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February 18, 2019 8:16 am
Mass could open your Bibles to Romans chapter 12 I were going systematically through the book of Romans and there were continuing this morning. In Romans chapter 12 I think we've all been at the ballgame, where children or teens are playing and we've all seen the dad to the rather obnoxious dad at the sidelines shouting at the rapture doing at the opposing players shouting at his own coach to hear this individual. You would've thought previously played quarterback for the Panthers or was the start of Manchester United but there is standing on the sidelines and charging any such that's here today on that mind only one that we got one or two honest man unfair. I remember when her son was about seven or eight he was playing soccer and the first game I went to watch and the I know my pastor.
But I had shorted on something other complementary at our coach and after the game he came over very quietly introduced himself to me and that he said do not never coached soccer before Arthur, will you really didn't need to tell me that one and that he said I understand. Are you formally played the soccer for Scotland's I said, well, not quite. I said I think I told my son I had played soccer in Scotland, but not for Scotland's national team, so there he was a young man giving time and energy and doing his best with his team of boys and there I was cleaning much more of the game and he did what I was doing nothing, rather than chiding some followers of Jesus have reduced church life to that so that the spectator sport. Maybe come for another two and a Sunday to be sent back to me watch the performance. The service about the passive and uninvolved and they may in fact even criticize the ushers they may criticize the coffee. The choir and I know this is the will to believe even the preaching matter in sports with its football or soccer basketball.
There's nothing wrong in being a spectator is wonderful but following Jesus is not a sport is not a hobby, and we've learned from our study from the book of Romans that following Jesus embraces all of life, and I have been asking you to accept the challenge that Paul has presented for us in the opening two verses of Romans chapter 12 challenge of total commitment to Jesus Christ. So you sit there this morning ask you, are you part of team Calgary. Are you still sitting in the sidelines sitting in the bleachers as it were occasionally contributing about doing very little. I'm asking are you an active participants and calibrate or a passive attender where the going this morning of Romans chapter 12 verses six through eight, which deals with a very important subject of spiritual gifts but before going there. We must remind ourselves of the context that is a number of things much more important spiritual gifts and Paul has presented that in the only two verses that is our relationship with God our surrender to Jesus Christ as Paul after presenting the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is not pleading with ours is challenging us is imploring us by the very mercies of God, to present your bodies. He says a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God which is your spiritual worship and to do that he says don't be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind that is a relationship with Jesus Christ is first and foremost that is much more important than what you do.
After all, salvation begins with receiving the gift of salvation that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
And then last time you looked at Romans chapter 12 Paul deals with our attitudes and that also is more important than our giftedness first relationship with God.
A call of total commitment and then he says at the end of verse three. You are to think with sober judgment. Don't think of yourself more highly than he ought to think. If you're an employer interviewing a potential employee you eight.
You want someone with competence. You want someone with training on some with someone with experience, but if you're smart, you know that the character is even more important and also their attitudes and so it is in the life of the church.
It is very important that all of us have God using our spiritual gifts, but that must be seen in the context of a relationship with God and with a humble attitude. That is our service for God using the gifts that God gives us and the humility flows from this act of total consecration to Jesus Christ. You totally consecrated to Jesus Christ but stand and read a passage Romans 12 verses six through eight. Read it with me having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them. If prophecy, in proportion to our faith. If service and are serving the one who teaches, in his teaching, the 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. Amen. Please be seated. First of all we see that every authentic follower of Jesus, has received a spiritual gift is that wonderful everyone of us saved by the grace of God without exception, has received a spiritual gift is wonderful passage in Ephesians chapter 4 where Paul tells us that the ascended Christ gives gifts to his church. We often think of Christ's death is brittle and resurrection, and sometimes we stop there with the wonder of the gospel is this that Jesus Christ not only dying for our sins.
