The Story: Like Paul (1 Cor. 12.7-11), Peter insists that the Spirit of God has gifted all believers with whatever they need in order to fulfill the requirement of love in serving one another. We are all gifted to serve. Thus, a stewardship has been laid upon us – to recognize, develop, and employ the gifts of the Spirit in loving others in a diligent and responsible manner. All gifts come to expression in the form of love; all are but the strength of God working in and through us; and all achieve their final objective when God is glorified. God gifts His people in order that through them He might get glory. We fulfill our calling in life, therefore, when we are dutiful and obedient in serving others with the gifts of God.
The Structure: Although Peter is not as explicit as Paul, he would say the same: such ministry depends on the work of God’s Spirit, distributing gifts, inclining our hearts, and empowering believers to serve one another in love. God shows His “manifold grace” to His people in the way He distributes gifts for ministry and the way His people use those gifts for mutual love and edification. Those who fail to put their gifts to good use are not trusting the Lord and cannot prove their love for one another. Seek spiritual gifts, and seek them earnestly in the context of love (1 Cor. 14.1).
What do you consider to be your gifts for ministry? How are you using them to the glory of God?
Each week’s studies in our Scriptorium column are available in a free PDF form, suitable for personal or group use. For this week’s study, “Endure Hardship: 1 Peter 4,” simply click here.
T. M. Moore
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.