The apostle Paul was compelled to write a letter, which he did what he said with boasting, he talked like a fool. But he did it in order that the people at Corinth would believe in him and would not think that he was a fanatic or false teacher. He said he was nobody but he did have to talk.
I am to talk about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. If you were scared, you would not do that. Because there are two sides. You would be afraid if you got out of one side, you would get the others against you; and if you got out of the other side, you would get the first ones against you. I guess it is the Iris in me, but I do not mind that at all. I do not care who is against me as long as God is on my side!
1 Corinthians 12: “Now concerning spiritual gifts brethren, I would have you ignorant. Ye know that ye were Gentiles carried away with these dumb idols even as ye were led. Wherefore I give you to understand that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed and that no man can say that Jesus is Lord but by the Holy Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another the discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit dividing to every man severally as He will. For as the body is one and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.”
Then follows an explaining of the body of Christ and making it parallel between the members of our bodies; hands, and feet, and eyes, and so on.
And on over in 1 Corinthians 12: “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, in the body, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles,, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?”
The answer of course is “no”. It is a rhetorical question.
Then in the book of Ephesians, the 4th chapter: “But unto every one of us is given grace, according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive and gave gifts unto men. He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things. And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists and some pastors and teachers. For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. Till all come in the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God.”
Twelfth of Romans: “For I say through the grace given unto me to every man that is among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office, so we being many are one body in Christ and every one members of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy, or ministry let us wait on our ministering or he that teacheth, on teaching. Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation, he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity, he that ruleth, with diligence he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.”
Here is the body of Christ and Paul draws a parallel. Paul was a great illustrator; he broke things down for us so we could get them. He said that the church was a body, that Christ was the head and that the true Christian is a member of that body; and all true Christians are part of the body, are members, are organs of that body. You will have a body beautifully equipped; nothing perhaps in the whole wide world is as beautifully made as the human body. The Holy Spirit said to David, “we are fearfully and wonderfully made.” The hands, the eyes, the ears, the sense of smell, the sense of taste, the sense of touch and all feet and hands all working together.
The Holy Spirit is to the church what your spirit is to that body which God has given you. Each member recapitulates the local church. Paul in three epistles researched this. He uses the body-member relationship three times in Romans, First Corinthians and Ephesians. And he says that each local church recapitulates the entire church.
When the day of Pentecost was fully come they were all in one place. But that was the last time the whole church could all get in one place. Never been possible since. And the whole church cannot get in one place now for the reason that we are scattered all over the whole world; and I suppose that about 75 percent of the church or 85 percent of the church is already dead and in heaven. Therefore, it is impossible for them all to get together. So that if we have to have the whole church, from Paul and the apostles down to the newest convert saved tonight in a Rescue Mission;p if we had to have them all together and in one place, you could not have a church at all. So that each local church recapitulates the entire church so that the church is not torn or divided; each local church group has all the functions of the whole group.
~A. W. Tozer~
(continued with # 2)