Not only was buried not only rose again, but ascended to the right hand of God and the ascended Christ gives gifts to his church as part of the celebration of his magnificent ascension. The completion of his work that he now gives gifts to the church. Ephesians 4 Paul says when he ascended on high, he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men fact, he says to each one of us. This grace has been received by look at Romans 12 verse six, Paul says here having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us for support gifts is a translation of the Greek word, Samantha Tanis is a Greek word for grace we get on board charismatic from this the ascended Christ gives Countess Martha. He gives gifts spiritual gifts to all of his followers every follower of Jesus as received by grace gift not remember their grace gifts given by God.
You don't buy them. You don't work for them given in the sovereign purposes of God to each one of us. He gives a grace gift that is the case, and that is how wrong it is, then, to use our gifts to show off to intimidate intimidate people know is a grace gift is why Paul has preceded his remarks on gaps by telling us of the right attitude of us should militate a number of remembering one another that a gift is to be used as a manifestation of the grace of God, is it what is a spiritual gift well is a supernatural ability for Christian service.
We who follow Jesus are now to serve him at the sound of others and to help us do that. God in his magnificent grace gives us a gift, and he gives it to every believer. If your Bibles open to Romans 12 just go over a few pages to first Corinthians 12 where we will see this, Romans, and then Corinthians 1st Corinthians 1st Corinthians 12 verse 72. Each notice that to each is given the manifestation of the spirit for the common good. Verse 11 all these are empowered by one in the same spirit who apportions to each one individually as he wills and then in first Peter chapter 4, first Peter chapter 4 verse 10 Peter gives us very precise teaching and Betty waiting Pete ;-) teaching on this matter of spiritual gifts. First Peter four verse 10 as each has received the gift of charisma. Each of us. Each one of us think of that you sit there dog has given you a gift to charisma as each one has received a gift use it to sound one another as good stewards of God's very grace we don't use her gift is sovereignly given to us the ascended Christ has given you this grace gift.
Now that gift is to be used by you.
First Peter four verse and brothers give you is it what is Paul saying here in Romans 12 verse six having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us land us use them.
Given a gift use it on, but I had them sit on it. Don't envy someone who do I give different from you know use the gift that you have been given within the body of Christ. Paul is saying there is a variety and I died varsity of these spiritual gifts verse six having gifts that differ everyone doesn't have the same gift. Listen again to Paul in first Corinthians 12 verses four through six. He says now that are varieties of gifts, but the same spirit and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord. And that are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone we were singing of God in three persons, blessed Trinity unit is in relationship to the spiritual gifts. The father the son and Holy Spirit are all involved in this and we have gifts that differ, but this the same spirit is the same Lord.
It's the same father. It's the same blog that we also and in the sovereign purposes has given us these variety of gifts and look at some of them in a minute for the church of Jesus Christ is diverse experience. We are not clones all looking alike thinking Alliance sounding alike drinking the same Kool-Aid. No other has occultism that what everyone does the same thing and dresses the same way and looks the same way and silos the same way. No is not the church and the church was a beautiful diversity. Graces of God.
God created us as individuals and gives us naturally. He gives us different abilities. I don't watch much basketball. But there's a little clip this week, which absolutely amazed me.
You can believe it, human being could jump so high and this is jumping hi he's doing all kinds of things with his basketball and eventually goes in the night.
I thought incredibly surround it. He's trained he's linked in a long time. Yes I know but listen most of us could treat every day about life and never get up that high God had given that young man, tremendous athletic ability, tremendous energy is another individual who hears a note of music and immediately knows what. Send resume with the tech come from a member of the high school. In my last year when we were doing calculus. Most of us struggling a bit as we were trying to understand the intricacies of mathematics under nobody in our class who didn't seem to write anything done but always got the right answer anything. What kind of plane is this that can do this different abilities and and all of us are different and God has made us that way and also God in his grace and his church has gifted us in different ways and within the church. There is not to be a loss of our individual identity. No, but rather the complementing of distinct personalities and abilities and gifts to create this magnificent organism church of Jesus Christ. The new man that you community the church of Jesus Christ, but we will accept your unique individual, stop comparing yourself with someone else God made you unique were told is not to snowflakes alike. Images of the same family. You are unique individual created by God, how wonderful, except that and also it follows from that appreciate the died varsity of the local body of Christ at Calvary. You are unique but so my other difference, and sometimes I may create some tensions. Sometimes someone, perhaps at the beginning of the Christian life or older who should know better things that everyone should act or use their gift in the same way as they do know this is related. First Peter four verse 10 that Peter talks about being stewards of what kind of grace God's very grace God's grace is multifaceted. It's multicolored. Some translations say the manifold grace of God or God's grace in its various forms.
