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Thinking Soberly about Our Spiritual Gifts

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  1. Thinking Soberly about Our Spiritual Gifts Romans II Series [13] Romans 12:3-8

  2. CHANGED RELATIONSHIPS: A RESULT OF GOSPEL-CENTERED LIVING • 12:1-2 Our Changed Relationship to God [= consecrated body and renewed mind] • 12:3-8 Our Changed Relationship to Ourselves [= sober judgment on using spiritual gifts] • 12:9-16 Our Changed Relationship to One Another [= sincere love in the family of God] • 12:17-21 Our Changed Relationship to Our Enemies [= overcoming evil with good]

  3. CHANGED RELATIONSHIPS: A RESULT OF GOSPEL-CENTERED LIVING • 12:1-2 Our Changed Relationship to God [= consecrated body and renewed mind] • 12:3-8 Our Changed Relationship to Ourselves [= sober judgment on using spiritual gifts] • 12:9-16 Our Changed Relationship to One Another [= sincere love in the family of God] • 12:17-21 Our Changed Relationship to Our Enemies [= overcoming evil with good]

  4. HOW TO USE YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS FOR ONE BODY IN CHRIST • PREREQUISITES: Begin with a surrendered body and a renewed mind. 1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2

  5. So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:1-2 [MSG]

  6. HOW TO USE YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS FOR ONE BODY IN CHRIST 1) PREREQUISITES: Begin with a surrendered body and a renewed mind. • The first of twofold prerequisite is our surrendered, willing body offered as a living sacrifice to worship God. • The second is our renewed mind by Scripture and the Spirit which results in a counter-cultural mindset and discerning wisdom of God’s will. • A direct result of a renewed mind is a new way of thinking about ourselves [= from a self-centered worldview to a Christ-centered worldview].

  7. HOW TO USE YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS FOR ONE BODY IN CHRIST 2) SELF-ASSESSMENT: Think about yourself with sober judgment according to the measure of faith. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. (v.3)

  8. HOW TO USE YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS FOR ONE BODY IN CHRIST 2) SELF-ASSESSMENT: Think about yourself with sober judgment according to the measure of faith. • The basis of Paul’s exhortation: all spiritual gifts and faith are given by God’s sovereign grace, so no one should boast or become arrogant. • A new way of assessing ourselves: therefore, we must assess ourselves by this God-given measure of faith in humility. • This involves “sober judgment” which requires us to view ourselves honestly and humbly in the context of the community of faith.

  9. 9For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed. 1 Corinthians 15:9-11

  10. HOW TO USE YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS FOR ONE BODY IN CHRIST 3) PURPOSE: All spiritual gifts are given to build up one body of Christ. 4For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. (vs.4-5)

  11. HOW TO USE YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS FOR ONE BODY IN CHRIST 3) PURPOSE: All spiritual gifts are given to build up one body of Christ. • Spiritual gifts are God-given capabilities for service in one body of Christ. • We have different functions/gifts but belong to one body in Christ—i.e., we are interdependent. • Therefore, spiritual gifts are not about us—they are all about building up the body of Christ.

  12. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Ephesians 4:15-16

  13. HOW TO USE YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS FOR ONE BODY IN CHRIST 4) GUIDELINES: Use your gifts humbly, interdependently, and wholeheartedly. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think… Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them (vs.3a,6a)

  14. HOW TO USE YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS FOR ONE BODY IN CHRIST 4) GUIDELINES: Use your gifts humbly, interdependently, and wholeheartedly. • The key is not just to USE our gifts but HOW we use them. • We should use our gifts… • Humbly: because they are not about us—they are gifts of grace for the edification of the body of Christ. • Interdependently: because we need each other—we are to value each other’s functions. • Wholeheartedly: because we are the stewards of God’s gifts for the glory of God.

  15. 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies— in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:10-11

  16. HOW TO USE YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS FOR ONE BODY IN CHRIST 5) SEVEN GIFTS AS EXAMPLES: Do your part to build up the body of Christ. if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. (vs.6b-8)

  17. HOW TO USE YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS FOR ONE BODY IN CHRIST • SEVEN GIFTS AS EXAMPLES: Do your part to build up the body of Christ. • Prophecy: with as much faith as God has given you [NLT] • Service: in action • Teaching: effectively/passionately • Exhortation: encouragingly, inspirationally • Giving/Contributing: in generosity • Leadership: with diligence (zeal/eagerness) • Mercy: with cheerfulness

  18. The Mark of the Ministry of the Spirit Because these gifts can be exercised in the flesh, and they can be a fair imitation of the real thing—for a while. But there is one thing about the imitation: If it isn't patted on the back and ministered to, or given full credit, or public recognition, it stops! The mark of the ministry that is in the flesh is that it just flashes up for a while, and, as long as it has the public center of attention, it goes ahead. But as soon as that fades, it quits. On the other hand, the mark of the ministry of the Spirit is that, regardless of whether anyone says anything or sees anything, it keeps right on going! That is because it is unto the Lord. You can't continue with the perennial enthusiasm that you show without having discovered the secret of resting on the indwelling life of Jesus Christ. That is why this wholehearted, continual service is the mark of a Spirit-filled ministry. It is the mark that you have discovered the fountain of living waters, and, therefore, out of your own inner being there flows rivers of living water and blessing to others. - Ray Stedman

  19. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS FOR OUR EVERYDAY LIFE • Develop A BIBLICALLY TRANSFORMED VIEW of your church life. • Move from a consumer-oriented view to a Christ-centered view of the church life. • Practice sober judgment on your privileges and responsibilities. • Give YOURSELF UNRESERVEDLY to the ministry of the gift you have. • Do not wait for a call. You don’t need a call—see a need and do your part to build up others. • Make this your passionate pursuit of the Christ-centered life!

  20. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS FOR OUR EVERYDAY LIFE 3. Focus on CHRIST’S GLORY NOT YOURS in using your spiritual gifts. • Practice sober judgment on your motives for service. • Give Christ all the glory out of your love for him.