- 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 (MSG) 1 What I want to talk about now is the various ways God's Spirit gets worked into our lives. This is complex and often misunderstood, but I want you to be informed and knowledgeable. 2 Remember how you were when you didn't know God, led from one phony god to another, never knowing what you were doing, just doing it because everybody else did it? It's different in this life. God wants us to use our intelligence, to seek to understand as well as we can. 3 For instance, by using your heads, you know perfectly well that the Spirit of God would never prompt anyone to say "Jesus be damned!" Nor would anyone be inclined to say "Jesus is Master!" without the insight of the Holy Spirit. 4 God's various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God's Spirit. 5 God's various ministries are carried out everywhere; but they all originate in God's Spirit. 6 God's various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all. 7 Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! 8 The variety is wonderful: wise counsel clear understanding 9 simple trust healing the sick 10 miraculous acts proclamation distinguishing between spirits tongues interpretation of tongues. 11 All these gifts have a common origin, but are handed out one by one by the one Spirit of God. He decides who gets what, and when.
What a great journey in looking at the person and work of the Holy Spirit over the last few weeks. We have discovered that the Holy Spirit is God who lives in us and works through us.
He is one who leads us, directs us, gives us wisdom, convicts us of sin.
He comforts us and is always at work making us in the image and likeness of God.
When we allow the Holy Spirit control of our lives we find that there is a transformation that takes place in us - a metamorphosis. When we submit to His work in our lives we find that we are transformed into the image of God - we begin to look and act like children of God. It is an inward work that shows itself in outward actions. After a while we naturally show characteristics such as a love for everyone and a desire to see the best for them; a joy in the middle of any kind of circumstances because of the quiet confidence that God is in control; a patience for others and for what God is doing in us; self-control that puts the spiritual desires above the physical desires. These and others are what we have come to call the fruit of the Spirit; the outward manifestation of His inner work.
But as we read today the Holy Spirit's role is not just in transforming us but He also empowers us for serving God's mission. It is a mission to connect with God's people and to share God's love with those who are not yet part of the family of God. (Do you see that He is at work in helping us Reach UP, IN and OUT.)
The Holy Spirit empowers us for serving in God's family and in going and making disciples of all nations, by giving us His gifts. He is orchestrating the unfolding of the grand plan of God, of which you and I are participants, (think actors in a play) and empowers us at the moments we are called upon to serve by giving us what we need in that moment to further the mission.
If that is to give someone a word of encouragement He gives it to us in that moment.
If it is to pray for healing for someone He gives it to us in that moment.
His gifts are not for our enjoyment they are for the furthering of God's mission. (Not that we dont experience extreme joy when we are used by Him, it is just that this is not the primary reason for the gifts.)
In the moments when we find ourselves cued up for our part in God's unfolding plan we are confident then that we have been given everything we need to succeed and so our responsibility is to respond to our cue and act in obedience.
We have all we need to fulfill our role in God's plan so no excuses let the evidence of our lives point to people who are Spirit-filled and Spirit-controlled.