Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode 580 · 5 months ago

Gifts of the Holy Spirit, Part 2

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

1 Corinthians 12:4-31

...mainstanding. If you're able, let's turn to First Corinthians, chapter twelve. First Corinthians Chapter Twelve, I'm going to read the whole chapter, but I'll focus on versus eight through ten. Now, concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans, you were led, astrayed, immute idols, however, you were led. Therefore, I want you to understand that no one speaking in the spirit ever says curse Jesus, and no one can say Jesus is Lord, except in the Holy Spirit. Now, there are varieties of gifts, but the same spirit, and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord, and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the spirit for the common good. Four to one is given, through the spirit, the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge, according to the same spirit, to another, faith, by the same spirit to another, gifts of healing by the one spirit to another, the working of miracles to another, prophecy to another, the ability to distinguish between spirits to another, various kinds of tongues to another, the interpretation of tongues, all these are empowered by the one and the same spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. 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, for in one spirit we were all baptized into one body. Jews or Greeks, slaves, are free, and all were made to drink of one spirit. For the body does not consist of one member, but of many. If the foot should say, because I'm not a hand, I do not belong to the body, that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, because I'm not an eye, I do not belong to the body, that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where with the sense of where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arrange the members in the body, each one of them as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you, nor again the head, to the feet, I have no need of you. On the contrary, the parts of the body that seemed to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body which we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty. which are more presentable parts do not require but God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together. If one member is honored, all rejoiced together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it, and God has appointed in the church, First Apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, than gifts of healing, helping, administrating, various kinds of tongues. Are All apostles, are all prophets, are all teachers? Do All Work Miracles? Do All possessed gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire higher gifts, and I will show you still a more excellent way. May God be praised and may we...

...be blessed by his word. You may be seated. So, as we began to consider last time, this passage is so much about out the work of the spirit, as we are the body of Christ, and he helps us to really understand this. Paul comes at it from a lot of different angles to really impress upon us this truth. Some of these images are are silly, right, an I being a whole body, right, just blinking, of course, not a body, right? Or various parts saying I have no need of you or I have no idea of you. And of course we all need each other, even though there's some pretty big differences. Sometimes finger is not an ear, a head is not a foot. Pretty big differences, and yet all held together by the Lord. We also noticed how this is not undone simply by our having trouble with this fact. Right, just because the I says I do not belong to the body, or because or because a member says Verse Sixteen, because I'm not an eye, I do not belong to the body, that doesn't make it any less a part of the body. So just because the fact that you or I are sometimes or even frequently confused about our place and who we are and what we ought to be doing, or even theologically prideful or a discounting of others. The work of the Lord still stands when he unites us together into one body. We are one body in Christ. It's a work he has done. It's not a work we manufacture. It's not a lego character, right, that we all just sort of work together and create. It's something that God himself has done. He's telling us how things are. I use the analogy last time of an ecosystem. Right. This is just the world that God has made. It's how it works and this is how the body of Christ works. This is our place in it. We are individual members of that one body through the same spirit who empowers us all. And so I said what I would do this time is focus in particular on the gifts that are listed in versus four through ten, and maybe even more specifically eight through ten. The basic rule that we have and how the body of Christ operates is that each of us are given gifts by God and those gifts are to be used in service to the rest of the body. That's the basic point. Each of us are given various gift, varieties of activities, varieties of service, these kinds of things that he mentions in four, five and six, each one, he says in verse eleven, to apportioned to each according to his will, as he chooses. But what is the purpose of these things? One of those purposes or the one of the the things we should keep in our mind as we moved, as we exercise these gifts, is what he says in verse seven, to eat, just given the manifestation of the spirit for the common good. Now there are other implications of this right, as he says, if one member suffers, we all suffer. My mom tells a story that the first date that she and my dad went on was a hike to the Grand Canyon. This like super big date and they go...

