We opened at this passage last week looking at the Gifts of by lindayy

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									Sermon                 Page 1                18 May 08


♦ We opened at this passage last week looking at the
  Gifts of the Holy Spirit to the church, God’s equipping
  of His precious people for His purposes
♦ We noted that Paul was responding to some error and
  excesses emerging among the Corinthians in their
  understanding and use of the gifts God had graciously
  granted to them
♦ In their case, we saw that they were becoming
  arrogant in their understanding of the gifts as if they
  operated as a mark of some sort of spiritual
  advancement, a reward
♦ We also briefly considered how the gifts re used in
  this day and age, and our own resistance to the
  excesses we see among some Christian groups,
♦ And the struggle with our rational and materialistic
  mindset, to deal with that which is supernatural, and
  so disturbs our comfort and worldview.
♦ At the end of the day we saw clearly from the
  Scripture that Gifts are Gifts – Given as God pleases,
  to whom He pleases, for His purposes
♦ They are given for the common good – we expect
  them to produce a positive, Godly result
♦ They are given selectively – no less than one per
  believer.
♦ This week we are moving to look more closely at a
  selection of gifts mentioned in the scriptures, and we
  are limiting our remarks specifically to the 9 gifts
  mentioned here in this passage from 1 Corinthians.
   1 Corinthians 12:7-11 (NIV)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 the
 message of wisdom, to another the message of
 knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another
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 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 gives them to each one, just as he
 determines.
♦ Specifically today we will be considering 3 of these 9
   gifts, which are broadly grouped together in this list,
   as Gifts of Revelation
♦ They are:-
♦ Words of Wisdom
♦ Words of Knowledge
♦ Discernment of Spirits
♦ These are revelation because they reveal or expose
   something that was not previously known, or a
   connection not naturally apprehended by human
   faculties
♦ In the coming two weeks we are also going to
   consider Gifts of Speech, of which there are (in most
   circles) generally accepted to be three
♦ And the Gifts of Power, of which there are also three
   grouped together
♦ But those we will consider later
Word of Wisdom
♦ Definition: A revelation about God, drawn from His
   character & ways that will change our perspective on
   reality (future)
♦ Let us explore that.
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♦ We do know about wisdom. We here things that are
   said that seem particularly insightful, clever and
   reasonable. In one sense that is quite rightly, wisdom.
♦ The bible has a whole genre of writings called wisdom
   literature which gathers together very wise sayings.
   They give us some very practical guidance for life
♦ Let me share with you two that I’m particularly fond of.
     Proverbs 26:4 (NIV)4 Do not answer a fool according
 to his folly, or you will be like him yourself.
♦ Is that good, practical wisdom? Can you use that as
   you walk down the street this week? If you do follow
   this counsel, will you be wise. Quite probably.
     Proverbs 26:5 (NIV)5 Answer a fool according to his
 folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.
♦ Is that wise advice? Yes, but how does that sit with
   you? How can you deal with the apparent
   contradiction? Human wisdom! – careful
   consideration of the circumstances and a reasoned
   result
♦ But, is that what is intended by Paul in 1 Corinthians?
   Is that a spiritual gift? No. That is apparent to pretty
   much most of us, for a start its printed in the bible – if
   you have the talent to read, you can figure it out
   without anything supernatural occurring
♦ Whereas spiritual gifts are given specifically to some
   individuals, for the common good – to benefit the
   church, and they are showing us something that is up
   to that point unrevealed, hidden, not humanly
   apparent.
♦ I was listening to something the other day that helps
   us to see what kind of wisdom we are talking about:-
   (set up lady wisdom metaphor)
Sermon                   Page 4                 18 May 08


