An Introduction to Spiritual Gifts, Part 2 (1 Corinthians Sermon 40)
November 17, 2019 | Andrew Davis
1 Corinthians 12:1-7
I. The Image of the Body
Please open your bibles to Ephesians Chapter 4, we're going to be looking this morning. I've not turned away from 1 Corinthians 12, not at all. You could think of this as a sermon within a sermon series, but we're in the middle of a section of 1 Corinthians 12, in which the Apostle Paul has turned the attention of the Corinthians that he's writing to spiritual gifts, and He wants them to understand the spiritual gift ministries that they should all be involved in.
One of the most powerful analogies that Paul uses for The church is that of the body of Christ, and so he uses that image, that picture of the body in 1 Corinthians 12:12, he says, "The body is a unit though it is made up of many parts, and though all its parts are many, they form one body so it is with Christ, you have that body analogy. Paul uses the same analogy in Romans 12:4-6, He says "Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, So in Christ we who are many form one body and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts according to the grace given us."
So in both of those places he uses the body image, the body analogy. There is a staggering complexity and diversity to the human body. We have some of the best doctors in the world as members of our church and they can tell you far more than I can about biology, about anatomy, But I think you know what I mean. When I say we have a multiple systems that work together to keep us alive, and enable us to do the things that God wants us to do. And that those systems are incredibly complex And they are diverse. And so, it's right that the psalm has said, I praise you Lord, because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful. I know that full Well. I don't think we could ever if we had 10 lifetimes to be able to study everything concerning the human body and all that God did, all the wisdom that God put into the various systems of the body. You think about the skeletal system which is the structure on which all of it is built.
The strong structure and the marvelous aspects of that system or the muscular system, that enables the body to move, the nervous system, which dictates how that motion should happen, the brain, which is part of the nervous system sending out signals, causing the body to move. And the nerves being able to transmit those signals from the brain down to the muscles to cause them to expand or contract so that we can move in this world, the body's digestive system, which I hope you will not be thinking about over the next 45 minutes or half hour or something like that.
I'm sure you'll get enough nutrients to live today and to eat but the body takes in nutrients and the digestive system is able to process those. The respiratory system by which we take in air and then expel carbon dioxide. And then the circulatory system. I didn't realize this, but 80% of the cells of the body, are red blood cells. Did you know that? That's incredible. 80%, they're tiny. And if you put all of the red blood cells together it'll go around the earth four times, and yet You have a lot of blood and those blood cells deliver air to all of the other cells that need to keep it alive, deliver nutrients and also take waste products away. And so all of these systems are working together, a marvelous diversity and complexity and an incredible unity.
And as I look at that, as Paul uses that in two places as an analogy for the church of Jesus Christ, this idea of unity and diversity, the body is arranged by God, with wisdom, and different functions and so the Apostle says In Christ we who are many form one body and we have different functions, but all of them Work together to do what the Lord wants us to do Which is to fulfill the Great Commission. We are called on in this world to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything that Christ has commanded. That is the work of the church. And so as the body comes together with Christ, the head, as the body comes together, we are working in different ways to fulfill that Great Commission, which is a salvation of lost people, they're building up to full maturity in Christ, that's what the body is for. So spiritual gifts have enabled the church to move out from the upper room, there in Jerusalem where Jesus had the Last Supper and where he came after his death on the cross.
And his resurrection from the dead, though the doors were locked for fear of the Jews, he came and stood in their midst, and showed them the evidence of his crucifixion, He showed them the wounds in his hands and his side, And he promised the gift of the Holy Spirit and He dispatched them, that they should go from Jerusalem through Judea and Samaria to the ends of the earth and spiritual gifts, have enabled the gospel, the church, of Jesus Christ to move out from Jerusalem through Judea and Samaria to the ends of the earth.