...on this high could she twists her her ankle on the way down and then favoring her, you know, trying to give favor to her ankle, that she messed up her hip, but then fair trying to deal with her hip, she messes up the other de and it's just she was a mess by the time it was done. She thought it was all over. Fortunately for me that didn't happen, but there's this. You know what that's like, right. You know you might have a tiny, tiny little hangnail right and you're not going to go to sleep until you get that taken care of. When one member suffers, it affects everything else. It affects the whole body. Likewise, when one of thember rejoices, when something's going well, when we find healing and refreshment, maybe you're sick and your stomach stops hurting. Oh you just feel so much better. It's like that in the body of Christ as well. Now, true, we're not always as sensitive as we need to be to one another's needs and one another's celebrations and we don't always know what's going on, and this body is a little different in some ways than a physical body, but there's a lot of similarities there too, and those similar to their similarities are there again, because that's how the Lord made us. It's just that's the way it works. It's the way it works. It's not something we need to try to make it work or try to manufacture. It's just how it works. Now, of course, in our sinfulness and in our fleshliness, we could do things that go against this, and we do sometimes and Paul seems to have some of that in mind. It seems as though some members in the church were being prideful perhaps about having this or having that and not using their gifts to serve the common good, but maybe tear each other apart. Ultimately he's going to get to some of these higher gifts, one of them being love. Love. There's different ways in which love is perhaps a higher gift. It's also lower, I think, in a way to higher and lower in the sense that it's a foundational gift. In another place. Paul talks about the Holy Spirit knitting us all together and love. I love that analogy. It makes me think of the body, to the way our our veins and the systems within our body right. It's it's not like the lego analogy really doesn't work right, because it's not like plug the arm into the chest, you know, and plug the other arm and stick on the legs. Right. It's knit together right. There's all of these systems working within us that are totally intertwined, i. totally perfectly working all together and which you take one out, you take one part and it really does affect the whole. And one of those systems we might say, or I might be mixing metaphors now, but he says that love is this thing that holds us together, the spirit holds us together, and these are things we experience and we see. These are with things that this the spirit manifests when he works in us. So how do we think about all of that and big picture stuff in relation to versus for through ten and these specific gifts? Some people like to think about these gifts like like a few crayons. Let's imagine a waitress comes to the table. You take, let's say an elementary school kids out to a celebrate something and the Racheress put some crayons on the table and then everybody's fighting over which Crayon and who gets which Crayon right. It's not really the point right this, at the...

...point of this list is not to sort of limit what's available or for us to sit and look and say, well, which one do I have and which ones don't I have, and those kinds of things. To stay with the crayons for a moment. This list is more like going into a Crayon factory, which the tour guide then says, look at all of these colors available. We've got blue and yellow, Brown, aquamarine, fire engine red. Right, this is not the point in which you say I want fire engine red. Or how come there's not? I don't know what didn't I not list pink? Right, how come there's not pink? But no, he's not saying that, he's not dlimiting, he's not saying these are the only gifts and now we need to fight over them or figure out everything specifically. He's just trying to help us to see that there's a lot of colors and that the Lord in the variety unites us all together. The list is not exhaustive, it's representative. Not all the gifts are listed here, in other words, nor are all the shades of color, and those are two points that I want you to hold this morning and take with you. Not all are here and not all shades of those colors are here. There's lots more indeed. You might even say that they could be considered an analyzed from difference perspective, as you could, like colors, mix them. Right, you could take this gift of faith and this gift of encouragement and mix them. And what does that look like in a person's life? Certainly good. What about faith and an act of service? Or what about gifts of healing and love? Right, these things are not, you know, sort of tight sealed categories that can't be seen one from another. They they're a whole mix, a whole rainbow of beautiful things that God gives to us. Now I'd like to offer some proof for that, so you don't have to just take my word for it. If you would turn with me to another list of spiritual gifts in Romans, chapter twelve. I'll read from Romans twelve versus six through eight. So here, Paul says, I'll read start starting verse four. This will sound very familiar. He says, for as in one body, we have many members and the members do not all have the same function. So we, though many, are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. Right, almost exactly the same. Then, he says, having gifts that differ a to the grace given to us, let us use them. If prophecy in proportion to our faith, if service in our serving, the one who teaches and is teaching, the one who exhorts in his exhortation, the one who contributes and generosity, the one who leads with zeal, the one who does acts of mercy with cheerfulness. And then, unsurprisingly, he goes on to talk about love. He says in Verse Nine, Let love be genuine, abhor what is evil, hold fast to what is good, love one another with brotherly affection, out do one another and showing honor. Do not be slothful and zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord, rejoice and hope, be patient and tribulation, be constant in prayer, contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. So one reason I read these next few verses, in nine through thirteen, is to see the connection with love. The other thing to see is that so it seems as though maybe he's stopped talking about gifts right in...

