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1 Corinthians Chapter 12:4-7

Cross the Bridge / David McGee
The Truth Network Radio
May 19, 2024 1:00 am

1 Corinthians Chapter 12:4-7

Cross the Bridge / David McGee

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May 19, 2024 1:00 am

Cross the Bridge 42221-2

Cross the Bridge
David McGee

I'm a certain type of teacher, pastor, evangelist. So this church looks a certain way. Another church, if God's more of a pastor, less of an evangelist, will look different.

It's not to say it's wrong, it's just different. But look for the same God. Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. David is the senior pastor of the bridge in Kernersville, North Carolina. God and His Spirit will work differently with someone else than He does with you.

God is the same, but we are all different. Find out how to live in unity with one another today as Pastor David continues in the book of 1 Corinthians chapter 12. But before we join Pastor David, do you ever feel like God is cutting away parts of you, like a gardener pruning a tree?

Well, I hope you said yes to this question because it means God is shaping you so that you can bear even more fruit in your life. We want to help you embrace God's pruning in your life by sending you Pastor David McGee's three-part audio series, Abiding in Christ, Keys to a Fruitful Life. It's our way of saying thank you for your gift to help share the truth of Scripture with more people around the world through Cross the Bridge. So get your copy of Abiding in Christ when you give today at and discover how you can bear more fruit for God's kingdom.

Now here's David McGee with part two of his teaching, Gifts that Keep Giving. Turn with me to 1 Corinthians chapter 12. A lot of times we don't know about the Holy Spirit.

He's probably the mystery of the Trinity, if you will. A lot of people understand the theology of the Father, the theology of the Son, but when it gets to the Holy Spirit, not so much. And a lot of people, sadly enough, there's a fear about the Holy Spirit. Now let's understand, God is not about fear. The enemy is about fear. And I think a lot of that is rooted and not just you've probably seen some bizarre stuff in your life that people said was the Holy Spirit, but also because the enemy doesn't want you to be empowered.

If you're getting ready to fight with somebody and this person has bazookas and hand grenades and a.45 and all this around his feet, you don't want him to pick those weapons up if he's fighting you, right? Well, the enemy doesn't want you to pick the weapons and the gifts of the Holy Spirit up because he's in a fight with you. We're going to pick it up with verse four. There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. The life lesson is your spiritual gifts do not come from you, they come from God. Your spiritual gifts do not come from you, they come from God. As the verse says, there's differences of ministries, but it's the same Lord who gives the gifts. Some people have more gifts, some people have less gifts.

Less gifts doesn't matter. God's the one that gives them. I've talked to people that actually ran down the list of spiritual gifts. I got this one and I got that one and I got this one and I got that one and I got that one.

As a matter of fact, I got most of them. You got another one that's not listed as a gift of pride. I'm like you, I look at some people and I go, God, why did you give them that gift? He's God, he knows what he's doing. So if God's a giver of the gifts, let's understand the gifts come from God. The desire to use the gifts come from God and the gifts should glorify God. Do you understand God can create in you the desire to use your gifts to bless others? And God will make you willing. He has a very unique way of making you willing. Sometimes people are, oh, Pastor Dave, I'm so glad that you started a home Bible study. So glad God sent you.

Every now and again, I get real just brutally honest and I say, you know what? I tried living in the belly of a whale. It didn't go too well. There was a season in my life I ran from God. It didn't go so well. Jonah ran from God.

It didn't go so well. Biblical story talks about how he was swallowed by a whale. He was in there for three days and the whale threw up, threw him up on the beach, just trying to figure out some other... The whale got nauseated. Threw him up on the beach.

And I mean, how weird would that... If you would have been standing there and this guy comes up all covered in whale vomit, repent, repent. I don't know if you ever heard that little story. A little girl was in a public school and the teacher was talking about whales and the little girl said, oh yeah, Jonah got swallowed by a whale.

Teacher said, no, he didn't. She goes, yeah, it's in the Bible. Teacher said, the Bible's not true. It's filled with lies and fairy tales and folklore. She said, no, it's not.

The Bible's true. The teacher said, how in the world would Jonah be able to live for three days in the belly of a whale? And the little girl said, I don't know. When I get to heaven, I'll ask him. The teacher said, oh yeah, what if Jonah goes to hell?

