Basics of Spiritual Maturity 104
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: (1 Pet. 4:10)
If you have read the last four posts regarding “Basics of Spiritual Maturity,” then you may be thinking you’re doing all right. You pray regularly, read God’s word regularly and strive to memorize and meditate on it, and you faithfully attend church every week. Where many regularly church attending, Bible reading, prayer warriors drop the ball is in the fourth area—serving. Like church attendance, many Christians think serving within the church, serving the body of Christ, is optional. Thus, for years they treat church like it’s a spiritual sauna. They attend church every week for years, laying back, soaking up the worship music, the prayers, and the message preached, all the while giving nothing in return. It’s for this reason it has often been said that church ministry is like a football game where you have twenty-two men on the field desperately in need of rest being cheered on by 50,000 spectators desperately in need of exercise. Yet, the Bible commands Christians to be actively serving the body. First Peter 4:10 says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace” (emphasis added). Notice that Peter assumes every believer has received a gift he can use “to serve one another.” He says, “As each has received a gift…” He does not say, “if you have received a gift” but “as each has received a gift.” Every Christian has a gift (whether they realize it or not), an ability, a talent, they can use to serve the greater body of believers. Thus, every believer should find a place within the local body to serve the broader body of believers. But how does this benefit us? How does serving within the church help us grow in our sanctification and Christian character? Since we are all members of the same body (1 Cor 12) then as we minister to the body of believers, we are ministering to our own body. We are ministering to ourselves. And as each member seeks to serve the body and to help the body become healthy and strong, then we all become healthy and strong together. It’s a group effort with reciprocal benefits. If you love yourself and if you love the body, the body of Christ, the bride of Christ, then you should want to serve the body and help the body reach spiritual maturity (Eph 4:11-16).
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