...verse eight and transitions and talks about love more in general. But notice how he ends contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. These are things that are mentioned as gifts just before when he talks about those who give, giving generously, those who serve to serve. If that's connected with hospitality, perhaps, and I think it is the point, then to see that in verse thirteen, even though we're not in a list of spiritual gifts, he's still talking about spiritual gifts, which means we can find gifts even outside of the lists that he gives. The Holy Spirit pours out love on a church. He knits us together in love and it's manifest in all kinds of ways. Sometimes they're specifically identified as gifts and sometimes not. Sometimes it's just a command. Seek to show hospitality, be generous. Where does that come from? From God? Do we deserve it? No, so what do we call it a gift? Right? So we have this gift. The second thing to notice in this, that I want you to notice in Romans twelve here, is that some of these things are not listed in First Corinthians twelve. Where we are now, there might be some overlap. Right. So he talks about gifts of teaching. Does that perhaps relate to gifts of utterance, of wisdom or gifts of uttering knowledge? Probably sounds a lot like teaching to me, but are are those very distinct and separate gifts? Probably not. What Paul has in mind is again he's just expressing, from different angles and different perspectives, with different words, the kinds of things that we see in the life of the church. Let's look at one more passage, first Peter Chapter Four, and this does not cover all the passages in scripture, but let's look at one more. First Peter Four, versus nine through eleven. How about eight? Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God's vary grace. Whoever speaks as one who speaks oracles of God, whoever serves as one who serves by the strength that God supplies, in order that in everything, God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. So here right we see similar things mentioned, but things that we don't want to divide against the things that we saw in Romans twelve or in First Corinthians twelve. The one who speaks oracles of God is not someone who is totally different than the one who speaks prophecy or the one who teaches or the one who utters knowledge and wisdom. They're just different perspectives and different angles on expressing a similar things. All this to say that when we compare these lists, what we see is that there's a lot of overlap. Gifts of healing are a kind of of us, which is a kind of generosity. Right. We have teaching and other kinds of things mentioned as well. So with so in this we can see that Paul's intention is not to list out of everything but help us, help us to see the variety of these things. Now a second thing to notice here, as we go back to how we see this list in First Corinthians twelve, is that there are some distinctions between these things. Some of them, he mentions, are quite extraordinary and some seem more...

...ordinary. Some people want to categorize this list especially and sometimes the others, in terms of those gifts that are continuing and those that are not continuing. And what I want to try and argue here is that while there are forms, or shades, to use the word I used earlier, shades of these gifts, are forms of these gifts that are extraordinary and we don't expect to see in a regular basis continuing, it doesn't mean that the gifts themselves have stopped. So the gifts, and other words, have ordinary forms and extraordinary forms. The extraordinary forms, by definition, are extraordinary and perhaps, and there are reasons why, we can expect them to see them in certain times and places and not in certain times in places. But just because we don't expect to see certain extraordinary things now doesn't mean that the gift all together is gone. Let me see if I can show that to you. The first thing to recognize and affirm is that God can give different gifts at different times. That's just something that we should believe. One reason is it kind of says it right here in First Corinthians twelve. He gives different gifts two different people. Another reason, as we see it, all throughout history, Adam and Eve God to live in the Garden of Eden. No one else has ever lived in the garden of Eden, just them. Israel had the opportunity to live in the land of Canaan, a landflowing with milk and honey. We do not. We have greater access and freedom in worship. Israel does not. The people of God throughout time and history have experienced God's gifts in different ways, different times and places, often suited for that particular work in the things that he's doing. It should, and God is, of course, a god of great diversity. A God of variety. You just look at creation right, look at the world around us, look at our own bodies, look at the body of Christ, and you'll see this everywhere. And so it should not be a difficult thing for us to affirm that God may choose to give certain gifts at a certain time and not choose to give them an another time, that he might choose to give to one person one set of gifts and a portion to them as he chooses, and not choose to give it to another person or choose to give to them something different. That's exactly right what Paul is saying. So given that fact, we shouldn't come at the question demanding that everything that happens at one in one era and one time happens in another. Doesn't mean it can't just means we can't demand it of God. So then it comes to the question, well, are we in another time? Are we in an era in which certain extraordinary forms of the gifts have ceased? And I think there's reasons to believe that. One reason is that we don't see some of the things that we read about in the very early days, in the Apostolic Era of the Church, in acts nine Peter Raises Tabitha from the dead. In Acts Twenty, Paul Raises Utechus from the dead. I've never seen anybody raised from the dead. I've never met anybody who saw somebody raised from the dead. It doesn't mean it's not impossible for God, it just means it's extraordinary. It's very rare now in a time in which, even in the early days of the New Testament, it's seem to be a more common we have this with other things as...

