presence of Jesus on Sunday morning. (Verse 12) Every time we get together on Sunday morning we create the presence of Jesus by the character and the personality of Jesus. We desire to reproduce his holiness. That is why each should consider the other more important than yourself. There must be a quietness about the use of our gifts not at pushiness.

Because the purpose of all the gifts is not to push us or even to push the body, it is to create an atmosphere in which the Holy Spirit can push the presence of Jesus. So that people are drawn to him when they come to church.

VI. The Unity Of The Holy Spirit

Every believer is in union with every other believer. (Verse 13) When you are save the Holy Spirit baptizes you into oneness with Jesus Christ. We are also baptized into oneness with everybody else. By one spirit we are all baptized into one body. This word body goes beyond the local body to the worldwide body.

There are two censuses in which the word church is used in the New Testament. One is the local assembly and the other is the universal assembly. So, you and I are baptized at conversion, by the Holy Spirit into Jesus into oneness with each other and into oneness with every other believer.

Regardless of color or tongue or location. All the members of the body are important. (Verse 15-21,28)

There is no such thing as an unimportant gift. If some gifts are more important than others, then the least prominent gifts may well be the most important of all. (Verse 22-27) While all of them are equal hypothetically, if one part were more important than the other, it is not as it appears to be. It is not the most glamorous, applauded use of a gift that is most important. The most important is that part of the church of the Body of Christ as with our body that is less glamorous and less apparent. You can get along without your hair, but you can't get along without your kidneys.

VII. The Productivity Of The Holy Spirit

No gift functions productively that does not operate in love. (Verse 31) Love in the bible is never an emotion. Love is always an action of unselfishness. Love is always what you do. So the measure of the right use of your gift is that it is done in unselfishness and quietly for the good of others and the Glory of Christ - Never demanding one's own way - Never being pushy - Never calling attention to oneself, but only that the body might sweetly function together and the Head be exalted in heaven so that the world might believe in Jesus Christ.