As the apostles of Jesus Christ led the way as they taught the doctrine of the New Covenant, As apostles and prophets gave the word of God to the people of God and his evangelists moved out and took that message of the Gospel and traveled geographically, over deserts and through forests. And across oceans to distant coast lands, and brought the Gospel and people heard the message and some of those people believed And local churches were planted. And pastor teachers established the doctrine of Christ there and taught the people and built them up and taught them to obey everything that Chris had commanded. And then within that community, people with different gifts rose up and enabled those local churches to do various ministries that God had called them to do in those localities. The spiritual gifts have enabled the Great Commission to continue.
we are trying to learn what spiritual gifts are. And that same as last week, also this, I want to take the concept of spiritual gift and root it on solid doctrine. That We would understand biblically What spiritual gifts are, God willing Next week, I'm going to talk very practically about how different types of gifts function, what they are, what the gift of administration would look like, what the gift of hospitality looks like, what the gift of faith would look like. Talk about those things. In subsequent messages, I'm going to address some of the more controversial aspects of the spiritual gifts. I know some of you are really excited about that. Tongues, interpretation, prophecy, miracles, all of those things. And when I get all that figured out, I'll preach it to you. Alright, in the mean time, I'm going to keep studying and I've got a little time, but we're going to study details. And our desire again is to call obedience out of the disciples of Christ.
That each one of you in obedience to this teaching on spiritual gifts, each one of you would be able to say, very clearly, not only what your gifts are, But what is your pattern of ministry that's tied to your spiritual gifts, That's our desire.
II. What Are Spiritual Gifts?
Just to review where we went last week before we get to Ephesians 4, 1 Corinthians 12:1, Paul says, "Now about spiritual gifts, brothers. I do not want you to be ignorant." So he calls them their spirituals. It's an interesting word, but that which comes from the spiritual realm, those things that are spiritual. So we're not looking for physical talents, all that kind of thing, that's a different matter. There's sometimes overlap with physical talents, but these are spiritual gifts, they come from the spiritual realm. They're ministered by the Holy Spirit.
He also uses the word charisma gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:4, also in Romans 12:6, same word, he uses the word ministries diakonon, which is services or patterns of service. The idea of us serving one another, Washing each other's feet, Helping each other to grow. Also in verse 6 of 1 Corinthians 12 he uses the word activities and energema, you get the word energy coming from that, so there's this powerful acting so different words are used to talk about spiritual gifts. Again, pointing to diversity.
Definition of Spiritual Gifts
Now, I gave a definition last week of spiritual gifts, spiritual gifts are special abilities given by the triune God to Christians, to individual Christians, to enable them to do specific spiritual ministries to build up the church of Jesus Christ. Let me say that again. Spiritual gifts are special abilities given by the triune God to individual Christians to enable them to do specific spiritual ministries to build up the church of Jesus Christ.
So boiling it all down to something simple, special abilities given for spiritual ministry. That's what we're talking about. Paul's desire and teaching is that they would not be ignorant about their spiritual gifts because they are essential to God's saving purpose for his people we spent some time last week, I am not going to spend hardly any time this time on the context in Corinth but it was a mess. We have seen from the very beginning of our study in 1 Corinthians how this is a dysfunctional church. They had every gift, they were lavishly gifted, everything they needed to do the ministries God wanted them to do there in Corinth were there, but there were so many problems. They were a dysfunctional church. A part of it came from their pagan background, and so he talks about that in 1 Corinthians 12: 2 and 3, by way of review, He says, you know that when you were pagans, somehow or other, you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the spirit of God says, Jesus be cursed or Jesus is a curse.
So from their pagan backgrounds, there was a sense of supernatural frenzy or mania that would come on priests and priestesses at certain cult centers, at Temple centers and all that. And the crazier these people would behave. The more they felt they were touched by the divine. Well, some of those same weird practices were coming now into the Christian Church and there was clearly, Paul didn't say, it but there he says it back in Chapter 10. There's a demonic influence there as even individuals or one individual maybe said Jesus is cursed and that's just a demonic utterance.
Instead, we need to understand the spiritual gifts are part of the overall ministry of the third person, of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit causing the church to come together on the deity of Jesus Christ. And that by the Holy Spirit of God, we say Jesus is Lord, that means he is God, he is our Lord. And so the Spirit works powerfully in us to make that confession. And I mentioned last week, every one of you who are genuinely born again, you are Christians, you have been moved by the Spirit to make that confession Jesus is Lord. And so we talked about that last time. Now, I said there are four main sections of teaching on spiritual gifts. We're in the middle of one in 1 Corinthians 12. We're going to return to it in our Continuing Studies. Last week, we took a break also and went over to Romans 12:1-8, and we walked through that, not going to go through that at all today.
