on a return to the ‘thru the nt’ series (sermon summary 1.3.06)

We are jumping back into our New Testament series after the Christmas hiatus. We still have two of our college kids at home, so we had a bit bigger crowd for Wednesday PM. I wish we could motivate more people to make Wednesday a regular habit. I suspect that is a lament of many pastors.

We resume our survey with 1 Cor 12-14, entitled ‘Regulating Spiritual Gifts‘. The proposition was this: “The Lord intends for our hearts to be governed by the Spirit so that we exercise spiritual gifts with definite spiritual control.” The three chapter divisions in this section cover three ways in which the use of spiritual gifts are regulated. First, gifts are regulated by an understanding of the true nature of spiritual gifts. They come from one source, God, under divine supervision, are given individually, not sought, and each has a unique function in the body in order to benefit the whole body. Second, gifts are regulated by an elevation of the superior value of spiritual fruit. That is, spiritual fruit (especially love) is essential if gifts are to mean anything, the supreme quality of love is described, and the enduring permanence of love is seen in that it outlasts all gifts (especially the temporary tongues) and even other aspects of earthly spiritual fruit such as hope and faith. Thus, spiritual fruit should be our concern much more than spiritual gifts. Last, gifts are regulated by the discipline of the proper exercise of spiritual gifts. That involves putting tongues in their proper place, realizing that tongues are primarily a sign to unbelievers (and especially a sign that those hearing them are being cut off from God’s revelation), and finally regulating their use by strict rules that eliminate all of so-called tongues speaking today. The Spirit-led believer today needs these truths to be in our minds lest we be led astray by false teaching so prevalent around us.

Sunday we will finish 1 Corinthians and move on to 2 Corinthians with a brief stop in Acts 19 in between.

Don Johnson
Jer 33.3