I will be preaching at Cedarcroft Bible Chapel (their website is here) in New Jersey Sunday, October 7th,on the issue of our using our spiritual gifts to serve in the local church. I’m entitling this message “Servants of the Servant.”
My friend and former colleague Dr. Don Howell, Jr., wrote a book with that title (subtitled “A Biblical Theology of Leadership”). I would highly recommend that text as an in-depth look at the model of servant leadership seen through the Word of God.
A major facet of our becoming servants of the Servant, the Lord Jesus, is knowing and using our spiritual gifts to build up the Body of Christ. Four passages (Romans 12, I Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4, and I Peter 4) drive home the point that every believer has a gift or gifts and must use them to serve the Lord!
We’ve looked briefly at Romans 12 and the principles there about our service in the local church. Let’s move to our second passage, I Corinthians 12, and see several further guidelines in our ministries. There’s an immediate problem with I Corinthians 12 and it is this: This is a long text! We will reproduce it below and then draw several conclusions from this rich passage:
Servants of the Servant! (con’t):
1. The Holy Spirit is mentioned 12 times in I Corinthians 12. And there is no doubt that He is also referred to as “God” or “Lord” (see verses 4, 6, 18, 24, and 28). My relationship to God the Holy Spirit is vital — and it is HE who gifts me so I can serve others!
2. God delights in variety among the people of God. But such variety can bring division or pride or unbiblical shame or a sense of not being needed (vv. 15-26).
3. We should not see ourselves as but tiny cogs in a great machine, but as vital parts in the movement of God Himself! (to be continued)