Miracle of the Loaves
I. The gifts you operate in are primarily determined by the offices in which you stand
I Corinthians 12:4-6"Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all."
Administrations: ministries or offices
A. There are five pulpit offices
Ephesians 4:11-12 "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ."
B. There are seven body offices
2. Ministry/serving (helps)
II. The role of the Godhead in relation to offices and gifts
A. The Holy Spirit is over the gifts
I Corinthians 12:4 "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit."
B. Jesus Christ is over the offices
I Corinthians 12:5 "And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord."
C. God works all of the gifts into all of the offices
I Corinthians 12:6 "And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all."
1. One translation says "God works everything in everybody"
2. God works the gifts of the Spirit into the callings of the Lord Jesus Christ
III. Those called to pulpit ministries are to equip those in the Body of Christ called to do the work of the ministry
A. Not everyone is called to the five-fold ministry
Ephesians 4:11 "And he gave some, apostle; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers."
1. "Some" appears four times in verse 11
2. "Some" indicates that not everyone is called to the five-fold ministry
B. Perfecting the saints
Ephesians 4:12 "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ."
1. Five-fold ministers are to perfect the saints with the Word of God
2. Five-fold ministers are to equip the saints with the Word of God so they can go out and do the work of the ministry that God has called them to
C. The "work" of the ministry for the Body of Christ
1. Going into the world--schools, offices, shops, etc., equipped with the Word of God
2. Edifying the Body of Christ by doing our part to reach the world with the gospel
3. Giving the "firstfruits" of all of our increase
IV. God made you unique and gave you a unique call
Romans 12:4-5 "For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us."
A. Your gifts are unique
B. Your place in society is unique
C. When you realize your uniqueness, the power of God will begin to operate through your life to affect those in the world around you
Romans 12:6-8"Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
Or he that exhorteth, on exhoration: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy with cheerfulness."
V. God does not call you without putting a desire in your heart to fulfill that call
Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the Lord; and he shall give you the desires of your heart."
A. If you do not know what you are called to, find thearea of desire that you have in your heart
1. If you sense a desire to serve, join the ushers or greeters
2. If you have a desire to teach, teach in children's church or Sunday school
B. Step out in faith in the area of desire
C. If you are not operating in the area of your calling, you will not operate in the gifts associated with that calling
VI. The first miracle of the loaves and fishes
Matthew 14:15-21 "And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.
And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals.
But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.
And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.
He said, Bring them hither to me.
And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.
And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children."
A. The disciples had their eyes on the circumstances
1. It was getting late
2. The market places would be closing for the evening
3. The disciples were hungry but acted concerned instead, for the multitudes
B. The disciples had just watched many miracles performed by Jesus
1. Eyes and ears were opened; the paralyzed were picking up their cots and walking; creative miracles were being performed by Jesus and the disciples were concerned about food
2. After seeing all of the miracles, the disciples did not have the faith to believe that provision would be made for the people
C. Five loaves and two fishes
Matthew 14:16-17 "But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.
And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes."
1. A boy had given the food to the disciples
2. It was probably food for several days that he was going to take to his mother to prepare
3. "Fishes" according to Kenneth Wuest, refers to "raw fish" or "whole fish"
4. Jesus told the disciples "You feed them"
5. The disciples did not respond in faith
6. Jesus blessed the food and gave the food to the disciples, who gave it to the multitudes
a. There were 5,000 men to serve
b. There were between ten and fifteen thousand including women and children
Matthew 14:18-19 "He said, Bring them hither to me.
And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude."
7. The end result of miracles is that people come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior
VII. The second miracle of the loaves and fishes
Matthew 15:32-38 "Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.
And his disciples say unto him, Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude?
And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes.
And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground.
And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full.
And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside women and children."
A. The disciples had just seen Jesus perform the first miracle of the loaves and fishes
B. The disciples responded again, in unbelief, at the possibility of feeding the multitudes
C. "A few little fishes" according to Kenneth Wuest, means "prepared fish" or "fish cakes"
VIII. The five loaves and the seven loaves
A. Remains from the loaves
1. Twelve baskets remained from the five loaves that were given
2. Seven baskets remained from the seven loaves that were given
B. The five-fold offices are always going to feed more than the body offices
1. This is true because of the difference in callings
2. To whom much is given, much will be required
C. More will come back when you give into a five-fold ministry
1. The five loaves produced twelve baskets
2. The seven loaves produced seven baskets
3. Giving to a five-fold ministry gift and giving to others both produce multiplied blessings
4. We are not to give with the motive of receiving back
5. You will receive when you give with pure motives
D. Whole fish versus fish cakes
1. The five-fold serves "whole fish"
2. We are to take the "whole fish" home to make into "fish cakes" to give to the world
3. The world needs the Word of God ("whole fish") broken into smaller pieces ("fish cakes")
IX. The gifts of the Spirit defined
I Corinthians 12:7-11 "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will."
A. The gifts of the Spirit are divided as the Spirit wills
B. The gifts of the Spirit are not divided as man wills
C. Our prayer should not be to receive a certain gift
D. Our prayer should be to know our place in the Body of Christ
E. We should covet earnestly the gifts that will best help fulfill the office we stand in
X. The offices explained
I Corinthians 12:12-27"For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
For the body is not one member, but many.
If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
And if they were all one member, where were the body?
But not are they many members, yet but one body.
And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary.
And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:
That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular."
XI. God working the gifts into the offices
I Corinthians 12:28-31 "And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
Have all gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way."
A. God is the one Who has set "some" into the five-fold ministry
B. We should not try to set ourselves into the five-fold ministry if God has not set us there
XII. God switches from naming offices in I Corinthians 12:28, to describing offices
D. "Miracles, then gifts of healings" describe the evangelist
E. "Helps, governments, diversities of tongues" are found in the local church under the office of the pastor
XIII. How you are seen by the Godhead
A. God not only sees you as an office, He sees you as a certain collection of spiritual gifts that make up that office
B. Jesus Christ sees you as the title of the office you stand in
C. The Holy Spirit sees you as the gifts you operate in
XIV. The gifts of the Spirit are needed more in the world than in the church because of the sinners who need salvation
A. God will use the gifts of the Spirit to win sinners to Him
B. There needs to be a balance of the gifts of the Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit in our lives before the world
XV. The importance of character
A. You can have great character and few gifts of the Spirit and your ministry will be effective for many, many years
B. Many gifts of the Spirit with little character will be ineffective
C. The ships of WWII in relation to character
1. The decks had to be reinforced to handle the powerful guns.
2. Large, heavy metal plates were incorporated with the original deck so that large guns could be mounted
3. During battle, the recoil of the guns would actually slow the ship down by two or three knots every time the gun was fired
4. Because or the power of the guns, they needed the reinforcement of the decks that held the guns
5. Initially, the decks were not reinforced and after firing the guns three or four times, the gun would rip from the deck because the deck did not have the strength to handle them
D. Our lives need to be reinforced with the fruit of the Spirit because they comprise the deck that handles the "big guns" of the gifts of the Spirit
E. The "deck" of the fruit of the Spirit needs to be built in order for the "big guns" of the gifts of the Spirit to operate without causing destruction
F. Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)
G. Many ministries have been ripped apart because they had no character behind the great gifts that operated in their ministries
H. Often believers get their eyes on the gifts and forget that character is the most important thing
XVI. Three areas to pray concerning your ministry
A. Pray about the office God has called you to
B. Pray to operate in those gifts that will enhance that office
C. Pray to flow in the fruit of the Spirit so that when the gifts of the Spirit begin to flow in your life, character will be your stability and foundation