CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP, #4! (as it happened)

MEMORY VERSE:  I Corinthians 12:4-5, “There are different kinds ofgifts, but the same Spirit.  There are different kinds of working, butthe same God works all of them in all men,” I Corinthians 12:4-5.
The gifts in I Corinthians 12 seem to be GIFTS given to CERTAIN PEOPLE
for special work WITHIN the Church.  Obviously, ALL 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 have discussed briefly the first TWO gifts:(1) the message of wisdom, I Corinthians 12:8a(2) the message of knowledge, I Corinthians 12:8b
IN THIS LESSON WE WILL DISCUSS(3) faith, I Corinthians 12:9a(4) healing, I Corinthians 12:9b
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.
It is 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 ALL 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?
(3) and (4) The Gifts of Faith and Healing,I Corinthians 12:9 another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healingby that one Spirit-
Clearly, we must ALL have faith because that is the only way to follow
Jesus and belong to His family.  We BELIEVE Him and receive Him into
our hearts and lives.  So we have faith.  This verse seems to teach
that there are some people with the SPECIAL gift of FAITH.  They are
able to believe God MORE than the rest of us.  They respond to God
with FAITH at all times and places and they should teach others of us
to have greater faith in God.
FAITH is a GIFT from God for making us stronger.  It takes great faith
for a family to decide that God wants them to become missionaries even
though they have no money.  They have to trust God, not just for
special times, but for every bit of food and shelter for their
everyday lives.  That is a step of great FAITH and God will honor that
kind of believing.
Some people who claim to have the gift of FAITH also claim to have the
special gift of HEALING which is mentioned in these verses also.  I do
NOT want to say FAITH and HEALING are part of the same gift.  FAITH
has to do with MORE than HEALING.  It takes great faith to do any work
for God.  Teaching, preaching, working, waiting, praying, and all
other works of God MUST have FAITH behind them.  But it IS true that
any HEALING that is done, whether by one man laying his hands on
another person, or by the learned wisdom of a medical doctor, ALL
HEALING requires great faith.
I do NOT mean - I NEVER want you to believe - that the healing of
another person DEPENDS ON how much FAITH you have!  GOD is our
Sovereign (All-Powerful, All-Knowing) Lord and we must submit our
FAITH to HIS will, as well as everything else.  That is why we always
say, “Lord, I ask you for the HEALING of this person, and I also pray
as Jesus prayed, “Not MY will, but YOURS be done, O Lord Almighty!”
And GOD must get all the THANKS and PRAISE for healing!
However, it DOES  appear from this reading in I Corinthians 12:9 that
there are some with the SPECIAL GIFT of HEALING also.  What does that
mean?  I want to be very clear that I DO believe in miracles.  I
believe that God can heal miraculously, without the use of a doctor if
the situation makes that necessary.  I believe that FAITH and the
special gift of HEALING are equally useful to God when a person is
healed miraculously and instantly or with the help of a Medical
Doctor.  When somebody is healed quietly in a home or in a large
meeting - when a medical doctor uses what he has learned in medical
school - whether he gets any money or not -  I believe ALL HEALING IS
DIVINE (from God) and that Healers should not be fighting each other
but should be working together to help people.
I always have many questions when the BIG Healing Campaigns come on
TV.  I MUST leave the details to God.  I will just say again , I
believe everyone who works at healing needs great FAITH in God beyond
what human medicine can do.  I am very thankful for those in the
church who seem to have the gift of SPECIAL Faith and those who use
the gift of HEALING to the glory of God.
Lesson #5 will discuss THE GIFT OF MIRACULOUS POWERS and some of theother gifts in I Corinthians 12:10-12!


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