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June 18, 2006

Drinking

Filed under: Bible Studies,Old & New Testament — Adam Osborne @ 9:00 pm

Drinking

A bible study by

Adam Osborne, Jr.


Author’s comments: This is a highly debatable topic. While drinking in moderation is allowed in numerous Christian denominations, other denominations totally forbid it and consider it a sin. It would be “safest” for me to just avoid this topic totally because no matter what I say in this bible study, I will most certainly offend someone. However, that never stopped Paul so I guess it shouldn’t stop me as long as I am quoting true scripture.

I ventured into this bible study seeking the truth. I have always heard different opinions from the different denominations, so I wanted to know what God’s Word truly said.

As you will read, I most certainly formed my own opinion this bible study. My prayer is that I don’t misquote or misinterpret the scriptures… or… cause another brother or sister to stumble. But in reverent humility to our Lord and Savior, I submit the following bible study.


Don’t make another brother or sister stumble

Rom 14:21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor anything whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

If drinking offends your brother or sister in Christ, you shouldn’t do it. If it makes someone stumble, you shouldn’t do it. If it makes them weak, you shouldn’t do it. This is also talking about YOU, just not thy brother. If your actions (drinking) keeps you from “growing in Christ”, or slows your development with Christ, or makes you weak, it is a sin to do it.

Let’s take this discussion one step further. If you are a member of a denomination that just doesn’t believe in drinking at all (example: Southern Baptist) what would happen if it was discovered that you, a Deacon and a Sunday School Teacher, drank? Would it cause some developing Christians in your Sunday School class to stumble?

Don’t get drunk, stay “sober”

What is “sober?” The definition is: Possessing or characterized by properly controlled faculties: well-balanced. Not under the influence of an intoxicant; not drunk. Moderate or abstinent, especially in the use of intoxicating drink.

Ephesians 5-18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the spirit;

1 Thess 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. (7) For they that sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. (8) But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.

Titus 1:8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;

1 Timothy 3:11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanders, sober, faithful in all things

Titus 2:2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.

Titus 2:4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, that the word of God not be blasphemed.

Titus 2:6 Young men likewise exhort to be soberminded

Titus 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world

1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

1 Timothy 2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

1 Timothy 2:15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

Why stay sober? Why is getting “drunk” bad?

Roman 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

There are a lot of reasons God demands that you stay sober. Anything that takes you away from serving God is a sin.

Genesis 19:32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. (33) And they made their father drink wine that night: (34) And it came to pass on the morrow, that the first born said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. (35) And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.

There are countless people, Godly people, who have fallen away from the grace of God due to alcohol. In the above scripture the girls, knowing the persuasive power of alcohol were using it to get what they wanted. Isn’t it true, in today’s society, in yesterday’s society, that thousands, hundreds of thousands, have been led astray by the effects of alcohol?

Alcohol can get you in trouble. If taken to excess, alcohol opens a huge door for the devil to step through. That’s exactly why the bible emphasizes sobriety. It is smart to reduce the chances of allowing Satan a step into your heart and life.

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion walketh about, seeking whom he may devour;

Can you be “vigilant”, on your guard, avoiding the devil in a drunken state? The Devil will devour weak, ungodly men.

Preachers, Teachers, Deacons, Bishops

Luke 1:15 For he shall be great, in the sight of the Lord, and he shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost..

For he shall be great, in the sight of the Lord, and he shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost..

This scripture was talking about the coming of John the Baptist, a true man used of God. Notice how it said he won’t drink any alcohol. He was a human man, just like you and I. Notice in this scripture, and the ones below, how when God talks about his servants that “teach, preach, and serve” to spread the gospel, he demands a certain standard.

1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach, (3) Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

  • -bishop 1985 = elders, overseers, sometimes used in conjunction with deacons

In summary, I believe that wine/alcohol isn’t a SIN if taken in moderation. Jesus and his disciples drank wine. But remember, Jesus was (is) God. We are sinful humans that are easily led astray. Additionally, there are schooled ministers of the bible that state that the wine of Jesus’ day isn’t the same as the alcohol of today. There is most likely some truth to that.

