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12 Jun 2022

Different Spiritual Gifts, Same Spirit [1Corinthians 12:1-11]

Overview

God has a "gifted program". And it is for all His children. Every Christian is gifted with at least a spiritual gift. His design is that we all may benefit and also serve one another. But there is also a danger that Christians can become proud and despise others because they do not have the same gifts. That was the problem in the church at ancient Corinth. Paul reminds them to use their gifts for the common good. He explains that it is the same Spirit who gifts us all differently, and one should not flaunt or be arrogant about his or her gift set.


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Once again, good morning, and thank you for joining us in our worship service. As a church, we have been taking our people through the Bible and we are in the book of First Corinthians and in particular chapter 12, this morning. It's a short and succinct, I hope sermon and so let's get to it right away.

The book of Corinthians is really about Paul addressing many problems in the church at ancient Corinth. We began by looking at the problem of schisms or divisions.

They were divided over their teachers, their leaders like Paul himself, Apollos and Cephas, it's an unhealthy divide. And then we saw how the church was ravaged by the problem of sexual immorality. There were, there were cases of incest and even going to prostitution and Paul had to address these problems.

Of course, in the midst of it, he had dealt with the problem of lawsuits. We also saw the problems of stumbling, it's a major section in the book of First Corinthians, people going to idols temples, to eat food offered to idols, thereby causing others to potentially follow, following along and also stumbling in their faith.

We then looked at the problem of submission, how they, the ladies were not willing to display their cultural ways of displaying of their attitudes of submission. Then we saw last week, their selfishness, their pride, their elitism in the way they conduct or do not conduct the Lord's Supper.

Today, we come to a fresh problem, and it is the problem of spiritual gifts. To be clear, spiritual gifts are not a problem, huh. But the misunderstanding and the abuse and the pride that comes along, with spiritual gifts for the Corinthians became a problem.

So Paul says, now, a new segment, a new topic concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. The word there, uninformed means without understanding, I do not want you to be ignorant. See, if you read on from chapter 12, all the way to chapter 14, you will realize that the Corinthians here, have an issue with regards to spiritual gifts, because there are those who possess more showy or spectacular gifts like the gift of tongues, and when they have these gifts, they exercise it to flaunt it, to vaunt it, to, to show off and thereby also despising those who do not have the same gifts as they do.

So Paul says, I think you have a wrong understanding here huh. Spiritual gifts are not for you to show off and I do not want you to remain without understanding, let me try to correct your wrong approach and idea about spiritual gifts.

So be patient, because it is about three chapters. There are some hot topics I am sure, you would want to be dealt with, but we will deal with them in due course. Today, we are looking at an overview of what spiritual gifts is all about. And we are particularly dealing with this wrong attitude of vaunting or priding oneself over some particular showing spectacular gifts one may have.

So Paul is going to deal with this by saying we all will have different spiritual gifts. It's very rare that two will have exactly the same kinds of gifts. So we must understand, we all will have different spiritual gifts. But we are not to divide, we're not to despise another because all these spiritual gifts ultimately come from the same Holy Spirit.

So you may have gifts ABC, and another person may have XYZ. But don't feel that ABC is Spirit blessed and XYZ or people with XYZ gifts are not Spirit blessed because both ABC and XYZ are given by the same Spirit.

So in essence, that's Paul's logic to deal with this pride, arrogance and selfish sinful position that the Corinthians have. Just because you possess some spiritual gifts, doesn't mean that you're higher up the hierarchy. You're higher up the food chain, we are all the fellow brothers and sisters in Christ given differentially by the same Spirit anyway.

So with that, we go to verse two, verse two, where it says, you know, that when you were pagans, you were lead astray to mute idols, however you were lead. So he says, remember, before you came to Christ, before you are a Christian, you were a pagan. A pagan is someone who worships another false god.

Remember, when you were a pagan, you did not know the True and Living God, you were led astray to worship mute idols, in other words, statues that cannot talk. By inference, you were lead to impotent, powerless things, they can't change your life, they don't do anything for you. That was who you were, in time past, you went to powerless statues.

