Knowing the Presence of God – 1 Corinthians chapter 12

Just added; a new message preached by J Stewart Gillespie from 1 Corinthians chapter 12:


1 Corinthians chp 12 vs 1 to 11 – Knowing the Presence of God – JS Gillespie – 24112015


outline notes available for this message:

Chapter 12 opens with one of those incidentally encouraging sections which we don’t expect to find in a letter like 1 Corinthians.

Four great sources of encouragement :

  1. God Saves

  2. God Sanctifies

  3. God speaks to us

  4. God speaks through us


If we could have asked the Corinthians what was it that constituted the main difference between what what the Corinthians had now in their Christian gatherings and what they had then in heathenism, this must have ranked very high in their thinking :

The presence of God (1 Corinthians 14:25, Matthew 18:20)

This had been the promise of Christ (Matthew 18:20)

The essence of the Christian gathering is the Presence of God

This was new they had not had it in heathenism

The question inevitably arises to the enquiring mind; if Christs presence is promised amongst His people, is this a presence I can know, or is it simply a presence that I must take on faith.

Christs presence when real has always been discernable both :


  1. Peace – The disciples in the upper room, gathered for fear of the Jews, doors locked, rumours beginning that some claim to have seen Christ after Calvary, rumours which appear to only add to the fear rather than encourage faith, but Christs presence in Johns gospel will bring PEACE
  2. Purity – Isaiah 6:5, cf. John chp 8
  3. Pleasure – “in thy presence is fullness of Joy and pleasure forevermore” (Psalm 16.11)


God speaks – this is the subject of 1 Corinthians chp 12

  • Prophetically : 1 Corinthians 14:24-25

  • Personally : 1 Corinthians 14:24-25; Hebrews 4:12

  • Convicts: Matthew 4:12; John chapter 8

  • Convinces of His presence (1 Corinthians chp 14)

Gods presence is knowable because God speaks (1 Corinthians 12:3)

God would reveal Himself to His people

God would speak to His people, but not only TO His people, God would speak THROUGH His people.

Gods Grace bestows Gods gifts :

This becomes evident from appreciating the origin of the words

gift : charisma (1Co1:7)

grace: charis

Gods gifts are Gods grace made tangible / visible / audible

We think of Grace as a Divine attribute, Gods grace bestowed as a gift becomes our ability

For a brief window in time Gods Grace becomes visible, audible and tangible

Verse 1 – The Grace of God which bestows Gods gift is undeserved and thus it is unconditional and it is not dependent upon the possession of wisdom

The gift and the wisdom / knowledge to utilise that gift are are distinct

Timothy had a gift given by the laying on of the hands of the elders but he had to study to show himself approved unto God, a workman that needed not to be ashamed rightly dividing the Word of God.

cf. “Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.” (1 Tim 4:14)

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim 2:15)

God gave the gift to Timothy

Timothy had to draw from the same resources in Grace which gave the gift, Timothy had to give himself to the gift (1 Tim 4:15)

Spiritual gift is not the same as spiritual exercise, spiritual preparedness, nor spiritual wisdom

The Grace which gives the gift is

The Grace which sustains the gift

So many have faltered here, having received Gods gift in grace and yet faltering to be sustained in grace in the use and exercise of that gift.

There would be few more gifted than Elijah – yet despairing and despondent in the wilderness of Horeb (1Kings19) – what a contrast with Carmel!

Samson – cut and compromised; the man who had put a city gate on his back could no longer break his own chains!

Gifts given in grace are sustained by grace

Who opened the door to the Devil?

Chp 10 – contact with the occult – corruption

Chp 11 – compromise over headship and lordship, the emphasis in this section is upon the Lords sovereignty over the exercise of the gifts, v3 “Jesus is the Lord.” v5 “same Lord”

Chp 12 – confusion

The same pattern is easily repeated

Corruption followed by compromise


v7 “the manifestation of the Spirit”

Has anyone ever seen God?

“no one has seen God at any time, the only begotten who is in the bosom of the father, he has declared Him.” (John 1:18)

And yet some did see the revelation of God in the person of Jesus Christ:

“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” (1 Tim3:16)

‘manifest’: ‘phanero’ – verb

What of the Spirit of God?

Has anyone ever seen the Spirit of God?

cf. 1 Corinthians 12:7 “the manifestation of the Spirit…”

‘manifestation’ : phanerosis (noun)

This unity through diversity is the manifestation of the Spirit of God, just as Christ was the manifestation of God.