All of us who are genuinely saved have received grace but that grace is displayed in us in all kinds of ways.
FF Bruce gives this very good quote. He says died varsity not uniformity is the mark of God's handiwork.
Think of God's diversity in nature.
Think of all of the different kinds of birds. Think of the thousands of different insects and plants thing the died varsity even in the human race was on different has God, he says, died varsity not uniformity is the mark of God's handiwork. It is so in nature. I love this. He says it is so in grace to and nowhere more so than in the Christian community is not beautiful but God's grace is displayed to a lost world so that someone today comes into Calvary church knows nothing of the grace of God as they come. As they watch as their welcomed as they sits as they tried to participate in worship.
They learn something of the magnificent multifaceted grace of God.
One of the things we love about Calvary church is that the religious sometimes we have little two or three-year-olds appear you say they don't sing very well. While some of them sing better than I do.
Think of the brilliant musicians we have all ages, all personalities different cultures different gifting's different perspectives, different abilities, but all coming together to display what the manifold grace of God. Don't agree with me that is a very beautiful thing to see in the church difference people of different ages using the gifts that wonderful. Just think what would happen at Calvary and all of us with all of our diversity with all of our giftedness were using our gifts.
Seeing a need and meeting the needs and remembering as we use our gift to important things. Gifts are to be used, to serve others, but was going to say that he says that he's teaching in first Corinthians 14 that whatever you do, do all for the edification for all of the building up of the body of the gifts is and how wonderful.
Use it to build up others also. As Peter says in first Peter, I read from verse 10 from chapter 4, but in verse 11, he says in everything in order is the goal that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. So as you and I use our gifts to things happen. One is other people are built-up of encouragement edified, and supremely God is glorified usual gift using it to serve others using it for the glory of God so that Christ is building his church and that you and I have the immense joy of participating in the work of the Lord as we use the give humbly as God has given us to help others and to glorify God. This week I met with our support staff at Calvary and the Scott Henry our director of support ministries told the famous story from today's swear when Sir Christopher Ryan built St. Paul's Cathedral for the London youth to go to simples Cathedral. It was building obviously famous church in the stories told at work when Sir Christopher Ryan is a Cathedral is being built to make the tour of the workforce and the asked one more work than what are you doing. He says on cutting the stone to the right size. Yes, the second working what are you doing, he says I'm I'm earning money becomes the third man is this what and what are you doing man paused and then excitedly replied, I am helping Sir Christopher Wren built St. Paul's Cathedral is a good responses someone who sees the big picture you disable what am I doing at Calvary greeting people assuring helping out in the kitchen feeding the homeless singing in the choir with hundreds and hundreds of opportunities but to think that what we are really doing is beyond that particular task is being involved in the building of the church of Jesus Christ our spiritual gifts are grace gifts look again at verse six of Romans 12 having gifts that differ stating that according to the grace given to us. I want you to grasp this, that the gift you have is a demonstration of God's grace I got married many years ago living in Scotland or brides from Scandinavia and the federal islands and that the customs were very different in Scotland and in Scandinavia by getting married. So I ask is that there is anything I need to know I want to do the right thing and she said while this is not a demand but it is customary for the groom to high bride a piece of jewelry.
I'm terrible at buying jewelry and had had very little experience of it and so I consulted with my sister-in-law and the bought.
