Thursday, September 25, 2014

Whiteboard: Gifts of the Spirit

This Sunday we are talking about Spiritual Gifts.

In fact, we are doing more than talking about them!

Immediately following worship this Sunday we'll have a Spiritual Gifts Potluck Luncheon. Please bring your favorite potluck dinner item to share with the church, and come and enjoy some world-class eats as well as the kind of warm, loving fellowship that defines our congregation.

During that luncheon you'll have an opportunity to take a short Spiritual Gifts Assessment. This one-page, front-and-back assessment will allow you to learn a little bit more about the Spiritual Gifts that God has blessed you with.

You see, as people of faith we wholehearted believe that God has given each Christian one or more special abilities, which are to be used for the purpose of unifying the body of Christ and for the growth of God's Kingdom. These abilities are called spiritual gifts.Like other presents, it is impossible to fully appreciate and make use of our spiritual gifts until they have been opened. The self-assessment inventory will help us to begin doing just that!

Our worship service will be built around 1 Corinthians 12, where the Apostle Paul tells us about the variety of Spiritual Gifts that God can bless us with, and also details how each of us have unique gifts and unique roles to play. We do not all have the same gifts, but rather God has blessed us with a wide diversity and broad variety of Spiritual Gifts, each one of which can be used to further God's Kingdom.

Oh, and if you can't make it to worship this week, or if you can't stick around for the Potluck Luncheon we have plenty of extra Spiritual Gift Assessments that you can pick up from the church office so that you can be a part of the fun!


1 Corinthians 12 Spiritual Gifts

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans, you were enticed and led astray to idols that could not speak. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says ‘Let Jesus be cursed!’ and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone.To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. 

If the foot were to say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body’, that would not make it any less a part of the body. 

And if the ear were to say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body’, that would not make it any less a part of the body. 

If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? 

If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 

But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many members, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’, nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

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