    Proverbs 8:22-26 (NIV)22 “The LORD brought me forth
 as the first of his works, before his deeds of old; 23 I was
 appointed from eternity, from the beginning, before the
 world began. 24 When there were no oceans, I was
 given birth, when there were no springs abounding with
 water; 25 before the mountains were settled in place,
 before the hills, I was given birth, 26 before he made the
 earth or its fields or any of the dust of the world.
♦ Can any of you tell me how God did this creation
   stuff? Do you posess the understanding to explain it?
   To describe its character? TO speak of the
   schematics and operation of all of creation?
♦ No. There are a great many things about He who is
   our creator and who called us into being that we do
   not, and cannot understand – unless he chooses to
   reveal it to us.
♦ God has His plans. He knows how the world turns,
   He knows what He intends to do with it. He knows
   how He will accomplish it. And from the little we do
   know, we should expect that what He does will be
   entirely consistent with His character and person.
♦ Unless He reveals it to us.
♦ That is a word of wisdom. That is what comes
   through the impartation of this spiritual gift.
♦ When this spiritual Gift is exercised, then we are
   allowed a glimpse of God’s character revealed in His
   activity.
♦ Therefore it typically has a future component to it.
♦ Let us consider an example:-
    Matthew 22:15-22 (NIV) 15 Then the Pharisees went
 out and laid plans to trap him in his words. 16 They sent
 their disciples to him along with the Herodians.
 “Teacher,” they said, “we know you are a man of
Sermon                  Page 5                18 May 08


 integrity and that you teach the way of God in
 accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by men,
 because you pay no attention to who they are. 17 Tell us
 then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to
 Caesar or not?” 18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent,
 said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19
 Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They
 brought him a denarius, 20 and he asked them, “Whose
 portrait is this? And whose inscription?” 21 “Caesar’s,”
 they replied. Then he said to them, “Give to Caesar
 what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” 22 When
 they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him
 and went away.
♦ This is a word of Wisdom, spoken through Jesus,
   because it reframes human reality – in light of God’s
   character and purposes.
♦ You want to talk to me about what’s important starting
   with taxes, OK? Do you want to know what is
   important? Do you want to know what God wants
   from His people?
♦ His accusers were gobsmacked!
♦ Let us think about another:-
    1 Corinthians 2:4-5 (NIV)4 My message and my
 preaching were not with wise and persuasive words,
 but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that
 your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on
 God’s power.
♦ The source of Spiritual wisdom, is the gift of God,
   given to those He chooses to grant it to
♦ It is a Gift. It is for the common good, the benefit and
   edification of the church.
♦ How does it achieve that? It reveals to us part of
   God’s plan (and hence His character) (or the reverse),
Sermon                                           Page 6                                      18 May 08


   that reframes our day to day reality, with Godly
   insight.
    Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)8 “For my thoughts are not your
 thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the
 LORD. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so
 are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts
 than your thoughts.
♦ The gift of words of Wisdom, is that His church is
   blessed with insight and understanding into what He is
   yet to do.
Words of Knowledge
♦ The second of the Gifts of Revelation is that of Words
   on Knowledge.
♦ Definition: It is a complete idea or fact expressed in
   words. [But knowledge that] one does not have the
   ability to manifest this kind of revelation at will. As was
   the case with the word of wisdom, the word of
   knowledge is a specific revelation intended for a
   specific occasion or need1
♦ Knowledge is a very powerful thing. The Rulers of
   this world are, these days not those who posses
   armies or wealth, but those who have information –
   particularly where others do not.
♦ Where there is an absence of information, things are
   hidden, there is an imbalance – to exploit
♦ Best we look at two examples, from the bible:-
♦ Recount the Story of Gehazi, Elisha & Naaman.
    2 Kings 5:20-21 (NIV)20 Gehazi, the servant of Elisha
 the man of God, said to himself, “My master was too
 easy on Naaman, this Aramean, by not accepting from
 him what he brought. As surely as the LORD lives, I will
1
 Moller, F. P. (1998, c1997). Vol. 6: The work of the Holy Spirit in the life of believers. Words of light and life.
Pretoria: Van Schaik Religious Books.
Sermon                  Page 7                18 May 08


 run after him and get something from him.” 21 So
 Gehazi hurried after Naaman.
    2 Kings 5:25-26 (NIV)25 Then he went in and stood
 before his master Elisha. “Where have you been,
 Gehazi?” Elisha asked. “Your servant didn’t go
 anywhere,” Gehazi answered. 26 But Elisha said to him,
 “Was not my spirit with you when the man got down
 from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take
 money, or to accept clothes, olive groves, vineyards,
 flocks, herds, or menservants and maidservants?
♦ How did Elisha know – talk about a boss invading
   your workplace privacy? Did he have a helicopter?
   Did he receive an email or fax from mate at the post
   office?
♦ No to Gehazi’s alarm, Elisha said to him, “Was not my
   spirit with you when the man got down from his chariot
   to meet you?
♦ A word of knowledge.
♦ The mode of the reception by Elisha is to be noted,
   ”Was not my spirit with you”. Elisha was allowed a
   vision of what was happening. He could see it as if he
   was there
♦ It is my understanding that many of the gifts of the
   Holy Spirit work through an unusual spiritual operation
   of one of at least one the normal 5 faculties, hearing,
   sight, smell, touch and taste.
♦ Let’s look at another:-
    John 1:47-51 (NIV)47 When Jesus saw Nathanael
 approaching, he said of him, “Here is a true Israelite, in
 whom there is nothing false.” 48 “How do you know
 me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you
 while you were still under the fig tree before Philip
 called you.” 49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you
Sermon                   Page 8                  18 May 08


