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1 Corinthians 12:1-8 - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
September 5, 2022 6:00 am

1 Corinthians 12:1-8 - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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September 5, 2022 6:00 am

It's sad but true that people have misused the gifts of the Spirit and turned people away from Jesus in the process. In this message, Skip gives you insight on how to know and use your spiritual gifts.

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There's a keyword I want you to have and know and have under your belt as we go through spiritual gifts.

It's the word balance. When it comes to this area especially, we should be balanced and I say that because I think my opinion is I feel that many churches, many movements are not all that balanced. In the course of history, people have abused the gifts of the Spirit and lost credibility in their witness for Jesus. Today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Skip shares how you can know your spiritual gifts and balance them with love and truth. But first, did you know that Skip shares important updates and biblical encouragement on social media? Just follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get the latest from him and this ministry. That's at Skip Heitzig. Okay, let's dive into today's teaching.

We'll be in 1 Corinthians Chapter 12 as Skip Heitzig begins the study. Never forget when I first moved here and I saw Sandia Crest and I was just so impressed by it and I did see from time to time people take off. It looked like they were taking off from the crest in these hand gliders. So I took a drive up there and got up there on a day when there were a few different hand gliders who would take that running jump down that little slope and jump off and take your breath away to see them. So I was there to watch a couple of guys launch off the crest and I expected that thing and it did at first.

I expected it to go down. I understand how gravity works and I understand that the city's down there and we're up here. So they took the jump and they took off and they went down and they went down but then suddenly they got out far enough where they didn't go down anymore. They actually ascended. They went up into the air and they kept going and kept going and somebody was explaining to me there are thermals that they're looking for that give them buoyancy so they can go further and longer than any other means. So I watched it and they got way up and way out and I was told by somebody that one of them made it almost to the border of Arizona.

Now I can only imagine what it would take to walk to Arizona. I just flew from there a few hours ago, not in a hand glider but in a jet-powered aircraft, a couple of them to get me here, but they were able in that hand glider using air, wind power to go further and higher than they could ever go on their own. The power of the wind, the power of the air to make you go higher and further than you could go on your own.

Just because something is not seen does not make it not powerful. Air is very powerful and there are tools that harness the power of compressed air. We call them pneumatic tools.

They have systems in 18-wheel transport trucks that are pneumatic brakes. They harness the power of compressed air. The power of air is powerful. The word in the Greek language, and we'll see it here in verse one, for spirit is the word pneuma. It means wind or air or spirit. It's the word whereby we get our word pneumatic. It's power of wind. There is a correlation. Jesus said, the wind blows where it wills.

You hear the sound of it, but you don't know where it comes from and where it's going. So is everyone who is born of the spirit. We're about to in this chapter get into another topic of Paul in this letter, and that is spiritual gifts. And he begins by saying, now concerning spiritual gifts. Now that should be a tip-off for you Bible students, you Wednesday nighters, you faithful Wednesday nighters. Now that you've been through 1 Corinthians, you know that whenever you see the phrase, now concerning, Paul is introducing a new topic.

So it's usually topics that have been addressed by the Corinthians. It seems like in a letter written to him, because the first appearance of it is in chapter seven, now concerning the things that you wrote to me about. Later on in chapter seven, he says it again, now concerning virgins.

Now concerning virgins. Then in chapter eight, now concerning things offered to idols. Each time he introduces the phrase now concerning, he goes and turns a corner and covers a new topic.

And he does it again. Now concerning spiritual gifts. So chapters 12, 13, and 14 address this issue. These three chapters, the use of the gifts of the spirit in the body of Christ, in the assembly of the church, how they are to be used, especially when they are regulated by love. And that's why 1 Corinthians 13 is sandwiched in between chapter 12 and 14, which deal with the use of spiritual gifts and their abuse in the church. And right in the middle is the love chapter, because it's how to use your gifts but regulate them for love and concern and compassion. Compassion of other people.

There's a key word I want you to have and know and have under your belt as we go through spiritual gifts. It's the word balance. When it comes to this area, especially, we should be balanced. And I say that because I think, my opinion is, I feel that many churches, many movements are not all that balanced.