Remember however, alcohol can and has on thousands occasions, ruined many a godly man and woman. Also, if it causes another to stumble, it’s a sin. A glass of wine a day isn’t a sin in my opinion, but one must be very careful. Anything that can “tempt” you the way drinking can is inherently dangerous and can lead to the Devil taking control of your life.

Mormons: What They Believe. Witnessing to a Mormon

Filed under: Bible Studies,Old & New Testament — Adam Osborne @ 8:58 pm

Witnessing to Mormans

Satan Personalities – Updated 4.4.2016

Filed under: Bible Studies,Old & New Testament — Adam Osborne @ 8:54 pm

Satan’s Personality

A bible study for the Leonardtown Baptist Church, Men’s Ministry, 4.9.2016

Deceiver

Gen 3:1 (NIV) Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

    – What do we learn here? How is “deception” dangerous for us? How do we defeat deception?
    ⁃ The tempter of human souls is deceitful and subtile.
    ⁃ He can adapt himself to any circumstance. He can make use of any thing.
    ⁃ He is courageous. He dared to venture into the new and lovely paradise which God had made for adam & eve. Would not God expel him at once?
    ⁃ Satan is bold and adventuresome. He will approach them to seek their ruin, even though heaven may be their helper.
    ⁃ That the Tempter seeks to engage the human soul in conversation and controversy.

    Now, still talking about DECEIT, the next verse from Acts, is actually talking about a person named “bar-jesus” . A false prophet, a Jew, who was following Saul (Paul) and Barnabas. Paul turned to Bar-jesus and said:

Acts 13:10 (NIV) “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?

    Satan or others like him pervert the right ways of the Lord.

2 Thess 2:9-10 (NIV) The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

    ⁃ counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, every sort of evil that deceives.

MASQUERADES AS THE ANGEL OF LIGHT

2 Cor 11:14 (NIV) And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.

    • The King James here uses the words “is transformed into an angel of light”. The thought is Satan can transform himself.
    • Since Satan himself is capable of appearing to be an angel of light, it is not to be deemed strange that those who are in his service also should resemble him.
    • The phrase “an angel of light,” means a pure and holy angel, light being the emblem of purity and holiness.
    • Satan has power:
    • He can assume such an aspect as he pleases. He can appear to be powerful and pious.
    • He is the prince of wickedness; and think about how bad it is for everyone that Satan assume any character which he pleases.

Sinful


1 John 3:8 (NIV) He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.

    ⁃ Greek-present-tense is used here. That would indicate that it would be “keeps on intentionally sinning”…..
    ⁃ “sinning from the beginning”..what does that say?
    ⁃ he’s practice it, he’s good at it.
    ⁃ As the author of sin, and prince of this world, he has never ceased to seduce man to sin [Luecke].

Liar

Luke 4:6 (NIV) And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to.

    ⁃ There is nothing in scripture, anywhere, that tells us that anything had been delegated to the devil. This was a flat out lie.
    ⁃ And if the devil will try to lie to Jesus, where does that put us?
    ⁃ And how did Jesus respond to satan’s attack? By throwing back Scriptures right in satan’s face. That tells us something.
    ⁃ Also, when did satan say this to Jesus? What was Jesus’ condition when satan attempted to tempt Jesus?
    ⁃ He was hungry and tired. He had been fasting for 40 days.
    ⁃ So, there’s a lesson for us to. satan will attack us at our weakest times.

John 8:44 (NIV) You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

    ⁃ No truth in him. Lies are his native language.

Tempts us(also lies to us)

Gen 3:4-5 (NIV) “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

    ⁃ Thoughts? So, instead of telling her what “the knowledge of good and evil” really meant, he turned it around, to promise them knowledge, to be like God, and made it sound like it would be good to know “good and evil”.
    ⁃ He lies, he distorts.
    ⁃ Another thing here we learn is that satan causes us not to fear God’s warnings.

