The Church As Christ Planned It

1_Corinthians_12_The_Church_As_Christ_Planned_Riverview_BIBLENOTES

Audio of Sermon: 

In 1 Corinthians 11 we talked about God’s created order. We also discussed the order and ministration of the Lord’s Table. Now the Lord talks about the Church as Christ meant it to be. We read:

1 Corinthians 12:1-7 (KJV)1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. 2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. 3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. 4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit with all.

The Christian Church has three sources of power that the world does not have.

The Church Is Empowered By God’s Word

The Church has as a source of power The Word of God. The Word of God instructs us.

I saw a friend trying to put a baby crib together one time, and all the time he was fussing. “Who is the world thought this thing up! Nothing fits. It makes no sense!”. I asked him “What do the instructions say to do?”. His reply? “I don’t need any instructions. I can do this myself!”

This is what the world does today in nearly every part of life.
Is your marriage falling apart?
Could it be because you’re not following the Manufacturer’s Instructions, the Bible?
Is your family in disarray?
Could it be because you’re not following the Maker’s Plan?

God says of His Word:

Isaiah 40:8 (NKJV) The grass withers, the flower fades, But the WORD OF OUR GOD stands forever.”

Jesus’ Words when attacked were “It Is Written”. God’s Word makes for growth and order. The Bible says that in the early Church when …

the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith. (Acts 6:7)

There is NO SALVATION without the Word of God. It is the Word of God that gives us the Gospel promises. It is the Word of God that must be believed to be saved. There is NO SANCTIFICATION or growth without the Word of God. The Bible says:

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NKJV) All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

It is this Word of God today that will instruct us on …

1 Corinthians 12:1 (KJV) Now concerning SPIRITUAL GIFTS, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.

The Church Is Empowered By The Spirit Of God

The first word in SPIRITUAL Gifts is SPIRITUAL or SPIRIT. The Holy Spirit of God. There are Spiritual Gifts in the Church, but before the Apostle speaks of Spiritual Gifts he speaks of the HOLY SPIRIT. Why? Because …

The power of the Christian – the power to understand Scripture and the power to do great works is in the indwelling Holy Spirit of God.

We were all “Gentiles” or lost people before we were saved by the Grace of God.

1 Corinthians 12:2 (KJV) Ye know that ye WERE Gentiles,
carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.

We WERE Gentiles. You were a Gentile before you were saved. As Gentiles YOU WERE “carried away by dumb idols”. You followed NOTHING. You followed:

Flesh
Feelings
Foolishness
Fantasies

You made gods of these nothings, these imaginings, these desires. You were “carried AWAY” by these things.

Psalm 115:4-9 (NKJV) Their idols are silver and gold, The work of men’s hands. 5 They have mouths, but they do not speak; Eyes they have, but they do not see; 6 They have ears, but they do not hear; Noses they have, but they do not smell; 7 They have hands, but they do not handle; Feet they have, but they do not walk; Nor do they mutter through their throat. 8 Those who make them are like them; So is everyone who trusts in them. 9 O Israel, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield.

As Gentiles we were carried away by dumb idols.
The lost today are carried away by their nothing gods.
But the saved are empowered by their God.

1 Corinthians 12:3 (KJV) Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

The Mark of the Christian is how that person perceives and expresses Christ. The person who is lost “calls Christ accursed”. They use Jesus’ name in foul curse words. They mock His teachings.

The lost dissect what God has said, and throw away the parts that they do not like,
but keep the parts they do like.
Like the Deist Thomas Jefferson they take a knife to the Bible,
and cut out what they disagree with while retaining what they like.
“God is love” is in, but “God commands” is out.

You say “but I know Christians who do not believe the whole Bible”. They may be “Christian” but they are operating as if lost. The Christian proper and genuine follows the Word of God and the Spirit of God. The Christian is indwelt by the Spirit of God, also called the Spirit of Truth. Jesus said:

John 16:13-15 (NKJV) However, when He, the SPIRIT OF TRUTH, HAS COME, HE WILL GUIDE YOU INTO ALL TRUTH; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.

John 14:15-17 (NKJV) “If you love Me, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH, WHOM THE WORLD CANNOT RECEIVE, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

The Holy Spirit indwells every Christian who is saved by faith in the LORD Jesus Christ. As our text tells us:

no man can say that JESUS IS THE LORD, but by the Holy {Spirit}.

It is the Holy Spirit that promotes the preeminence of Christ in SALVATION and in CHRISTIAN LIVING. It is the Holy Spirit that causes God’s Church to be in one accord.

The Church Is Blessed By The Manifestation Of The Spirit, The Spiritual Gifts

1 Corinthians 12:4 (KJV) Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

The Spiritual Gift when it operates is the MANIFESTATION of the Holy Spirit. The Apostle tells us “there are DIVERSITIES of GIFTS”, that is, there are many different spiritual gifts in the Church, but “the same Spirit” – only One Holy Spirit behind that gift.

