In these posts we are discussing the believer’s relationship with God the Holy Spirit. While it seems some Christians overemphasize Him, many of us overlook Him — to our detriment. Because He is personal, we can speak to Him and ask Him for things. Because He is God, we can (and should) worship Him. Neither of these actions are intended to somehow negate the primacy of the Lord Jesus, for the Spirit of God’s primary job is to glorify the Lord Jesus.
How are various ministries supposed to get accomplished in the church? The Bible is quite clear that every believer is given gifts by the Holy Spirit and is to use those to build up the Body of Christ and to serve a broken and needy world. Let’s look at the first of several passages on the so-called spiritual gifts and notice the intimate involvement of the Third Person of the Trinity. The primary “gift” passages are Romans 12, I Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4, and I Peter 4.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. 3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. (Rom. 12)
Notice here in Romans 12 the following —
1. We should view our bodies as living sacrifices to God, the very definition of “true and proper worship” (v. 1).
2. We must be aware that the world around us wants to squeeze us into its mold, but we need the transforming work of God to renew our minds (v. 2).
3. Choosing to transform rather than conform means that we will be able to test and approve what God’s will is for us (v. 2).
4. Our attitude in using our gifts is critical! We are to look at ourselves with “sober judgment,” being mindful of “the faith” which God has distributed to each of us (v. 3).
5. In Christ we are one body with many members. And those members (who belong to each other) have different functions (vv. 4-5).
6. Different gifts according to the grace given to us include: prophesying, serving, teaching, encouraging, giving, leading, and showing mercy (vv. 6-8).
7. We are to use those gifts “in accordance with our faith.” We are give generously, lead diligently, and show mercy cheerfully (vv. 6-8).
The Challenge: Has God the Holy Spirit given you one of these gifts listed in Romans 12 — prophesying, serving, teaching, encouraging, giving, leading, or showing mercy? If so, how are you using that gift in the church?