Victoria Fellowship Church
International & Interdenominational
Bible Study Worksheet – June 14, 2015
Theme: The Promised Holy Spirit
Topic: Different Kinds of Service (1)
Main Texts: 1 Corinthians 12:1-31
Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 12:4-5 – “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.”
In an earlier study in this series, we noted that Apostle Paul enumerated nine gifts – or manifestations of the Holy Spirit, and alongside this, he noted different kinds of service or what we sometimes call ministry gifts. The King James Version of the Bible calls them “administrations”. They refer to the calling of individuals, and are first listed in verse 28 of our text: apostles, prophets, and teachers. In Ephesians 4:11-12, Paul adds evangelists and pastors to the list. So, we can say we have five different callings of the Holy Spirit.
Before Pentecost, only the twelve who had worked with, and were chosen by the Lord Jesus Christ could answer the title “apostle”. Just before Pentecost, after losing Judas Iscariot, a criterion for replacing him in the 12-man team was that whoever would replace him must have had first-hand experience working with the team – see Acts 1:21-22. However, after Pentecost, the only other person that claimed the title was Apostle Paul. In 1 Corinthians 9:1, he hinged his claim to apostleship on, among other things, his having “seen the Lord” – most probably referring to his encounter with Him at his conversion on the road to Damascus (Acts 9).
What was special about the early apostles, besides being eye-witnesses of Christ’s ministry? They laid the foundation for the Church – they reached far and wide and across cultures with the Gospel message and planted churches. They raised and developed leaders, called out and led pastors and shepherds, and much more. They manifested multiple spiritual gifts that allowed them to fulfil their ministry. Their insight into God’s purposes and the word of wisdom manifested in them, enabled them deal with thorny issues in the Church, not at denominational level, but with the universal Church in mind. See Acts 15:1-2. Today’s apostles must be similarly endowed, have visions well beyond their denomination, and undertake similar missions to justify any claim to apostleship. They should be leaders of leaders and ministers of ministers, entrepreneurial and able to take risks for the sake of the Gospel.
One reason the apostolic calling excels in importance is that it is transcends a local church – it is a calling to serve the body of Christ. Every local church can, and should have in their midst those called to be Pastors, Prophets and Teachers, but not every local church should expect to have apostles.
1. An apostle should manifest multiple spiritual gifts. List, with Scripture references, specific gifts of the Holy Spirit that were manifested in Apostle Paul.
2. Identify historical or contemporary individuals, besides those named in the Bible that may rightly be called apostles, highlighting definite attributes that would qualify them.
Father, we bless your name for the continued work of your Spirit, calling, anointing and empowering people for the work of your kingdom. May we witness more of this in our days. In Jesus’ name, Amen.