The Body – PART 13
Oops! Sorry about the chaos!
25 May 14
((You can find a recording of this sermon here.)
This Touching Base is a useful tool for small group discussion, personal reflection or in a one-on-one conversation. We believe that if the Sunday teaching is discussed outside of the morning services, it will be an opportunity to go deeper and build healthy community because God's Word needs to be discussed in community.
When you think of your own faith walk, what are some of the most contentious issues that have divided the Church?
If you included “spiritual gifts” in your list then you are most certainly correct. Much abuse and pain has occurred in the Body because of a misunderstanding of the gifts, their use and implementation. Last week as well as this week we want to continue to talk about spiritual gifts and the theme of being a Body Builder.
Big Idea: Be a Body Builder.
Text: 1 Corinthians 14:26-40
Question: How can I be a Body builder? (read last week’s TB for the first two answers)
3. UNDERSTAND THE SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS.
“Symbiosis” - In biology this word refers to a close, prolonged association between two or more different organisms of different species that may, but does not necessarily, benefit each member. On Sunday I gave several examples of symbiotic relationships- i.e. the bee and the flower. What additional examples can you think of?
Read through v.26-33
Where do you see symbiosis in this text?
How do you see the gifts working together?
What might happen if there is not this relationship?
Note v.29 - judging or weighing the prophecies refers to sifting the wheat from the chaff. As Wayne Grudem has pointed out, Romans 12:6 suggests that one prophesies according to the measure of one’s faith. If enthusiasm exceeds inspiration then true prophecy may be mixed with the residue of an overheated imagination. Thus, it must be carefully weighed or sifted
How could the two gifts mentioned become weapons if they operated alone?
Note Romans 12:21-24 - another example of symbiosis.
How does this example of symbiosis apply to all the gifts? How important is it that no gift attempts to go it alone, to be a Lone Ranger in the Body of Christ?
Note more specifically the upside of the symbiotic relationship.
Tongues and prophecy are far more effective when connected to other gifts in the body. Think of your gifts, what other gifts help your gift be more effective?
b. Evaluation and Development (v.29)
What do you think they were doing when they were weighing prophecy? (this means “to evaluate carefully”) I think this brings out a principle for all gifts – they all need to be evaluated and developed.
What does evaluation determine? I think the equation below identifies some of the issues that need to be evaluated when it comes to gifts. What happens when you remove one of the three variables from this equation? Talk about this as a team. Do you see the chaos that can result when the symbiosis principle is ignored?
Passion (the area I desire to do ministry) + Gifting+ Maturity = Ministry Area
Lots of people are willing to volunteer but some are very resistant to evaluation. Sometimes we need to sit people down and have hard conversations about how a gift is being used. Sometimes that evaluation is important because we get discouraged from using our gift. Ever put your gift on the shelf?
4. Be willing to filter in order to guard the gifts.
When it comes to the gifts being used in the church, all kinds of factors can creep in and wreak chaos in the church… thus the need to filter. This is exactly what Paul was doing. There were some very unhealthy things going on in culture and Paul had to help them filter, he had to help them see that what goes on outside the Church cannot go on inside the Church. If it does, the result will be chaos. So what does Paul do? He filters by giving them some very specific instructions for their very unique context.
Paul limited utterances (v.27) to “ one at a time”. He might have imposed fewer limits on a smaller group and more on larger ones. In other words this is a unique context. He is correcting them, doing some specific filtering.
Here is another example.
“’ Speakers could not plead ecstatic frenzy (as in the rites of Cybele or Dionysus) against following proper order- speaking in proper order was expected in formal gatherings.” Craig Keener
Note v.28, 30, 32- “You are in control,” he is saying.
Think of examples where you filter. For example, to be a Christ follower we are always filtering, always discerning between the good, the bad the ugly.
V.32 Note Paul is bringing them back to the nature of God. Why? Because the Church is God’s and it’s about His Glory, not ours. Without the filter, the gifts and the personalities with those gifts become the center.
He is correcting them, directing them.
Note that he is not trying to filter out the gifts but filter out various factors that are inhibiting the gifts and creating the chaos. We sometimes want to filter out the gifts, but this is not what Paul is doing.
What do you think the Church needs to filter today so that gifts can be used to build the Body? Where have you seen chaos and abuse because proper filtering was not done? Are you open to tongues and the prophetic in your small group? If so what does order look like?
On a final note we need to address v.33b-35. This text certainly reminds us that Paul’s context was unique. What he needed to filter was very different than what we need to filter today. Paul needed to do some filtering on a very specific issue as it relates to women in the Church. I encourage you to check out the doc at http://cbesydney.org.au/articles/interpretations-and-application-of-1-corinthians-1434-35/ I would encourage you not to gloss over this but to dig in and appreciate the unique context of Paul.
Let’s be a Body that Builds! Men and women working together so that the Body is built up and Christ is glorified.
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