Your role in the local church, part 2

16 May

Before we talk about what you are supposed to do for Christ in serving His church, it’s important we just stop and think about what Jesus has done in serving you.

Our motivation to serve others increases as we consider the way Jesus has served us.

Because.

It’s not only that He’s died for you.

In Ephesians 4, Paul’s saying that He’s gone further.

And given each one of us a gift.

I mean, every single one of us has a gift to use, and it’s a gift that Jesus himself has specifically measured out.

There’s not a single person who is a Christian that Jesus has left out. We each have something from Jesus that He gave to us that others in the church need.

Which, to me.

Is really remarkable to think about.

Because obviously none of us on our own could do anything for God, which means basically if God left us on our own, our entire lives would be one big waste, because it is only what is done for God, that really matters.

So.

If God just left us to ourselves, we would be spending our whole lives using all of our time and all of our energy to accomplish pretty much nothing that matters.

Which of course, is part of what makes what Paul is saying, Jesus has done, so amazing, because in saving us, He not only, forgave us of all our sin, He also equipped us with very specific abilities that we didn’t have before.

Through which we can now serve the church and do things that can make an eternal impact, which is part of why I think, Paul describes this, as grace.

It’s not just like, “Hey. Serve the church. Do stuff. Come on. Work harder.”

Because the reality is, Jesus doesn’t need you.

And He definitely doesn’t need me.

To build the church.

He can get church done without us.

It’s not like.

Jesus was up in heaven saying oh man I am in trouble here, how can I help this person over here change. Please help me.

If he wanted to help that person by himself, he could that.

Obviously.

He could just go ahead and give that person absolutely everything needs.

To live out the Christian life.

Without you.

But He didn’t.

That’s the thing.

Instead, He’s stooped down, and He’s measured out gifts and spread out all the grace we need to live out this Christian life amongst all of us, which I think is so kind, because it means, while I may not be important in the world, and I may not have a family that is very significant, and I might feel like, my life you know is at a dead end, if I am a Christian, the fact is, I have purpose, Jesus has given me the Holy Spirit, and He’s given a supernatural gift, He’s literally entrusted this gift to me, and this gift is truly needed in the church.

I have a role to play.

That’s grace.

We all do.

As believers, we all have “supernatural abilities that are energized by the Holy Spirit to enable us to make a spiritual impact in the body of Christ for the good of others.”

1 Corinthians 12:7.

 “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.“

And I guess.

One of the things I love about this too.

Is that it is something he gives uniquely to each individual. We each have a gift, and there’s a sense in which each of the gifts we’ve been given, our unique.

It’s not like at Christmas.

You know.

And there’s someone who wants to maybe serve the poor or something, and so he decides he’s going to give all these gifts to these boys and girls. And yet he doesn’t want to waste a lot of time, because he has a lot of gifts to give, so he just makes a list, you know, boys get a toy car, and girls get a doll, and he doesn’t even think about it very much. So he just sends his secretary down to the store, and she grabs all the same toy cars, and all the same dolls, and then just plops down into the box, so that he can take them somewhere where there’s a lot of needy people and hand them out.

You can imagine the crowd.

Around him.

Oh you are boy.

Here you go.

You are a girl.

All right.

Enjoy.

And that’s not I am saying how it works with Jesus and the church. It’s not like Jesus sees this poor and needy church.

And he’s like.

They need preaching.

And so.

Ok.

He goes and he digs into his closet and he brings out this same exact gift of preaching, and he gives it to all these different people, to help the church.

No, here in Ephesians, the picture is of Jesus, measuring these gifts out.

The way a former pastor of mine has put it, it’s like.

As we look at the Bible, there are these categories of gifts, service, teaching, giving, whatever, and it’s like they are colors on a pallet, that’s something an artist uses to paint, you know with all the different colors of paint, and it’s like Jesus dips His brush and paints you with a mix of the colors available on the pallet.

To make this beautiful painting of the church.

Or another illustration, you might use, is that of a fingerprint.

“Every one of us has a different fingerprint. And just as God has marked us out and identified us uniquely by our fingerprints. He’s done the same with our spiritual giftedness.”

Which means.

We can’t just sort of hide away and think, oh, you know, it doesn’t matter if I’m serving or involved, because I don’t have anything to give, and feel like we are being so humble, oh I am not important, yeah we know that, you are not important, but Jesus is, and if you are Christian, Jesus says he has given you a gift, and it’s a unique gift.

He’s actually measured it out.

And not to use it.

It’s like.

Putting him down.

It’s like I don’t think you knew what you were doing in saving and gifting me. I don’t think you have the ability to do what you say you can.

Which is definitely disobedience.

Because, you are not able to do what you are able to do in the church, because you are somehow such an amazing person, you are able to do what you can do in the church, because the King of the church, came to you, and He said, here, I want to give you this, so that you can use it for others.

Which I think is a pretty powerful first motivation, for stepping up, and getting involved in the life of the local church.

Think about who gifted you to serve.

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