Message: Your Spiritual Experiences and References
Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 14
1. God Question: What makes someone a legit Christian?
a. I’ve been in the job hunt world the last few weeks: not for myself but in my family and here at church.
i. Derek was out looking for a job, and we’ve had people applying for four open positions on our church staff.
ii. I’ve been looking at lots of resumes
b. A good resume tries to show that you’re legit- you should be considered as an ideal match for a job.
i. A resume does this by collecting your unique abilities and qualifications, your previous experiences and your references (others who know you and can verify your abilities).
ii. You want your resume to be accurate but also portray you in the best light, catch an employer’s attention.
2. If you’re a Christian, you want to have an accurate resume and keep it up to date.
a. We don’t actually ask for a printed resume when new people start attending 1stPres.
i. But it’s really important that followers of Jesus know who they are and what they can do for God.
b. So you have a blank resume – let’s fill it in!
c. It begins with your Spiritual gift or gifts.
i. We’ve been talking a lot about these the last several weeks.
ii. Slide5Our definition is that these are a special ability that is brought to life in you by the Holy Spirit,for a specific purpose, namely, for God’s glory/delight and his work in the world.”
1. Another way of putting it: the way you are most helpful to others.
iii. Everyone is created with at least one, and each one is equally important in God’s plan to share the love of Christ throughout the world.
1. They also must be used with love so others are encouraged to use their gifts as well.
iv. Slide6Here are some examples. Is there one which best describes you? Or two? Write it down on your resume.
d. Slide7Next, there are specific locations where Christians are placed by God to use their gift, to be the most helpful they can be.
i. This is both a ‘ministry site’ and a ‘mission field’. One takes place within the church, which Paul calls the ‘Body of Christ.’ The other to the people outside the church.
ii. Slide8Here are some examples. Is there one which best describes you? Write it down.
e. Slide9Then, there are job skills. A spiritual gift is a general description – these are more specific ways God seems to make you helpful; ways your spiritual gifts tends to manifest itself.
i. You may have also thought of these as talents.
ii. The screen isn’t big enough for these so you’re on your own! What are your skills and talents?
3. Slide10Two things which also show up in resumes are your list of previous experiences (jobs you’ve held before) and references (people who can attest to your abilities).
a. Paul has something to say about each in 1 Corinthians 14, which is the last in a 3 chapter discussion on spiritual gifts
b. He talks about experiences Christians should accumulate:
i. V. 14:12 and 26. Slide11 then 12
ii. Slide13The Greek word translated “build up” combines two words for house, one for the structure and one for the roof.
1. Four walls are great but without a top you’re not fully protected. Slide14
iii. Paul counsels Christians to take jobs which cover others.
c. What are previous jobs or roles you’ve had inside Slide15 and outside Slide16 the church in which you’ve build up the whole group?
4. He also wants Christians to seek jobs which Bring Together.
a. Vss. 27-33. Slides17-19
b. This church had many with the spiritual ability of speaking in tongues in worship. It sounded like gibberish but it was actually a God-given language to that believer. And if someone interpreted it, it was a message from God to the church.
i. But in this church, Snobby Christians thought their special ability made them better than others.
ii. This created a worship environment where people were trying to outdo each other, show how special their ability was. It was noisy chaos which drove people away from the church.
c. Paul urges them to bring some order to the worship and their use of gifts, which will make room for more sensitivity for each other, and therefore more unity.
5. Finally, putting a list of references on your resume is a great encouragement to the employer, and YOU, that you have been on the right track in using your abilities to the fullest.
a. V. 22 Slide20
i. Paul says that Christians should have references from two types of people: people in the church and outside the church.
b. A big problem with the Corinth church is that they were so busy performing for each other they were ignoring the presence of non-Christians, probably invited by a Christian friend, and their selfish desire for attention and validation was driving them away from God.
i. Make sure you always have someone who can say your faith is evident, helpful and attractive outside the door of the church.
c. Who would you include as a reference on your spiritual resume? Pick at least 2.
6. Congratulations! Slide21Your resume is getting filled out and brought up do date. But what now?
a. Slide22Paul says, three times in chapter 14, be zealous in USING your spiritual abilities in the church and in the world.
i. The words translated ‘eager’ and ‘earnestly desire’ are the same greek word “Slide23from which we get the word Zeal, zealous and zealot.
b. But just as you would want to be when you are looking for a career, be smart too.
i. Slide24The words “strive to exel” mean use your mind to experiment, try out new things, and continuously be working to get to the bottom of how you are equipped to best serve God in the church and in the world.
7. Slide25Most of this work has to be done on your own. It’s up to you to interpret the Spirit’s revealing work in you about you.
a. The rest of us can be your references.
b. And the church can work together to provide each other with tools to help us write our resumes and keep them updated.
i. One of our Fellows, Grant, is creating a brand new part of our 1stPres website designed to help people learn their spiritual gifts and immediately put them to work finding a ministry and mission field.
c. When it comes online, I hope you will use it to strengthen what you wrote down today.
i. But if you’re ready to go – go for it! Be zealous!
d. As your parents once said to you…or will someday: GET A JOB!
e. That’s your charge. Do you accept it?