I thought a beautiful gold necklace which I presented to my bride on the day we got married. Now, you could ask why should I do that that I think my my bride isn't beautiful enough that she needs something else. That's not the thing. The fact is, when you love someone, you want them to look good you want to enhance the beauty, is the church of Jesus Christ beautiful it is absolutely beautiful. We sign it beautiful is the body of Christ is loved by Christ.
Yes, he loved the church and gave himself up for her and just to think of this. So that would leave the church of Jesus Christ. Yes, with some ugly spots. That's true in both some failures that you can point to and say well Calvary church is very good at that. They really messed that up and that is true but the big picture is this we the church. Yes, the local budget Calvary church is a thing the part beautiful is the body of Christ and to enhance their beauty and to declare that beauty and to display that beauty so that all even the Angels falls as the wisdom of God is declared to them through the church. In Ephesians 3 so the people will understand something of the manifold grace of God's gifts of grace gifts and grace should always, always accompanied his gifts using your gift without grace, without love divides rather than unifies using your gift without grace destroys rather than up bills. It creates pride rather than humility. But these gifts are evidence of the great love that our Savior has for us, not Justin dying on the cross for our sins, he did that but his grace is grace upon grace and he gives us these gifts so that an unbelieving world will see something of the mighty grace of God that is why Scripture is full of one another's as needed love one another. Bear one another's burdens. Pray for one another and encourage one another help one another on these grace gifts are used by us to express our love for one another. Yes, we can say I love you brother. I love you sister.
And that's good that's fitting is appropriate, but how much more to demonstrate our love by serving others as we use these gifts and soul, preserving the unity of the spirit and the bond of peace. So each one of us is received the gift. Secondly usual gift willingly and wholeheartedly again.
Verse six having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us. Lead us use them using the gift I notice what Paul says here if prophecy, in proportion to our faith first one he mentions is the gift of prophecy. Now, in a narrow sense is gift of prophecy was a foundational gap all size.
Ephesians 2 verse 20 that the church is built on the foundation of the prophets and apostles and in the first century church. Those who had this gift before the canon of Scripture is completed receive direct revelation from God not mediated through Scripture by directly from God, and then they were able to declare it to others. As the apostles did. As the prophets did. But in that sense but I know prophets today and that narrow sense, and the Randall apostles the Daniel people claim to be apostle. If you can raise someone from the dead, you can make that claim but otherwise I don't claim to be an apostle, but in a broader sense, this gift of prophecy may be a public proclamation declaring God's word for the particular situation. Ask chapter 15 verse 32 and Judas and Silas who were themselves prophets. What did they do the encouraged and strengthened the brothers with many words, and encouraging or strengthening first Corinthians 14 verse three. On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for the outbuilding and encouragement and consolation.
So this gift of prophecy in the sense like all of the gifts is for the edification of the body of other people receiving direct revelation from God today underlines. There are many people claim that let me tell you we have all of the Scriptures. The canon of Scripture is closed. There is no new extra biblical revelation.
I know people claim that, but notice what Paul says here if prophecy, in proportion to our faith, not a particularly good translation.
In my view, it is it is in accordance the ESB says, in proportion to our faith. The Greek word is analog, DR, from which we get analogy and in the original Greek. It is in accordance with the analogy of the faith, not just our faith that my faith but he faith so Paul is referring not so much to the act of believing but that which we believe that is the prophecy declaration of the word of God is always to be in accordance with the Christian faith in accordance with the faith once delivered, and we must always always test what we hear what we read what we see against the authority of the script of this book, sometimes brothers and sisters were very very gullible and someone who is well known, writes a book and claim to receive these voices from heaven and we think all this is as important as Scripture as if Scripture is not enough.
I have a click during this week of one of these prosperity preachers who believes that words are words can create reality. So the preacher is saying you take your checkbook and if you're got very little and I don't if it's in a debit card you just get your checkbook and say they felt checkbook. May God bless us and she said that all of the money will just pour into your attendance.
Never had such nonsense that is said by someone who is very, very, very, very rich. I did notice the profanity preachers have rich they are.
It sells you if I was nutrition I think I would rip her spirited teacher deceiving people.
