Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Preparing for Sunday, May 10th

This week we continue to explore our calling and our spiritual gifts. Our Scripture this week is the beginning of three chapters dealing with Spiritual Gifts.

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2You know that when you were pagans, you were enticed and led astray to idols that could not speak. 3Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says "Let Jesus be cursed!" and no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except by the Holy Spirit. 4Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; 6and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. 7To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses. 1Cor 12:1-11
• Why do you think Paul is telling Christians that no one speaking by the Spirit of God would ever say, "Let Jesus be cursed"?
• While Paul did not know anything about our current doctrine of the Trinity, notice that he seas of varieties of gift-same Spirit, varieties of services-same Lord, and varieties of activities-same God. Why do you think he is emphasizing these varieties and their connection to God?
• What is the connection between spiritual gifts and God's grace?
• What are the purpose of the spiritual gifts?
• Notice the order of the gifts mentioned by Paul. This list is not exhaustive by any means, Paul will list other gifts in other letters. What do you think he may have been trying to say with this particular list and with this particular order?
• Chapter 13, the "love" chapter often used at weddings, is actually the second of the three chapters dealing with spiritual gifts. What does love have to do with it?

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