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1 Corinthians Chapter 12:4-8

Cross the Bridge / David McGee
The Truth Network Radio
May 25, 2024 1:00 am

1 Corinthians Chapter 12:4-8

Cross the Bridge / David McGee

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May 25, 2024 1:00 am

Cross the Bridge 42221-3

Cross the Bridge
David McGee

We watch a steam engine. It blows the horn, you know, and we watch the steam rise up, and we can sit there and go, oh, okay, the steam is for the horn.

No, it's not. Steam is what drives a train. See, a lot of people have made the same mistake with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is to empower you to be a witness.

It's to drive the train. Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. David is the senior pastor of the bridge in Kernersville, North Carolina.

The good thing about a gift is that you can give it away. Your spiritual gifts are not just for you but are also to bless others. Find out how you can do that 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 three 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. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.

God and 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. 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 chapter 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 chapter 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 chapter 1 verse 26, then God said, let us, 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. But look at, let us make man in our image according to our likeness.

Our, let us, we. So way back when, there's the expression of the Trinity. And then in Deuteronomy chapter 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 door post. 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 Hebrew is Shema Israel Elohim Yahweh Ahut Elohim.

Now, why is this important? I'm doing that gift of tongues. It talks about, no, I'm kidding. Yahweh is the word for God when he says, I am that I am. The word used there is Yahweh.

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 Yahweh. 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, Im in Hebrew is the plural. You've got seraph, seraphim is plural, angels.

Cherub, cherub being cherub's 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's 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. And I want you to understand, friend, 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 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 a ditch, at least it'd be over. Every one of you is loved by God and you're gifted. 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, given to each one. 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. I've moved in some circles where it was, you know, your spiritual gifts were almost like your ministry resume. I've done this and that. I've been that.

I've done that. No, no, no, no, no. It's missing the point. And if you're wondering, well, yeah, but it says every man.

No, no, no. Each one of us, the Greek word, there's every man, woman, child, every son, every daughter, every father, every mother, every person. As a matter of fact, in Acts 2, 17, it says, and it shall come to pass in the last day, says God, that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy. Your young men shall see visions and your old men shall dream dreams. And on my men servants and on my maid servants, I will pour out my spirit in those days and they shall prophesy or speak on my behalf.

Men, women, young men, old men. Very important life lesson here. Each child of God has a spiritual gift or gifts. 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. If you know Jesus, you have a spiritual gift. As a matter of fact, if you don't know Jesus, he may have given you a spiritual gift or developed something in you that's not in use yet, but that's a whole another subject for another time. Well, how do we know we're a child of God? Let's understand something. I've heard people, teachers, pastors, priests say, well, we're all children of God. It sounds nice. Kind of gives you a warm fuzzy. We're all children of God.

Doesn't that sound good? Only problem is it's not true. That's not what the book says. Jesus gathered with some Pharisees and they were making fun of him. See, because Jesus grew up in a small town and there was a lot of whispers and gossip about who his father was. In John chapter 8, they came at him after he ministered to the adulterous woman, the woman who had been forgiven of adultery, the forgiven woman. And they said, where's your father? We hadn't been born into adultery.

They were slamming Jesus hard. And Jesus, few verses later, is fairly honest with him and he says, you are of your father, the devil. Now, if we're all children of God, was Jesus wrong?

Was he mistaken? No, you need to understand, you're born under the power of the prince of the power of air. God adopts you and you become a child of God. Well, who can be adopted in the family?

This is a beautiful thing. This is not an exclusive religion. This is inclusive. Whosoever, whoever wants to be adopted can. John chapter 1 verse 12 says, but as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become children of God to those who believe in his name.

If you believe in his name and you've received him, you're a child of God, according to his grace and his mercy. So the gifts, why is this important? Romans chapter 12 verse 6 says, having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them. If prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith. We need the Holy Spirit. We need him.

Why? So we can do crazy things? No, no, no, no, you're missing the point. Acts chapter 1 verse 8, Jesus says to the disciples, but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. And you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth. You shall receive the Holy Spirit and you shall be witnesses. Now let's understand, witnessing is not necessarily what you go and do. Being a witness is who you are. In other words, in order to give you the power to live out your Christian life, you need the power of the Holy Spirit. Is there really anybody in here that would say, oh, no, I don't need the power of the Holy Spirit to be like Jesus. I'm good.

I got it down, man. I'm a lot like Jesus. Praise God.