I think there's truth in every movement of orthodox Christianity, every basic denomination that is orthodox in its beliefs. There's truth, but I think that in many of them there is a little bit of imbalance. So when it comes to gifts of the Spirit, there are extremes and there are people who want to put you in one of those extremes, kind of move you there instead of letting you keep balance. It's important but hard to maintain balance. But balance is so important. If you play a sport, they'll tell you you need to work on your balance. If you want to get this golf swing right, you're not hitting it you're not hitting it like a baseball bat.

Hitting a baseball, you've got to have a certain rhythm and a certain balance and a certain muscle memory. So balance is important in everything. People will and have asked me, so Skip, are you a fundamentalist?

Yes, in some ways. I do believe in the fundamentals of the Christian faith. I believe in the essentials of the Christian faith. I'm certainly a fundamentalist when it comes to believing in the inerrancy of Scripture, the verbal and plenary inspiration of the Scripture. I believe it was transmitted by the Holy Spirit.

It is without flaw in its original autographs. I believe that. I am fundamental in my belief of my Christology, believing in the deity of Christ, bodily resurrection, etc. I'm a fundamentalist in my soteriology and how I believe a person is saved. But I'm not necessarily a fundamentalist dispensationalist if you know those terms when it comes to my pneumatology, the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. So yeah, sort of. Yeah. Well, does that mean you're not a charismatic?

Well, sort of. I mean, I do believe in the perpetuity of spiritual gifts. I believe that the gifts of the Spirit, all of the gifts of the Spirit, are for today without exception.

I don't believe they passed off the scene. So I believe in their use and in their legitimate exercise. So I'm not really fundamentalist. I'm not really charismatic. I guess I'm fundamatic.

I'm sort of a balance between the two. And people don't like that. They don't want you to be in the middle. They don't want the balance.

They want you to be rigid one place or the other because they just want to pigeonhole you. Well, I'm sorry. Well, I'm sorry. I refuse to be in any of those slots. So, in verse one.

I told you we're going slow. Now, concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant. Don't be an ignoramus when it comes to how spiritual gifts work. Don't be dumb. Don't be lame. Don't be an idiot.

Or maybe I'll just soften it like Paul did. Don't be ignorant. What's fascinating to me is just about every time Paul said, I don't want you to be ignorant about something, it seems that happens to be the very area that churches are often most ignorant. He said it again in 1 Thessalonians 4. Now, concerning the coming of the Lord, our gathering together with him, I don't want you to be ignorant, brethren.

And yet, when it comes to prophecy, eschatology, rapture, et cetera, there seems to be such, well, at least disagreement, if not ignorance about those things. So, Paul said concerning spiritual gifts. Now, if you'll notice in your Bible, you tell me if this is true.

The word gifts is italicized, is it? And that's, whenever you read, at least in the New King James Version, an italicized word, it means it's not in the original language. But the translators have put it there because the rest of the chapter does indeed talk about spiritual gifts.

So, we can surmise that's what Paul is referring to. But in the Greek language, it says concerning pneumaticon, pneumaticon, literally spirituals. Spirituals, plural. Now, concerning spirituals, brethren, I don't want you to be ignorant. The word spirituals, pneumaticon, can refer to spiritual things, can refer to spiritual people, can refer to spiritual events. In this particular chapter, it seems to refer to spiritual gifts, can refer to spiritual gifts. And so, Paul begins introducing a new topic saying, okay, I'm going to talk about spirituals, spiritual gifts. And this is pretty important, guys. So, I want you to listen up.

I don't want you to be ignorant about this. Where does the ignorance lie when it comes to spiritual gifts in particular? Well, let me give you the rigid extremes of spiritual gifts theology. One extreme is I'll call it cessationism.

The other extreme I'll call sensationalism. Let's begin with the first, cessationism. Cessation means to cease, to stop.

It's the belief that spiritual gifts have ceased, stopped in the church, that they were there for a particular period of time, but after that period of time, they're no longer needed, thus they are no longer in use. They have ceased. They have ceased to be practiced.