Perverts the scriptures


Matt 4:6 (NIV) “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

    ⁃ If he will tempt and pervert the Scriptures to God himself, what about us?
    ⁃ our enemy is subtle, spiteful, and very daring;
    ⁃ Jesus was just starting his earthly ministry. All high places are slippery places; advancements in the world makes a man a mark for Satan to shoot his fiery darts at.
    ⁃ truth may be abused by lies; and that there is nothing more dangerous to the members of Christ, than when Scripture is misinterpreted and misapplied.
    ⁃ BY THE WAY, God had never promised, nor ever given, any the protection of angels in sinful and forbidden ways.
    ⁃ He misapplies this text, using it not to instruct, but to deceive.

Prince of this world:

    -Prince….what does that suggest?
    -does he actually have any authority, or any power? [to his followers he does]

John 12:31 (NIV) Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.

    ◦ The title “prince of this world” was the regular Rabbinic title for Satan, whom they regarded as the ruler of the Gentiles.
    ◦ He is also called the god of this world, 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 6:12;
    ◦ All these names are given him from the influence or power which he has over the men of this world, because the great mass of men have been under his control and subject to his will.
    ◦ He is called the Prince of this World not because he has any legal power and authority over the world; but because he has usurped a dominion over it, and has great power and efficacy in the hearts of the children of disobedience, who yield a voluntary subjection to him, as if he was their proper lord and sovereign.
    ◦ just as the Messiah is the Saviour of the believing world, whether Jew or Gentile, so Satan is the ruler of the unbelieving world, whether Gentile or Jew.

[Jesus talking about his upcoming death on the cross]

John 14: 30 (NIV) I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me,

    ▪ The powers of darkness are at work in Judas and his employers.

God of this world (KJV); God of this age (NIV):

2 Cor 4:4 (NIV) In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine to them.

    ⁃ The name “god” is here given to him, not because he has any divine attributes, but because he actually has the homage of the people of this world as their god, as the being who is really worshipped, or who has the affections of their hearts in the same way as it is given to idols.
    ⁃ By “this world” is meant the wicked world. He has dominion over the wicked world. They obey his will; they execute his plans; they further his purposes, and they are his obedient subjects.

Ruler of the kingdom or power of the air:
• Eph 2:2 (NIV) Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience:
• So we have “prince of this world; god of this world, now prince of the air. Is there any place you can go to escape this god, little g god?
• But the phrase “the power of the air” is unique and difficult. his phrase signifies not “a power over the air,” but “a power dwelling in the region of the air.”
• Now, the word “power” both in the singular and the plural, is used here, almost technically, of superhuman power.
• Here, therefore, the Evil One is described as “the prince,” or ruler, of such superhuman power—considered here collectively as a single power, prevailing over the world, and working in the children of disobedience—in the same sense in which he is called the “prince of the devils,” (Matthew 9:34; Matthew 12:24).
• Why “AIR”? Robinson (Lexicon) supposes it to be because he is lord of the demons who dwell and rule in the atmosphere.
• So Dodridge supposes that it means that he controls the fallen spirits who are permitted to range the regions of the atmosphere.
• It is generally admitted that the apostle here refers to the prevailing opinions both among the Jews and non-Jews (pagans), that the air was thickly populated with spirits or demons.

Can get in your way and hinder you from doing good deeds:
• 1 Thess 2:18 Why we would have come to you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.
⁃ OK, if satan can stop Paul….well, what about us?
⁃ Paul recognized the hand of Satan in frustrating his attempt to do good, and preventing the accomplishment of his strong desire to see his Christian friends.
⁃ Satan may often be responsible, or contribute to the embarrassments or failures that we meet with in life.
⁃ When we feel like God is calling us to do something good, but we face hindrances, obstacles, often look very much like the work of Satan.
⁃ Under the “Oh this is cool column”….The Greek for “hindered” is literally, “to cut a trench between one’s self and an advancing foe, to prevent his progress”;
⁃ So yeah, satan be like that!

Contends (STRUGGLES) with the saints:
• Eph 6:12 (NIV) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
• WRESTLE:
⁃ That there is a struggle, a “battle”
• Lots of descriptive words in this Scripture; and men, if it’s Scripture, we should listen. Principalities, which by definition means “Ruled by a PRINCE; and I know that we know what “Prince” it is talking about. Powers, this is demonic powers we are talking about; Rulers of the darkness of this world.
• You know how Jesus always talked about darkness as in Sin. And Spiritual “wickedness” in “high places”….powerful places.

