1 Corinthians 12:1-13 Sermon – The Gifts of the Spirit

In this sermon Tim speaks on the gifts of the Spirit, how it’s better when we all get to play – have a go at using our gifts in the Church and how the gifts of the Spirit build us up as a Church, encourage each other and give God the glory! What gifts is the Holy Spirit calling you to use this week?

Sermon preached by Tim Giovanelli on Sunday July 31, 2022.

05/02/23 – John 12:20-33 Following Jesus & Intro – by Tim Giovanelli – The Farewell Discourse Series Manly Life Church Podcast

In this sermon Tim introduces us to our first sermon series in 2023, The Farewell Discourse Series – messages from John 12-17! Tim helps us understand who John is and the book itself leading up to chapter 12, before diving into chapter 12 vs 20-33 and what it means to follow Jesus! We can't wait for this series so make sure you stay tuned each week! SERMON NOTES: https://manlylife.org/2023/02/07/john-1220-33-sermon-following-jesus-series-intro/ Sermon preached by Tim Giovanelli on Sunday February 5, 2023. Find out more here: https://manlylife.org Find us on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/ManlyLifeChurch
  1. 05/02/23 – John 12:20-33 Following Jesus & Intro – by Tim Giovanelli – The Farewell Discourse Series
  2. 29/01/23 – The Glory of Christ – Greg Beech
  3. 22/01/23 – Luke 15:1-8 God's Heart for the Lost – by Lani Daniel
  4. 15/01/23 – 1 John 4:11 Friendship In Church by Tim Giovanelli
  5. 08/01/23 – Philipians 3:17-4:4 Stand Firm in 2023 – by Peter Brooks


Read the passage… 1 Corinthians 12:1-13

12 Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 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. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.  

Welcome and Intro myself…

  • So great to see you all here today!
  • We were meant to be dedicating baby Sienna with Rob and Gretta this morning… but the dreaded Covid hit! So we will re-organise a time for that.
  • Hope’s baptism…

Well we started by reading a chunk of Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth.

  • It is where we will be spending a little bit of time over the coming weeks as we explore the work of the Holy Spirit when we meet together as God’s family!
  • And for some it will be a familiar section on the gifts that God gives to his people so that when we meet it will be amazing. 
  • And isn’t God’s church just amazing… it’s global, and colourful and diverse
  • And I tell you what… when the name of Jesus is preached and known… amazing things happen.
  • And one of the great blessings of my life has been to fellowship and go to church in Sydney, in London, in New York, in the slums of Kenya and South Africa
  • In massive theatres, glorious cathedrals and in tin shed buildings…
  • But the same Jesus is being made known, worshiped and experienced. 

You know I think there was a bit of a collective slump in the shoulders when the census data came out last month in Australia showing a decline in people identifying as Christians…

  • Did you see that? Less than 50% of Aussies now identifying as Christians… 
  • And we have got lots of work to do!
  • But let me assure you, there are so many good things happening in the church in Australia today!
  • Church revitalization, church planting, huge things happening in ethic communities…
  • But what we should be really amazed by is what is happening around the world!
  • Gordon Conwell, a highly respected seminary in the US put out some key data on what is happening around the world earlier this year…

Firstly, and this may surprise you, but there are fewer atheist in the world today than in 1970. 

  • While there is 2.56 billion people identifying as Christians, only 147 million identify as atheists compared to 170 million in the 1970’s. 
  • So don’t worry too much about those angry people in the comments section of the SMH.
  • They make up about 1.8% of the world population and declining. 

So Christianity is still growing… consider this. In 2000 there were 600 million Christians living in Asia and Africa. 

  • By 2020 there were 1.1 billion Christians in Africa and Asia. 20 years… 500 million added! Holy Bejoly Batman… that some growth…
  • And specifically to this sermon today… in 1900 less than 1 million people around the world identified as charismatic, Spirit filled Christians. 
  • The projection by 2050 is that this number will top 1 billion… 1000 million Pentecostal and charismatic Christians.
  • Quote “what we call Pentecostal in the West, the global church just calls Christianity.”
  • So what is behind this stunning growth in alive, Spirit empowered Christianity?

Well I believe there has been a powerful reawakening to what the scriptures say and promise about the Holy Spirit… the presence of Jesus… alive, empowering and transforming the church today!