But now that you come to Christ, now that you know the True and Living God through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, there is a difference. Therefore, I want you to understand, that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says, Jesus is accursed. And no one can say, Jesus is Lord except in the Holy Spirit.

So when you put verse 2 and verse 3, together, there is a sharp contrast. It may not be so easy to see when you look at the verse in isolation, but I think you've got to read them two together.

So Paul is saying, previously, you worshiped mute or impotent statues. But now, the Holy Spirit works in you. And He is powerful, as contrasted with impotent statues, and the work of the Holy Spirit is greatly and mostly evidenced in the conviction and convincement He brings to you, that you would now believe Jesus is the Christ, He is the Lord, and that you will profess Him as the Lord.

So before Paul launches into further explanation about spiritual gifts, he wants them to realize that the great distinction of the Christian life, it's not that you have this particular spiritual gift, or you must have this gift, but that we all believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, this is the uniting factor. This is the common ground for the church, that the mark of the Spirit is one's faith in Christ and it is not found in possessing any particular gift or particular set of gifts.

So do not be arrogant, do not feel that you are superior compared to another because we all the level ground, the common ground is that we profess Christ is Lord because we believe it in our hearts.

With that dealt with, Paul then goes to verses 4, 4to 11. I take that as a chunk, because you've got to, it's one continuous thought flow. Paul, essentially is saying in these verses, a diversity of gifts, but the same source, the Holy Spirit, and again, that is a very simple point that we began with.

So he writes in verses 4 to 6, there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit, varieties of service but the same Lord, varieties of activities, but it is the same God I think, he deliberately makes this repetitive, to drill across the point, yes, we all will have different spiritual gifts. But we all believe in the same Christ and we are given these gifts by the same Spirit. That's his point, don't be proud, don't be arrogant, don't despise.

Now these are words that variously describes gifts, so you have gifts, you have service, you have activities, they are all referring I think, to spiritual gifts. The word gifts, is the Greek word charisma, charismata, which really refers to gifts of grace. So spiritual gifts are not what we earn, nor what we deserve. But it is freely given to us out of grace. That's the meaning gifts of grace.

But spiritual gifts looked at from another angle is also service. Spiritual gifts are used to serve people. So that's another way of looking at spiritual gifts. They are not for you to show off, but they are given to you to enable you to serve others. The word there is the word that you get even the word deacons the diakonos.

Then the final word there, activities is the word energeō or which obviously means empowerment or enabling. So spiritual gifts are God's enabling things for you. But they are also spiritual gifts.

So these are various ways you can understand spiritual gifts. There are some who take these three words in a different, slightly different way, they say spiritual gifts given by God, and God gives different people different spiritual gifts to be applied in different areas of service. And different people have different degrees of empowerment of spiritual gifts. That could be another way, we cannot be absolutely clear.

But I think don't lose the main point. Paul is saying different kinds of gifts, but the same origin, same God.

Now you may notice a Trinitarian hint here. In other words, throughout the Bible, there is no phrase that says the Trinity. But throughout the Bible, there are many clues and hints of the Trinity. For example, in Matthew 28, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Well, you have the Spirit, the Lord, that is Jesus Christ, and God, the Father, a, a Trinitarian hint or illusion here.

But I labor again, to say the point is actually very straightforward, different gifts, but same Source, same God, alright. Now with that Paul goes on to say, to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit, for the common good, to every single one. The Holy Spirit gives you this manifestation of spiritual gifts, for the common good for the good of the church, for the community.

And the Holy Spirit gives different gifts to different people, so that we may all use it for the common good. And now he lists out nine spiritual gifts here, the utterance of wisdom, the utterance of knowledge, faith, healing, working of miracles, prophecy, the ability to distinguish between spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues. You will see these nine gifts listed, but not explained, not elaborated.

There have been many commentators throughout history who try to explain exactly what each gift really is all about. They try to make it very clearly circumscribed. But I don't think it has been a success at all because different commentators, pastors, preachers, have understood that there is no clarity given by Paul within the text itself. And really, it is very hard to be absolutely dogmatic about what each is.