This is what God told me to take my checkbook and say be fooled. Heaven come down and fill my bank accounts policy know it's always got to be in accordance with the faith, with its from this pulpit with her something it on TV or video or read in the book. Always my dear brothers and sisters always always test it against Scripture is another gift. Here are seven if service in our serving, we just commissioned some of our deacons work here is that clear from which we get the word deacon. What is a deacon. It is a servant one who surfs this is a guilt I gift of serving, particularly in practical ways. It was used in 964 other men who serve the windows in a very practical way this gift calls for real humility and servant hood and I praise God at Calgary. We have many many deacons and I don't just mean official deacons but man and woman who have the gift of serving. I love it. On Wednesday nights were going to the crime room for for supper and people often thanked me for the meal.
May I do 04. What do I do I stand in line someone serves me, it's all prepared main course and dessert couple water sedan and someone comes and even cleans up the table after me.
What do I do I only receive what's going on, but those many of you sitting here who have this gift of seven and you get great joy in serving others and no evidence of God's grace in your life is another one here verse seven if service, in our serving the one who teaches in his teaching.
The gift of teaching.
This gift is the ability systematically to explain and teach truth's ability to study the word of God and to communicate that an accurate, clear and orderly way and also the ability to refute false doctrine of all of this teaching is done necessarily from the pulpit is on the life groups is done on one when discipleship is done at study groups. So to get together through the week, with two or three of you and open the Scriptures and there is one there while you all are interested in Scripture, there is often an individual who is a particular teaching of explain how you got the gift of teaching to each user. There are plenty people to be taught. There's a great need in the contemporary church of for teachers of doctrine of the Scriptures so many present Christians are living on hype living on just high emotion, but that is no foundation of the solid word of God. One of the qualifications for the elder is that they are to have the ability to teach the gift of teaching, but there's a caution listen to James and James chapter 3 verse one he says not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater so be careful before you rush off and start teaching.
Make sure you have the gift and make sure you're studying the word of God. I take my teaching, my preaching very very seriously by passion in life is to glorify God through the exposition of his word. I take that as a tremendous privilege but is a very very weighty responsibility. I read recently one point, John Calvin, the great reformer living in Geneva, Switzerland was banished from Geneva for a period of three years and Calvin was committed to the consecutive teaching of the word of God.
So was banished from three years. He returns to the pulpit and you know what he thinks on the picked up the next verse that followed his previous preaching three years ago is like is about a way for two years I come back and I said okay.
Last time I spoke I was in Romans 12 verse eight open your Bibles to Romans 12 verse nine. I love that by pelvic because it shows a high regard not far his own brilliance brilliant theologian he wants but his submission and his commitment to the word of God when the reasons are preaching consecutively through the book of Romans, rather than choosing my own themes are my own ideas of my own topics gift teaching was another one. Verse eight the one who exhorts, in his exhortation this gift of exhortation helps others with their spiritual progress. This is the ability to encourage to admonish the Council to comfort people in specific situations. If you're a critic. If your negative person.
You do not have the gift of exhortation, the very opposite. I praise God for those of you who have the gift of exhortation we needed a tough world of living in Pleasanton. Many broken hearts many broken homes, many crisis and some of you come and you take the word of God and you sit down with a brother or sister sometimes just one on one and you help them to apply the word of God to their lives.
If people come to you for counsel and for advice because they appreciate your commitment to the word of God. You may well have the gift of exhortation again in verse eight, the one who exhorts, in his exhortation, the one who contributes the one who gives in generosity now are all to give generously to give generously this morning, but there are those who have the gift of giving. Took me a while to understand this but some believers of the particular gift of giving.
They are very very sensitive to the needs of others and only financial appeals but will need to play a game of golf for the going to give to administrator to a church negative cheerfully they give generously. They give liberally. Why because they're giving it to the Lord not to tell other people about it, not with an ulterior motive, but giving is on to the Lord use of others is just for wealthy people know some of the poorest people I know have the gift of giving. We talk about people who would give the shirt off their back. My grandfather was like providing a given anything if you needed was not a matter of saying while I don't have much money.