I'm glad you're back because it said you were coming back. No, I'm willing to stand up in front of you and say, you know what? I need his power to be more like him. And if he's willing to offer me this power, I want to receive it.

Donald Gee, a Bible teacher said, we miss him. It's like if we're watching a train. We watch a train goes by a steam engine and it blows the horn, you know, and we watch the steam rise up and we can sit there and go, oh, okay, the steam is for the horn.

No, it's not. Steam is what drives a train. See, a lot of people have made the same mistake with the Holy Spirit. They see some of the gifts and they go, oh, that's what the Holy Spirit's for.

No. Holy Spirit is to empower you to be a witness. It's to drive the train. Don't get confused about this. And walking in these gifts is for other people as well as you.

Life lesson here. Your spiritual gifts are not just for you but also for the blessing and benefit of others. Your spiritual gifts are not just for you but also for the blessing and the benefit of others. So how do we receive the Holy Spirit? Well, that's where part of the discussion comes in, I guess. Some people would say that as soon as you're saved, you receive the Holy Spirit. And I do believe that to a degree. The reason is to a degree is because of the study in the Bible. When you're an unbeliever, the Holy Spirit is walking para beside you. When you ask Jesus to be your Savior, then He is in you. But in several places when it talks about being filled with the Holy Spirit, there's a different word used.

The word is epi. What does that mean? Filled to overflowing. Well, how do you get filled to overflowing? You ask God to fill you to overflowing.

Well, I've never heard that. Luke 11, Jesus is speaking. These are the words of Jesus in Luke 11, 13. He says, of you then being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children. How much more would your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him? Now, if you've never heard that verse before, I apologize. But it's in there that we're supposed to ask for the Holy Spirit. And it's interesting because in that passage, Jesus is saying, look, your Heavenly Father loves you. If you ask for a piece of bread, He's not going to give you a snake or a scorpion. The reason that's very interesting is nowadays people say, oh, if you ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit, a demon is going to come in. Seriously, you think God is that weak? And Jesus seems to be answering that fear concept.

Go like, no, no, no, no. Those who ask for the Holy Spirit, He's going to give the Holy Spirit to them. But apparently, you do need to ask. In Matthew 7, verse 7, it says, ask and it will be given to you.

Seek and you will find. Knock and it will be open to you. For everyone who asks receives and he who seeks finds and to him who knocks, it will be open. Well, again, pastor, I thought that you received the Holy Spirit when you believed.

You do receive a portion. But Acts 19, 2, Paul's speaking, he said to them, did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? So they said to him, we have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit. So I believe that there is a subsequent experience with God asking Him to fill you with the Holy Spirit.

Maybe some of you have been taught that that was only for a little while, age of the apostles. Now, Peter in the book back says that the gift the Holy Spirit is to those who are hearing and are far off as to many as believe. If God is offering you a gift to be empowered to live for Him, offering you to be filled with the Holy Spirit, that you might be a blessing to somebody else, and that those gifts might actually lead to someone else's salvation, can you really say no? Can you really say no? I'm going to give some examples next week of times in my life where God expressed His gifts through me in such a way that it led to somebody getting saved. What would have happened if all my life I was going, no, God, I don't want that.

Don't be afraid. This is what the Bible says. When we're talking about gifts, let's understand the greatest gift God can give you is the gift of salvation, the gift of forgiveness, and that has to come first. You can tell God you're sorry, God will forgive you. Jesus Christ lived a perfect life, never sinned, but He died a sinner's death, a criminal on a cross so that you could be declared innocent and be declared forgiven. That's the greatest gift of all. If you're here and you're not sure you've ever been forgiven, you need to tell God you're sorry. Ask Him to forgive you and He will. If you're here today and you want to ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit, it's awesome.

Today can be your day. Now some people believe that when you ask that there's a certain manifestation or certain things that happen. I see that in Scripture sometimes and sometimes I don't see that. Sometimes in the book of Acts, people were filled two times.

There wasn't anything that manifested itself, if you will. But we know that we ask by faith and we ask through grace and the Bible in that same passage says, ask and you will receive. How do you receive salvation? By faith. How do you receive the gift of the Holy Spirit?

By faith. Some people get saved, they feel something, if you will. Some people get saved and don't feel anything. Some people get filled with the Spirit and feel something.

Some people don't. How can you tell? It's by faith. God said, if you ask, He'll do it. You believe Him. 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's 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 / 2024-05-25 00:20:25 / 2024-05-25 00:30:38 / 10

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