 are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” 50 Jesus
 said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under
 the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that.” 51
 He then added, “I tell you the truth, you shall see
 heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and
 descending on the Son of Man.”
♦ Another vision – a picture, but to what effect?
   Nathaniel was convinced! And to top it of I suspect
   we have a word of prophecy/wisdom to follow it up.
♦ Personal examples:
♦ Story about:- Received: Rev Bob Hillman, & Imparted:
   my knowing of Jen’s hurt
♦ There are a number of biblical examples – but the
   supernatural impartation of knowledge about some
   thing, which would otherwise be hidden by all human
   means, calls to attention something that is of spiritual
   significance – it is designed to produce a result, for
   God’s kingdom. Wether that be a rebuke/call to
   repentance, or an invitation to trust.
Discernment of Spirits
♦ Definition: This is the capacity to perceive Spiritual
   reality, what is going on in the Spirit realm (that is both
   negative or positive)
    Acts 12:5-9 (NIV)5 So Peter was kept in prison, but
 the church was earnestly praying to God for him. 6 The
 night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was
 sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains,
 and sentries stood guard at the entrance. 7 Suddenly an
 angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the
 cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up.
 “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s
 wrists. 8 Then the angel said to him, “Put on your
Sermon                   Page 9                18 May 08


 clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your
 cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him. 9
 Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea
 that what the angel was doing was really happening; he
 thought he was seeing a vision.
♦ Was Peter necessarily aware that he had been
   enabled to see that which would ordinarily hidden?
   No. Was it for the benefit of the church? Yes.
♦ This vision seemed to be happening in real time, in
   the real circumstances of Peters life, no interpretation,
   just get up and go.
♦ What was the mode – Peter thought it was a vision,
   other things occur in dreams. Some of these are very
   clear, sometimes allegorical.
    Daniel 7:1-2 (NIV) 1 In the first year of Belshazzar
 king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions
 passed through his mind as he was lying on his bed.
 He wrote down the substance of his dream. 2 Daniel
 said: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before
 me were the four winds of heaven churning up the
 great sea.
♦ He goes on to see a variety of beasts and so on,
   which gives him some clues in the spiritual, as to of
   the corollary that happening in the natural
♦ Daniel is a important official in the Persian court – this
   information is useful to Him and God’s people
    Acts 13:6-12 (NIV)6 They traveled through the whole
 island until they came to Paphos. There they met a
 Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, 7
 who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius
 Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for
 Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the
 word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what
Sermon                   Page 10                 18 May 08


 his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the
 proconsul from the faith. 9 Then Saul, who was also
 called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at
 Elymas and said, 10 “You are a child of the devil and an
 enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all
 kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop
 perverting the right ways of the Lord? 11 Now the hand
 of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind,
 and for a time you will be unable to see the light of the
 sun.” Immediately mist and darkness came over him,
 and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by
 the hand. 12 When the proconsul saw what had
 happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the
 teaching about the Lord.
♦ I know people who have ministered to me and in this
   church, such spiritual insight. It is somewhat
   alarming, if you are not familiar.
♦ But inexperience does not invalidate God’s word, Do
   we resist the work of the Holy Spirit, and the Gifts by
   which God chooses to bless and grow His church
♦ We one might, but what then can we expect in terms
   of Spiritual Growth?
♦ These things are not particularly comfortable for us,
   yet they have biblical support?
♦ Gifts of Revelation, Wisdom, Knowledge & Discerning
   of Spirits
♦ Things that God uses for the benefit of His kingdom
♦ Let me close with this passage…
    James 1:5-6 (NLT)5 If you need wisdom, ask our
 generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not
 rebuke you for asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure
 that your faith is in God alone…

								
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