But Romans 12:1-8 is almost a step-by-step sense of guidance on how you can discover and develop and use your spiritual gifts. But this morning, we're going to digress over to Ephesians 4, and look at verses 7-16, and then we're going to have a very brief time at the end in 1 Peter 4.
Lessons from Ephesians 4
So let's look at Ephesians 4:7-16. Here again what you just heard, Brian our brother read to you, Ephesians 4:7-16. "But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: "When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men." (What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work."
1) Unity in Diversity
Alright, so let's just walk through some lessons and I've outlined them there in your bulletin, so we can just go step by step. It begins with the concept of unity and diversity. Unity and diversity. And so you get a sense with the reading that Brian did, We're starting right in the middle of a thought in Ephesians 4 With the word But. So that's an odd place to start, but I just want... I think it's rather striking, As Paul is going, the word but means I'm saying something contrasted to what I just said. I'm going in a different direction now.
And so what is the contrast? Well, if you were to look in Ephesians Chapter 4, in the verses that precede this, you would see that Paul talks about the unity, there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and father of all who is over all and through all and in all, But to each one of us grace has been given, so we've got that incredible overwhelming teaching on unity. It is the great mystery of the Body of Christ, our unity in him. We're going to talk about this in a few weeks talking about the baptism of the Spirit. But I believe that it happens at conversion and in 1 Corinthians 12, it is by one spirit, we have been baptized into one body, and so that we come from very diverse backgrounds.
Once you hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ that he died on the cross For your sins and that He was raised from the dead. And that all you need to do is trust in Him, And you cry out to Him to save you, you call on the name of the Lord Jesus to be saved, you will receive immediately the gift, the greatest gift of forgiveness of sins, justification through faith alone, apart from works and at that moment, you are baptized by the Spirit into that one body. It doesn't matter Our diverse backgrounds. We come from different racial backgrounds, economic backgrounds, academic backgrounds, all different kinds of things that make us different.
But in Christ, we're one. And our unity is exactly like that of the Trinity. Different persons, different centers of being, but a mysterious perfect unity. But Unity doesn't mean uniformity. We have different functions to play in the body of Christ, And so that we are all one, and we're part of one body. There is a beautiful diversity in the spiritual gifts. So that's what the word but means.
2) Universality in Gifting
Secondly, there is a universality of gifting. Each and every Christian is given a spiritual gift package. Every one of us is gifted. And so this cuts off any sense that you might be able to say I don't have a spiritual gift, I don't have a ministry That God's calling me to. That's not true. We have different roles to play. Now, in the Corinthian setting, there was a tendency to idolize certain leaders up front, teachers, especially. "I follow Paul, I follow Apollos, I follow Cephas…" So you've got these upfront leader types that There could be like a cult of personality around them and that could lead individuals, not them, I would hope, but others like them with teaching gifts, preaching gifts, of prophetic gifts, to be arrogant And to think I don't need you. And we'll talk about that later in 1 Corinthians 12. The hand can't say to the... The eye can't say to the ear, I don't need you, but it could also on the other side, say if I don't have that gift, I don't have anything to offer.
If I'm not an up-front Well-known leader in the church, I don't really have anything significant to give. That just isn't true. Every one of us, it says, "But to each one of us grace has been given, and so we all have a spiritual gift ministry," And so, we should not think as Romans 12 says, too highly of ourselves, but we shouldn't think too lowly of ourselves either, that I have nothing to offer. To each one of us. Grace has been given.
