Indispensable You
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, takin...
COMMUNITY LIVED OUT <ul><li>FREEDOM OF THE FAMILIAR </li></ul><ul><li>CELEBRATE OUR BEAUTIFUL INCONSISTENCIES </li></ul><u...
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently.  But wa...
Superior Inferior
 
Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant.   - 1 Corinthians 12:1 (NIV)
Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, &quot;Jesus be cursed,&quot; and no one can sa...
The gift says more about the heart of the giver than it does about your status.
Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, &quot;Jesus be cursed,&quot; and no one can sa...
All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.   - 1 Corinthians...
The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is wi...
If the foot should say, &quot;Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,&quot; it would not for that reason cea...
living   hope : <ul><li>a community that understands: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>each one has a gift from the Holy Spirit </li>...
What is your role at living hope? YOU are an . . .  INDISPENSABLE YOU!
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Indispensable You

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Talk by Ron Freeman at Living Hope in Courtenay on November 8, 2009

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  • In a few short weeks we will be entering the season marking one of Christianity’s most important yet mysterious events, the birth of Jesus the Christ. Imagine with me the conversation as it may have played out in the community of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit Father: Those humans we created have really made a mess of things. They are ignoring us and each doing their own thing, going their own way. Yet, for all the evil they are doing we still love them, don’t we. Son: Yes Father but your justice demands that they must die for their sin Father: True, unless someone was to die for them Son: I know what you’re thinking Father? Father: Yes! I think you should go and live among them and show them the way to have relationship with us. Of course some will not like what you say and do and they will eventually kill you. However, your death will be the answer to satisfy my wrath toward sin and also the means by which they can have relationship with us. Son: So, you want me to give up all this glory, all this power, our fellowship together and go and live with this wicked people and then die for them. Are you out of your freakin’ mind? No way am I going to do that. I am much too spiritual and holy to go do that for them. No way am I going to carry that load. They can do it on their own. Fortunately for us that is not how the conversation ended. We read, (next slide)
  • We’ve been focusing on the subject of community and seeking to gain insight into how community is to be lived out. (next slide)
  • We’ve talked about the freedom that comes with the familiar; that we need to celebrate the beautiful inconsistencies in our midst. Those inconsistencies however can be annoying and lead to grumbling and complaining and so we talked about the fact that a healthy community is one where the truth is spoken in love and we speak so as to build each other up. Last Sunday we discerned that speaking the truth and building up goes beyond words. It inevitably leads to carrying each other’s burdens and making ourselves accountable to a few others. We looked at these words written to the Christ followers in the province of Galatia (modern day Turkey) which I would like to launch from this morning. (next slide)
  • The first word ‘carry’ in this verse refers to big loads that are too heavy to bear alone. In the context it refers to sin that overwhelms us but by extension it can also refer to those issues of life that we face that are overwhelming. For instance, physical illness or relational breakdowns where we need others to come alongside us and walk with us through it. Our letter writer Paul however realizes that some will have an aversion to helping others for one of two reasons. (next slide)
  • They either feel superior or inferior to the person who needs help. They think they are something when they are nothing. ‘Me, help them? I’m much too important, too spiritual and too holy to get involved in their issues. After all, I’m the pastor, or the music leader or the Bible study teacher or the prayer warrior. I don’t have time to get involved in such mundane things’. On the other hand the one who feels inferior says, ‘I won’t know what to say, I’m not as gifted as others are, I’ve never dealt with anything like that before, it’s so far out of my comfort zone’. As a result of these two attitudes the person who needs help doesn’t get it and the life of the community is hindered. In reality both of these attitudes are wrong because they are focused on what others might think and so we are told to stop looking at others and examine our own actions. (next slide)
  • We are to carry our own load or our own backpack if you will because the word used here refers to a lighter load; one I can carry on my own. In other words we are to take responsibility for what we have been given and use what we have been given to the best of our ability under the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit. This issue of superiority/inferiority is not unique to us or to the Christ followers in Galatia. This same author addresses the issue to the church, the Christ followers in the city of Corinth. In his first letter to them he answers some questions that have arisen as they have come to faith in Jesus and are now trying to live that out. There is much confusion and division among them and so in what we have marked as the 12th chapter of 1 Corinthians he addresses the issue of superiority/inferiority that has arisen around the use of spiritual gifts. Let me briefly highlight some things in what he says to help us understand that each one of us is indispensible to the life and working of the community, the church. He begins by saying, (next slide)
  • Literally he says, now about spirituals since the word ‘gifts’ does not appear in the original but is supplied by the context. ‘Spirituals’ was the name that one of the factions in Corinth was calling themselves; the spirituals or the spiritual ones. They saw themselves as superior to others because of the gifting they had. The word ‘gifts’ does not appear in the original although the context of the discussion is about gifts. He goes on, (next slide)
  • The key for determining the spirituality of someone is centered on their confession that Jesus is Lord. By their lips and with their lives they are surrendered to Jesus being the Lord of their life. Paul, our writer, then reveals the work of the Trinity in the outworking of spiritual things. The word used for ‘gifts’ is the word ‘charismaton’ which has as its root the word ‘charis’ which literally means grace. The gifts are gifts of grace freely given to us by the Spirit. Since that is the case, there is no room for superiority for the gift you have because you received it freely from the Spirit and not by your own merit. (next slide)
  • The gift says more about the heart of the giver than it does about your status. Now, notice the last phrase. Who is the manifestation of the Spirit, the gift given to? It is given to each one. Why is it given? It is given for the ‘common good’. So, everyone who has the Spirit and proclaims Jesus as Lord is given a gift from the Spirit to be used for the good of others. Paul then lists some of the gifts, perhaps the ones that the ‘spiritual party’ was using to show they were superior to others. He then closes this section with these words. (next slide)
  • The key for determining the spirituality of someone is centered on their confession that Jesus is Lord. By their lips and with their lives they are surrendered to Jesus being the Lord of their life. Paul, our writer, then reveals the work of the Trinity in the outworking of spiritual things. The word used for ‘gifts’ is the word ‘charismaton’ which has as its root the word ‘charis’ which literally means grace. The gifts are gifts of grace freely given to us by the Spirit. Since that is the case, there is no room for superiority for the gift you have because you received it freely from the Spirit and not by your own merit. (next slide)
  • All of these gifts are the work of whom? The Holy Spirit! How does He give them? To each one as He determines. So, if it is the Spirit who determines what gift to freely give to you then we can take no credit for the gift we have. We are not superior to anyone else because of our gift. Notice once again that He gives to each one so there is not one of us in this room who claims that Jesus is their Lord who does not have a gift. Let’s continue reading. (next slide)
  • Our writer now uses the example of the body to illustrate his point. In the same way that our body is one body and yet has many parts so too the church, the body of Christ has diversity and yet is one. The moment we surrendered to Jesus as Lord we were baptized or immersed by the Spirit into the body of Christ, irrespective of our nationality or our status. We all drank or were saturated by the same Spirit so even though we are diverse we still belong to the same body, the body of Christ. He then goes on and deals with the inferiority issue with these words. (next slide)
  • Every part of the body is important if the body is to operate the way it was designed to. So too, the church in order to operate the way it was designed needs every person to do their part. Notice particularly the last verse. If indeed you proclaim that Jesus is your Lord, then you are not here in Living Hope by accident. You are not here in Courtenay, doing the job you are doing by accident. God has placed you here because He wants you here because He has a task for you to do that no one else can do. The personality you have, the passion you have and the spiritual gift you have, have all been given to you by God and it is your responsibility to use them to bring glory to God the Father by displaying the character of Jesus Christ His Son in the power and anointing of the Spirit. This is the backpack or load each of us is to carry and if we think we are superior to others or inferior to others it hinders us in carrying that load, doing what God has called us each to do and as a result stunts the growth and effectiveness of the body. (next slide)
  • It is my hope that each one who calls Living Hope their community would come to understand that they have been given a gift from the Holy Spirit whom they received when they surrendered to the Lordship of Christ at their spiritual birth. That that spiritual gift, when it is combined with their personality and passion is to be used for the common good of the body, the church in order to build it up. That your gift and calling do not make you superior or inferior to anyone else in the body because you are responsible to God alone for how you exercise your gift and calling. So, what is your role here at Living Hope? If you are struggling to find out what your gift is then ask God, ask others what they see it might be and then begin to use it because you are an indispensible you in the community of Living Hope. (next slide)
  • So, what is your role here at Living Hope? If you are struggling to find out what your gift is then ask God what He has given you, ask others what they see it might be and then begin to use it because you are an indispensible you in the community of Living Hope.
  • Indispensable You