For example, what is the utterance of wisdom? What exactly do you mean? And how is the utterance of wisdom different from the utterance of knowledge? What is the gift of faith? So there are questions left there, and I don't think it would be fruitful for me to be dogmatic here and to define each one when it is not really defined in the text itself.

Moreover, you will realize that this gift list is not the only gift list. You also have other gift lists in the Bible like Romans 12, First Peter 4, and they kind of overlap and they all don't quite explain what it is.

So let's not lose ourselves in the details and forget the big picture. Paul is simply saying, Hey, God has given us all different spiritual gifts. I give you some example, this, this, this, this, this, but, we are all given the gifts by the same Spirit, so don't be proud. Don't be arrogant, don't show off and worse still, don't despise your brothers and sisters in Christ.

That's the main point. Different gifts but all by the same Spirit. The emphasis has got to be noted in these words here Spirit, Spirit, Spirit, Spirit, Spirit and verse 11, the last verse, you say, pastor really short ah, your sermon. Some more things coming up, but the last verse here, all these are empowered by one and the same Spirit who apportions to each one, individually as He wills.

I think. I hope I've labored this point enough that you will not forget that Paul is saying, you guys who are flaunting your gift of tongues, showing off your spectacular gifts, don't go without understanding.

Yes, we all will have different spiritual gifts, but it's not because you are better than others. But it's given by the same Spirit, who has given these gifts, so that we may all serve the common good. So there is no reason for you to show off, and no reason for you to boast, and certainly no reason to despise one another.

There are some practical questions I thought would be good for us to answer and to understand together because that would give a good basis for us, going forward to chapters 12, 13, 14 in understanding spiritual gifts. So let's do it in a simple way.

What is spiritual gifts? You know, I went through this text or the explanation so far. And I know there are some of you who are not used to going to church, may be your first time in a church and you may be scratching your head, what are you talking about, what spiritual gifts, to you, it may be some present in a box or something, what is spiritual gift. So let's try to define it to be clear.

Based on what we have learned so far, I would say that a, my attempt at defining spiritual gifts will be something like, a Spirit given ability to serve the body of Christ with ease, effectiveness and excitement.

So we know that it must be a Spirit given ability, it's repeated many times in the verses you have read, apportioned by the Spirit, given by the Spirit, by the Spirit. So it's a Spirit given ability. It is not the same as a talent. You know, what's a talent, you're born to sing, you're born to talk, you're born to be good at something. Now that is not a spiritual gift in a strict sense of the word because that is a talent. You're born with it.

A spiritual gift is something you receive after you come to faith in Christ. So a talent is something you're born with naturally. A gift is something you're given supernaturally by the Holy Spirit. That's one thing to note.

Number two, it's an ability. What ability, is it to fly like Marvel superheroes? Is that supernatural, not, not that kind. But you have a idea of what kind in the gift of nine lists or nine gifts just now in the list.

It's an ability and not so much a character trait. Alright, so that's the difference. The fruit of the Spirit is more about a person's character, love, joy, peace, temperance, meekness, and so on. But a spiritual gift is more about abilities. If I may use that word even more crudely, skillsets or enablement.

So it's a Spirit given ability, and it is to serve the body of Christ for the common good. And indeed, if you read further, it will be even more clarified in a text to follow.

Now, a spiritual gift, obviously must be given to you so that you're good, or you're adept, or you are skilled at something. So I, I say, good to consider these three factors. If you're really enabled by the Holy Spirit to do something, then you will do it with relative ease. And you will do it with relative effectiveness. And you'll do it with relative excitement. Make sense?

How do you know if you're gifted at something? Well, it's not so difficult for you. And people benefit from it, they appreciate it, they can see it, and that you look forward to doing it. That's, that's all, that's what it is. And these spiritual gifts enable you to benefit the church. So that's how I think I will define spiritual gifts more about that in a while.

The second question is who will be given spiritual gifts, pastors, full time workers, more on the ball people? Well, the Bible says every believer, it says same God who empowers them all in everyone, to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit. So spiritual gifts are given to everyone and we should be excited about that.