Is sometimes permitted to afflict the righteous
• Job 1:12 (NIV) The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.
⁃ Notice that God still had control, he allowed some things, but not other things.
⁃ This is a warning, but actually, if you think about it, it’s a powerful blessing statement too. Our Lord REIGNS.
• 2 Cor 12:7 (NIV) To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.
⁃ So, once again, we have this recurring theme. Satan inflicts pain or suffering, but again, God uses it for our good.
⁃ Paul sees the glass half-full, not half-empty.

Opposes the righteous
• Zech 3:1 (NIV)1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him.

Satan has dominion over the sinful
• Acts 26:18 (NIV) to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

• Acts 5:3 (NIV) Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?

Preys upon men
• 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV) Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

• Rev 2:10 (NIV) Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.

His place of activity is in the mind:
• John 13:2 & 27 (NIV)The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus…. 27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. “What you are about to do, do quickly,” Jesus told him.

• Romans 12:1-2 (NIV) Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is his good, pleasing and perfect will.

More names of Satan

• Rev 9:11 (NIV) They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon.
• Rev 12:10 (NIV) Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.
• 1 Peter 5:8 (KJV) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
• 2 Cor 6:15 (NIV) What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?
• Matt 12:24 (NIV) But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.”
• Matt 4:11 (NIV) Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
• Matt 4:3 (KJV) And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
• Matt 12:43 (KJV)43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
• Matt 13:19 (KJV) When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.


BUT HERE IS THE GOOD NEWS; THE GOSPEL MESSAGE

• Satan’s future:
• Satan is cursed by God::

• Gen 3:14 (NIV) So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.

God can control Satan:
• Rev 20:2 (NIV) He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.

• John 12:31 (NIV) Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.

• 2 Thess 2:8 (NIV) And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.

Satan will lose in the end:
• Rev 20:10 (NIV) And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

• Heb 2:14 (NIV) Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil.

• Luke 10:18 (NIV) He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.

• Rev 12:9 (NIV) The great dragon was hurled down–that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

• 1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
• James 4:7-8 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
• James 4:8Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
• Eph 6:11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes



*Note: Some of the notes on this bible study were taken from a sermon preached by Dr. Greg Wrigley, Orange Avenue Baptist Church, Green Cove Springs, FL. Other comments have been added by the author…..Adam

June 5, 2006

Spiritual Gifts

Filed under: Bible Studies,Old & New Testament — Adam Osborne @ 1:27 pm

Spiritual Gifts

A bible study by Adam Osborne, Jr.

21May2006

The “Survival Kit, Five Keys to Effective Spiritual Growth” book by Ralph W. Neighbour, JR and Bill Latham makes the following statement on page 32:

“The second truth is that God adds gifts as you mature spiritually.”

The scriptural references used for this statement is Romans 12:1-8; 1Peter 1:13-16; and lastly 1 Corinthians 12:4-18, 28-30.This bible study is an attempt to validate, or invalidate, that particular statement listed above. This study will discuss (a) if there is actually scripture evidence where it says that God will give you “more” spiritual gifts to match your spiritual maturity….OR.. (b) if a Christian will use their God given gifts more effectively as their spiritual maturity deepens. Option (b) would assume that God gives you all the spiritual gifts that he has planned for you all at the same time when you first became a Christian, and your spiritual growth, or lack of spiritual growth, would determine what level of effectiveness you could use these gifts.


Romans 12:1-8 (NIV) Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. 3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. 4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

Matthew Henry’s Commentary:

  • All the saints make up one body in Christ, who is the Head of the body, and the common Center of their unity. In the spiritual body, some are fitted for and called to one sort of work; others for another sort of work. We are to do all the good we can, one to another, and for the common benefit. If we duly thought about the powers we have, and how far we fail properly to improve them, it would humble us. But as we must not be proud of our talents, so we must take heed lest, under pretence of humility and self-denial, we are slothful in laying out ourselves for the good of others. We must not say, I am nothing, therefore I will sit still, and do nothing; but, I am nothing in myself, and therefore I will lay out myself to the utmost, in the strength of the grace of Christ. Whatever our gifts or situations may be, let us try to employ ourselves humbly, diligently, cheerfully, and in simplicity; not seeking our own credit or profit, but the good of many, for this world and that which is to come.
  • Adam’s comments: Matthew Henry’s use of the word “improve” here would seem to mean to me “spiritual growth” instead of God actually giving more gifts. Also, I checked numerous other commentaries including Scofield, Spurgeon, Spiros Zodhiates and Adam Clarke. None of those commentaries provided any additional insight for this particular scripture.


