What We Learned Together Sunday June 4, 2023
The title of our message this morning is “Our Christian Testimony As A Church Body.” A special message for the special Sunday here at New Life Fellowship today. We are studying together First Peter 4:10-11. Four main thoughts for this Scripture passage. Serving Others With Gifts from God As Good Stewards According to the Grace of God So That God would be glorified through Jesus Christ. These words for us all more involve and more invested in the lives of others.
First, Serving Others With Gifts from God As Good Stewards [4:10] In verse ten What God Has Given Us To Be for Serving Others. Here the truth is having with our gifts possessing ability. See verse ten “As each one has received a gracious gift . . .” As A Christian you have a special gift meaning we are all equipped & every one supplied a place in the church body. Our Christian Testimony is what God has given you in gifted abilities [cf. Romans 12:3-6; Ephesians 4:16] Part of the design of God as our Creator that even such abilities could relate to skills, training, and experiences. Remember how the Lord described the skill of the those constructing the tabernacle. “He has filled them with skill to perform every work of an engraver, of a designer, and of an embroiderer, in violet, purple, and in scarlet material, and in fine linen, and of a weaver, as performers of every work and makers of designs.” [Exodus 35:35] And then What God Has Given Us To Do Is Serving Others. Here the truth is Serving With Our Gifts possessing responsibility. See verse ten, “for each other serving as good stewards the manifold grace of God.” As A Christian you have a real stewardship we are all enabled & strengthened for serving others in the church body. Our Christian Testimony is what God has called you in ministry responsibilities. Also read “as good stewards” what you have done with what the owner gave you [cf. 1 Corinthians 12:7, 11]. Telling us individual gifts for mutual benefit as individually gifted for church body ministry. “The Spirit manifest Himself in us by His gifts for the common good.” These varied and variety of gifts are many-colored as indicating diversity of many kinds, diverse, and various “God given abilities for service.” Something else to consider in these matters of spiritual gifts. The number of gifted abilities for some are Christian responsibilities for all. As one writer said, “a gift is a capacity and desire for a ministry given by God for regular use.” A stewardship before God as those gifted to serve His church. One commentator said, “By accepting our God-given role as stewards rather than owners, we recognize that everything we claim to possess is not ours but God's, entrusted to us for a period of time to use as He directs.” Even further we will be seeing the grace of God through a variety of gifts and abilities for the benefit of the Body of Christ and for the glory of God. Here are a few questions we need to ask ourselves in these matters: Where do I see opportunities for serving others? Where do I already have experience and ability? Where am I willing to develop and learn to be trained? What area of serving immediately interests me and there is blessing in the lives of others? What burden am I willing to accept in self-sacrificing, humble service for others?
Second, Serving Others According to the Grace of God So That God Would Be Glorified Through Jesus Christ [4:11]. In verse eleven How We Do This Serving Others With The Gifts Given. Peter writes, “whoever speaks, as the oracles of God.” Here words are emphasized as the first category of spiritual gifts being speaking gifts. The use of speech communicating truth where delivering God’s Word is exercised. It is His message in teaching, exhorting, encouraging, discipling, evangelizing, and counseling. Not just a talker or someone who can speak for thirty minutes in front of a group of people but speaks things that God said. And then there is “whoever serves, as by the strength which God supplies.” Here deeds are emphasized as the second category of spiritual gifts being serving gifts. Notice that with both categories the attention is on God Himself and not the gifted individuals. Then in verse eleven Why We Do This Serving Others With The Gifts Given. Peter states, “so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” Look at our notes this morning for a summary paragraph of the message of this passage of Scripture. Whatever we do in ministry for people is always because of what God has done for us. We are enabled through what God is doing through us. God then is in the proper place of our lives & this church when we will serve others as good stewards according to the grace of God. And therefore, such gifted and graced ministries produce God-centered doxology in our Christian testimony as a church body. Therefore, God gives gifts and God grants grace, and so God gets the glory.
We have seen in these two verses Our Christian Testimony As A Church Body. Let us review these points in our conclusion this morning. See the relationship between the gifts of God, the grace of God, and the glory of God in serving one another as a church body. Pursuing Spiritual growth which results in Christian maturity so that we might use our gifts in more mature ways for benefiting others. Know & Learn the Spiritual Gifts so that we would all be serving in the ways which God has equipped for this church body [Community Groups this Summer]. There are many ways to see this Christian testimony here at New Life Fellowship as a church body with ministries in serving others humbly, sacrificially, and obediently. Strengthening the Christian testimony of this church body being good stewards of the grace of God being more involved and more invested in the lives of others. Ask for help from God to see how He has gifted you for serving others so that He would be glorified here at New Life Fellowship with present opportunities, present needs, and present plans.
Pastor Timothy J. Atkins
Husband, Father, Grandfather, Pastor, Teacher, Discipler, and Follower of Jesus.