I studied in Rosyth Primary School, not roadside primary school. That's how people pronounce it. But Rosyth Primary School, and in those years I studied there, they already have something which I think still is available till today, called the Gifted Program. The GEP. Wah, the high class program, wah the atas one, the smart one, the gifted one. And I really didn't like it because it made me feel so ungifted.

Well, I was not part of that gifted program. And there are people who then feel left out as it were. Hey, but thankfully, in the Kingdom of God, there is no gifted program only for a select few. But that God's Kingdom means or has designed it as such that every single believer is gifted by God.And that's the cool part.

Years ago, we, whilst before we came to Punggol, we were a nomadic church. We worshipped from different hotel venues from time to time. And I remember when we were at Grand Copthorne Waterfront, that was, I'm not a good historian, but maybe at least maybe nine years ago, when we were at Grand Copthorne Waterfront.

We were going through the book of Romans, and we were dealing with Romans chapter 12. And that was a passage about spiritual gifts. I asked every, how many of you were with us at Grand Copthorne Waterfront? Can I see by show of hands? The old, old timers. Okay, thank you, quite a few. And so the rest are relatively new and we are thankful for that.

When we were at GCW, Grand Copthorne, we were going through Romans and I asked every gospel lighter, every one in service to do something unglam. I tell them to reach beneath their legs when they were seated there, because underneath the chair, we all placed a little block, with the words, I'm gifted by God there.

We wanted everyone to have a physical token. Now, nowadays I a bit lazy, didn't go and print and more, so many of you, got to buy a lot of the toy box or too many lah. And it's cliche already, so pardon me if I didn't give you a physical memento. Alright.

But we gave everyone a block printed, I'm gifted by God. And we got different groups to come up on stage to, to construct a building, to show that everyone has a role to play in building the body, the, the people of God, the Church of God. And somebody remarked, most exciting Church activity ever. First time worship service can come on and walk around, kia lai kia ker, play games and but I, let me say what's more exciting than doing this, is to discover your spiritual gift and to use it to serve God.

If you know your spiritual gift, and you use it to serve God, it is easy, it is effective and it is exciting. Just this morning, after I preached the 9am service, someone texted me and said, Hey pastor, ah, she, she took a picture of the building blocks she says, I've kept this block on my dresser, all these years to remind me to serve God.

Well I'm, I'm glad that $1 block, I don't know much, how much it costs has lasted so many years and has provided a good remembrance for you.

But I want to show you the last picture about this block and it is this. We did not give everybody the same block, because these were all the blocks bought from Toys R Us, you can find it, uh every block is a little different. Well, you have some repeats in there, but you can see by and large, there's a great variety, different shapes and different colors.

And I wanted to communicate that every single one is gifted by God but every, every one of us would be gifted quite differently. And that is quite okay. The one with the rectangular block, I hope on that Sunday, didn't say eh, why yours circle, hah, hah, hah, not nice. What, why what's wrong?

And all of us are shaped differently, colored differently, it's perfectly okay. In fact, if all of you are all the square or rectangular ones, the building that you build is very ugly, so boring. But because you have circles and triangles, orange and red. Wow, that's beautiful. And that, I think, is the intent.

So who should have spiritual gifts? Every believer. And importantly, we all will have different spiritual gifts. Now let me just segue a little bit to, to talk about a common misconception, many of you may have, because you come from different church backgrounds, and you may have been taught that every Christian must be able to speak in tongues.

Now, I will not try to explain more about tongues now, because we will do so maybe later in chapter 14 in particular. But some of you come with that thinking, oh every Christian must be able to speak in tongues. By the way, the speaking in tongues is a spiritual gift. In other words, God does not give everybody the same gift. If you think that the gift of tongues is a necessary proof for every Christian, as a believer, then I think you are sorely mistaken.

They say that, that is the evidence of the second baptism of the Spirit and so on. Well, I think it is a very dangerous and erroneous teaching. And I think, hold your horses, we will come to explain more in time. But I think even from this one point, you know that not everybody is going to speak in tongues, it's a spiritual gift.