Eph 4:11-16 (NIV) It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Through the New Testament, Vernon McGee:

  • Christ’s purpose in giving men with different gifts to the church is to develop believers from babyhood to full maturity. ….. Believers are not to remain children, but rather that in “speaking the truth in love, [they] may grow up into him in all things.”
  • Adam’s comments: Seems to indicate “growth” not “additional giving of gifts”.

Matthew Henry (Uncondensed):

  • Unto every one of us Christians is given grace, some gift of grace, in some kind or degree or other, for the mutual help of one another. Unto every one of us ministers is given grace; to some a greater measure of gifts, to others a less measure. The different gifts of Christ’s ministers proved a great occasion of contention among the first Christians: one was for Paul, and another for Apollos. The apostle shows that they had no reason to quarrel about them, but all the reason in the world to agree in the joint use of them, for common edification; because all was given according to the measure of the gift of Christ, in such a measure as seemed best to Christ to bestow upon every one. Observe, all the ministers, and all the members of Christ, owe all the gifts and graces that they are possessed of to him; and this is a good reason why we should love one another, because to every one of us is given grace. All to whom Christ has given grace, and on whom he has bestowed his gifts (though they are of different sizes, different names, and different sentiments, yet), ought to love one another.
  • How kind is Christ to his church! How careful of it and of its edification! When he ascended, he procured the gift of the Holy Ghost; and the gifts of the Holy Ghost are various: some have greater, others have less measures; but all for the good of the body.
  • The gifts and offices (some of them) which have been spoken of are to continue in the church till the saints be perfected, which will not be till they all come in the unity of the faith (till all true believers meet together, by means of the same precious faith) and of the knowledge of the Son of God, by which we are to understand, not a bare speculative knowledge, or the acknowledging of Christ to be the Son of God and the great Mediator, but such as is attended with appropriation and affection, with all due honour, trust, and obedience. Unto a perfect man, to our full growth of gifts and graces, free from those childish infirmities that we are subject to in the present world. Unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so as to be Christians of a full maturity and ripeness in all the graces derived from Christ’s fullness: or, according to the measure of that stature which is to make up the fullness of Christ, which is to complete his mystical body. Now we shall never come to the perfect man, till we come to the perfect world. There is a fullness in Christ, and a fullness to be derived from him; and a certain stature of that fullness, and a measure of that stature, are assigned in the counsel of God to every believer, and we never come to that measure till we come to heaven. God’s children, as long as they are in this world, are growing.
  • We should grow up towards maturity, which is opposed to being children. Those are improving Christians who grow up into Christ. The more we grow into an acquaintance with Christ, faith in him, love to him, dependence upon him, the more we shall flourish in every grace. He is the head; and we should thus grow, that we may thereby honour our head. The Christian’s growth tends to the glory of Christ.

1 Cor 12:4-18 (NIV) There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines. 12 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free–and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.

Spiros Zodhiates (Hebrew Greek Study Bible

  • The word used for “gifts” is charismata, the plural of charisma. The word is derived from charis, “grace,” God’s unmerited favor for man. The suffix ma after charis makes it the result of grace, thus the result of God’s grace in man.
  • Every Christian, irrespective of his spiritual standing and because of the indwelling of Christ’s grace within him, has the potential of a demonstration of that grace in any gift, charisma.
  • This is the fundamental thing for us to realize. The whole tenor of Paul’s Epistle to the Corinthians is that they should not seek the results of grace, but grace itself, and then that grace can exercise itself as the One who gives it discerns the need for that demonstration. The demonstration of grace is not to be activated by the individual, but by the Giver of Grace, God Himself.
  • A definition of a spiritual gift as a result of the study of this entire chapter could be stated as an instantaneous enablement by God in the power of the Holy Spirit to do or say something beyond one’s natural ability in order to fulfill a specific purpose of God in the time-frame in which God permits it. These charismata are not permanent acquisitions or talents. They may be specific enablements of accomplishments within the periphery of the talents which were given by God in the first place.

