Galatians 5:22-23 NIV 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
“Too often Christians focus on gifts—natural and supernatural—and ignore character. But this bypasses a fundamental principle of the Christian life: gifts and abilities, no matter how magnificent, are either limited or enhanced by character… Gifts are to character as adornments are to a body. Beautiful adornments, such as jewelry and fine clothing, look good on a beautiful body. But when the body has been neglected and has itself become unattractive, you can do almost anything to it—jewel it, perfume it, deck it out in gorgeous clothes—and it still doesn’t look right. So it is with spiritual gifts. They are to be adornments to a well-formed character, which is the foundation for properly displaying them. We are to seek the fruit of the Spirit as a precursor to seeking the gifts of the Spirit. An important characteristic of fruit is that it grows, going through a process of development that culminates into maturity. Fruit doesn’t grow to maturity in one day; it goes through a process of development in which both internal factors (its genetic makeup) and external factors (water, soil, temperature) combine to create maturity.” (Christy Wimber, Everyone Gets to Play: John Wimber’s Writings and Teachings on Life Together in Christ)
Prayer: Lord, may we grow in the fruit of the Spirit as we grow in exercising the Spirit’s gifts. We ask for your kingdom and your will to be done in our churches. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Let’s worship to the song “Mention of your name” by Bethel (click here).
1 Corinthians 12:7, 11 NIV Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good… All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
“Having grounded his appeal for diversity in the ‘three-personed God,’ Paul proceeds to articulate how that diversity is worked out in the life of the church… what distinguishes this listing is their concretely visible nature, especially of the last seven. These after all, are not only ‘gifts’; they are above all manifestations of the Spirit’s presence in their midst…” (Fee, 1 Corinthians, NICNT)
The passage’s emphasis on “to each one” gives the notion that everyone is called to participate in exercising and experiencing the Spirit’s gifts. Paul also uses the word “manifestation” synonymously with the word “gift,” which shows us that the Spirit’s gifts must be manifested (expressed) and experienced not only by the individual who is exercising the gift, but also by the whole community for the purpose of the gifts are for the common good.
Prayer: Lord we ask that our churches will experience more of the Spirit’s gifts being actively manifested, as each person grows in you. We ask for greater moments of healing, of receiving your message of wisdom and knowledge, and for moments of breakthrough by the Spirit’s power. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Let’s worship to the song “Anointing” by Jesus Culture (click here).
1 Corinthians 12:4-6 NIVThere are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
“He begins the discussion by putting the whole question in its ultimate theological context—diversity within unity belongs to the character of the eternal God (vv. 4-11). Although there is but one Spirit, one Lord, and one God, a great variety of gifts and ministries characterizes each of the divine persons (vv. 4-6). Such diversity in God manifests itself, Paul argues further, by the one God’s distributing to the many of them different manifestations of the Spirit for the common good (v. 7). Several of these are put forth as illustrations (vv8-11)…The emphasis and flow of the argument are easy to see. Diversity has its roots in the triune God.” (Fee, 1 Corinthians, NICNT)
Today let’s consider this incredible truth, that to experience the Spirit’s gifts is to experience the life within the Triune God.
Prayer: Lord, we thank you for the invitation to participate in the life of God. We ask for your empowering to grow and mature in the gifts of the Spirit. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Let’s worship to the song “Fire Fall” by Planet Shakers (click here).
Eph 4:12-13 NIV …to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:3 NIV 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.
The purpose of the Spirit’s gifts is in order to equip and build up the church, and this occurs by the participation of every believer in whom the Holy Spirit dwells—therefore to supernaturally build up the church by the means of the Spirit’s gifts. Paul’s instruction normalizes the necessity of the Spirit’s gifts in order to establish worship in the church community. The Christian life is to be marked by a participatory life in the Spirit, where the experience of the Spirit’s gift and empowering begins with the utterance and acknowledgment of Christ as Lord—hence the salvation experience is intertwined with the Spirit’s empowering and gifting.
Prayer: We acknowledge afresh today that Jesus is Lord. We thank you for salvation, and the gifts of the Spirit that we’ve received. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Let’s worship to the song “Spirit of God” by New Life Worship (click here).
Let’s read aloud together the following passages, confession and prayer:
Psalm 63:1-3, 5 (NIV) 1 You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. 2 I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. 3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. 5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
Confession: Manila Manifesto
We affirm that God has committed to the whole church and every member of it the task of making Christ known throughout the world; we long to see all lay and ordained persons mobilized and trained for this task.
We affirm that the gifts of the Spirit are distributed to all God’s people, women and men, and that their partnership in evangelization must be welcomed for the common good.
Ephesians 4:11-13 NIV 11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, may your church be built up as we experience more of the Spirit’s gifts. May we worship, pray, live biblically, and build church communities through the exercise of the Spirit’s gifts. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Let’s worship with the song “Hands to the heavens” by Kari Jobe (click here).