Number three, where, where is spiritual gifts to be employed? Very simple, the Bible says, for the common good. And I think contextually, it would mean the church, the people of God, the church doesn't mean the building, the church means the people of God. So where should spiritual gifts be used? With the people of God, with brothers and sisters in Christ, it's for the building up, it's for the common good of the people of God.

Now, that means, if we understand spiritual gifts are given by God to you to serve one another, that means I need you. I need you, because God has given you something that I don't have, that I need. And at the same time, you need me, I can give you something that you do not have. I need you, you need me, we need one another.

Now in this age, where we like to be independent, this doesn't sit so well. But Biblical understanding is knowing we are not capable in and of ourselves. We are, we are created and we are saved to be dependent on one another. I like you to do this for me. If you don't mind. There's nothing to reach under your chair. But there are people beside you, behind you, in front of you. Can you turn to each other, one another, and say, I need you, you need me, we need one another?

Okay, okay, don't don't don't talk about chicken don't have or frozen chicken. Just I need you, you need me, we need one another, that's all. Now let me caveat what I, what you just did. I, I know for the sake of the service, we, I just have to bluntly say you can say that to one another. But let's be clear. We can't say this, truthfully, to Christian uh, to non Christians. Nor can non Christians really say this, because this is to be understood in the body of Christ, believers.

But if you are a believer, and he is a believer, or she is a believer, it is true that in a sense, we need one another. And the church is worse off, if not for you, and you will be worse off, if not for the church. That's how God has designed this, that we are to be in community, that are absolutely dependent on Him and on one another.

So those of you at home, it's very hard for you to say, I need you, you need me. You, you seem to be very comfortable there. Some of you are there because you have no choice. And that's something I hope will change over time. But I certainly hope none of you have the mindset that, ah Christianity is so convenient, so easy. Just stay at home watch TV.

Well, you can hear the Word of God a lot, but you will be missing a lot in life. Why? Because you need me, and I need you. We need one another. And we can't do that over cyberspace we go that, we fulfill that in community.

So, I don't think Christianity in a long term should be lived out behind television screens. But it is in community that we can express and experience spiritual gifts and the power of it in our lives.

So how do you know your spiritual gifts? This is an important question. Alright, if serving God according to spiritual gifts is easy, it's effective, and it's exciting. Tell me, what is my spiritual gift? There are ways for you to discover that or at least there are ways people think, you can go to, to discover that.

Some people think that all they need to do is to speak to their pastor, so they pastor, can I meet with you, tell me my spiritual gifts. And then I'll tell him, Give me give me some time, I go home, I rub my crystal ball, I come back and tell you. If it was that easy, I would have done it for you. The reality is, I do not know your spiritual gifts. I won't know it as well as you will, if you do it the right way.

So asking your pastor is probably not the best method. So people then go on to a, a second method, a common method people use and that is going to surveys. Spiritual gift questionnaire, have you tried that? Many of you might have tried that.

So you go online, you download this document about 100 plus to, by the way, many versions. There's no gold standard version, many versions, different pastors, different churches try to, to bring it out. And generally they have about 100 plus, 200 questions? How strongly would you rate 1234 and you rate and then at the end of the hundreds over questions, you tabulate your score, and then they'll tell you, Oh, most likely you have this gift, or most likely you have that gift.

The problem I have with this is that the Bible never tells us to do a survey to find out your spiritual gift. And as we have mentioned, defining a spiritual gift is extremely difficult scripturally.

So the questions are all predicated on an understanding of the definition, utterance of wisdom, then they ask questions like, Are you what I know, they won't ask so stupid lah, are you wise or but you know what I mean, right? And they ask those questions, thinking that, that's what the gift of utterance of wisdom is, but it may not be.

The reality is we, we cannot be so surgically clear about the definition. So, in that sense, these questionnaires would not be accurate. Moreover, there's always this user bias. Oh, because I like this gift, I will answer questions more along these lines, where it may not really reflect how God has wired you.

