God’s Spiritual Gifts to Believers at the Beginning of the Church Age
1 Corinthians 12:1-11
A. Spiritual gifts have a two-fold purpose within the church:
1. To glorify God, the giver of the gifts - 1 Peter 4:10-11. (The proper use of spiritual gifts never draw attention to self, but—as the Holy Ghost Who gave them—points to Christ!)
2. To enable believers to edify one other in the church - Ephesians 4:11-15
B. Sign gifts were given to win the Jews to Christ (1Cor 1:22; 14:21-25) – remember, that on the Day of Pentecost – 3,000 JEWS were saved
C. These gifts of the Spirit were passing gifts and, by the time of the writing of 1 Corinthians, these particular gifts were already passing off the scene. Men, like the Apostle Paul, with the gifts of miracles, healings, prophecy (foretelling), and tongues with interpretation were already losing the ability to perform these particular gifts. We will deal with this, a little more in-depth in another message.
D. These passing gifts were to be replaced by “that which is perfect” in chapter 13 of 1 Corinthians.
II. Review – the Gift List
A. Three groups of Gifts
Word of wisdom
Word of knowledge
Working of miracles
Discerning of spirits
Interpretation of tongues
Prophecy – Preaching
All done in Love…
All other servants are of their own will
For Reaching the Jews
For All People to Reacch All People
For the Church to do the Work of the Ministry
III. Message - The Gift of Faith
A. Now we get careful – that’s what a Student of the Scriptures does
1. Note the context – around other gifts that were sign gifts
2. Possibly a different kind of “faith” – allow for differences
B. This gift in believers is to be differentiated from the essence of faith itself.
1. Faith is trusting God – believing that God will keep His promises – all you are doing is allowing God to fulfil His promises that he has already made: he will save you, he will give you peace and rest, He will take you to heaven, He will keep you…
2. The added gift of faith is the ability to trust that God will work specifically for you as you pray about something…
a. To move a mountain
b. To fight and defeat an enemy
c. To give you an ability (like Sampson prayed for the strength to push apart two support pillars in a Philistine Coliseum)
3. Normal faith grows by reading and believing God’s word – the gift of faith is not obtained by works, but was a GIFT for a specific purpose
C. The Word of God clearly teaches that faith is common among all people to one degree or another. Every person believes in something!
1. There is Faith IN the unsaved - The ability to believe God (Act 16:31; Rom 12:3)
2. Faith is increased in the believer (Romans 10:17) as they learn and believe the Bible
3. Faith is supposed to grow and expand as each situation arises, but only where God has made a promise in the Bible.
4. In other words, we cannot tell God what to do unless he has already promised that he will do it
D. The supernatural gift of faith is the extraordinary capacity to believe God to do something specifically for you – i.e., work miracles on your behalf.
1. In the first century, they had faith that God would do something for them – no limits: raise the dead, heal, protect them
2. Since then, we are to obey God, and trust His promises to take care of us – nothing more. We cannot command God! He commands us!
E. This kind of faith was found in both Old and New Testaments.
1. Moses before Pharaoh – a supernatural kind of faith
2. Elijah praying that it not rain for 3 ½ years
3. Moses parting the Red Sea
4. The apostles standing up to the Sanhedrin
F. Still today, there are three kinds of people: men of no faith, men of child-like faith, and then there are men of great faith.
1. Luke 7:9 When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
2. All of God’s children have some faith but some have great faith! When everything seems impossible, they stand up and say that not only can God do something but that He will do something. They are the ones who believe that God can make a tree walk or a telephone pole talk!
3. But the believer today, ONLY believes what God says He will do – he does not just tell God what to do – like they would have done in the first century!
G. Faith is one of the most needed qualities in our lives
1. Without it we cannot please God
2. Without it we will have NO joy
3. Without it we will not see God work in our lives
4. Without it no one can be saved
5. Without it, Satan rules your heart – full stop!
A. Summary of the first set of sign gifts
1. Word of Wisdom – a spiritual understanding about situations, and able to teach that awareness to others
2. Word of Knowledge – knowing the mind of God and speaking it even though not written down in Scripture yet
3. Faith – the ability to believe that God will do something specifically just because you ask for it
4. Healing – the ability to heal anybody, anywhere, anyhow!!!
B. Learn the difference, and live the reality – not the dream! God has not changed, but His ways of enabling His people have!
C. Next time, the Gifts of Miracles
Bible Baptist Church
Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland