Statement of Faith
The Four Most Important Things We Could Ever Tell
Listen to this week's message!
Map to the Church
Enhance your daily reading of God's word. Click here for free, printable Bible Reading and Prayer Journal sheets!
"Play Your Position! "
Wednesday Evening Home Bible Study
October 6 , 2004
In this passage, God tells us, through His faithful servant Paul, that we
are to have both an attitude of dependency on one another's spiritual
gifts, and an active dependability in putting our spiritual gifts to use
for the benefit of one another. (Contrast Diotrephus of 3 John 9-11 with
Timothy of 2 Tim. 1:6-7).
I. WE'RE TO HAVE AN ATTITUDE OF DEPENDENCE UPON ONE ANOTHER'S SPIRITUAL GIFTS (vv. 3-5).
A. The word "For" points us back to verse 1-2. Because God has shown us
mercy in Christ, we're to present ourselves fully to Him as living
sacrifices. In so doing, we end up proving that God's will is something
that's good, acceptable and perfect. And one aspect of God's good,
acceptable and perfect will is the unity and inter-dependence we share
with one another in Christ.
B. In telling us this, Paul exercises his role as 'apostle'. That
God-given "gift" of leadership in the church gives him the right to
command that each of us depend on each other's spiritual gift.
C. He commands "everyone who is among you". He here hints toward the
fact that every believer in the Body of Christ has been uniquely gifted by
the Holy Spirit to play a significant role in the ministry. There's no
such thing as an ungifted believer.
D. He commands that we're not to think that we don't need anyone else's
spiritual gift. Specifically, we're told not to think more highly of
ourselves than we ought to think, but to think so as to have sound
judgement, "as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith". We're no
longer to see urselves or each other in the same way we used to. We're
now to see each other under the implications of the Cross of Jesus Christ,
and the faith in that Cross that saves us (2 Corinthians 5:14-17)?that is,
we're to see each other as new creations.
E. Paul illustrates our wonderful inter-dependence by the body.
1. A body is made up of parts. And each of the parts have different
functions (v. 4).
2. But though made of different parts with different functions, they're
all connected (v. 5).
3. May God help us never to think that we don't need what God, in His
great wisdom, has designed for us to contribute to each other's Christian
growth and maturity.
II. WE'RE TO SHOW A SPIRIT OF DEPENDABILITY IN USING OUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS FOR EACH OTHER'S BENEFIT (vv. 6-8).
A. There are a diversity of gifts (see also 1 Cor. 12:1-11; 27-31; Eph.
4:11-12; 1 Peter 4:10-11):
B. To some degree, we're all to do some of these things. But God
uniquely gifts some individuals among us to fulfill those roles in unique
ways and with unique efficiency. And when they do, the whole Body of
Christ is nourished (Ephesians 4:12-16).
* * * * * * * * * *
A closing thought from Aesop's "The Fable of The Belly and The Members":
It seems that one day, the members of the body rebelled against the belly.
"Just who does this belly think it is?" they asked. "He just sits there
resting, and enjoying a life of luxury and self-indulgence all the time,
while the rest of us have to spend all our time filling it!"
Talking among themselves, all the other body parts had about as much of
this lazy belly as they . . . well, as they could stomach! So, they went
on strike. They didn't do anything for this belly that they perceived to
be so lazy and self-indulgent. Big mistake! As Aesop teaches, "the whole
body quickly became debilitated, and the hands, feet, mouth, and eyes,
when too late, repented of their folly."
Christian: play your position!