Does this Gift have a Return Policy?


Message Title: Does this Gift have a Return Policy?
Theme: “Here Is the Church” 1 Corinthians series
Season: Epiphany
Main Text: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11;
Scripture Reading: John 2:1-11
RCL Scripture: Isaiah 62:1-5; Psalm 36:5-10; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11; John 2:1-11
Focus: we all receive spiritual gifts
Function: to use our gifts, skills, and passions to point to Jesus
Other Notes:

SCRIPTURE READING: John 2:1-11 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They don’t have any wine.” Jesus replied, “Woman, what does that have to do with me? My time hasn’t come yet.” His mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Nearby were six stone water jars used for the Jewish cleansing ritual, each able to hold about twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water,” and they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some from them and take it to the headwaiter,” and they did. The headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine. He didn’t know where it came from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. The headwaiter called the groom 10 and said, “Everyone serves the good wine first. They bring out the second-rate wine only when the guests are drinking freely. You kept the good wine until now.” 11 This was the first miraculous sign that Jesus did in Cana of Galilee. He revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him.

SERIES INTRODUCTION: For the next 6 weeks we are going to be investigating part of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. We won’t read the whole letter but I encourage you to check out this great Epistle (we’ll talk more about that word in a second). Paul’s two letters to the Corinthians provide a general back bone for structuring the church. As we explore this series, we will see some basics of how the Church should work.


  1. Audience engagement: are you sentimental about gifts?
    1. Do you hold on to something that isn’t your taste, doesn’t fit, or you have no room for because of the person who gave you the gift?
  2. I am a very sentimental person—it’s hard to let go of things that came from special people but every time I’ve moved I’ve had to prioritize what matters and what to release.

TRANSITION: Last week we talked about Baptism & the gift of the Holy Spirit the Gentiles received. But what exactly do people mean by receiving the Holy Spirit? Our text today will begin a conversation about Spiritual Gifts from the Holy Spirit and hopefully spark our curiosity and ingenuity.

MAIN TEXT: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11; Brothers and sisters, I don’t want you to be ignorant about spiritual gifts. 2You know that when you were Gentiles you were often misled by false gods that can’t even speak. 3So I want to make it clear to you that no one says, “Jesus is cursed!” when speaking by God’s Spirit, and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.4There are different spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; 5and there are different ministries and the same Lord; 6and there are different activities but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. 7A demonstration of the Spirit is given to each person for the common good. 8A word of wisdom is given by the Spirit to one person, a word of knowledge to another according to the same Spirit, 9faith to still another by the same Spirit, gifts of healing to another in the one Spirit, 10performance of miracles to another, prophecy to another, the ability to tell spirits apart to another, different kinds of tonguesto another, and the interpretation of the tongues to another. 11All these things are produced by the one and same Spirit who gives what he wants to each person.


  1. Epistles—
    1. Reading someone’s mail
    2. Only getting one part of a conversation
  2. Context for Corinthians
  3. Spiritual Gifts—
    1. “no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit”
    2. different spiritual gifts but the same Spirit”—this isn’t an additional God to worship. This isn’t a change in God’s make up. This is the same God from the beginning.
    3. “different ministries” “different activities” – not all Christian activity will look the same. We each are called to serve in different ways to different people with different methods.
      1. We are each given different gifts, not the same gifts—yet the gifts you receive do not indicate how much God loves you compared to your neighbor.
    4. Examples of Gifts:
      1. AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT: in verses 8-10, what gifts are listed? Hint: There are 9
        1. Wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment (tell spirits apart), tongues, understanding tongues
      2. More gifts listed: Romans 12:6–8; *1 Corinthians 12:28–30*; Ephesians 4:11 ; 1 Peter 4:11
        1. *We’ll talk about this list next week*
    5. Goals of gifts; to build each other up and point to God


  1. Spiritual gifts are different than skills, talents, or passions; though frequently, those are all linked to each other.
    1. Also, the Holy Spirit works in other ways besides Spiritual Gifts.
  2. We cannot compare ourselves to other Christians’ walk and assess who is loved more by God, who is holier, or who is the bigger sinner.
    1. Our gifts are different
    2. Our callings are unique
    3. Our redemption path is custom made for each individual person
  3. When you sit in this pew, attend Bible study, Sunday School, or ponder your faith throughout your week – you are just as loved by God as the person sitting in the bar or at a football stadium during church.


  1. Taking assessments to discover your gifts
    1. Online Options:
    2. Books & Group Studies: I’ve ordered books to arrive for curious parties.
      1. Discover your spiritual gifts the network way by Bruce Bugbee ($5)
      2. Self leadership by LeaderTreks ($20)
  2. Next week we will talk about Using your gifts


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