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Devotional - week of February 4, 2007


ministry gifts are not totally sufficient

 

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ … Ephesians 4:11-12

 

God has given spiritual gifts to each of His children for some special ministry. Three passages in the New Testament identify ministry gifts. They are Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:4-19, 1 Peter 4:10-11.

 

We are told in Ephesians 4:11-12 that Christian leaders are a gift from God to the churches for the purpose of preparing her gifted members for the ministry. Therefore, the gifts by themselves are not sufficient to equip a believer for his ministry. Observation shows that a believer can have some success without specific preparation for the use of his gifts. However, his fruitfulness in ministry will be much greater if he is equipped for the use of his gifts.

 

The calling of a God-gifted pastor-teacher is to equip or perfect all of his members to have the ministry for which God has appointed them. How, though, can a person whose gift is only as a pastor-teacher equip a person whose gift is, for example, in evangelism? It is obvious that the work of the pastor-teacher is not to equip his members in every detail of their ministries.

 

God reveals through Paul’s thorn-in-the-flesh experience that regardless of how gifted one is, he is to do his ministry in the grace of God. Pastors have nothing to do with causing thorns-in-the flesh but they can lead their members into a life of grace through teaching. Romans 6:14 reads:

 

For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

 

The first word of Romans 6:14, “For” indicates that one is not under the law but under grace because of what has been written in the verses above. Those verses contain five commands. When one obeys these commands, he experiences spiritual crucifixion, burial and resurrection. This places him under grace.

 

As one continues to experience his spiritual crucifixion, burial and resurrection that results in his being under grace, he is continually equipped for fruitful service in the Kingdom of God.