CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP, #7 (as it happened) with ATTACHMENT!

 



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.  We are now completing the discussion of 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.-

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.

~~

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

~~

In Lesson 3 we discussed The MESSAGE OF WISDOM and THE MESSAGE OF
KNOWLEDGE.  In Lesson 4 we discussed THE MESSAGE OF FAITH and THE
MESSAGE OF HEALING.  In Lesson 5 we discussed the gift of MIRACULOUS
POWERS.  In Lesson 6 we discussed the gift of PROPHECY and the gift of
DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN SPIRITS.  Now in Lesson 7 we must discuss the
gift of SPEAKING IN DIFFERENT KINDS OF TONGUES.

--

(8) The Gift of Speaking in Different Kinds of Tongues (or Languages),
I Corinthians 12:10d

-...to another speaking in different kinds of tongues...-

The GIFT of Speaking in Different Kinds of Languages may mean
something like this:  Any of us can learn another language but some of
us will have more difficulty learning another language than others.
My middle son is very brilliant.  He is unusually good at what he
does.  But, from the time I tried to begin his learning Spanish in 3rd
Grade, I must agree that learning foreign languages is NOT his best
gift.  I think that I learn languages a  little better than he.  I
know a little of two languages besides English, probably enough to
make my way if I got lost in a country that spoke one of those
languages.

Yet my younger son and his daughter learn languages much more quickly
than me.  They are more GIFTED in Speaking in Tongues (Languages) than
me.

I have a dear friend named O'B who spent five months living with
Cambodians in an apartment complex, immersing himself in their culture
and language 24/7.  In only five months he was fluent in Khmer and can
still speak it today, even though he has been away from the language
for years at a time.  He was very GIFTED in languages.  Some have more
GIFT in LEARNING TO SPEAK NEW LANGUAGES than others.

This is such a large discussion.  It can easily take more time than it
is worth.  But we need to try to get a clear idea in our minds about
it.  Obviously, there is a GIFT here.  But what does it mean to have
the GIFT of speaking different tongues or languages?  I think we may
want to compare the tongues, or languages, here in I Corinthians 12
with the gift of tongues, or languages, on the Day of Pentecost in
Acts chapter 2.  Clearly on the Day of Pentecost, when the Church was
born, the gift was to be able to speak in the languages of the people
around them, NEVER HAVING STUDIED THOSE LANGUAGES!  AND it was clearly
recognizable, learnable languages so that each of the followers of
Jesus was able to talk to some people in that people's own language
and be clearly and completely understood.  It was an instant,
miraculous GIFT.  And it resulted in 3000 people coming to Jesus in
that ONE day!

This MAY be a very different thing from the GIFT talked about in I
Corinthians 12 and then explained a little by Paul in I Corinthians
chapter 14.  After making LOVE the beautiful wrapping paper for all
the gifts and urging us to DESIRE spiritual gifts, Paul then speaks of
PROPHECY as the GIFT to be most wanted.  He then spends much time
making -speaking in tongues- not so important a gift.  As Paul
describes -speaking in tongues- in I Corinthians 14 it does seem to be
a special heavenly language, not necessarily a recognizable earthly
language.  He talks of it as a -prayer and praise language-, mostly to
be used only between you and God or sometimes between you and God and
other believers.  It should not be loud and overpowering.

This, and some other gifts, can be very emotional.  Listen to me very
carefully.  You must not think I am trying to talk bad about the way
you do or think.  I am trying to TEACH what I believe the Bible has
said to us on this matter.  Be patient with me.  Let us talk very
slowly and carefully and see if we can put together ALL the
information the Bible gives us on this.  Some of us very reserved
believers might be strengthened by allowing ourselves to FEEL God more
and praise Him more freely, allowing ourselves to worship God with our
whole bodies instead of just with our voices.

And some of us who feel we are truly worshiping God more when we are
very loud and on display in front of other believers might be
strengthened if we placed more emphasis on learning what the Bible
SAYS - using our MINDS as much as we use our EMOTIONS.  ALL of us need
to balance each other, allowing ourselves to deeply FEEL and worship
God while we soak our MINDS in the True Teaching of His Word.

These gifts, as all others, must be used in MODERATION, that is, with
good control and yet freedom in the Holy Spirit.
--

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

1.  Please be sure you understand that nobody is trying to FORCE you
to believe anything.  IF we try to FORCE you to believe what we
believe then that begins to be LIKE false teaching.  So ANGER and
ARGUMENT are NOT what we want.  But we DO want you to discuss together
and try to understand what the Bible is teaching.  If you do not
agree, be kind to each other and continue to try to understand both
sides of your disagreement.

2.  Have you ever tried to learn another language?  Does it seem very
easy to you?  Does it seem very hard to you?  Talk about your own
experiences while try to learn to speak in other languages.

3.  Compare the gift of TONGUES talked about in Acts chapter 2 with
the gift of TONGUES talked about in I Corinthians 12.  Do you think
they are the exact same thing?  Do you think the gift given in Acts 2
is different from the gift in I Corinthians 12?  Explain what you
think very carefully.

4.  Are there SOME people who might have more GIFT for recognizing the
difference in the TRUTH and ERROR than others?  Talk about that.  Is
it possible that some people who think they are more discerning are
just TOO critical of other leaders in the church?  WOW!  We DO have to
pray for wisdom and discernment all the time, don't we??  Do we need
to say anything about that?  How about being very prayerful and very
careful, SLOW to speak, not always quickly speaking against others
when we think we have the GIFT OF DISCERNMENT of Spirits?

5.  Are you more comfortable with LOUD worship, including SPEAKING IN
TONGUES?  OR are you more comfortable with more quiet worship?

6.  When might we get OUT OF CONTROL with our public speaking in
tongues, prophesying, etc.?  When should we be more prayerful?  When
should we ask people to STOP and give someone else an opportunity (a
turn to speak)?

7.  How about this:  Is the gift of SPEAKING IN TONGUES given to
EVERYBODY?  Or is the gift only given to SOME PEOPLE?  Read I
Corinthians 12:11.  What about ALL the gifts?  Are they given to
everybody or only to SOME believers?  Why?

8.  What about teachings that ALL believers should receive the Holy
Spirit as a second work of grace after receiving Christ?  What about
the teaching that the gift of speaking in tongues is given to show
that you have received the Holy Spirit?

This is, of course, a much bigger discussion than what we have done
here.  But this will help you get started toward understanding the
GIFTS and THE HOLY SPIRIT.

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