  • But there is one more step that is important to all of this… and it has been activation. 
  • Not only have we all had our eyes opened to the powerful work of the Spirit…
  • But it is ordinary Christians like you and me…. Now doing the ministry of Jesus. 
  • Meeting in groups praying prayers of faith for one another.
  • Out sharing the gospel believing that the same ministry of Jesus is available to us today.
  • So, we have collectively experienced the God, and he has moved in our lives and church communities
  • Amen? What a time to be alive! 

That is why last week I spoke about how the gospel advances in the world through Word and Spirit….

  • Through preaching and demonstrating the kingdom of God. 
  • Through speaking the truth about Jesus and experiencing the power of Jesus. 
  • I came across this verse I’d never noticed before this week.
  • Mark 16:20 the very last verse in Mark’s gospel! It says;
  • “Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.”
  • My gosh, there it is, spelt out clearly if we were ever to doubt how the good news of Jesus goes into the world.
  • Preached and accompanied by miraculous signs….
  • And that is what we see in Acts and then church history!

So we then mentioned last week, that the rational and the transrational are not just for evangelism, but also powerfully at work when we gather as God’s people!

  • So let’s have a look at this passage…. Afterall, Paul starts by saying, “now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed.”
  • So we probably should get informed! And not be what??? Uninformed…
  • And this passage, the context is that the Corinthian church was elevating certain gifts of the Spirit when they met, making their times together a bit of a mess!
  • Right? So when they gathered… things were kicking off in supernatural ways… but not always helpful for unity and clarity!

So the first thing we note is that no one can say (verse 3) “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit. 

  • And I think that is important to start with…
  • There are no second class Christians… tongue speakers and non-tongue speakers… or prophetic and non prophetic…
  • The truest mark of being filled with the Holy Spirit is the confession that Jesus is Lord.
  • It says, you cant do this except by being marked with God’s presence!
  • Amen?
  • So don’t stress if when you read the next bits you think… well none of that ever happens through me or around me. 
  • The most important mark of the Spirit is your confession of faith and as Paul will say in chapter 13… that you love others well!

Alright, verse 4 -6 

4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 

So, if you have never heard anything about this mentioned before, and you’re wondering what on earth we are talking about today… let me try and explain…

  • The basic idea is that God loves his church and wants to see it be filled with the life of Jesus
  • So to have Jesus present in the church means that God empowers us all with gifts… 
  • The Greek word being charismata… hence the charismatic church… known as a place where the charismata occurs.
  • So it says verse 4 that the Spirit distributes gifts and verse 5, that they all come from the Lord. 
  • It’s like Jesus is present and saying “you know how I healed someone while I walked the earth… well I want to give you that gift”
  • And I give you that gift to give to someone else…

It is pretty cool – and here is the key… verse 7, “the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.”

  • All these gifts that Paul is about to mention that are at work when the church gathers together are given that we might be encouraged.
  • That we might be amazed…
  • That we might be built up.
  • That we might see the mission and ministry of Jesus continue to occur in our churches today!
  • Surely that is the common good…

And just a quick side note, I remember a few years ago that it occurred to me, that all the gifts God gives to his church are seen in Jesus life. Right?

  • Words of knowledge? That is what Jesus is doing when he speaks to the woman at the well and know that she has had several husbands…
  • Healing… well that has dozens of examples
  • Miraculous powers… think Jesus feeding the 5,000 or walking on water
  • Wisdom… have you read the sermon on the mount?
  • OK? So this is Jesus continuing to work in his church through his Spirit empowered people. 
  • And as we will see… not through a few holy hucksters… but through you and me!

So verse 8-11 then lists a whole bunch of gifts.

  • Wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miraculous powers, prophecy, speaking in tongues, interpretation and so on…
  • And this is not a comprehensive list.
  • In Romans 12 he mentions a lot of these gifts but then also serving, teaching, encouragement, generosity and mercy.
  • And the key according to Paul is diversity… this great diversity of ways that God will empower you to play your part… and how that leads to unity!

I found Gordon Fee, the biblical scholar helpful on this. He notes in this list in Corinthians you could maybe group these gifts together…

  • Firstly, you have gifts of instruction (wisdom and knowledge)
  • Secondly, you have gifts of supernatural power (faith, healings and miracles)
  • And finally you have gifts of inspired utterance (prophecy, tongues and interpretation)
  • But the key is… whatever gift you might get given by the Holy Spirit… it is to be exercised in love, and for the common good… and for the building up of the church!