The little girl said, well then you can ask him. So God has this way of getting you to want to do what he wants you to do. And the Spirit will prompt you lightly if you don't respond a little stronger. But the Holy Spirit, let's understand, the Holy Spirit will never take over your body and you lose self-control. That's unbiblical. Because one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the fruit of the Holy Spirit is self-control.

I had a neighbor who, good God, good God loves the Lord. When you talk about Jesus, he's fine. But I'd say, the Holy Spirit, he's tense up. And I was like, dude, what? So finally I was like, dude, every time I say the Holy Spirit, you like tense up.

What's up with that? He goes, I just think you're going to do something weird. I said, why do you think that? He said, because I had a guy that I worked with.

He came to work and said that he came forward at a church service and laid down and he was paralyzed for like two hours and couldn't move. And he said, what the guy was describing to me didn't sound like God. It didn't sound like the Holy Spirit. And I said, that does not sound like the Holy Spirit to me either. See, sometimes people do stuff and they go, well, that was the Holy Spirit.

But if it doesn't line up with the Word of God, it wasn't the Holy Spirit. The Bible says, one of the things the Spirit gives you is self-control. So God's never going to violate your free will. Now, he will make you willing to do something that perhaps you weren't willing to do before. Philippians 2 13 says, for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for his good pleasure. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

Now, that doesn't mean that the skies are going to part and you're going to sense something. Some people have those experiences, but here's a real practical movement of the Holy Spirit in your life. You're here. Why are you here? Because the Holy Spirit prompted you. You're listening to Pastor David McGee on Cross the Bridge. He'll be back with more powerful insight from God's Word in just a moment. But first, what does it mean when God prunes away at parts of your life? Is he angry at you? Have you done something wrong?

Far from it. Jesus teaches in John 15 that God lovingly removes things from your life so that you can grow into the person he created you to be and bear more fruit for Christ. We want to help you do that by sending you Abiding in Christ, Keys to a Fruitful Life, a three-part audio series from Pastor David McGee on what it means to be pruned by God and how you can embrace the process. This encouraging resource is our way of thanking you for your gift to help reach more people with the powerful truth of the gospel through Cross the Bridge. So, go to today and request your copy of this series. This is Pastor David McGee with Cross the Bridge.

You know, I want to thank you for listening to Cross the Bridge. I also want to tell you about an exciting website. The website is, and it works very simply like this. You go to the website and you put the first names of up to 10 people that we begin praying that they get saved. Now, it takes two things to get saved, presentation and prayer, and what we're offering is prayer, and also there's different tools there to help you present the gospel to them. So, we're there with you, helping you with the presentation, helping you with the prayer. There's over 920 people that belong to the prayer team on Lost Loved Ones, and you can join the prayer team as well and help us to pray for others who don't yet know Jesus, and together we can see a huge revival starting with your lost loved ones.

Now, back to today's message. Verse 6, and there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. Same God.

Diversities of activities. I don't expect every church to be like this church. This church is unique. Part of a church takes on the personality of the pastor.

I think God intended that. I'm a certain type of, you know, teacher, pastor, evangelist, so this church looks a certain way. Another church, if God's more of a pastor, less of an evangelist, will look different.

It's not to say it's wrong, it's just different. But look for the same God. I can go into all sorts of churches and worship God. I can go into a church with a pipe organ and worship God. Why? Because same God.

I don't go in there and go, where is your electric guitar, dude? I can't worship like this. The New Living Translation of this verse says, God works in different ways, but it's the same God who does the work in all of us. And what's interesting is the last verse, verse 4 says the same Spirit. Verse 5 says the same Lord or the same Jesus. Verse 6 says the same God. Now, if you go through here, it's interesting the way this breaks down.

If you're taking notes, you probably want to jot this down. But verse 4 is talking about the same Spirit, it's talking about the gifts, talking about the Holy Spirit. Verse 5 is talking about Jesus, it's talking about ministries.

And verse 6 is talking about the same God, it's talking about operations, which is covered really in this chapter. Gifts are mentioned in Romans chapter 12, Paul's writing to the church at Rome and he says, in His grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. Don't just pretend to love others, really love them. Hate what is wrong, hold tightly to what is good. As these gifts come together in the body of Christ, teaching, giving, leadership, kindness, church is an awesome place.

It really is. In verse 5, when it talks about the same Lord, which is, I believe, referring to Jesus as His title, it talks about how Jesus, He Himself, gave gifts to the church. In Ephesians 4, we've been talking about this a bit lately. It says, and He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry.