So I don't think it's a very reliable thing to do. I personally wouldn't encourage that, because God never tells us that this is the best way to find out. But how do you then find out your spiritual gift? You don't ask your pastor? You don't do spiritual gift profiling or questionnaires? What do you do?

Well the principle is this, spiritual gifts are, are, are Spirit given abilities to enable you to serve the body of Christ with ease, effectiveness, and excitement. So, the best way for you to know, is to get started and try and serve one another. And as you try and try and try, as you serve and serve and serve, you will hit on something that you find easy, effective, and exciting. That thing that you are good at doing might just be your spiritual gift.

Now, you will never know until you try and until you serve. But the more you try, the more you serve, the more likely it is that you will discover your spiritual gift. It's important to have this trifecta, because there are people who do things according to them easily and they are excited about it, but not effective.

For example, I'm gifted in teaching! I like to teach, it's easy for me to teach, I can teach without studying. But when you teach, everybody falls asleep, then you have to ask, is it because you're not maybe, you could be helped a bit but it could also be that you are just deluding yourself. So it's very important to, to meet all these three factors.

Now, there are many things in church and in life that I absolutely dread and I absolutely am lousy at. That doesn't mean I don't do them. Let's, let's get that clear. Just because you're not gifted in something doesn't mean you have an excuse not to do it.

For example, I'm a very shy person, I, I don't like to do evangelism. Doesn't mean that you're not gifted, that means you don't do evangelism. We are all to be witnesses. Just because you're stingy, doesn't mean you don't give to God, right. So these are responsibilities we all do. But when you realize your spiritual gift, that's where you major in. That's where you focus.

If I may say, some people say, 80% of your effort should be spent in your area of giftedness, not 100%, not 10%, you major on this, but you do not neglect other Biblical responsibilities as well. But it's so important to find out your spiritual gifts.

So again, I say you cannot discover your spiritual gifts at home. You cannot discover your spiritual gifts, if you are just a couch Christian. It's got to be community. And that's how you discover, so strong pitch today. After we have emerged from COVID for a month or two, that we should really look forward to Christian life and worship with people, serving people, because we need you, you need me. And together we discover our spiritual gifts and use them for the glory of God.

Finally, why? Why does God give you spiritual gifts? Well, let's be clear, God did not give you this spiritual gift or this set of spiritual gifts because you're better than others.

The Corinthians probably had this thinking, Oh, I'm, I'm given this gifts, I'm better than others. God gave that to me, because I'm inherently superior to you, you know this is a wrong thinking. Aah, God gives the spiritual gifts as He wills, not because of you, but because of His sovereign choice.

Also, spiritual gifts, as we have already mentioned, is to serve the common good. It's certainly not to show off not to vaunt. So, we must not as we recognize and use our spiritual gifts, not be comparing ourselves one with another.

Don't be like the guy who says, eh, I got the rectangular block, hah, hah, hah, you circle. Or whatever, we shouldn't do that. We should not compare but instead, I think the right attitude is that we appreciate others, that, wow, huh, I'm naturally so lousy at this, but he's so good at that. She's so capable at this. Wow, look at how God has gifted him. Look at how God has given them, I think that should be the attitude we have, because God is the giver, they did not work for it, they did not earn it. And I think when we have such an attitude, and when we start to appreciate the beauty and the enabling God has given to one another, we start to see God more, rather than see ourselves more.

I think also, it's important that we recognize our spiritual gifts and serve humbly and gratefully. I'm very grateful that God has given me some spiritual gifts to serve God's people. Hey, it helps me a lot. And I enjoy serving, in, especially in these areas of giftedness. It's not stressful, it's something I look forward to and I'm thankful to God because I can't imagine doing what I'm doing if God did not gift me with these spiritual gifts. But at the same time, I must be careful that I must not be thinking, Oh, I'm better than others. We are all gifted differently, that's all. So serve, humbly, serve gratefully.

