Last week we talked a bit about enjoying the church. This week, we’re going to continue on in the same passage from First Peter and talk about serving the church and the other topics presented in these two verses.
10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To Him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4:10 & 11
Another humbling way that God shows grace to us is by graciously giving us gifts. I’m not talking about the gift of salvation. The gifts Peter is talking about here are spiritual gifts that are granted after salvation. There’s a lot of them listed in the Bible, and you can read about them here. Let’s read one of the passages where some of these gifts are listed.
6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
In this passage alone, we see a total of seven different gifts! And all of these gifts are relatively broad. There’s so much variety to the gifts that God gives to his children. These gifts are not something we deserve either. When forgiven from our sins, God grants us mercy, but when he adopts us and gives us gifts, he is displaying grace. That’s why Peter says, “varied grace.” It’s amazing that God gives us all different gifts. If we all had the same gift, we would all serve each other in the same way, and it would be boring honestly. But the Creator of Excitement makes his grace varied and fun.
So what do we do with these gifts? He tells us to use them to serve the Church. He doesn’t say to use them to serve non-believers. Now, don’t get me wrong. You can and should, but the main purpose here seems to be that we should use our gifts for each other.
That’s the only choice that makes sense for most of these gifts anyway. If our gift is leadership, what are we going to lead non-believers in doing? If it’s prophesying, why would a non-believer care? If it’s serving, we can use that for non-believers, but what’s the point of meeting physical, temporary needs if we don’t try to meet spiritual, eternal needs?
So, use your gift to serve the church. It’s necessary for the Body in order to function well. You might not use your gift in the same way that other people with the same gift might, but it’s just as important. In fact, your gift may not be very obvious to the rest of the Body, but it’s still necessary. If everyone who encourages didn’t use their gift because they didn’t get enough attention for it, the Church would hurt for that missing gift of the body. To put it in physical terms, the hand is just as important as the eye.
Moving on, in verse 11, we see Peter talk about how when someone’s speaking they should speak as if God is speaking. While this is relevant to people with a spiritual gift that requires speaking, the work speak in Greek means regular speaking. So while this does refer to spiritual gifts, it also includes anytime any Follower speaks. In other words, when we speak, it should be like God chose the words for us.
Then Peter tells us to serve with strength that God provides. When God gives us a task to accomplish, he gives us the strength to complete it. Philippians 4:13 says, “I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.” If we try to serve with our own strength, we will fail. Only through God can we do what God desires.
At the end of verse 11, Peter tells us to do what he just explained so that God is glorified. In all honesty, that’s the entire purpose of our lives. People, often jokingly, ask, “What’s the meaning of life?” It’s to glorify God. That’s why he made us! His love shows that. And just in case you didn’t read the last sentence, he does deserve glory and praise.
In this and the previous post from Peter, we have talked about the importance of being in fellowship with the church and why. Specifically, in the last post, we talked about how we should enjoy each other. Christians are fun people as well. Today, we have talked about how we should serve one another with our gifts. Too often we forget about the people we sit beside in pews on Sunday and how they are just as important as the lost person at home. The pew sitter deserves to be enjoyed and served just as much as the lost person does. As Jesus said in John 13:35, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Cover Photo: SAphotograhy