WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
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GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT
(The gifts of the HOLY SPIRIT, helps us to serve in the body of CHRIST)
(1 Corinthians 12)
In 1 Corinthians 12 the Apostle Paul turns his attention to yet another problem in the newly founded Christian Church at Corinth. Like most young churches, the church at Corinth struggled with a prevailing misunderstanding of true Christian spirituality. Paul believed that some in the church had issues that were due to their refusal to surrender their “worldly attitudes” to CHRIST, and also, due to the presence of false teachers, who preyed on their spiritual immaturity.
GOD wants us to be able to discern the difference between what truly comes from HIM (GOD’s nature), and, what truly comes from the worldly, anti-CHRIST influence that is controlled by satan (sin nature). Satan desires to penetrate the Church with his subtle influences that he knows will agree more favorably with the “sin nature” that we have already accepted from him during our first years of accountability to GOD. He wants to take those gifts that have been provided to us by the HOLY SPIRIT, and use them in his own evil service and agenda, especially in the Christian Church.
In verses 3-7, Paul explains very clearly that, no one speaking by the HOLY SPIRIT of GOD can ever curse JESUS, the SON of the living GOD. And, in fact, no one is able to even utter the words “JESUS is LORD”, except by the HOLY SPIRIT. There are many different kinds of spiritual gifts, but, the HOLY SPIRIT is the source of them all. In the same way, there are many different forms of service in the Church, but, it is the same LORD that we are serving. GOD works in each of our lives in unique ways, but it is the same GOD that does the work in each of us. GOD manifests HIS SPIRIT through each person in the Christian Church for the overall good of the entire Church.
In verses 8-11, Paul is lays out the various key issues regarding the spiritual gifts that are bestowed upon mankind by GOD. Here he explains;
· Their common source, which is the HOLY SPIRIT,
· Their variations,
· Their equal value to the Church,
· Their use in the service of a common superior, WHO is GOD the FATHER
· Their use for the good of the Church body, which is CHRIST JESUS
These GOD-given gifts that allow us to perform at our own provided skill levels, both, in the Church, and, in our private and public lives, are not a credit to us, but rather, they are a credit to GOD working through us to accomplish HIS will in the Church, and indeed, in the entire world. The HOLY SPIRIT doles out these special gifts to whomever HE pleases, and HE also decides which person will receive which gifts, according to HIS OWN wisdom. HE acts upon each of us differently, and according to the will of the GOD the FATHER, for the body of CHRIST.
In verse 12 Paul draws an analogy between the human body, and, the body of CHRIST, which is the Church. Here Paul explains that, just as the human body has many parts that work together, so should the body of CHRIST. In the Church, the various body parts are those various gifts and talents that GOD gives us, and are contained in its members. And so, like the various parts of the human body, each member in the body of CHRIST, or, body part, has a different function or role also.
All roles are equally important, in that, each function can only be performed properly by the member of the body which GOD expressly intended to perform in that role within the body. And like the human body, whenever a part is not functioning properly, or, is missing, the whole body feels, and knows, about it.
Before we get too puffed up about the importance of our role in the Church, we need to be mindful of the fact that, the parts of the human body, and the Church, that seems to be the weakest and least important, are really the ones that are most necessary. And the parts that we see as being less honorable are the same parts that we clothe most carefully. In fact, the most important parts of the human body, those parts that we absolutely cannot function without (i.e. the heart, brain, liver, etc.), are the parts we don’t physically see, even when we look at the body in its nakedness.
It is like that also in the Christian Church, where we do not physically see the most important parts. Those parts are without a doubt, GOD the FATHER, GOD the SON, and GOD the HOLY SPIRIT. The Church, like the HOLY TRINITY, should all be baptized in one SPIRIT, and everyone in the Church, the body of CHRIST, is of “equal” and “inseparable” importance.
A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website