And then finally, think about this. No one is to be a spectator in church, no one. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, it is criminal. It is criminal to know that you are gifted by God in some areas and you are not serving in any way. Do you realize how terrible that will be? Can you imagine that we can live our whole life, not knowing our spiritual gift. Therefore not serving and then stand before God. I can't imagine how traumatic that will be. It is our responsibility and indeed our privilege to say Lord, show me my gift. I'm going to try this, I'm going to do that, I'm going to serve people. And then when I discover my gifts, I'm going to use them, to serve You and to serve one another.

The common tragedy in churches today is that only 10, 20, maybe 30% of the church is actively serving, and the 70, 80% are enjoying. They enjoy the ministry of others, but they won't lift a finger. They are satisfied just to walk through the door, sit in the service and return just as they came. That's so sad, because God did not gift you to be a spectator. He gifted you to be a servant.

And I tell you, we need you. We are poorer, we are worse off because you are not serving. This is I hope, not in any way trying to emotionally blackmail anyone or to give you an emotional guilt trip. But the fact is true, we all have a part to play.

I, I, I think it's like a Singaporean National Day song. There's a part for everyone, in this church where we belong, okay, you know, what I say. We all have a role to play and we all can contribute to the building up of one another and for the glory of God.

Napoleon once pointed to the map of China and said, This is a sleeping giant, when it awakes, it will be unstoppable. Hundreds of years he said that, hundreds of years ago he said that and we are beginning to see a rising of a giant. I look at the church today and I say a giant is asleep today. But when it awakes, it will be unstoppable.

Can you imagine what church will be like if every single one of us is in community, seeing needs and meeting needs. And in so doing, loving serving, building, encouraging, teaching, admonishing, being hospitable, receiving one another in such a way that the body builds itself, builds up? Wow, we will be unstoppable.

The world would sit up Punggol will sit up and take, take notice. But it will never happen unless you are willing to discover your spiritual gift and to use it for the glory of God.

These are the questions we dealt with, much more to come in the weeks to follow. I hope that we will remember, God has gifted us differently. It's all given by the same Spirit, not for boasting, not for showing off, but for the common good. I pray we will worship God by serving one another. Let's bow for a word of prayer together.

It is amazing to know that God not only gave His Son to save us from our sins, but He also poured out His Spirit and His Spirit enables His people with different spiritual gifts. But at the end of the day, whilst we are thankful for every spiritual gifts here, endowed in our lives for His glory, let's also take a step back and remember the greatest gift of all, Jesus Christ His Son.

Not only did God gift Jesus Christ, His Son to die on the cross to save you and to pay for your sins. If you are a child of God today, I say, God has also given His Spirit in your hearts, to bring about that conviction and believe, Jesus is Lord.

So today, we are a gifted people, do you realize that, we are an extremely gifted people, gifted with the Son of God, gifted with the Spirit of God and gifted with spiritual gifts. To what end? To the end, that we may all steward our lives and gifts to serve Him by serving His people.

The church, the people around you today is where we worship God. You worship God by serving one another.

I pray today as gospeliters, you will not just be a hearer but you will say Lord, I have been sitting on the bench long enough. I've been a Sunday Christian, I've been a pew warmer for far too long. Give me the courage and the wisdom, to take a little step to be in community, to be in service to one another.

I tell you, that will change your life, because you may just step into what is easy, effective and exciting for you. And I tell you, we as a church, will be thankful for your life and ministry. And we will thank God for how He has gifted you.

If you today are new with us, I know that this topic on spiritual gifts is a little bit too far off for you. But I want to tell you that the message of the Bible is really about a gift. It's about God's heart to give.

Our God is a giving God. He is such a generous God, in that while we were yet sinners, He sent, He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. Would you today, receive this gift, by repenting of your sin and believing in Jesus. I pray you will. I pray, you will be born again. You'll be given this new life as you obey Him in the Gospel.

Father, thank You again for this morning, we can hear Your Word, bless each one, that we may discover our spiritual gifts in obedience to You and that men and women may be saved. Thank You for loving us. Thank You that You're such a giving and generous God. All glory be to You alone. We pray in Jesus Name. Amen.

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