Using Spiritual Gifts | Expository Sermon | Romans 12:4-8
Introduction:Every Christian is a member of the body of Christ.Every Christian is joined to Christ, and joined to one another, in that body, because we have all been baptized into that one body, we have all been made to drink of one Spirit (1 Cor 12).Every Christian is gifted for ministry. The Spirit of God has distributed Christ’s triumphant gifts to His people sovereignly. Each believer is especially outfitted for service in ministry, and that enablement is the manifestation of the Spirit, it is the manifestation of God’s varied grace.Every Christian has a strategic role to play in the work of the local church. By God’s saving work all over the world, He has supplied for the work of His church in every location. Christ has supplied for what He means for His church to do. What God has done in the case of every believer, through salvation, is then providentially put to work in each and every local congregation, so that each church is fully outfitted for faithfulness.Every Christian, then, has a stewardship that was created by these realities. Every Christian is to use the gift that they have been given for ministry.It that idea — that every Christian has a stewardship imparted by the reception of a spiritual gift, and that stewardship requires USING THE GIFT in a way that is faithful to God — that we focus on in our verses today.I. THE REASONABLE RESPONSE TO THE REALITY OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS (vs.6)One of the interesting things about the verbal idea found in verse 6, is that it is left unexpressed in the Greek text. The translators are right to supply it. The verbal idea is necessary and unmistakable. But in terms of the expression of the idea in the text, it is assumed.Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace of God — since God has distributed gifts that manifest his own grace that is many-colored, WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THOSE GIFTS?The designer has distributed gifts with a design in mind, HOW THEN SHOULD THOSE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED SUCH GRACE, AND RECEIVED A PLACE IN THAT DESIGN, RESPOND?The reasonable response is that you fulfill your function.The reasonable response is that you use your gift.As the ESV says, “let us use them.”The NASB says, “each of us is to exercise them accordingly”And that, of course, is what Paul goes on to describe in the verses that follow. He describes the proper USE of the gifts God has given.What is unreasonable, what is not fitting, is that God would save us, join us to the body, impart to us a gift for service that expresses His grace, that he would impart to us a gift that when it functions manifests the presence and working of His Spirit —and then we would NOT USE IT.That makes no spiritual sense.SO, LET ME ASK, DOES YOUR LIFE MAKE SENSE RIGHT NOW? Are you a good steward of the grace of God given to you in the form of a spiritual gift?We sometimes encourage people to sanctification in a way that leaves the use of their spiritual gift outside the equation. And that is a mistake.“What should I do to grow in the Lord?”We say: “Take the Word of God into your life. Gather with the Lord’s people. Spend time in prayer. Obey what you learn in your personal life. Etc. etc. etc.”What we sometimes do not include is this: “Serve your brothers and sisters in Christ. Go to work for the cause of the kingdom of God. Fulfill the work of the Lord’s church.”Service is a non-negotiable part of living out the life of worship.Are you living your life in a spiritually reasonable fashion?Are you using your God given capacity for ministry?