You know I loved being up here this last Wednesday night. I know Joey and others having been buzzing for days about what happened!

  • Because beside some truly anointed worship and praise…
  • These gifts of the Spirit were in operation.
  • I saw people giving words of knowledge and encouragement to people that they believed they had received from God.
  • I saw people praying in tongues and being filled with the Holy Spirit. 
  • I saw lots of people having a go at ministering to others… praying for healing…
  • And I got to tell you… happy Pastor!

Because you know, here is the thing… I love my job… but its super stoopid and to be honest super boring, if it is just me talking each week. 

  • It’s so much more exciting when we all get to play!
  • I used to have a sign in my office that said “Ministry Hunter” – be a ministry hunter… daily reminder… 
  • Some people hunt deer, others rabbits… I want to be looking for and hunting down opportunities to minister to people like Jesus did!
  • It might be a word of encouragement… or an opportunity to pray for someone, or to invite them to church…
  • But we can all be doing that. Say something… something will happen, say nothing and nothing will happen. 

I don’t know about you but around summer I always find myself wanting to play cricket…

  • Bit obsessed… love the Tests, love the 20/20. Victoria is noooooot interested!
  • Mate Scotty called me up a few years ago inviting me to come and play in the nets with a mate of his… proper pads, gloves and cricket balls
  • I don’t think Ive played in over 10 years… felt my shoulder going after bowling about 2 balls – but kept going… and my lower back go while batting
  • By that night (do you remember this) we went to see that movie about Churchill…
  • And I couldn’t walk…

Stretching the anaology…

  • Fine to be a fan of Jesus, but what he is calling us to do is to come and play in the game with him…
  • And a bit like the cricket… when you have a go yourself, if you’ve never done it or haven’t in a while… might bring a bit of pain, or fear…
  • But that is where the life is? Right? Its in the game, not on the sidelines…
  • Pilavachi: church is like a football match… 22,000 people desperately in need of some exercise watching 22 people desperately in need of a rest… flip this!

So that is my hope – as we learn about how Jesus ministered, we will take courage, get inspired and bring the same life that Jesus brought to people!  

Well finally how does this happen?

12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.  

Let me finish with two suggestions…

  1. Be a part of the body

John Wimber used to say; we’ve got all this teaching… but how do we get it into our chubby legs and get going?

  • The Western church is not dying from a lack of information….
  • It is dying from a lack of obedience to doing the stuff…
  • And you have a role to play in Jesus’ glorious, grand mission of bringing salvation to the world. 
  • It might be in business or education or health or a trade!

But you know as this is really a sermon on the church, let me just say this.

  • We can do this on a Sunday… join a team! And come ready to use the gifts God has given you.
  • But really what we do on a Sunday is a bit more limited because you know… there are lots of us, and kids church is happening… and we are trying to do lots of things…
  • Share about Jesus, orient our hearts towards God through worship, pray for one another at the end of the service, welcome new people… Right?

So what I want to say, is the best place to really get going in using the gifts that God will empower you with is in your Life Group.

  • And can I just say, I really want everyone attached to a life group. You may not get there every time its on, but it connects you to the rest of the body.
  • And it is the best place to give this stuff a go!
  • That’s where you can share your first teaching… that is where you can pray for someone who is sick
  • That is where you can be asking God for encouragements and words of knowledge to build each other up. Right?
  • So please do yourself a favour and get connected to a Life Group!
  • Drink from the Spirit.

Do you want to get equipped to do this work? Verse 13 says we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

  • I really saw God moving powerfully last Wednesday night. 
  • But it came from the time of worship and as we talked a few weeks ago, being filled with the Spirit which is what worship helps us in.
  • But I see Manly Life on nights like that and here on Sundays and in Life Groups… hungry for God.
  • And what seems to happen is that when we drink of the Spirit… when we consume Jesus presence… ministry gets released amongst us! 
  • Amen?
  • You know, the kingdom is flitting… it comes and go… and you get discouraged… but then God does something incredible and you are hooked again. 
  • We are just beginning… but we must drink deeply of God

Shall we stand?

Published by timgiovanelli

My wife Victoria and I are planting a new church in Manly, NSW

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