...well. Speaking of languages, for example, or tongues, is described being able to speak a language which is not known to preach the Gospel, being able to interpret a language just not known, to see the Gospel go out in this miraculous way. I'm certain kinds of healings and these kind of things, these were quite extraordinary. One reason to think that they are extraordinaries because we simply see less of less of them. Then that gets us to this question. Well, why do we see less of them? What's the reason for that? Some people say it's because we just don't have enough faith, we don't pray enough, we don't believe enough, we don't desire them enough. I don't buy this one. Reason I don't buy this is I don't think that there was any time of the history in the Christian Church whhere there was a golden age in which, just across the board, people were way more faithful. Look at the current church and Corinth where these, perhaps some of these extraordinary gifts are present. Are they this sort of amazing example of a church right that we should all just aspire to be? No, all over this letter we see people who are struggling in major and basic phays to affirm basic Christian doctrine and live according to basic Christian piety. This is not the top, the tip tops zenith of spirituality, and we all go wow and because of that we can see all these extraordinary gifts the Corinthians had and if only we could get up that high, we could be like them. It's just not the picture and I don't think we can point to any church or any place in the aid, especially in a big Broadway, where we can say, well, obviously they had these extra gifts because they were so much extra faithful, they believed so much more. It's also true that we teamed to struggle with the same things generation after generation. The things that the Corinthian struggled with their things. We struggle with to affirming basic Christian doctrine, living according to basic Christian pious hard stuff, right. Another thing that bothers me about saying if you just had enough faith, and I grew up in churches like this, if you just had enough faith, if you just believe hard enough, is that it accuses, without proof, mature, godly people of purposely trying to stay out of step of the spirit, and this just doesn't make sense to me. You can bring call to your mind now people that you admire, people you say that is a godly man, that is a godly woman, that is someone I want to be like. They love the Lord, they're constant in prayer, they give generously, they they show hospitality, they take care of the needs of the saints, they study God's word, they live for him, they love for him, they've zood him. You see his glory in their lives, except for this one thing in which they do not want the gifts of the spirit. People that are mature, godly. He's Christian role models and saints. These are people who love the spirit, who seek the spirit, who desire the spirit. They're not rebellious, obstinate, and people. On what basis do I have a like what what possible accusations could I level against these people, people who have done...

...amazing things in the history of the church, translating the scripture, dying as martyrs, right, all kinds of things to say. Well, if they just had a little more faith. Sure, burned at the stake, sure, you know, devoted their entire lives to giving to the poor. Sure, institute a great forms at every level. Sure, gave us great documents of doctrine and knowledge and wisdom, all focused and pointed on the Lord. But really, if they had tried a little harder, maybe then they could have received the gifts of the spirit. That just doesn't feel fair. What proof do we have? What accusation can we level against these saints and say that they were denying the spirit, that they were sinful in some way in which God was not would, was not willing to reward them? So I hope that with me, you could take that option off the table. The reason, in other words, that that we don't see extraordinary gifts today is not because people just don't care or don't have faith or don't love the Lord. So back to our question. What is the reason, and I think scripture gives us a pretty coherent reason. If you turn to Efhesians, and this is only one of many places that it's expressed, but it's expressed clearly here. In effesians chapter two, Paul gives testimony to this doctrine, that there was a particular era of the apostles and prophets that served a particular role and function at that time, and he puts that teaching, that doctrine, into the form of a metaphor. So in verse nineteen he says to the Ephesians, so then, you are no longer strangers and aliens, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God. By that he's referring to their status as gentiles, but now belonging to the Church and to the Covenant Community, to the household of God. All right. Then he goes on and he says that you are built on the foundation of the Apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure being joined together, grows into a holy temple in whom you also are being built together, into a dwelling place for God by the Holy Spirit. So, in a way, similar to First Corinthians, twelve and Peter, First Peter and these other passages we've seen, we see that there is a body, in this case a building, that is all one. The Holy Spirit dwells in the whole thing. It's all empowered by God. And yet there are distinctions. First and most importantly, Jesus, Christ. Jesus in the body is the head of the body, right in the then, in the metaphor of the building, he is the cornerstone. No one else is the cornerstone. He's the cornerstone. That's a distinction that's made. And the cornerstone is this important built brick stone in the foundation that sets the angle, sets the position of the building. Right, he's the foundation of the foundation in a way, but since we don't have two foundations, very cleverly and helpfully, the Apostle Paul uses this metaphor of the cornerstone, the chief and most important part of the foundation. So there's a distinction. Right, Jesus is a part of the body. We are in his body, we are defined by him, but he's distinct within it. Another distinction he makes is of...