3) Spiritual Gifts Are Called “Grace from God”
Thirdly, spiritual gifts are called grace from God. It says, in Verse 7 there, Ephesians 4:7, but to each one of us, grace has been given, and I mentioned this last week, and I think I can't get enough to think about all the lavish gifts of grace that God has given to each one of us, and some are greater than others. The greatest gifts are the gifts of salvation. As I just mentioned, the gift of forgiveness of sins, of adoption, as sons and daughters, Of the living God, the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit, the gift of heaven, the fact that when we die, we're going to go to heaven when we die, and spend eternity in a place without death or mourning, or crying, or pain. These are gifts given to all Christians equally, but there are lavish gifts that he gives beyond those things. And Paul calls it grace, but to each one of us, grace has been given, and so we have a gift from God, it is a gift to be able to serve Christ with our spiritual gifts and it's a gift to us, so that we don't waste our lives in frivolous pursuits. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15, 9-10, he says, "I am the least of the apostles, and I do not even deserve to be called an apostle because I persecuted the church of God, but by the grace of God, I am what I am, And his grace to me was not without effect, No, I work harder than all of them, yet, not I, but the grace of God that was with me."
So Paul understands his role as apostle to the gentiles was a gift of God's grace to him. But I would say the exact same thing, no matter how well-known or how upfront or how famous or how obscure You may be in your service to Christ, any role you play Through the Holy Spirit is Grace to you, God has given you grace to enable you to serve Him. And to store up treasure in Heaven, and to build up the body of Christ. So it's every spiritual gift is called grace from God.
4) Spiritual Gifts Are Measured Out by Christ
Forth, spiritual gifts are measured out by Christ. Look, again, in Ephesians 4:7, "But to each one of us grace has been given, as Christ apportioned it or as it says in the Greek according to the measure of Christ." The metron of Christ, there's a metric, there's a measuring going out here of your spiritual gifts. So this is really quite a remarkable aspect of the spiritual gift ministry, we believe in expanding it beyond Christ to the Father and the Spirit, the Father and the Son and the Spirit have considered you individually. The father and the son and the spirit have pondered you, if you could use that kind of human speaking, they have considered you The Father, the Son, and the Spirit, God has considered you and has measured out to you a spiritual gift package.
And that's quite remarkable when you think about that. I love what the Psalmist says in Psalm 139, "How precious concerning me are your thoughts, would be one way to translate it. Let's stick with that, how precious concerning me are your thoughts O God, how vast the sum of them. Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand" in the sea shore. So God has many thoughts about you. And part of that is your spiritual gift package, he has arranged and arrayed out and measured out your gifts. And so what that means is we have different definable gifts under certain headings like preaching and teaching, evangelism, giving, administration, different things, leadership, faith, mercy, different gifts.
But in that group of Christians, people have varying levels of those gifts. I could never equate my preaching gifts to that of some of the great preachers of history that I've studied, the zeal and the evangelistic power of a George Whitfield, Lavish gift of grace to Him and to all who heard him. Charles Spurgeon had a gift of eloquence and fiery logic that has been unequal I think, in the history of the pulpit. But beyond preaching and teaching, there are other gifts. You think about people with gifts of courageous mercy like Corrie Ten Boom and her family, the willingness to take in the Jews and protect them from the Nazis and their gift of mercy, greater than perhaps any of us who might have a similar gift.
And so the Lord gives out gifts at different levels. And then apportions a scope of ministry based on the gifting. And it's so very wise what God has done. But what this does is it cuts off any arrogance or pride or any sense of humiliation saying I don't have that level of gift therefore I shouldn't give it etcetera. There are some very faithful preachers of the word who many of us have never heard of all over the world, Who are doing the ministry in the scope that God intended for them to do. And are being faithful to do that ministry, week after week. So Also other brothers and sisters are ministering to the poor and needy, They're serving in ways that we will not hear until Judgment Day and beyond. And so God measures those things out according to his wisdom.
5) Spiritual Gifts Are Blood-Bought, Part of the Atoning Work of Christ
Fifthly, spiritual gifts Are blood bought, they're part of the atoning work of Christ, every gift that we received, every good and perfect gift that James talks about, comes down from the Father but also, I would add, is blood bought. Every single gift that you have was paid for by the atoning work of Christ. So you see that movement of Christ leaving heaven, coming down to earth in the incarnation, Living his sinless life, doing miracles, teaching amazing teachings, but especially dying as a substitute on the cross, shedding his blood for sinners like you and me, being buried, on the third day, raised to life, and then ascending Through the heavenly realms, going up to the throne of God, seated at the right hand of Almighty God, He receives from the Father the promised holy spirit and pours out the gifts of the spirit on the day of Pentecost and beyond.
