Romans 12:1-2 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” We were saved to serve! Fulfillment in life only comes when we are doing what God put us on this earth to do using the gifts He gave us to do it. That is what we are talking about this week – serving people!
We read in 1 Corinthians 12:13, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.” Being baptized with the Holy Spirit is something every believer has in common. At salvation, we receive the person of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, and are baptized into the body of Christ. You cannot be a Christian without this gift. I could no more be a husband without the gift of my wife, than I can be a Christian without the gift of the Holy Spirit. When I married my wife, Tammy, I got the whole person! I did not get her on the installment plan. All believers are baptized, but not all are filled, with the Spirit. We leak! We are commanded to “be filled” in Ephesians 5, a continuous action. We must be filled daily!
The Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to all believers. There are four key passages that talk about these gifts: 1 Corinthians 12-14, Romans 12, Ephesians 4, and 1 Peter 4. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:1, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant.” If someone gave you a gift wouldn’t you take time to find out what was? How must the Heavenly Father feel when He has given us the gifts of the Spirit and we as His children never thank Him, never put them into use, or acknowledge them? Don’t ignore, neglect, abuse, or misuse your gift.
“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord” (1 Cor. 12:4-5). Why doesn’t the Holy Spirit give every believer every gift? God, in His providence, has orchestrated it so that no one sufficiently has all that they need to accomplish the mission all by himself. We need each other. Body parts are needed to complete and not compete. Cancer in the body is when one cell starts attacking the other cells. Spiritual gifts should unite us not divide us. In the body of Christ, it does not matter who gets the credit as long as God gets the glory! We never have to be envious or jealous of another person’s gift. We are not to seek a specific gift, but rather trust the Holy Spirit to manifest in us the gift that is needed when it is needed.
Love the Church
When Jesus was on this earth, He ministered in a physical body. Today, Jesus is still ministering through His spiritual body called the church. Every child of God has at least one of the seven gifts in Romans 12. God has built these gifts in us to be of benefit to others and bring glory to Him. These gifts first are used in the local church. Then they bleed over into the world, in our job, etc. Imagine and dream with me if all the members at Liberty knew and used their spiritual gift… wow! If you need help figuring out your gift, we have a questionnaire available at www.libertylive.church/gifts. Gifts change and mature, discover and develop. Make sure you know your gift and are using it in the body of Christ!
Love the Community
In each of the of the four passages that talk about spiritual gifts, love is always the context. We live in a loveless world, but God has put you where you are to live out your design. Psalm 139 says that God knit you together in the womb and ordained all of your days. He has placed you in your neighborhood, school, company, or business to be salt and light. He will not lead you to do something that He does not equip you to do. God has packaged you. That is why we are doing Life Track. To get you to live on purpose. Discover your gifting, develop it, and use it to make a difference by serving those around you!