For the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. This passage in Ephesians chapter 4 is referred to as the five-fold ministry. And it's an important concept because this is one of the things that the Bible talks about, this is how a church is supposed to operate with the five-fold ministry. So, you go through and He Himself gave some to be apostles, that's one, some prophets, that's two, some evangelists, that's three, some pastors, four, and teachers, that's five. That's the five-fold ministry. Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers. Equip the body for the work of the ministry.

Now, this is somewhere there's some confusion. Over time, what we've began to believe in the American church is there's some people who are staff members, they're actually paid to be there, that makes them professional Christians. So, that's their job to be a Christian, it's what we pay them for. So, if somebody gets sick, we call them because they're paid to pray for them or to share the gospel with somebody.

Here's the problem, that's an unbiblical model. And what happens is Christianity becomes the spectator sport that God never intended it to be. The five-fold ministry is to equip you to do the work of the ministry. In other words, in here, we are all ministers, we're all servants. There's something for every one of us to do. And we get the joy here of equipping people and them stepping out to serve God, and it'll change your life. The small steps of helping to clean up the church or maybe helping out in children's ministry, that really, people say, well, does an hour or two a week change your life?

Absolutely. It will, because you begin to discover your gifts and you begin to use them. The life lesson here is God in His Spirit will work differently with someone else than He does with you. God is the same, but we are all different.

God in His Spirit will work differently with someone else than He does with you. God is the same, but we are all different. Every one of us has a different God story of how we came to know Jesus as our Savior.

That's a beautiful thing. I love hearing people's God stories. It's kind of a bummer to me that I don't get to hear everybody's God stories. That's one of the things I'm really looking forward to in heaven, because we can just all walk around and go, hey, tell me about your God story. Tell me how you got saved. Tell me how you came into contact with Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. And as you tell the story, take your time. All our stories about how we came to the Lord are different, and how God deals with us now is very different.

Why? Because we're different. The problem comes in is we think that God's going to deal with every person in exactly the same way.

That just doesn't happen. Now, you're growing in some areas faster than people around you, but people around you are growing faster in some areas than you are. Verse 7, but the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all. The manifestation is the expression of the Spirit, of the Holy Spirit. So, now, verse 8, we'll begin to get into the gifts, but let me set the tone here a little bit.

First of all, jump ahead. And when we're talking about gifts, let's remember what Paul says at the end of this chapter, 1 Corinthians 12, verse 31. Paul says, so you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts.

But now, let me show you a way of life that is best of all. And that's his introduction in 1 Corinthians 13. To me, it's interesting that chapter 12 of 1 Corinthians talks about the gifts, chapter 14 talks about the operations of the gifts, and right in the middle is 1 Corinthians 13, telling us to love each other.

It's amazing that these few chapters are seen in the evangelical world as somewhat divisive. Let's talk a little bit about the theology of the Holy Spirit so we can understand Him a little bit more. We're introduced from the get-go in the Bible to the Holy Spirit, in Genesis 1, verse 1. It says, in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. A lot of people think the Holy Spirit just kind of showed up in the New Testament.

No, He's part of the Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, eternally existent. That's why in Genesis, in Genesis 1, verse 26, then God said, notice the pronouns, let us make man in our image according to our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, over the cattle, over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. Let us make man in our image according to our likeness.

Now, one of two things was going on. He used we and our. Either there were other expressions of God there, or there's a single deity who's schizophrenic.

I mean, he says our, let us, we. So way back when, there's the expression of the Trinity. And then in Deuteronomy 6, verse 4, it's called the Shema.

In English, it says, hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. The Shema is interesting because this passage of Scripture is what's written, sometimes by a rabbi, and put into the mezuzah. The mezuzah is Hebrew for doorpost. If you've ever been to a Jewish home and they had a little container out on the doorpost, that's the mezuzah. And in there is the Shema. And some Christians, recognizing their Jewish roots, put mezuzahs on their doors and touch it and touch their lips. And it means, may the word of God proceed out of my mouth.

It's interesting, when you go to Israel, they're on every doorpost in every hotel room almost, there's the mezuzah. So this word Shema is what it's called. But Shema in Hebrew means hear. The passage in the Hebrew is Shema Israel Elohim Yave Ahut Elohim.

