Sunday – August 14, 2022
Word On Worship – Sunday – August 14, 2022
“For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly…”
While he was president of Princeton Seminary, Dr. John Mackay was heard to say, “Commitment without reflection is fanaticism in action. But reflection without commitment is the paralysis of all action.” These two extremes have always threatened the ongoing ministry of the church of Jesus Christ. There are those who are content to learn doctrine but sense no urgency to put what they know into practice. On the other hand, there are the pragmatists who want to know only what seems to work but are too busy to reflect upon the principles which underlie their activity.
There are many Christians today who are up to their necks in activity and ministry, but who unfortunately have little idea what it’s all about. There are others who would encourage us to get away from cold and sterile doctrine and saturate ourselves with experience. As we approach spiritual gifting, we see that Paul avoids both these extremes. He avoids the extreme of reflection without commitment by challenging every Christian to a life of service. He avoids the danger of activity without reflection by instructing us that the Christian experience is the outgrowth of a transformed mind, a thought-process molded not by the world, but by the Word of God.
These two great dangers are at the heart of the exercise of spiritual gifts. The first is in not devoting ourselves to doing that which we are gifted to do. The second is exercising our gifts in a way inconsistent with the grace of God, the very grace that is to motivate and be manifested by them. We must be challenged to devote ourselves to the function for which God has gifted us and to the ministry He has called us. And we are to do so in a manner pleasing to Him and consistent with the task in the overall plan and purpose of God.
Paul’s words raise an important question I call to your attention, for it require an answer which only you can give. I urge you not to leave this text without arriving at an answer for yourself. Paul is speaking to believers about the spiritual gifts God has bestowed upon each of those who have become His children, by faith. First and foremost, have you received God’s gift of eternal life? Have you been born again? If not, then the subject of spiritual gifts is but an academic exercise, a purely hypothetical question. If so, then you have received, along with the gift of eternal life, a special enablement to serve God through His body, the church. Do so, to the glory of God.