Sermons

From God, For God

8 September 2019
Timothy Yeo, Assistant Pastor
From God, For God
1 Corinthians 12:4-11
In the world, people boast in their abilities and use their talents to further their own interests. Do we look at spiritual gifts and ministries in a similar way? What should be the right mindset and approach towards gifts and ministries empowered by the Spirit? How can we serve with the proper attitude, so that we’ll fulfil the God-given purpose of building his church?
Discussion Guide
1) We are empowered differently, but all from One Source (vv4-6)
The world celebrates and honours people according to their abilities or strengths. Would you agree? Why? How have you seen this value of meritocracy being played out at schools, competitions or the workplace? If we are not careful, we may be influenced by the world’s values when we think of spiritual gifts. For instance, we are prone to honour those with gifts that are more prominent or dramatic in manifestations, but we are slow to honour those whose gifts are not so. What should be the right attitude, since the Spirit is the source of all the gifts? How should we treat those with more prominent gifts? What is the right way to relate with those with less spectacular gifts? How should we thank or affirm believers for serving with the gifts, knowing that spiritual gifts are “grace things” – they are given by grace, not by our merits? Should we focus on the effectiveness of the gift or on the faithfulness of the person in exercising the gift? Why do you say so? What do you think is the difference? How can the Life Group support one another to develop proper responses to spiritual gifts?
2) We are empowered differently, but all for One Purpose (vv7-11)
Read v7 – what is the purpose of being gifted by the Spirit? What are some wrong reasons people may want spiritual gifts for? The Corinthians were using the gifts to exalt themselves and evaluate others instead of using them to serve the Body of Christ. What are the consequences of this spirit of competition? What are some signs that believers may get competitive today? How can we guard against this wrong mentality? Some may also desire spiritual gifts for self-actualisation – they only want to serve in ministries where they can develop their talents or to pick up skills they want to learn. How does this desire of self-development or self-actualisation contradict what it means to serve? Since every believer is gifted by the Spirit for service, there is no room for boasting in one’s abilities (as the gift come from the Spirit and not from the person) or for feeling inferior or unimportant (as the Spirit is able to provide the empowerment). How can we watch out for feelings of superiority or inferiority within ourselves? What should we do when we realise we may have such tendencies? How can we correct others firmly but gently when we spot these attitudes in them? How can the Life Group disciple one another to serve with the appropriate attitude?
Reflection Questions
1) We are empowered differently, but all from One Source (vv4-6)
Knowing that the Spirit is the source of all spiritual gifts, how should we treat those with more prominent gifts? What is the right way to relate with those with less spectacular gifts?
2) We are empowered differently, but all for One Purpose (vv7-11)
Knowing that every believer is gifted for service, how can we guard against the wrong mentalities of competition and self-actualisation? How can the Life Group disciple one another to serve with the appropriate attitude?