1 Corinthians 12:5 (KJV) And there are differences of ADMINISTRATIONS,
but the same Lord.

“Administrations” is the Greek διακονία diakonia which means ministry or service to those in need. God raises up and empowers people to act as servants, ministering to the needs of the saints of His house. There are different types of DIAKONIA, but the same Lord is behind every gift.

1 Corinthians 12:6 (KJV) And there are diversities of OPERATIONS, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

“Operations” is the Greek ἐνέργημα energēma which means “workings”, a focused expenditure of energy. Some spiritual gifts do not so much as minister to a weakness so much as they supply other necessary functions. Though there are different out-workings, the same God works all in all. It is not a human function, but a Divine enablement.

What is the point the Apostle makes here? Regardless as to what is done in the Body of Christ, the Church, everything is to be done through the power of God’s Holy Spirit. This necessitates that every action done be done PRAYERFULLY and FOR GOD’S GLORY.

This is where many Churches fail today, and why so many Churches close their doors every year. The Francis A. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership Development noted that 4000 Churches close every year compared to 1000 new Church starts. Why is this? The Churches that close rely on human effort rather than God’s Empowerment. Jesus said:

John 15:4-6 (NKJV) Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

The local Church in America today is in many cases trying to compromise with the world rather than align itself with God’s Power and God’s Word. As Light aligns with darkness it becomes part of the darkness. This is why many close. There is no more value in going to a dead, spiritless Church than there is in going to a movie theater whose projector bulb is blown out.

Abiding in Christ we bear MUCH fruit. Abiding in the darkness we bear NO fruit. Abiding partway in Christ and partway in self we bear LITTLE fruit. We must abide in Him. And here is a key passage:

1 Corinthians 12:7 (KJV) But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit {with all}.

The Spiritual Gift exercised is a MANIFESTATION of the Holy Spirit. The Gifts are given not to bless just the person who wields the gift, but to BLESS THE CHURCH ITSELF.

No Spiritual Gift is operated
SELFISHLY but SELFLESSLY.

The King James says the “manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit WITHAL”, which is the Old English word for “With All”. Where a gift functions, if it is a gift, it profits the Body of Christ. These “Gifts” are given as God sees fit to bestow them. They are “Gifts”. We do not earn nor deserve them. God gives them to each member to bless His Church. The Apostle writes:

1 Corinthians 12:8-11 (KJV)  For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;  [9]  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;  [10]  To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:  [11]  But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

What are the various gifts that the Apostle mentions?

Word of Wisdom
Word of Knowledge
Faith
Gifts of Healing
Working of Miracles
Prophecy or Preaching
Discerning Of Spirits
Many Types Of Tongues
Interpretation Of Tongues

These gifts are all given by the Holy Spirit to members of the Body of Christ as He wills. We do not earn nor deserve the gifts, nor can we work our way up to them. The Apostle Paul became an Apostle on the day Christ knocked him down on the Damascus Road (Acts 9:5-6). When God told Ananias to go to the newly converted Paul He said:

Acts 9:15 (KJV)  But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

Paul was God’s Apostle cause God said so, and God gives His calling and gifts as He sees fit.

No Gift Is More Important Than The Other

Sometimes we get bound by the flesh thinking one gift is better than another. This is not true. Every Spiritual Gift is given by God, empowered by God, and needed by the Body of Christ. The Apostle explains this in detail.

1 Corinthians 12:12-14 (KJV)  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.  [13]  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.  [14]  For the body is not one member, but many.

Just as the human body is comprised of many different parts, and every part equally important, so is the Church, the Body of Christ. Every Church member is important. Every part of your body is important.

1 Corinthians 12:15-18 (KJV)  If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?  [16]  And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?  [17]  If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?  [18]  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

Just as every part of the human body has a distinctive gifting and ability, every part of the Church of Christ has a distinctive gifting and ability. Some say “But I had no idea I have a spiritual gift”. This is perhaps because you have not been surrendered in your life to the Spirit of God. Let me ask you:

Do you READ His Word daily?
Do you DO what God says do, or do you critique His commands?
Do you PRAY and seek God’s will in your life?
Are you ABIDING in Christ?
Do you seek out opportunities to PUT LOVE IN ACTION?
Do you just USE people, or do you LOVE people?

How you answer these questions will determine whether you are used of God or not. And if God has gifted you, praise Him, because every gift is important.

1 Corinthians 12:19-25 (KJV)  And if they were all one member, where were the body?  [20]  But now are they many members, yet but one body.  [21]  And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.  [22]  Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:  [23]  And those members of the body, which we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.  [24]  For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honor to that part which lacked:  [25]  That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

Every part is important. Every member working together, caring for one another, prevent schism or cancer in the Body. And every member is so very important.

Years ago I never thought about my feet. As I get older, my feet and legs hurt, some days just throbbing. I used to take my feet for granted. I told Sherry my wife the other day that as I get older, I take better care of my feet and my teeth. Every part of me is necessary.

And every one of you is necessary.

Grow, dear Christian. Abide in Him, in His Word, and do as He says. Find your gift and let the Spirit enable for His glory and our sake. May Christ touch your hearts with His Word.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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