So all of that is tied to the atoning work of Christ, it comes to us through Jesus. So look at it in verses 8 through 10. This is why it says when he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men. What does "He ascended" mean? Except he also descended to the lower Earthly regions. He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens in order to fill the whole universe. That's a very interesting quote of scripture, I'm not going to go into details here. But Paul is quoting a Psalm, and then reverses it. In the Psalm, In the Old Testament, it says He received gift from man, but Paul says he also gave gifts, too. And so the idea here is of a triumphal procession of a conquering General, who has conquered a hostile region and has won all this plunder and as he goes through the streets of the capital city, he's throwing out plunder to all of the citizens.
And so Jesus says, He ascends and he goes up and receives from the Father, the Holy Spirit, He pours out these gifts of God's grace. So all of our spiritual gifts are blood bought and part of the atonement.
6) The Word of God Primes the Pump for All Ministry:
Sixth, the Word of God primes the pump for every spiritual gift ministry. The word of God primes the pump for every spiritual gift ministry. What do I mean by primes The pump? Well, have any of you ever used a siphon? Maybe you don't know what a siphon is, but it's a hose and you use it to move a liquid from one container to one that's lower. And you can do this by sucking on the hose and causing the hose then to fill with water, and then putting it at a lower place, it'll just flow. As long as that's unbroken it will just flow it'll empty a tank. It's really quite a remarkable thing. Parenthetically, don't do it with gasoline, alright? Don't ever do that. People have tried this, gasoline is poison, don't do that, but as you're sucking on that, it causes this hose to fill up with the liquid and then it just causes this whole thing to flow. And so it is with the ministry of the Word, the ministry of the word starts everything.
Everything in the Christian life begins with the ministry of the Word. So look at verses 11 and 12. It was He, Christ, who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers to prepare God's people for works of service. So you see the link there, between verse 11 and verse 12, these five gifted individuals prepare God's people for the works of service that are tied to spiritual gifts. But if you look at the list of those five gifted individuals: Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastor teachers, sometimes they combine it, Pastor teacher, or pastors and teachers, they all have one thing that unifies them and that is the ministry of the Word of God. Apostles and prophets received the word originally from God, and gave us the scripture, the inerrant Word of God, was ministered to us by the apostles and by the prophets, and is now written down for us to read.
Evangelists, as I said, took the message geographically around the world, from Jerusalem through Judea, Samaria, to the ends of the earth. Pastor teachers then settle in as second generation church workers and take the New Covenant doctrines and establish them in the life of those local churches. And as that word of God is ministered, then the Saints, the servants of the church are prepared to do their works of service. That's why Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:1, "Now about spirituals, about spiritual gifts, brothers. I do not want you to be ignorant." If they don't understand the doctrine of spiritual gifts, they will be ignorant, they will not be able to do their ministry, and so it starts everything. The ministry of the Word of God primes the pump for all of the other ministries in the church.
7) Spiritual Gifts result in Works of Service
Alright, Seventh. I'm losing track of my numbers here, I'm so sorry. Seven. Spiritual gifts result in works of service. It says to prepare God's people for works of service, So all of the things that we do in spiritual gift ministry, you're putting yourself at the service of another brother or sister in Christ. You're serving them. A number of people have asked me before. Do you ever get nervous preaching? I get nervous every week. It is not a normal thing for me to stand in front of 500 people and talk. Alright, it's the kind of thing that I was like, "Why do I do this week after week, and have this kind of feeling in the pit of my stomach and all this sort of stuff? But there's one thing that always the Holy Spirit reminds me of, it's When Jesus was restoring Peter after he denied him three times, he said to him, effectively three times, Feed my sheep. Feed them. You're not the issue, Andy, your feelings don't matter. What matters is they need food. Our faith needs food every week, every day, so that we will continue to believe in Jesus.
And so the Food of faith is The word of God. So my call is to serve you so that you can continue in your salvation, as Paul says in 1 Timothy 4, So that I can save both myself and my hearers by the ministry of the Word, and so that's... But the same thing goes to the ministries that we heard about, kids ministry, that Josh was talking about. And Kristen, do week after week, and I see ministry, all of that is service. We're serving people. We're washing feet.
