Every Player Has a Talent Necessary for His Team’s Success: This is True in Football and In God’s Local Churches

Posted: July 14, 2015 in 1 Corinthians

1 Corinthians 12:1-11 — Have you ever been on a team where one position player thinks that He is the reason for the success of the whole team. They think that their talent is far superior to others and that the team rides on them. No matter how great a quarterback you are, you are only as good as the offensive line in front of you. Then, there are guys on a team that will quit if they are not the starter. There are guys in the student body that won’t even try out for the team because they think that their talents are not needed or are not good enough. That is the message of Paul to the church at Corinth. No talent is greater than another and all talents are needed on God’s team. We all have much needed roles to play on God’s team.

Spiritual arrogance was an issue in the church at Corinth. The God-designed spiritual gifts given to each believer were being used to divide the church rather than unite it. Spiritual wisdom, spiritual insight, great faith, the ability to heal, the ability to perform miracles, the gift of prophetic words for the believers, spiritual discernment, and the ability to speak in unknown tongues were all gifts mentioned by Paul as being some of the gifts of the Spirit given unto individual believers. It is not meant to be an exhaustive list (see other examples at Romans 12, Ephesians 4, and at 1 Peter 4) but to demonstrate that there are many, many spiritual gifts. Instead of uniting the body of Christ at Corinth, they were using them to arrogantly lord their gifts over each other causing great debate as to what spiritual gift is God’s greatest gift. Paul’s point here is that God is sovereign and He is the source of all spiritual gifts, thus, making all gifts wondrous and making none more superior than others. We all are talented by Him to be in our local bodies doing the things that need to be done to expand His kingdom.

One of the dangers in realizing your spiritual gifts is that it may lead to self-pride. Your gift may place you in a position of leadership or place you in a position of special need within the body of Christ. Because each body of Christ is made up of different groups of believers, there may be gifts that are more necessary in one local body than these same gifts may be necessary in another local body. Paul is saying that God in His sovereignty has given you the spiritual gifts that you possess and it is in His sovereignty that you find yourself in your local body of Christ. It is no coincidence that you have found your home in the local body of Christ in which you find yourself. We must recognize God’s sovereignty and use our gifts in their particular stage of development at this particular place with this particular body of Christ. If we happen to be in a place of leadership because of our gifts and because of the specific needs of our own local body, it is because God in His sovereignty has aligned your gifts in their current stage of development with the needs of your local body. Let us not as leaders begin to believe that we cannot be replaced, that we are that which is necessary to make our local body survive, or that our gifts are superior in some way to others in our local body. God is the source of our gift(s) and He has brought us to this particular place for this particular moment in time. Help us as leaders to keep it in perspective that our moments of leadership are at the direction and at the will of God. Help us to keep a proper and humble perspective on that.

Another danger is that we as members of the body of Christ might think that our gifts are not being recognized our used appropriately within the body. So many have left churches or caused church splits over this issue. In our arrogance over what our special gifts and talents are that we begin to believe that leadership is not using me as they should. I then proceed to get angry about it. I then proceed to cause division. I then proceed to speak poorly of those in leadership above us. This can be as true in secular workplaces as it is the church but it seems like in churches that it can be magnified. We must learn as members of the body of Christ that we must trust our leadership unless they are leading us in ways that are against Scripture. If they are humbling seeking after God, He is directing their steps as leaders. Sure, they may not be perfect, because they are human, and they make mistakes, but judge whether or not they are seeking after God. If they are, then, we must trust that God has us under their leadership for a specific purpose for this point in our spiritual development. We must serve and use our spiritual gifts under others in humility rather than making it about us and the way the church is NOT recognizing your gifts. This point is certainly a lesson that I have had to learn over the years. God finally taught my hard head a valuable spiritual lesson that I use quite frequently in my writings. That is the point that God has us here at this place at this point in time with these particular people to accomplish His purpose at this place at this time. That means that in this body at this point in time, God has orchestrated me being here under the people that lead me and over the people that I lead, if any. He has specific things that He is teaching me in this stage of my walk with Him and in this stage of the development of my gifts. I must trust His sovereign design for me and not my own egocentric desires for myself.

Another danger in churches is for each of us to think that we do not have anything to offer so why bother. God has given us each spiritual gifts and talents. He has made members of our local body experienced carpenters, cabinetmakers, salesmen, accountants, teachers, project managers, information technology professionals, nursing professionals, day care workers, those with talents for hospitality, those with talents for administration, you name it. We all have God given talents through which we gravitate to our life vocation in the secular world. In the same way those gifts and other spiritual gifts are given specifically to each one of us by God in His sovereign design for each of our lives. Remember, God has brought each of us to our local body of Christ in His sovereign design or plan. The reason that you love the church you are at is because God has through the Holy Spirit lit a fire in your soul to be at this place at this time with these people so as to execute the plan that He has at this moment for you and for your local church. If you decide on your own that you are not going to participate in the ministries of the church where you spiritual gifts can be utilized, you are being selfish and you are not realizing what God is trying to teach you in your walk at this moment in time. And an even greater sadness is that you are crippling your local body of Christ when you do not offer up your talents to our church to be used in whatever way is necessary.

It is easier to just be a body in a seat on Sunday and nothing else. But think on why God led you to your church! Was it just to be a consumer. Was it just to be served? No, God gave you specific spiritual talents and gifts that are unique and special and that are needed by your church to reach the world with the gospel. Even the accountant in the background providing vital financial performance information to the church elders is performing a service to God’s kingdom. Without knowing where we are financially, the elders cannot make proper decisions as to where to allocate resources in the way that is most effective for the kingdom. Just because you do not have the special gift of preaching or evangelism does not mean that you do not have a gift that is valuable to the expansion of the kingdom. Day care workers have a talent that serves the kingdom. Without day care workers at church, parents can’t concentrate on possibly the most important message from God through a sermon that they have ever heard. With the day care worker in place, the parents hear the word and are changed by it. Everyone of us has a talent given by God for this moment in time at this place with these people to accomplish a specific purpose for the kingdom and to teach us something along the way in our individual walks with the Lord. Use your talents in the local body, I beg of you. Serve til it hurts! God ordained this moment in time. Don’t miss it!

Father, help us all to recognize our gifts and talents that are your unique design and purpose for our inidividual lives. Help us to see those same unique gifts and talents in others. Help us to see that we are all gifted and talented by our Creator. Help us all to use them to God’s glory in our local church body so that there will be this amazing explosion of the gospel message in our community and our world. Help us to no longer sit on the bench but get into the game. Use our talents as you have designed. Help us to see the needs and use our talents to expand the kingdom. Bring gospel explosion through the talents that you have given us. Amen.

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