So, I call them cessationists. They're not for today. Now, on what basis would anybody ever think that gifts of the Spirit, as outlined in the Bible, could cease? Because you have to have a rationale for it. It's not like, well, you know, I just think that was for then, but not for today. Well, based on what?

Well, you should know what the basis is. So, turn to chapter 13, and you'll get usually the explanation and the rationale. Chapter 13, verse 8, love never fails, but whether there are prophecies, they will fail. Whether there are tongues, they will cease. Whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away, for we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. So, the cessationists will interpret what we just read by saying this, gifts of the Spirit, these certain gifts, are temporary. They were used only until something more perfect.

What is more perfect? The full canon of Scripture. The gifts of the Spirit were there, sort of as a stopgap, sort of as a goodwill measure to carry the church over during that very volatile transitional period until they would have the full canon of all all the New Testament books that constitutes that which is perfect. That is a very irresponsible interpretation. It's presupposing that Paul in his mind is thinking that he's writing Scripture and one day it's going to be fulfilled, but it isn't yet fulfilled.

Keep in mind, Paul the Apostle, at this time that he was writing this, would quote from Old Testament Scripture, and he's writing real letters in real time to people. And, by the way, to say that that which is perfect refers to the Scripture, good scholars will disagree. Good fundamentalist scholars will disagree.

Good dispensational scholars will disagree. For instance, Charles Ryrie of the Ryrie Study Bible, who taught theology at Dallas Theological Seminary, would be considered a strict dispensationalist, not somebody who would revel in these gifts of the Spirit, says that which is perfect does not refer to the canon of Scripture, can only refer to the second coming of Christ. And that's why it could be translated, says Ryrie, when he who is perfect comes, then that which is in part will be done away with. So if that is indeed the case, like these scholars including Ryrie say, then the gifts of the Spirit should be intact in their use until the coming of Christ throughout the whole church age. So we prophesy in part, we know in part, but when that which is perfect has come, that which is in part will be done away with.

So these are not gifts. The gifts of chapter 12 and chapter 14 are not just gifts to be used during the apostolic age only. Do you remember when Peter was preaching on Pentecost, and after his message they said, well what should we do? And he said, repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of the Lord Jesus for the remission of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you, for your children, and for as many as are a far off as many that call on the Lord. So every saved person is immediately indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and I believe the power of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit are for every generation. But you see, one of the reasons people want to be cessationists is because it's just convenient and you don't have to get in the weeds and get messy with all the weird people who want to say and do weird things, and have to mop the mess up in the church when people abuse the gift. So just say, it doesn't exist, it's not for today, it's much easier.

It's so nice and clean and antiseptic. And honestly, many people who are in this camp to be truthful with you are just afraid of what might happen if they were to open themselves up to that. You know, I've even heard people say, I've heard stories of people who've opened themselves up supposedly to the Holy Spirit, and I had a friend, he was like in line in the bank or at the grocery store, and he just started jabbering in a weird language. Not so. Not if they're loved by the Spirit. Not if it's a legitimate work and move of the Holy Spirit.

Not going to happen. So that's one extreme. The second extreme that I told you about is sensationalism.

That's the opposite end of the spectrum. Whereas the cessationist says, these things don't exist, it was only for the apostolic era, those things don't happen anymore. The sensationalist isn't happy until people just go crazy and get weird. They want to see sensational stuff, and they're on the opposite end of the spectrum. They don't believe the Holy Spirit is moving unless there's chaos and tongues and prophecy. The problem with sensationalists is when they talk about the gifts of the Spirit, they're not talking about all of the gifts of the Spirit. They're only talking about a few. They want to see the fireworks of tongues and interpretation and prophecy and words of knowledge and miracles and healing.

Well, great, but there's a lot of other gifts to balance it out that you've left out. But when you make a movement out of that, and that is why, though the charismatic movement has done a lot for the church in highlighting the importance and need for the legitimate work of the Holy Spirit, it's not going to happen. And need for the legitimate work of the Spirit, I do not identify with the charismatic movement. I believe largely they have abused the gifts of the Spirit and encouraged the abuse of gifts in the Spirit when it comes to public assemblies.

