Essentials For A Christian Life – Chapter Four


newgrowth_300Our Purpose (Dedicating Yourself To Jesus)

Every structure that is built is built with a purpose.  1 Peter 2:5 NIV states: “you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”  What is our purpose?  1 Peter 1:15-16 says we are to holy!  In this lesson, we will study what it means to live a sanctified life.  As a believer, it is essential to dedicate yourself to Jesus.



The process of God’s grace by which the believer is separated from sin and becomes dedicated to God’s righteousness.  Accomplished by the Word of God (John 17:7) and the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:3-4), sanctification results in holiness, or purification from guilt and power of sin. (Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright (c) 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

Our love gift was given to us, not to build ourselves up, but “to minister to one another.”  We are to use them to serve and edify one another in the church.  My former pastor, Dr. Sam Cathey, would bring us an annual message called “Attitudes of Servitude”.  This message from Luke 17:7-10 would remind us of the proper attitudes about being a servant of Christ.  The four points were:

  • We have no personal rights (a servant does what His master tells him to do)
  • We seek no personal praise (we are only doing our duty)
  • We have no personal limitations (we give our all to the Lord)
  • We personally do not sacrifice (The Master takes care of all of our needs and we bring nothing)

Romans 12 speaks about not overestimating our worth.  We are to think of others in our congregation and how we are to work together.  As God has given each believer a spiritual gift, this gift is to cause us to have sober thinking (clear headed).  When we know what our gift is, we will know when and how to apply it in a situation.

Each person may have one or more of the motivational gifts to help organize the body and to insure a balanced ministry.  Each motivational gift is useful to the body as a whole, and it insures a balanced ministry.

Our gift is given to minister to one another.  It’s given to those inside the church for the purpose of meeting the needs of the body and ultimately glorifying the Lord .

application of the gifts

I see two applications of the gifts.  The first is speaking gifts.  Those would be prophecy, exhortation, teaching, administration.  These gifts are manifested by verbally sharing with the body.

The second applications is ministering gifts.  Those would be giving, service, mercy.  These gifts are manifested by action.

categories of gifts
  • Manifestation Gifts (1 Cor. 12:7-10)
  • Ministry Gifts (Eph. 4:11)
  • Motivational Gifts (Rom. 12:6-8)

I’ll spend a little more time to discuss the motivational gifts.  I will give the gift, a biblical example, and related scripture, and a couple of characteristics.

  • Prophesy – (John the Baptist – Luke 3:2-3; 7-20) 1) Passion for proclaiming the Word of God, 2) Quick to discern good from evil 3) Stresses repentance and lifestyle changes
  • Service – (Martha – Luke 10:38-42 & John 12:2) 1) Quick to recognize and meet practical needs  2) Enjoys manual, hand on projects  3) Methodical and orderly
  • Teaching – Apollos (Acts 18:24-28 & 1 Cor. 3:6)  1) Presents truth in a logical, systematic way  2) Enjoys detailed word studies  3) Prefers to use Biblical illustrations when teaching
  • Exhortation – Barnabas (Acts 4:36; 11:22-26)  1) Loves to encourage others to live victoriously  2) Focuses on working with and helping people  3) Fluent in communication
  • Giving – Abraham (Gen. 13:2-9; 14:14-23)  1) Gives liberally of time, energy, possessions and money  2) Prefers anonymous giving  3)  Enjoys being an answer to prayer
  • Administration – Joseph (Gen. 39:1; 41:29-40)  1) Prefers to be under authority  2) Takes responsibility as it is delegated to them  3) Enjoys long range goals and projects
  • Mercy – The Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 30-35)  1) Tremendous capacity to express love  2) Senses the emotional atmosphere of groups or individuals  3) Attracted to the hurting
practical hindrances to knowing your gift
  • Unsaved – you have never recognized as a sinner, you need a Savior
  • Confusing teaching – you may have sat under someone not accurately teaching the Word
  • Imitation of others – some gifts are more “showy”, what does the Lord have you doing?
  • Rebellion – You are resisting what the Lord is telling you
  • Un-confessed, un-forsaken sin
  • Ignorance – you just may have never been taught

All of these gifts are to be in operation within the church.  Are you putting yours to work?  Also, remember you are not “off the hook” because a particular thing is “not your gift”.  You have the Holy Spirit, who empowers you to do anything and everything the Word of God commands.

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