This past Sunday, we began a brief sermon series called “Make Your Mark.” The purpose of the series is to encourage those attending Hope Church to understand and take hold of the ministry opportunities that God gives us- and the gifts to achieve those opportunities. Our focus for the series is 1 Corinthians 12-13.
1 Corinthians 12:1-11
This is a main text of Paul about Spiritual Gifts. It was interesting as I received some feedback after church that not many of our folks have heard much about spiritual gifts. This will likely be a place to return to focus on again later.
To me, as I read and preached, the main essence of the passage is found in 1 Corinthians 12:7: “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” God gives spiritual gifts to each believer which is to be used for the common good. Gifts are not meant to build up ourselves but are to point others to Christ.
We went into a brief description of the gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12 and elsewhere knowing that they would need some definition. While we spoke of the spiritual gifts listed, I said that any gift, talent, ability, or endowment- whether cultivated through practice or divinely given- can be a spiritual gift when used to glorify God and participate in God’s kingdom work. But here are the main points of the message
1. You are gifted to make a mark: vs. 11 “All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one just as he determines.” Gifts are distributed to each believer as God determines. The challenge for each of us is to discern, with the help of mentors, pastors, friends, and assessment tools, what our spiritual gifts might be.
2. Gifted to Get Involved. Romans 12:1-8 speaks to this. In vs. 1-3, Paul talks about spiritual transformation that takes place when we surrender our lives to God as a living sacrifice. Verses 4-8 speak to putting our gifts into action. After spiritual transformation by God, the task of a believer is to use their gifts- to put them into practice- to get involved in ministry that makes disciples and takes part in the kingdom.
My dad has an awesome garage. In his garage is just about every tool imaginable. There are tools to fix cars, tractors, work on the house, cut trees and so on. I knew growing up that if I needed a tool for a job- that I could go to the garage and find the right tool for the job. Likewise, when God gives us a mission/purpose/ministry to fulfill, God will equip us with the tools and gifts to do what God has called us to do.
What are your spiritual gifts? Did you hear much about gifts in the church? What is the best gifts assessment tool that you’ve used?