Thursday, June 14, 2012

1 Cor 12

Now concerning spiritual gifts,  brothers,  I do not want you to be uninformed.
·         Paul says this four times in his letters
·         They lacked love and cherished too highly spiritual gifts

2 You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led.
·         Normally our thinking is useless and futile, Eph 4:17. 
·         The ESV is trying to make the best of a strange sentence. Mute might be less confusing if rendered Dumb, or incompetent.  See Ps 114:5, where idols are just hunks of elements, they can’t really direct you to go anywhere, because they can’t speak.
·         Without God’s light men genuinely follow after pieces of stone and metal.
·         Men naturally run to their own destruction

3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.
·         The Spirit is truth (John 16:13) therefore all the things He says and makes people say are truth. If it’s a true statement, He has caused it to be said.
·         Lest people be divisive it’s important to note that men cannot utter Jesus is Lord unless regenerated. The Spirit cannot speak against Christ, and the Spirit will only glorify Christ.
·         This does not mean that only the regenerate can praise God or say this, as the unregenerate can glorify God for awhile, see Saul (1 Sam 10), Caiaphas (John 11:49), Baalam (Num 23, 24) Nebuchadnezzar (Dan 2:47). 

4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;
·         Calvin says that just as each musical instruments makes up a symphony, so God has His many instruments making up the church.

5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;
·         In a household you would have a very similar division of labor.  Some slave kept the books, another worked in the fields, another washed. They were all doing different things, but they were all serving.

6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.
·         There is nothing good in anything, unless God is empowering us, or it.

7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
·         We all share in the same Holy Spirit. What makes us unique is how the Spirit chooses to manifest Himself. Some people are compassionate, some are intellectual, all are uniquely created to build the church.
·         Each is given the gift on behalf of his brothers and sisters. We are not given the gifts for our own purposes.
·         Paul will now draw up an example list, but it is by no means exhaustive.
·         God expresses His creative beauty in the diversity of the natural world. We should then expect He would do the same to people.

8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and
·         Wisdom is using what you know to do good. It is the proper use of knowledge to produce the outcome that most glorifies God.
·         Wisdom produces salvation (Is 33:6)
to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit,
·         Knowledge is the gathering of information and facts to mind. The gathering of Scriptural truths to yourself is knowledge.
·         Paul studied for three years after his conversion to gain knowledge and understanding
·         The Spirit promised to give us understanding when we mediate 2 tim 2:7

9 to another faith by the same Spirit,
·         It’s likely this means faith of miracles, or, the special form of faith that results in miracles. Otherwise we have only some Christians given the gift of faith, which is absurd.
·         Judas had such a gift, yet he was not in the church. Matt 25
to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,
·         See Acts 4:14 the man who was healed
·         Acts 3:1 the lame beggar healed
·         Acts8:7 the healing of the people by a shadow of a handkerchief
·         Acts 28:8 Paul heals Mr. Popular
·         I’m going to reveal my hand as a cesassionist although my brother is a continuist.  This gift is not in operation. We don’t have miracle faith healers.
·         Don’t any of you tell me about this friend of yours who heard of a guy in Africa who was raising the dead. If you believe that I have some Nigerian SPAM emails for you.

10 to another the working of miracles,
·         See Acts 13:11 when Paul blinded Bar-Jesus,
·         Acts 4 when Peter killed Ananias and Sapphira.
to another prophecy,
·         The gift of fore and forth-telling the mind of Christ. Foretelling has ceased, fore-telling has not.
·         See Joel 2:28, Acts 2. Foretelling the future seems to be what Paul has in mind here, in accordance with (Is 41:23 – tell us what comes hereafter that we may know you are gods”
·         See Acts 21:10 about Agabus.
·         Acts 21:9 about Philips daughters who prophecied
to another the ability to distinguish between spirits,
·         Discernment. Literally the space between two things. 1 John 4:1 “Do not believe every spirit, but test them to see if they are of God”
·         Not all teaching is good. Not all spirits are good.  It must be compared to scripture
·         A famous puritan was asked (his name does not come to mind at the moment) why he and the puritans were always so precise and particular about everything. He replied, ‘we serve a particular God’
 to another various kinds of tongues,
·         By this we understand the word ‘language’.
·         Acts 2 gifts of tongues were given to the Apostles at Pentecost to minister to everyone in their native tongue
to another the interpretation of tongues.
·         The understanding of speech and writing is itself a gift. To draw the true meaning out of a passage of scripture, or sermon, to be able to explain it and apply it is a critical gift. Gen 40:8 (Do not all interpretations belong to God?)

11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
·         The Spirit is not inferior to Jesus or the Father, but see that He does as He pleases. John 3:8.
·         Eph 4:4 we have one Spirit moving the church, the Holy Spirit
·         He is in charge of His church. It pleases Him to give great gifts, it pleases Him to take them away.
·         If God has made the determination of who gets what gift, then we should not boast or cause divisions.

·         Romans 12:6-8 breaks the gifts out thusly- Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving;
the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 Women are prohibited from this in the assembly
the one who exhorts, in his exhortation;
the one who contributes, in generosity;
the one who leads (or gives aid), with zeal;
the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
·         Consider your body as an analogy, it has unique functions that are specifically suited to performing a task. Eyes for seeing, ears for hearing, fingers for fingering.
·         Christ’s body is no less composed of members.

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