    1. 1. Indispensable You
    2. 2. Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! - Philippians 2:6 – 8 (NIV)
    3. 3. COMMUNITY LIVED OUT <ul><li>FREEDOM OF THE FAMILIAR </li></ul><ul><li>CELEBRATE OUR BEAUTIFUL INCONSISTENCIES </li></ul><ul><li>TRUTH IS SPOKEN </li></ul><ul><li>SPEAK TO BUILD UP </li></ul><ul><li>CARRY EACH OTHERS BURDENS </li></ul><ul><li>BECOMING ACCOUNTABLE TO A FEW OTHERS </li></ul>
    4. 4. Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If any of you think you are something when you are nothing, you deceive yourselves. Each of you should test your own actions. Then you can take pride in yourself, without comparing yourself to somebody else, for each of you should carry your own load. - Galatians 6:1 – 5 (TNIV)
    5. 5. Superior Inferior
    6. 7. Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant. - 1 Corinthians 12:1 (NIV)
    7. 8. Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, &quot;Jesus be cursed,&quot; and no one can say, &quot;Jesus is Lord,&quot; except by the Holy Spirit. 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 one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. - 1 Corinthians 12:3 - 7 (TNIV)
    8. 9. The gift says more about the heart of the giver than it does about your status.
    9. 10. Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, &quot;Jesus be cursed,&quot; and no one can say, &quot;Jesus is Lord,&quot; except by the Holy Spirit. 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 one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. - 1 Corinthians 12:3 - 7 (TNIV)
    10. 11. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines. - 1 Corinthians 12:11 (NIV)
    11. 12. The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body — whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free — and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. - 1 Corinthians 12:12 – 14 (NIV)
    12. 13. If the foot should say, &quot;Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,&quot; it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, &quot;Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,&quot; it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. - 1 Corinthians 12:15 – 18 (NIV)
    13. 14. living hope : <ul><li>a community that understands: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>each one has a gift from the Holy Spirit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>that their gift is to be used for the good of the body, the church </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>that each one is responsible to God for the exercise of their gift and calling </li></ul></ul>
    14. 15. What is your role at living hope? YOU are an . . . INDISPENSABLE YOU!

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