Matthew Henry (Uncondensed):

  • Whatever gifts God confers on any man, he confers them that he may do good with them, whether they be common or spiritual. The outward gifts of his bounty are to be improved for his glory, and employed in doing good to others. No man has them merely for himself. They are a trust put into his hands, to profit withal; and the more he profits others with them, the more abundantly will they turn to his account in the end, Phil. 4:17. Spiritual gifts are bestowed, that men may with them profit the church and promote Christianity. They are not given for show, but for service; not for pomp and ostentation, but for edification; not to magnify those that have them, but to edify others. The measure and proportion in which they are given: All these worketh one and the same Spirit, dividing to every man as he will. It is according to the sovereign pleasure of the donor. What more free than a gift? And shall not the Spirit of God do what he will with his own? May he not give to what persons he pleases, and in what proportion he pleases; one gift to one man, and another to another; to one more, and another fewer, as he thinks fit? Is he not the best judge how his own purpose shall be served, and his own donatives bestowed? It is not as men will, nor as they may think fit, but as the Spirit pleases. Note, The Holy Ghost is a divine person. He works divine effects and divides divine gifts a he will, by his own power, and according to his own pleasure, without dependence or control. But though he distributes these gifts freely and uncontrollably, they are intended by him, not for private honour and advantage, but for public benefit, for the edification of the body, the church.

1 Cor 12:28-31 (NIV) And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way.

Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible New Testament

  • Although the Holy Spirit is sovereign in bestowing gifts, we have the right to ask God for the gift we want. He says we are to “covet earnestly the best gifts.” Not having been brought up in a Christian home, I had no Christian training at all. When I went away to seminary, I didn’t even know the books of the Bible. I had graduated from a college where the emphasis was placed on the intellectual and the philosophical, and I was trying to be that kind of preacher. Then I heard Dr. Harry Ironside speak. He explained Scripture in a simple manner. And I heard him make the statement, “Put cookies on the bottom shelf so the kiddies can get them.” And I remembered that my Lord had said, “Feed my sheep” (see John 21:16). He hadn’t said, “Feed my giraffes.” So I went to God and prayed, “Lord, I want to be that kind of preacher.” Later, I substituted for Dr. Ironside at Dallas Theological Seminary, and when he passed on, the seminary’s president, Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer, called me on the phone. He asked, “Would you take Dr. Ironside’s lectures here at the seminary?” I could hardly answer him clearly, and I almost rudely hung up the phone. I dropped to my knees, and I confess that I wept as I thanked God. I said, “Lord I prayed that You would let me teach like Dr. Ironside, and You have answered my prayer!” I coveted earnestly the best gift, and He answered my prayer. Although I am no Dr. Ironside, how I thrill today at the experience and the privilege of teaching the Word of God! My friend, you have the right to ask God for the best gift.
  • Regardless of the gift God gives to you, the purpose of it is to be helpful to other believers, other members of the body.
  • Adam’s comments: Vernon McGee’s thoughts of asking for the better gift….It is unclear to me as to if this means “a new gift” or spiritual growth to better utilize the existing gift that God gave you.

Matthew Henry, Uncondensed:

  • An advice to covet the best gifts, either the most valuable in themselves or the most serviceable to others; and these are, in truth, most valuable in themselves, though men may be apt to esteem those most that will raise their fame and esteem highest. Those are truly best by which God will be most honoured and his church edified. Such gifts should be most earnestly coveted. Note, We should desire that most which is best, and most worth. Grace is therefore to be preferred before gifts; and, of gifts, those are to be preferred which are of greatest use.
  • Adam’s comments: Mathew Henry’s thoughts coveting the better gift….It is unclear to me as to if this means “a new gift” or spiritual growth to better utilize the existing gift that God gave you.

Adam’s closing comments: I find no scriptural evidence that God will give “new gifts” as you spiritually mature. I personally believe that God gives you all the gifts that he has planned for you all at the same time. As you spiritually mature then God uses those talents for the edification of the church.

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