So that's why I say I'm a fundamentalist. When I was a kid, my dad had a couple of really cool toys. We saw them as toys. So one of the things he had was this cool brass cannon, and it had red wheels, but it was just really detailed.

And if memory serves, it may not, but if memory serves, I think it even came with little balls, little metal balls that went into the cannon and little wicks that you could put in that exploded and shot the ball, not far, but as a kid that was just so cool. But he also had something else. He had a little plug-in steam engine.

This I remember well. And what you would do is you'd put water in it. It was made out of metal, had little metal wheels on it, and you plug it in, and the water would heat up and create steam. And it would actually move the steam engine on the table wherever it was plugged in. It wouldn't go far because the cord wasn't very long.

It could only go about as long as this little cord. So it would kind of chug along, and we thought it was cool to see this steam engine being propelled, but it could do something else. You could pull a little string and it would pull and it would blow a little whistle on top. And we just thought, oh, that's so cool. Listen to that. Now it only had a reservoir for just enough water to create just enough steam that would propel it a little ways or blow the whistle.

So you kind of had a choice. Do you want it to move or do you want it to make a lot of noise? When it comes to the movement of the Holy Spirit, it seems like there are movements of people who just want to make a lot of noise. They don't really want to move forward and use the Holy Spirit to make a dynamic that moves them ahead and forward in their Christian walk. So they're not really growing. It's not really equipping them to grow, but they're making a whole lot of noise.

They're content to let all the power go out the whistle. That's sensationalism. So concerning spiritual gifts, I don't want you ignorant. So we've covered a verse. I told you, Bible from three feet. You okay with that?

Okay. Verse two, you know that you were Gentiles, and by Gentiles he means non-Jewish, but in the sense that you were unbelieving Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols. Dumb here meaning lifeless, inanimate, insensate, not stupid, lame, dumb, but that would fit. Dumb idols. You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols however you were led. Now get this, in the Gentile pagan worship system in many of the temples, and I've been in some of these temples throughout Asia Minor and had the guides explain, part of the worship in these pagan temples of the Gentiles that Paul has in mind he's referring to, was the belief that the spirit of the god or goddess, the idol itself, would come in and inhabit the worshiper, and the evidence of that would be ecstatic speech, kind of out of control speech, kind of non-intelligent, emotional, ecstatic experience.

Paul says that used to be you. That's Skip Heitzing with a message from the series Expound First Corinthians. Now we want to let you know about a resource that will help you come alongside the hurting and our society even more. The most recent U.S. Census revealed that our population is much more diverse than ever before. In fact, over the past 10 years, our multi-racial population increased 276%, which presents new challenges.

Here's Skip Heitzing. To say that this nation is divided would be a gross understatement, but I am not going to take sides politically. I am going to take sides morally and spiritually and biblically. I'm going to raise the conversation to a different level, to a higher level, to a biblical level, because the issue, as I see it, is not a skin issue as much as it's a sin issue. We want to help you understand this divisive issue from a divine perspective. When you give $20 or more today to this Bible teaching ministry, we'll send you Pastor Skip's booklet, The Church and Racism, plus his teaching featuring a conversation with Pastor Tony Clark.

Get these relevant resources today when you give online securely at slash offer, or call 800-922-1888. Tomorrow, Skip Heitzing unwraps the mystery of how the Holy Spirit works in your life. When it comes to your walk with God, I hope you're growing in your walk with the Lord.

I hope all of us are growing. I love to discover new things in the Word, and I love new experiences with the Lord. And I never want to say, yes, I know all things, and I've had enough good Christian stuff. I don't need it anymore.

Are you kidding? I want everything I can get a hold of. Make a connection. Make a connection at the foot of the crossing. Cast all burdens on His word. Make a connection. Connection. Connect with Skip Heitzing is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-02 01:51:33 / 2023-03-02 02:00:42 / 9

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