When Men Declared War on God – Luke chapter 20 verses 9 to 19 – J Stewart Gillespie

Just added, a new message preached by J Stewart Gillespie, from Luke chapter 20:


Luke chp 20 vs 9 to 19 – When Men Declared War on God – J Stewart Gillespie – 15112015



This do in Remembrance of me – 1 Corinthians chapter 11 vs 17 to 34

Just added, a new message preached from 1 Corinthians chapter 11 by Dr J Stewart Gillespie:


1 Corinthians chp 11 vs 17 to 34 – This do in Remembrance of me – JS Gillespie – 03112015


Zacchaeus – Everything he Ever Wanted but Nothing he Really Needed – Luke chapter 19

Just added, a new message preached by Dr J Stewart Gillespie from Luke chapter 19:


Zacchaeus – Everything he Ever Wanted but Nothing he Really Needed – Luke chp 19 – JS Gillespie – 01112015

Wishaw Conference 2015 – Backsliding

Just added – a copy of the 2 messages from this years annual Christian conference in  Ebenezer Hall, Wishaw with Mark Johnstone and J Stewart Gillespie:


Backsliding and Recovery – Mark Johnstone – 31102015 – Wishaw


Backsliding – Prevention and Cure – JS Gillespie – 31102015 – Wishaw

Take Eat this is My Body – 1 Corinthians chapter 11 verses 17 to 34

Just added, a new message preached from 1 Corinthians chapter 11:


1 Corinthians chp 11 vs 17 to 34 – Take Eat this is My Body – J Stewart Gillespie – 27102015.mp3


Outline notes from this message:


New converts to Christ could not help but be impressed by just how simple the worship of the Christian was.

Converted from idol worship and brought into his new found faith in Christ he had seen one by one all of those old symbols exit out of the front door!

  • The altar had gone; “We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.” (Heb 13:10)
  • The sacrifices had gone; “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;” (Heb 10:12)
  • The old priesthood had gone, we now have but one Great High Priest
  • The idols were gone, we have someone far surpassing the idol; “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2Co 4:6) – we have the reality of God in Christ

The only symbols these Christians were left with are the 3 we have in chapters 10 to 11 of 1 Corinthians:

  1. Symbol of Baptism (chp 10) – Salvation in Christ
  2. Symbol of head covering (chp 11) – Sovereignty of Christ
  3. Symbol of the cup and loaf (chp 11) – Sacrifice of Christ

These 3 symbols give but 1 message – Christianity is solely and completely about Christ.

This third section begins with a shocking admission by the apostle (11:17); “that ye come together not for the better but for the worse

After all that has been and shall be said concerning the value of and the importance of gathering together – it is possible to gather “for the worse”

  • The Person present: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Mat 18:20)
  • The Power of God operating: “And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.” (1Co 14:25)
  • The Privileges – the demonstration and working of gifts by the Spirit of God (cf. Chapter 12)

You may have thought that automatically, by virtue of the fact they gathered, blessing and Divine approval was guaranteed, not so however.

What could have gone wrong for it not to have been for the better, but for the worse?

So far in 1 Corinthians we have seen:

  1. Schism (chapters 1 to 3)
  2. Sin (chapter 5)
  3. Selfishness (chapters 6 to 10)

So which was it?

All 3!!

  1. Schism (11:18-19)
  2. Selfishness (11:21)
  3. Sin (11:27, 30-34)

Ironically here is the very time when we would be remembering:

  1. Unity and fellowship
  2. The selfless sacrifice of Christ
  3. The cost to God of the once and for all offering for sin

What was the breaking of bread / Lords Supper meant to be about?

  1. Obedience
  2. Remembrance
  3. Attitude

It was about:

  1. Obedience

A simple matter; a simple instruction, obedience is essential:

And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” (1Sa 15:22-23)

  • ‘eat’ (11:24) – aorist imperative active
  • ‘do’ (11:24) – aorist imperative active
  • ‘do’ (11:24) – aorist imperative active

When? – First day of the week (Acts 20:7)

Obedience to Christ would surely take presidence over our:

  • convenience
  • leisure
  • work
  • overtime
  • apathy
  1. Remembrance

Why remember?

Why remember every week?

Is this not overkill?

We remember each week because:

  1. It is Essential lest we forget

The God who made us knows the difference between our short term and our long term memory

Each week, the memory of Christ is brought again from the long term to the short term memory.

Gods complaint of His OT people:

  • Deut 32:28
  • Isa 17:10
  • Jeremiah 2:32; 3:21; 18:15; 23:27
  • Ezekiel 22:12; 23:35
  • Hosea 4:11; 8:14; 13:6

They forgot!!

  1. It is the Essence of Worship
  2. It is the Exercise of Spiritual battle
  3. It is the Examination of Self

Recall that the letter to the Corinthians is set in an in between place:

  • Between Grace given (1:4) and Grace fulfilled (15:57)
  • Between Egypt and the promised land (1 Co 10)
  • Between redemption and resurrection
  • Between Calvary (11:23) and the Coming again (11:26)
  1. Attitude