This is not for me, it may well be you ever thought you might have the gift of giving the very opposite of this very opposite of same others.
Wealthy people that they can pay for the things a cover charge, but I'm just going to hold on to what I have no it is someone who experiences the grace of God in the hearts and the giving generosity. Be generous in your giving verse eight is another one. The one who leads with zeal. If you have the gift of leadership lead and do it with zeal, do it with diligence. The church is not a democracy. Leadership is vital in the church and the gift of leadership involves seeing the big picture.
There are people with vision who could lead the church in ways that others will follow. If you think your leader.
No one is following your you're not a leader selectively person was up in the mountains and the season scoutmaster in the scoutmaster's face to the hiker. Have you seen a number of scouts under leader, though he's not the leader following him that way doing the one thing you find people falling you feel you have an influence on people do that with zeal do that with eagerness to that with diligence is leading spiritually and your family and the church in your life. Is that easy know it's very very difficult and therefore St. Paul do with zeal and then the last one, the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
People with this gift, reach out to those in the church and the community, humanity may well be overlooked or secular pool who distressed who are disabled to attracting some of us may see them and sell goods to buy the bike, brother so-and-so, but the person who's the gift of mercy draws close to that person and doesn't know because there's a program not because the being told to do it but to do it with cheerfulness.
Who wants to receive mercy from someone that is not done cheerfully with just a note about retaining. I praise God for the money at Calvary church who have a gift of mercy over the years of being at Calvary have seen how you read charts to people who are shutting reach out to people or at home recovering from surgery and bringing them a meal and drawing close to them making a call to them visiting people and doing it with a smile. People have the gift of mercy are thoughtful. There practical.
They're trying the rest of us may think will be a good thing if someone did such and such, but you got the gift of mercy. Not only are you crying, but your thoughtful and your thoughtfulness is translated into action, giving yourself away to others with cheerfulness about you for these. And this is not an exhaustive list of gifts, but what about you, we would your involvement at Calvary. Are you serving give a sense of what your gift is ever prayed to God not sure so I don't know where to begin. Begin by serving. Where there's a need to meet it instead of saying good if someone did such and such do it is our culture values individualism, but we who are following Christ. I say this particularly to the younger generation we need to understand the importance of community do you seek a good of the church. When you serve or you just concerned about looking good in front of others or you only doing it to feel good about yourself only concerned about your needs being met.
I hope your needs are being met by wonderful isn't when we come together with all of our diversity with all of our abilities with all of our differences can assist with all of her inhuman sinker.
Six because sometimes when another bunch of people in 20 and we come together something marvelous happens, we will praying downstairs before the service elders and deacons, and pastors and complement and work were playing a card just to something like that. Be that we would be a beautiful church that we would be a church of grace. Three responses. Be thankful for your gift you have received a special gift, unique gift, and God will give you all the help you needs as you serve him. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. So you usually get you sir and be thankful. Secondly, the humble please can I say, particularly to those of you who are gift prophetic gift.
Don't use your gift to show off unusual gift to draw attention to yourself.
Remember as an act of grace. Be humble and then be active use your gift.
You see, when we accept this challenge of total commitment. It impacts our relationship with Christ. Of course it does. We surrender everything through them and entice our attitude and attitude of humility and helpfulness, but the service of others inevitably flows doesn't.
And if you're not involved in serving the Lord that something is going wrong and perhaps it's because you've never yet personally received the grace of God.
Paul says you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he were rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that you through his poverty may be made, which I trust you know what it means to be saved by grace and will use your gift to glorify God and to help others.
Father, help us, we to pray.
We thank you for the beautiful body of Christ here at Calvary we confess that were far from perfect. Sometimes we miss user gift.
Sometimes we don't use our gifts sometimes were cocky. Sometimes we act superior over others.
Forgive us father and I pray that we will humble ourselves under your mighty hand and that you will pull your grace into our hearts.