Redeemer Presbyterian Church Sermons
No one person has all the spiritual gifts. Some have the gift of speaking truth, some have the gift of encouraging, and others have a gift for organization. It is only when people with diverse gifts come together that the church will best minister to those in need. Yet—as important as spiritual gifts are—developing Christian character must take precedence. If we are mainly concerned with Christian character but think little about gifts, then Christians will be effective in ministry.
In this talk, Tim Keller tries to elucidate several issues concerning spiritual gifts. First, we don’t choose which gifts we have; they are given by God. Secondly, the church body plays a role (but does not have the final say) in confirming a person’s gifts. Thirdly, we must be careful to never mistake our talents for spiritual fruit. Finally, Tim discusses the three elements to discerning a call: affinity, ability, and opportunity.
1 Corinthians 13 seems sweet, but in the context of the entire book of 1 Corinthians, it is a sober warning against straying from the Gospel. If a person is gifted—as many of the Corinthians were—then it is frighteningly easy for that person to mistake their spiritual gifts for spiritual fruit. When we serve others in the church, are we serving Jesus or are we serving ourselves?
Additional scriptural references made in this sermon are: Acts 18:9-11; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Corinthians 8:1; 1 Corinthians 10:24; Matthew 7:21-23.
Few things in this world are as self-focused as the human ego. Every triumph and every slight has the potential to send us either into pride or despondency. Yet, in this passage from 1 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul shows us another way: a way where we forget ourselves to the point where we not only cease caring what others think, but where we even fail to care what we think of ourselves. Instead, we rest and rejoice in what God thinks of us in Christ.
Additional scriptural references made in this sermon are: 1 Timothy 1:15.
Christian growth is described through the metaphor of the fruit of the spirit, which is a gradual process that begins with the seed of the Holy Spirit. As we are changed from the inside out, organically and radically, we will find deep joy and lasting change.