Activities of the Christian Life

Activities of the Christian Life

1. Following to prove ~ John 10:27.

• “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:”

2. Growing to attain ~ Ephesians 4:15.

• “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.”

3. Walking to accomplish ~ Ephesians 5:1, 2.

• “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour.”

• The believer follows God, first by becoming a follower of God. The idea is that of commitment, attachment, devotion, allegiance, and attention. Before a person can be a follower of God commit and attach himself to God. He must surrender and devote his life to God and then begin to follow after God.

• Just imagine if we all followed the bold challenge that the Scripture so boldly proclaims that we are to become like God, how would the world be? the nation? the state? the county? the city? the church?

• Christ said: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:48

• God demanded: “Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy” Leviticus 19:2

• Paul declared: “But we all … are changed into the same image of Christ from glory to glory” 2 Corinthians 4:18

• Peter charged: “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” 1 Peter 1:15-16

• In verse 2, Christ didn’t just die to meet the need of a sacrifice to take our place. When an offering was brought before the altar of God it was done to show love and adoration to God. This is something that is overlooked most of the time. We have a majestic responsibility of glorifying God in all we do; and this is what Christ was doing.

4. Working to benefit ~ Romans 12:6-16.

• There are different gifts that are singled out in these passage of scripture that we are going to talk about. We need to have a better understanding of these gifts.

• First we have to understand that each of these gifts are given by the Spirit of God for spiritually needs to be met and used by the Spirit of God only. We don’t have the ability to use them in and of ourselves. Also note, that the gifts are given “according to the grace that is given to us.” This means that the gifts are given AFTER we come to know the grace of God.

  • There is the gift of prophecy. In the Old Testament the gift of prophecy was the gift to proclaim and explain the will of God. The proclamation dealt with past, present, and future events. However, in the New Testament, the gift of prophecy changes dramatically. The prophet is seldom seen predicting the future. Instead, he is seen proclaiming what has taken place in the Lord Jesus Christ and what has been revealed by Christ concerning future events. His function is to edify, exhort, and comfort. The Scripture is clear about this.

o 1 Corinthians 14:3 – “He that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification and exhortation and comfort.”

  • There is the gift of ministry (diakonia PWS: 2603). The word is often used of a servant or of a person who serves and ministers to others in the most practical ways. Therefore, the meaning would be the very special ability to serve, minister, aid, help and assist others—to assist them in such a way that they are built up and truly helped. It is the most practical of gifts. Most of us know a few people who are always willing and who are unusually gifted to help others when help is needed. All of us can help, and all of us can develop our willingness and ability to help, but there are some believers who are unusually gifted with the very special gift of ministry.
  • There is the gift of teaching (didaskon). Teaching is the ability to explain, root, and ground people in the truth. The Word of God not only needs to be proclaimed by the prophet, but it must also be explained by the teacher. People must be guided and rooted in all the truths of the Word day by day, week by week, and year by year. This is the teacher’s task.
    • Matthew 28:20 – “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world”
  • There is the gift of exhortation (paraklēsei PWS: 1390). This is the very special ability to excite, motivate, advise, encourage, comfort, and warn people. The dominant factor would be the motivation and encouragement of people, the ability to stir people to make a decision for Christ and to grow in Him. It is the gift that arouses people to get up and get busy fulfilling their task for the Lord.
    • “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee” (Titus 2:11-15)
  • There is the gift of giving (metadidōmi PWS: 1687). This simply means the giving of one’s earthly possessions such as money, clothing, and food. Note that in listing this particular gift, Scripture adds a point: it tells how the person is to give. He is to give with “simplicity” (en haplotēti PWS: 3568). The word has several ideas. It means…
    • to give with sincerity and in simplicity.
    • to give with singleness of heart and without show.
    • to give liberally and generously.
    • The point is this: God gives some persons the special gift to make money in order to have plenty to help others and to spread the gospel around the world. These persons…
      • must give and give generously. God gave them the gift of making money in order to have enough to fulfill the will of God for the world. Therefore, they must give liberally.
      • must not hoard and bank and misuse their gift of wealth.
      • must not give grudgingly and complainingly about having to give.
      • must not give to attract attention or to heap honor upon themselves.
      • must not give to boost their own egos and pride.
    • 2 Corinthians 9:7 – Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
  • There is the gift of ruling (proistēmi PWS: 3352). This means the ability of leadership, authority, administration, government. Note that this person is to lead with diligence (en spoudē PWS: 1037): with haste, zeal, desire, and concentrated attention. There is no room for laziness, complacency, and irresponsibility in the Kingdom of God and His church. The leaders are the ones who are to blaze the path for the flock of God, and they are to do it with zeal, hard work, and iron determination.
    • “Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord” (Romans 12:11).
  • There is the gift of mercy (eleōn PWS: 3545). This is a person who is full of forgiveness and compassion, pity and kindness toward others. Note that the merciful person is to show mercy with a cheerful (hilarotēs PWS: 560) heart. The word means kind, cheerful, joyful.
    • “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7).
5. Reaching to gain ~ Philippians 3:13, 14.
• “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
 
Pastor Andy Lambert
{pastorandy@cvcog.church}