We're ministering to needs, hospitality. This evening, we're going to have home fellowship ministry, and there's going to be a flow of spiritual gifts. It's amazing. All over this region, members of FBC are going to use their gift of hospitality, others will use their gift of teaching, others will use their gift of prayer and other things, and we're going to be serving one another. Do you see it right there in the text, Verse 12, for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.
8) The Ultimate Goal of spiritual gifts is the Full Maturity of the Body of Christ
Eighth. The ultimate goal of all spiritual gift ministry is the full maturity of the body of Christ. Look what it says. Verse 12: "To prepare God's people for works of service, the body of Christ may be built up, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, and become mature, attaining to the whole measure, the fullness of Christ, then we will no longer be infants tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching, and by the cunning and craftiness of men and their deceitful scheming. Instead speaking the truth in love, We will, in all things, grow up into Him who is the head that is Christ."
So, the goal of our salvation is conformity to Christ, that he might be, that we'd be conformed to the Son of God, that He might be the first born among many brothers. That's Romans Chapter Eight. So, we having been rescued from sin and wickedness, and corruption are brought through salvation to total conformity in Christ, The spiritual gifts. And the works of service, tend toward the end to full maturity in Christ. That's what we're doing. Our goal is that elect people would be rescued from darkness, Satan's kingdom, through evangelism, Brought over into the church through water baptism, and then trained, taught to obey everything Christ has commanded, surrounded by encouraging brothers and sisters who pray for them, people who give financially to support ministries that are surrounding them as well, all of those gifts tend toward the end That we would all speak the truth in love, and we will be built up into total conformity to Christ.
9) Every Spiritual Gift is Essential to that Final Goal
And then finally, every spiritual gift is essential to that final goal, but those gifts must be used. They don't do any good on the shelf or in the closet. Look at verse 16, From him, the whole body joined and held together by every supporting ligament grows and builds itself up in love as each part does its work. So here's the point. Brothers and sisters. The point is that you have a spiritual gift package If you're a Christian. You Perhaps already have a very definable ministry and as much work as you possibly could do. And so continue to do that ministry, be faithful, Keep on doing it.
Others of you may be among those who could say, "I don't actually know what my spiritual gift is. And for you, I would urge you to follow the steps in Romans 12 that I went through, listen to last's week sermon and go step-by-step, present your body as a living sacrifice, make certain that there's no closet sin in your life, you're holy and pleasing in God, don't be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, be in God's word, learning what the spiritual gifts are, learning what kind of ministries are. Then you'll be able to test and approve what God's will is. Don't think too highly of yourself. Don't be arrogant.
I was thinking about this today. I think this is true, you doctors or nurses can correct me, but wouldn't you say that there's no single cell in the entire body that's essential to the body to continue to live? I was thinking about this. If that cell dies, it's going to be replaced by another one Just like it. Frankly, that goes on all the time. And you're like, "Well, wait a minute, there's some cells that are... " it's like Yeah, but there's a lot of other of those cells. You are not indispensable to the body of Christ, but that doesn't mean you don't have a role to play. And so the Lord says, "Don't think too highly of yourself, but don't think too lowly either. Identify your spiritual gift and then simply if your gift is X, then do X. If it's Y then do Y. Be involved in spiritual gift ministry.
III. Another Key Text: 1 Peter 4:11
I Want do 1 Peter 4:11, And then we'll close in prayer. 1 Peter 4:11. "If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things, God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power forever and ever." That's a great verse, and it gives us two main headings for spiritual gift ministry. Speaking and serving. I love that.
If anyone speaks, do it as though you're speaking God's words. Flow is ultimately from the Scripture, but you're speaking the very Oracles, the very words of God. Have a seriousness about your speaking ministry. What are speaking ministries? Well, obviously preaching and teaching, but also encouragement. Gifts of leadership have to be done with speaking. So they're speaking gifts, and then there are serving gifts, such as I mentioned, hospitality and mercy, they're just gifts of service, helps, sometimes called. Do all kinds of behind the scenes ministries that no one ever sees but they're vital to the life of the church. Speaking and serving, whatever your ministry is, whatever your gift is, have an identifiable ministry, invest yourself fully in it. And do it. Alright, now let's close in prayer.