A relationship with the resurrected Jesus Christ is central to Christianity. Relationship demands interaction or it can hardly be called a relationship. All too often church is a performance which is simply observed by the congregation as though participation was not an appropriate part of the service. However, in the early church this was definitely not the case. A church service was a communal event where each member was intended to fully engage as the Holy Spirit directed them to give their gift.
The church in Corinth, founded by the Apostle Paul, was no different. But, they tended to be a bit chaotic in their services and Paul had to clarify for them how they were to conduct their gatherings. Today, we are going to hear Pauls instructions about manifestations of the Holy Spirit in a service and how they are to be ministered. We will also have an opportunity to do a little lab work of our own, putting Pauls instructions into practice.
Read 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
Defining the gifts or spirituals
Word of wisdom: Speaking which succinctly communicates the wisdom of God precisely and with clarity given for a particular situation as the need arises (eg. Mt 22:17-22).
Word of knowledge: Specific information reveled by the Holy Spirit in order to manifest His presence and bless or protect people. (eg. Ananias and Sapphira).
this gift of faith in certain members of the body looks through the immediacy of the situation to him who is invisible and brings confidence that God will move in apparently impossible situations. In practice, this is often linked with miracles and gifts of healings. (The Message of 1 Corinthians, Prior, p. 203).
Healing: supernatural healing of the body, mind, emotions and spirit. It may or may not be instant.
Miracles (Lit. power): This is a broad category of Gods power working to advance His purposes (eg. multiplying food, walking on water
it consisted of spontaneous, Spirit-inspired, intelligible messages, orally delivered in the gathered assembly, intended for the edification or encouragement of the people. (New International Commentary on the New Testament: The First Epistle to the Corinthians, Fee, p. 595).
Distinguishing of spirits: the ability to discern what is of God and what is not, particularly as regards to supernatural phenomena. (eg. Ac 16:18).
Tongues (ie: languages): the Spirit inspired capacity to speak a message in a language unknown to the speaker and likely unknown to the hearers requiring interpretation for understanding. In 1 Corinthians 14:1-5, Paul also indicates a private use of tongues for the purpose of personal edification.
Interpretation of tongues: the companion charisma for the public use of tongues in order that the whole congregation is edified. (1Co 14:27,28)
Why would we want these things to be a part of our church
1) Christianity is not a philosophy. A philosophy purports to show you how to have a quality life, a best possible life. The Greeks were big on philosophies of life; stoics, epicureans, cynics, etc.
2) Jesus is offering us a supernatural life that begins upon conversion and extends into the age to come (Jn 3). We were meant to be supernatural people. Jesus commanded His disciples to do things that normal people simply cannot do. What do you do with the command heal the sick or raise the dead (Mt 10:8, 28:18, 19)? The only way these commands can be anything other than ludicrous is if the Holy Spirit enables them to occur through us.
3) Paul presupposes a supernatural expression of Christianity (1Th 1:5, Gal 3:5). Both this text [1Co 14:23] and v26, as well as 11:2-16,
indicate that at least one expression of their worship was charismatic, in the twofold sense that there was general participation by all the members, including the women, and that there was considerable expression of the more spontaneous gifts of utterance. (New International Commentary on the New Testament: The First Epistle to the Corinthians, Fee, p. 684).
How do we go about exercising spiritual gifts? (1Co 11-14)
Paul is seeking to give structure to the expression of this empowerment in order that the church the Body of Christ will express Gods love as it acts supernaturally. Because unfortunately, the gifts of God can be utterly misused. This is where we come into the picture. God has not stopped being supernatural, and we, humans, have not stopped being needy of healing, wisdom, knowledge, miracles, prophecy, faith, knowing what spirit we are dealing with, a language to express prayer beyond our own limited ability (tongues). Therefore we, as inheritors of the commands given to the disciples, must have supernatural empowerment to do the things Jesus commanded and use loving skill in its application.
Where does one get such experience?
Spend time with people who exercise the gifts
Ministry Training Course
Healing and Deliverance Prayer Team