AUSTRALIAN BIBLE CHURCH
LORD'S DAY, OCTOBER 12, 2003
I Corinthians 11:17 - 13:13
SEEING THINGS IN DIVINE PERSPECTIVE
A. THE LORD'S SUPPER I Cor. 11:17-34
It should be a time of unity about Christ
It means you must EXAMINE YOURSELF, and
DISCERN the Lord's sacrificial death for you
Food it is, but it is not for earthly food, but spiritual; and in His peace you act.
This speaks of the greatest of all gifts, life through the love and power of Christ.
B. SPIRITUAL GIFTS I Cor. 12
a) Diversification 1-10
b) Sovereignty 11
c) Incorporation - the Division of Gifts gift-wrapped into one BODY 12-27
d) The Individuality of gifts - all are not for all! 28-30
C. OF GIFTS, THE MOST MEMORABLE AND THE FOUNDATIONAL
IS THE LOVE OF GOD
I Cor. 13 -
who showed it in Christ, who showed it in healing, word and death, yes and resurrection,
and which is so essential, that to be without it, you might as well be dead: a nothing!
THIS is the massif among the hills!
Following I Cor. 13, we find this:
Love is exclusive of any peer.
Its absence excludes from any value.
Its nature is not equatable with acts or eloquence.
It is kind, patient, lowly,
unselfish, not self-oriented,
is slow to anger as it is likewise to imagine evil
is filled with hope and faith,
perseveres with no thought of cessation:
to the filling up of prophecy
which will in its time have fulfilled its function.
Thus when knowledge is complete,
and the preliminary is surpassed, so love remains.
Just as a child
grows to manhood,
so does divine knowledge come at His return to its blessed peak.
Meanwhile faith, hope, love
brace the air of the heart -
and the chief is love.
It is ONLY in that setting that knowledge or gifts have place at all!
Forget this and you have forgotten to live!
D. WHAT DO YOU DO ABOUT GIFTS ?
Earnestly desire the BEST ONES : the gift of ‘tongues’ has been set among the LEAST ones in I Cor. 14:19), so you MUST NOT seek for that, according to the word of the God who GIVES the gifts! You may be given it, but you are commanded not to seek it, but RATHER that you may prophesy: that is, to interpret, apply and understand the Bible, since its contents are long ago complete (Revelation 22:18-19, Matthew 5:17ff., John 14:26, Galatians 1:6-9).
Further, there is no question of being greedy, for to EACH the Lord gives as HE will (I Cor. 12:7). It is about being useful, serviceable, not glamorous or greedy! Thus PURSUE LOVE, and desire spiritual gifts, but RATHER that you may prophesy, the Lord says. If you begin to seek, then, first SEEK THIS; but if this is not yours, then do not seek the lower, but the BEST gifts (I Cor. 12:31). This is one of the places where Pentecostals usually go wrong, glamorising and even seeking the LEAST, and so demeaning the greatest, for where the least is on top, the top is below! Love teaches you, service leads you, but pride would love you to disobey and join the fray. RESIST it and attend to the godly work the Lord has given you with humility, aware of HIS leading and love.