Now, why is this important? I'm doing that gift of tongues it talks about. No, I'm kidding. Yave is the word for God when He says, I am that I am. The word used there is Yave.

Okay. You may have heard that it's Jehovah, that's kind of an unfortunate mistranslation through the German because there's no J in Hebrew. So His name was not Jehovah.

So it's Yave. And then another name for God is El. I'm not going to get way deep into this, but El is the singular of God. Elohim as used in this verse is the plural.

Now, this is interesting because there in the Shema that's tucked into the mezuzah of the Jewish people is a representation of the trinity that includes the Holy Spirit and Jesus. Elohim, Yim in Hebrew is the plural. You've got seraph, seraphim is plural, angels.

Cherub, cherubim, cherub is plural. So there in that verse, again, you've got the plurality of God. Now, that doesn't...we're still monotheist, one God, not polytheist.

It's one of the things that Islamic claim that Christians are polytheist, we're not, we're monotheist, one God. So we see the expression of the Holy Spirit, see expression of Him as God. We'll kind of hit a couple of points as we go through this chapter, but let's stop for just a second and let's remember that when we're studying the Bible, when we're reading the Bible, we want to ask a few questions. Number one, who wrote the book? In this case, we're told it was Paul. Another question, who did they write to? Well, in this case, we have their name, the Corinthians.

And what problem were they trying to help or deal with? Well, in this case, they are misusing the spiritual gifts. They're being very prideful. They're being very selfish.

And Paul is trying to speak to this and saying that the gifts are for the benefit of others. Some of you have been lied to. As you were growing up, some of you were told you were worthless. There was no hope for you, no way to succeed. You'd turn out to be a nothing and a nobody, and that's a lie. It's not true. I had a public school teacher in talking about me.

He said, well, the best thing that could happen to him is for somebody to leave him dead in the ditch, at least it'd be over. Every one of you is loved by God, and you're gifted. God has deposited something in you that's very unique, that no other person has either the same gifts or the same combination of gifts as you do. You're a unique expression. Well, I don't feel like I'm gifted. I didn't ask how you felt.

This thing isn't about feelings. The Word of God says you're gifted. This verse, 1 Corinthians 12, 7, but the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all. I'm not sure what my gift is.

Well, I can understand that. We'll deal with that and talk about that, but you have a gift or gifts. In the New Living Translation, this verse says a spiritual gift is given to each of us.

Why? So we can help each other. You have to understand that is the reason for the spiritual gifts, not to show off, not to be flashy or showy or look weird on television or anything else. It's to be a blessing to somebody else. Friend, do you know for sure that your sins have been forgiven?

You can know right now. I want to lead you in a short, simple prayer, simply telling God you're sorry and asking Him to help you to live for Him. Please pray this prayer with me out loud right now. Dear Jesus, I believe you died for me, that I could be forgiven. And I believe you were raised from the dead, that I could have a new life. And I've done wrong things. I have sinned.

And I'm sorry. Please forgive me of all those things. Please give me the power to live for you all of my days. In Jesus' name.

Amen. Friend, if you prayed that prayer according to the Bible, you've been forgiven. You've been born again. So congratulations, friend.

You just made the greatest decision that you will ever make. God bless you. If you prayed that prayer with David for the first time, we'd love to hear from you. You can call us toll free at 877-458-5508 to receive our First Steps package with helpful resources to help you begin your walk with Christ. Do you feel like you're bearing fruit for Christ, yet God keeps pruning away at your life and you're not sure why? If so, we'd love to send you Pastor David McGee's series, Abiding in Christ, Keys to a Fruitful Life.

This encouraging resource shares from Jesus' own words as found in John 15, where he teaches that God's pruning is a sign that he is pleased with you and wants to prepare you to bear even more fruit for his kingdom. This series is our way of thanking you for your gift today to help share the gospel with thousands around the world who need to hear God's word in clear, straightforward language. So visit today to request your copy of Abiding in Christ When You Give. You know each day comes with its share of stresses, so what better way to wake up than with an encouraging word from the Lord? Visit and sign up now for David McGee's email devotionals. Each devotion includes scripture and a message from the heart of David McGee. It's easy and it's free. Sign up today at And be sure to join us next time on Cross the Bridge with David McGee to hear more from the book of First Corinthians. We'll see you then.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-19 00:08:47 / 2024-05-19 00:19:08 / 10

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