Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Members One of Another

OUR RELATIONSHIP

We move now in our study of Romans 12 from our relationship with the cosmos (world system) in  12:1-2  to our relationship with Christ’s Church and her members in 12:3-8.  This inter-relationship of the Body of Christ with one another is also referred to in I Corinthians 12:12-27 and Ephesians5:23and 30, as well as in other passages.  I encourage you to read those passages in connection with this message.

In these verses we learn that we care for one another as the members of our physical body care for the whole body.  We love one another with a brotherly love as brothers and sisters in Christ.  We learn to be faithful to  one another as we learn to depend on, count on, protect and trust one another.

We also learn to honor one another where honor is due.  This is just the opposite from what we find in many churches today: vicious gossip and destructive criticism and hatefulness in some churches; even in churches that claim to be true to the Bible.

If unconverted sect members and members of secret societies can care for one another; surely the true Church, The Body of Christ, should shine in this area.

OUR RESOURCES

 

God measures out to His Church His undeserved, supernatural gifts given to each of us as Christians according to His grace. Note that these spiritual gifts are not limited only to pastors. Every genuine Christian has a spiritual gift which he must discover and use for God’s glory and for the blessing of others.  I encourage you to read the following verses regarding these gifts and their use.  Romans 12:3-8, I Corinthians 12, 14:1,   II Corinthians 9:8, Ephesians 4:8, I Timothy 4:14,  II Timothy 1:6, James 1:17.

THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS

 

1. Prophecy

 

Romans 12:6 begins with the gift of prophecy. That is the gift of preaching or proclaiming the Word of God.  The only prophetic preaching or  foretelling the future  we can do as preachers is to declare what God’s Word has plainly stated. 

For us to go beyond what the Bible has plainly declared and attempt to prophesy the future is evil, dangerous and destructive to the souls of men. For us to look to extra-biblical writings as equally authoritative as God’s holy infallible Word is forbidden in the Bible and  damns the souls of men.  Read this solemn warning.  Galatians 1:6-9

That’s why I have warned you repeatedly in this web site to test everything by the infallible Word of God.  Anything that claims to be according to the Word of God, that does not square with the Bible is to be rejected as spurious, dangerous and worthless. Read and heed the grave warning at the end of the Bible in Revelation 22:18-19.

For more instruction concerning this gift of prophecy, preaching, I encourage you to  read I Corinthians 14.  There you will learn how it is to be carried out in a church service and how it is to be tested for accuracy. Here you will also learn who is forbidden to preach.

Each preacher is different as to his own ability and style of preaching. Allow him to be himself, but reject anything that does not square with the Bible.

2. Ministering or Serving

Romans 12:7 lists this important gift.   Jesus taught by His example that apart from the exercise of this gift, we are nothing. Beware of those whose only desire is to be in the limelight and appear as “big shots”.  If you lose such people from your church because you do not give them that opportunity, you are blessed.  

The men we have chosen as elders, and spiritual leaders in our church, are in such positions of authority  because they have first proven themselves ready by having servant hearts.   If you are not willing to volunteer to sweep the floors and help clean the church kitchen or rest rooms and serving others, you are not ready to assume the responsibility of an elder or a teacher or preacher.

All saints have a ministry, Ephesians 4:11-12 teach us. It is a beautiful thing to see each member of a church exercising his gift and fulfilling his ministry. Such a church runs smoothly and accomplishes God’s purpose for it with no arguments nor personality clashes.

3. Teaching 

The pastor is the God-gifted primary teacher of the church, according to Ephesians 4:11  His purpose, according to II Timothy 2:2 is to teach other God-gifted teachers to teach others God’s Word thereby multiplying his efforts.  That’s exactly what I am attempting to do as a retired pastor through this web site.

 

4. Exhortation

 

Romans 12:8 continues listing the spiritual gifts with exhortation, or encouragement to do right.   According to II Timothy 4:1-2 and Hebrews 10:24-25,  we encourage and exhort others to do right.   We do that primarily by our own example. 

 

5. Giving

 

Romans 12:8 encourage us to give with simplicity with no other motive but to please Christ.  Our giving must not  be with pride, nor should we give sparingly, but generously, knowing that God loves a cheerful giver.

6. Ruling

 

Romans 12:8 also lists ruling as a gift to the Church. A ruler is anyone who is given the responsibility of oversight. This would include pastors, elders, deacons, as well as others given responsibilities of oversight.  Such are required to be diligent and faithful.  Proverbs 20:6 reminds us that faithful men and women are scarce.  

Again, we don’t rule by throwing our weight around, that is, by trying to impress people with our self- importance.  Such would-be leaders hinder the work of the Lord.  Patience is valuable virtue for a leader.

 

7. Showing Mercy

 

Finally, spiritual gifts  include showing mercy towards others. Certainly we all need to show mercy with cheerfulness.  That’s the opposite of impatience.

THE PURPOSE OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS

 

It is evident that the purpose of spiritual gifts is not for pride and self glory, nor to call attention to one’s self.  Rather the purpose of gifts are as the members of our physical body.  As members of our physical body each carry out their function for the good of the whole body, so each member of Christ’s Body fulfills his purpose and function  for the building up of the Body of Christ that Christ may be glorified  Such a healthy Body attracts others to Christ.

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February 8, 2012 - Posted by | Romans

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