June 27, 2021

Commitment to God: Ministry (part 2)

Scripture:

Topic:

3 factors of an effective ministry:

I. Humility (v. 3) What humbles a person? How does humility come?

A. Humility in grace (v. 3a, 6a)

B. Humility in faith (v. 3b)

– measure – it is a ruler or measuring stick

– faith – saving and sanctifying trust in God – it is like the air that we breathe; we don’t see it, yet we live by it

– How do we measure our faith?

If simply – it is look at Christ! The clearer our view of Christ, stronger тхе faith. (Rom. 10:13-14)

Why such a process? To glorify the One who gives the gifts!

If I give money to my son so that he can buy his frie3nd a birthday present, then whom should he thank? God gives us absolutely everything for us to bear fruit and glorify it!

Question: When was the last time you measured your faith? Maybe your faith is more like a superstition? Maybe you just observe the traditions, but haven’t trusted God with your salvation?

II. Teamwork (v. 4-5) (diversity in unity)

There are not appendixes in the church – everyone is needed! Our salvation in Christ cannot be separated from our closeness to one another! We are one! If so, then the spiritual gifts should not be perceived as tools for personal success, but for the team’s triumph!

Let’s take a preacher as an example: if he and the audience understand that they are one team, then no one will say – “you did such a great job today”, instead: “today’s sermon helped the church to be closer to God, grow spiritually and find salvation.” Attention is moved from the person and the spiritual gift to the effect, fruit and result.

III. Ministry (vv. 6-8) … not spiritual gifts A few observations:

A. God is at the center! God is the source and measure of our gifts. Why? This leaves him control and the right to dispose as He pleases, so that the glory and praise of what happens to His people and the Church directly glorifies Him and not people!

(v. 6) – spiritual gift is pure grace – not deserved gift. 

(v. 6) – God gives different spiritual gifts as He pleases!

So, we cannot brag of our own, and cannot be jealous of others!

B. Just Serve! Focus on serving; not on identifying the spiritual gift. 

It feels like people knew their spiritual gifts. And our problem is not that we don’t have enough information, but that we don’t apply. They knew their gifts because they served, they were busy!

And important observation – there are two main categories – but they are mixed… to make it clear that we cannot be too categorized. These are just directions.

The good news is that I am responsible only for what God has given me, and I need to apply it. There is no pressure to be good at everything.

Ex. Once a donkey stood between two identical haystacks, and could not decide from which haystack to eat, and so it stood hungry… and probably died this way…)

C. You have a gift! All have a spiritual gift (at least one). This means that I need the gifts that others have. A lonely Christian is not okay! It’s like dislocated body parts – an arm, a leg… it is dysfunctional, and ugly. But for some reason, believers normally perceive lone believer as normal.

On the other hand, spiritual gifts look like normal things. But the person who has a spiritual gift in these ordinary ministries acquires special abilities – and this is grace!

Prophecy (Acts 2:18) – everyone prophecies (they proclaim God’s Word to people)

Service (Eph. 4:12) – equip the saints for the work of the ministry (same word) – all involved in the ministry

Teaching (Matt. 28:19-20) – We all must teach

Exhortation (Heb. 10:25) – to exhort one another

Contributing (Eph. 4:28) – giving to the needy (same word)

Leading (?) – we are all bosses… ☺

Acts of mercy (Matt. 5:7) blessed are the merciful…

Why are these manifestations here called spiritual gifts of some? When we all serve, teach, exhort, distribute… we produce fruit and a certain result, but when this is done by a person who has a spiritual gifts in this area, he does it more naturally, with greater joy and with greater effect.

Example: Evangelist – Vasiliy Khripunov (he has the gifts of evangelist, but we are all called to evangelize).

When the spiritual gift is at work, it brings about faith in people that we serve.

D. This is love. Each gift meets specific needs. What need does your ministry meet? 

The one who has a certain gift, sees this need, is very concerned and loves those who are with that particular need.

  • Prophecy – fulfills the lack of knowledge
  • Service – physical need
  • Teacher – does not hang out with people like him; learned, and full of knowledge, but he loves those who are not educated to teach them.
  • Exhorter – loves the lost, depressed, stubborn and difficult.
  • Contributor (giver), loves people who are in need
  • The one who leads, loves unorganized people
  • The one who does the acts of mercy (charity) sees the absence of mercy, and where the crying need for mercy is when people are guilty, in need of mercy, and he loves people who are guilty, hardened.

Do you love it? Can you see it? If so, you have a gift for it!

Children, do you know why you get mostly different presents for Christmas? The point is that your parents would like you to share these presents. So is God. None of us have all the same gifts, so that we learn to share!


E. Fruit = spiritual gift + attitude. All gifts have a description of how to apply them. What attitude should we have while we apply them?

  • “In proportion to the faith, in generosity, with zeal, with cheerfulness

Why? Sometimes we think that the essence lies in the bright manifestation of the gift, but this text speaks of faithfulness in the application of what is given.

Ex. The influence of parents on children… almost everyone will agree that what influenced you the most was not profound words of phrases, but the fact that your parents lives a consistent, righteous life in front of you; that’s what changes people. At least that’s what happened to me – the faithfulness of my parents influenced more than anything.

F. This is not a complete list.

There are other texts (1 Cor. 12-14, 1 Pet. 4. Eph. 4) that mention gifts and the number for gifts is not limited to the one presented.

In our text, there is also a lack of categorization. This is to show us what’s wrong with defining the exact name and manifestation of the  spiritual gifts, but in application!

Prophecy: 

1) Foretelling the future (Acts 21:10-11)

2) A special inner disposition to proclaim God’s Word (1 Cor. 14:3, 24-25). Example: (Acts 15:32). 

This text deals precisely with the proclamation of the truths of Scripture, since the word “faith” with the definite article, which should be translated as a doctrine; it is an objective, complete Gospel message or teaching (see Jude 3). Just as the servant is limited to the ministry, and the leader of the leadership, so the prophets who speaks the truth, must be limited to the truth!

Service: This word is used in (Luke 10:40) to describe Martha who was left to serve alone. Service is a general term.

I remember the Shepherd’s Conference in LA -when the LA district judge shined my shoes. It humbles, motivates, and transforms…

Teaching: Teacher – takes the Scripture, and not only proclaims with authority as a prophet, but takes and convinces with arguments.

Exhortation: Exhortation (Acts 11:23; 14:22; 15:32)

Ex. (Acts 13:15) – word of exhortation

Contribution: In generosity, means sacrificial giving.

The one who rules: the elder (pastor) (the same word in 1 Tim. 3:4-5; 5:17) – refers to the leadership of the church.

The one who does acts of mercy: The ability to be compassionate and care for people in need. They will be in hospitals, prisons, homeless… 

Nothings so encourages and empowers the sick as to see that those who encourage them, do it from the heart. (Pr. 17:22) – a joyful heart makes the face cheerful, and this applies not only to the person himself, but also to whoever we are dealing with.

The Gospel. If you have not yet received the most important spiritual gift – salvation, then it is obtained in the same way – by faith and looking to Christ… 

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