...the apostles and prophets what does he talk about them? As he says, they are the foundation of the building. They are distinct from Jesus, and yet they belong to that foundation. And who are we? We are those who are being built on that foundation. We are not like the apostles and prophets, and yet we are like the apostles and prophets. They are distinct from us in some ways and yet they are part of us in some ways. In this building metaphor instead of the body metaphor, and that's exactly what we see in the acts of the apostles. In that book and in other books. We see the apostles doing this foundational work in which the new covenant is established, in which a new household is being built up. And without getting too much into all of how apostolicity works and that era, I just want you to note some things, like the correspondence between the twelve of tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles. God was laying a foundation, he was doing something on which the rest would be built. Think about the way in the Great Commission that Jesus commissioned the apostles and sent them out in the world in some ways to complete his mission to do what he had not failed to do, but had begun to do. Jesus ministered in a tiny little portion of the world and now it was time to send it out to the whole world. Go, therefore, he says to them. And they went, and as they went they showed the signs that that Jesus was with him. They showed the signs, they brought the proof that they were ambassadors. And having done that, once the foundation was laid, you don't need to lay third, fourth fifth foundations. The building is then built. We don't keep the Lord doesn't keep providing US new foundational scriptures, because he built the foundation. And now what do we do? We live on it, we build on it, we we keep going back to the word over and over again, as one example of that. All this to say that the scriptures point us to a specific era. After Christ came an era of the apostles and prophets, in which they did work that testified and was a part of that found it, testified to their place as foundation builders, that brought signs and sealed that work, gave testimony to it and also did it. was did that work of founding it itself. And so that's my my brief case for for saying that. This is why, though God can work at any time in any way he wants, we have reasons to expect him to work at a certain time and in a certain way with the apostles and prophets, and reasons to expect that he will not continue working in those same ways, that we live in a different era, in some ways better. We have more scriptures than some of the early Christians. Have a bigger church, more experience, more testimony to the work of God in the new covenant, more things that we can point to, more clarity and doctrine those early years, those first first centuries, and which so much was handered hammered out, doctrines, which was Christians struggled for and died for, that we now just sort of take for granted a lot of times. The apostles creed in the nicene creed. What a blessing it is. Not We shouldn't take him for granted, but you know what I mean. What a blessing it is to come and say this is the truth and we know it because we put a lot of hard work into it collectively. Is the Church of Christ by God's grace,...

...to not have to reinvent the wheel and figure it out over and over and over again. These are blessings that we have now. They didn't have them all that to say, God works at different times and in different ways. Well, I want to finish with one more thing, and right now I'm really happy I didn't try to say all this last time, so thank you for ticking with me here. So the last point I want to make is that now, as we look at these different gifts, what I want to encourage you to do, as while we will recognize that there are extraordinary forms of the gifts, to not simply take away some of the things that are mentioned here and say, well, that gift itself no longer exists. An easy way to start at that and explain is and give an example of that, is with the gift of healing. Okay, but the gift of healing in First Corinthians, in First Corinthians twelve, when he lists this, I'm he says in verse nine to another gifts of healing by the one spirit. Now these are likely, we could say not the gift of healing, because he doesn't say that in the other part. He doesn't say, for example, the gift of utterance, the Gift of knowledge. Right, it's just this one, but I think he's saying there is he's talking about. We could put it another way. We say healing gifts to another. He gives healing gifts or the ability to heal. I want you to think about this healing and think about how you have both extraordinary forms, like Tabitha being raised from the dead, uticus being raised from the dead. That's healing right. Resurrection extraordinary. But though we admit that raising some from from the dead is a healing gift or a gift of healing, do we want to then deny that getting some medicine is not a gift of healing, or maybe even getting some flowers is not a gift of healing? Who here hasn't been encouraged by a BANDAID? Who here hasn't been encouraged by a some flowers by your bedside, a card in the mail? Who hasn't literally felt better because a brother or a sister brought healing to you through a play to lasagna or a or a or a or a or a vase of flowers or maybe medicine? These are gifts that we give the Anglican Church. One wrote once wrote all true wholeness, health and healing come from God. That sounds like something we'd want to affirm. Right. All true wholeness, health and healing come from God. We do not therefore regard divine healing as always being miraculous, because then it would say all this other non miraculous healing is not of God. Right. We don't want to say that. So, while we look forward to the resurrection of the dead, knowing that only then shall we be finally and fully freed from sickness, weakness, pain and more mortality, at the same time we welcome the recovery by the church. Are we welcome the recovery by the Church of a concern for healing, but also which to express caution against giving the wrong impressions and causing unnecessary distress through making it appear that it is sinful for a Christian to be ill, linking a stress and responsibility upon the faith of the individual who is seeking healing. All that to say, they're trying to say something there about about illness and sin and these sorts of things. But in the first part of that they're saying what gifts of healing are...

