CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP, #3

My wonderful family of friends and co-workers,



Do YOU EVER read any of my lessons that I send to you?  Are YOU aware that I spend hours preparing these lessons?  Did you know that it takes some more time to prepare them for MAILING to you?  And still MORE time actually doing the mailing to you?  All in all there is a lot of love poured into these lessons I make for you and send to you!  Did you know that?  I DO NOT GET MANY REPLIES FROM YOU!  That means I do not know whether the lessons are too long, too boring, or too whatever!
I shortened this lesson, more of you will actually READ it and tell me about it.  I was sure you would want to know about my mission trip but some people did not even read the reports I sent.  I know you are busy but read a paragraph at a time if you need to, mark it, and come back later to read another paragraph until it is all done.  I HOPE this lesson fits your busy schedule much better.  Please tell me what kind of improvements I should make on these lessons!  What would you read - ACTUALLY READ!!????

I hope and pray some of you will actually respond to me.  In this Covid-19 crisis, I really NEED some encouragement.  Everything seems so discouraging and depressing!
I love you and I do NOT want to lose contact with you.  I want to PRAY for you also.  Please send me your prayer requests.  Tell me what I can do to make things better, PLEASE!

Much love and prayer,
Bill Hawkins
Mark 6:37 (Did YOU actually EVER READ this verse?)

CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP, #3!


MEMORY VERSE:  I Corinthians 12:4-5, “There are different kinds of
gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are different kinds of working, but
the same God works all of them in all men,” I Corinthians 12:4-5.

--


THIS HIGH AND HOLY CALLING!


We have completed our discussion of the GIFTS listed in Ephesians
chapter 4.  But we need to discuss another list of GIFTS in I
Corinthians chapter 12.  We may think of these gifts as a little
different from the gifts in Ephesians 4.  Remember that the gifts in
Ephesians 4 were PEOPLE given TO the church for its growth and
teaching.  The gifts in I Corinthians 12 seem to be GIFTS given to
CERTAIN PEOPLE for special work WITHIN the Church.  Obviously, BOTH
types of gifts are given for the growth into maturity of the Church.


Let us read I Corinthians 12:4-11 again.


-There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are
different kinds of service, but the same Lord.  There are different
kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.  Now
to each the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to
another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to
another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that
one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to
another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in
different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of
tongues.  All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and He
gives them to each one, just as He determines.-

We plan to discuss briefly these 9 gifts:
(1) the message of wisdom, I Corinthians 12:8a
(2) the message of knowledge, I Corinthians 12:8b
(3) faith, I Corinthians 12:9a
(4) healing, I Corinthians 12:9b
(5) miraculous powers, I Corinthians 12:10a
(6) prophecy, I Corinthians 12:10b
(7) distinguishing between spirits, I Corinthians 12:10c
(8) speaking in different kinds of tongues, I Corinthians 12:10d
(9) the interpretation of tongues, I Corinthians 12:10e


TO SAVE SPACE, WE WILL ONLY DISCUSS MESSAGES #1 AND #2 AT THIS TIME
(MORE LATER)!


It is true that Christians do not all agree in our understanding of
this list of gifts in I Corinthians 12.  The list in Ephesians 4 is
easier to understand and most Christians agree about the understanding
of that list.   Therefore, we have a difficult job to try to
understand this new list in I Corinthians 12.  Let us work together in
humility, asking the Holy Spirit to be our teacher and guide us into
all the truth we need to understand.


(1) and (2) = The Message of Wisdom and the Message of Knowledge, I
Corinthians 12:8


When I Corinthians was written there was no complete Bible. Because
they did not have a complete Bible like we have today, there was a
great need for those who could receive -messages of knowledge- from
the Holy Spirit.  Because most people do not read the Bible, even
today we still need those with the gift of knowledge.  The gift of
knowledge may come through the study of the Word of God.  Further
knowledge may come from prayer, asking God for knowledge WHILE we are
studying the Word.  Still more knowledge may come from walking in the
Spirit, keeping close to God, and hearing His voice in your everyday
life.  With all of these, the knowledge we are seeking is KNOWLEDGE OF
THE WORD OF GOD, THE BIBLE!

If you think that you received a gift of knowledge from God that is
NOT agreeing with the Bible, then you must decide that the knowledge
you received was NOT from the Holy Spirit but from another kind of
spirit, an evil spirit sent from Satan to confuse the church.  True
knowledge from God will ALWAYS agree with the Bible.  KNOWLEDGE is
putting information, data, into your brain.  It is KNOW-ING.

Wait a minute!  The Bible here tells about wisdom first and then
knowledge.  So WHY am I talking about knowledge first?  Perhaps my
understanding of what is being said here is incomplete.  As I
explained KNOWLEDGE above, knowledge is the getting of information,
the KNOW-ING.  So knowledge and wisdom must work together.  Clearly
some people understand more and better than others in the church.  I
think these are the ones with the gift of knowledge.  Their big
responsibility is teaching or sharing knowledge with ALL the rest of
the church.

Then there are others who seem to APPLY (DO) what they know and they
are good at teaching other people to DO what they know. WISDOM is the
application of knowledge.  WISDOM is making KNOWLEDGE work.  I LEARN
it and then I LIVE it.  If I only learn the Word of God in my head and
do not LIVE it in my life, then I am not using the gift of WISDOM.
WISDOM is KNOWLEDGE lived out!

But we are talking about GIFTS to the Church.  The gifts of wisdom and
of knowledge are the first two gifts given in this list.  ALL of us
who follow Jesus need BOTH of these gifts, as well as all the other
seven.  Yet it seems there are some people in the Church who have
special gifts and they are appointed by God to encourage and lead all
of us as we develop our own gifts.  One person, and it may not be the
pastor, seems to have more knowledge and understanding of the Word of
God than others.  Whether he/she is the one teaching up front or not,
he/she receives a lot of knowledge from God as he/she studies the
Word.  Sometimes he/she is also able to share this knowledge and
interpretation of its meaning with others of us in the Church.
Then there are some people in the Church who seem to have the special
gift of WISDOM.  Sometimes their word of wisdom may come directly from
the Holy Spirit.  Sometimes it may come as a result of their study of
the Word of God and the KNOWLEDGE of what it says.  Always this
person's special gift is applying, putting to work, what he/she KNOWS
from God.  The person with only the gift of knowledge may say, -This
is what God said to me.  This is clearly the teaching of God here in
the Bible.-  The person with the gift of wisdom may say, -Yes, and
here is what we need to do with that teaching from God's Word.  We
need to DO this and DO that.  Here is HOW we can DO what God says.-

These two gifts work together so much that, often, ONE person has BOTH
of these gifts working together.  However, it is also very, VERY clear
in the New Testament that the gifts are given out to everyone in the
Body, not just to the Pastor or some other small group of people.  ALL
of us are to seek and accept the gift or gifts that God has planned
for us.  In THAT way, the CHURCH does its work.  The CHURCH is not
living, not doing its work, if only SOME people are active in the
GIFTS of the Spirit!  ALL of God's people need to be using their gifts
for God.  SO, what is YOUR gift?  And what are you doing with it?

THE NEXT MAILING WILL BE ABOUT GIFTS #3 AND 4!

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