...from God and when Christians Minister Them, even in ordinary forms. That's a blessing, that's a gift and we shouldn't say man doesn't matter, not important, just because it's not of an extreme, because it's not resurrection. Of course it's important, of course it's huge. It's a gift of the Holy Spirit to apply medicine, to study medicine, to apply that with love for the body of rice. Our deacons are officers that are devoted to that task of caring for the temporal needs of the church. Is that not the gift of the Holy Spirit? So you see the point here? In this one example of healing, or, I'm sorry, of gifts of healing, there are shades right, a spectrum of from ordinary to extraordinary, with all kinds of expressions of it. What we don't want to do is say, well, it's only talking about the miraculous. Therefore we can't do that and this doesn't apply to us. It does apply to us. There are gifts of healing, they still continue and we ought to be thankful for them when we receive them and when we have healing gifts to give, we ought to use them in love for the common good. Now we're getting laid on time so I won't go through deeds of power and prophecy and discerning the gifts, discerning the spirits and all of these others, but I want to encourage you to begin looking at these other gifts this way. I'll give you a few quick examples. Have you ever met somebody who was very skilled in languages? They're just fast. I remember this in seminary. I was not fast. It was really hard. I worked and then I forgotten and I worked and then I forgotten that. I worked and I forgot and there would be these other people. They just got it. It was so fast. They would learn these languages and they would ply them and they would use them for what? Translation, exposition, writing commentaries, giving US articles. What an enormous blessing to the church. The gift of languages, which is what the Scripture says, tongues, is another translation for it absolutely does. The gift of tongue still apply today. Absolutely, and the ordinary hard work of studying and learning foreign languages so that people can come into our church and we can translate for them, so that we can receive the Gospel in our own tongue, so that the people can go out into the world and reach those who are lost. That's a gift of the Holy Spirit. We ought to thank God for it. Discerning spirits all, finish with this first John for says, beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this, you know, the spirit of God. Every spirit that confesses that Jesus, Christ has come in the flesh, is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming in is now in the world already. This is not some like supernatural inside into the demonic spiritual world. Could it be an extraordinary form of that? Perhaps Jesus seemed to exercise gifts like that. The Apostles and prophets seemed to exercise gifts like that. But according to John and other places in scripture, is there not an expectation within the body of Christ that we be discerning of spirits? Absolutely, it's exactly what it says should. Are there people among us who are really good at seeing things for what they are, who are clear headed, can kind of pick it out fast, who can get to the point of a problem...

...quickly. Yes, and thank you for being you. We need you. You're so helpful to us, having clarity about what is and what isn't, about the things in this world. That's a good thing and a blessing thing, even if it doesn't carry an extraordinary form. Well, I've made my case, and that is and I hope that this gives ultimately glory to God and encouragement to all of you. The Lord Jesus, our Savior, came into this world to die on a cross to bring us into one body, a body that's not fighting and angry at one another, a body that is blessed, a body that he has poured his gifts out on, and when we read what's like this, we ought to be really encouraged. What I'm trying to tell you today is there's not a single thing that's mentioned here that you can just that you should just ignore or throw out. Every single thing here has an expression some way in the body of Christ, and for that we can be thankful and we can embrace it. And when we don't have it ourselves, it's okay, because God's given you exactly what you need and he's given someone else exactly what they need. And at this very moment, at this very time and place, God has given covenant exactly what we need. Praise God and will blet, will grow and we'll change and there's things we want to do, and all of that. He calls us to grow and grow in our sanctification. But God will always be there with us this change is happen, as needs change, he'll always provide for us. We can look at a passage like this and we ought to see the spirit of God graciously at work, the one who has forgiven our sins now sanctifying us and making us more and more useful to him. So let's conclude with prayer and ask that God would do this work in us, even as he's already begun it. Our have.

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