Romans 12:1-8… Paul lists seven needs of the times and the seven gifts God has given us to alleviate those needs. If ever there was a time for these gifts, it is now. Our nation is going to hurt for many years to come. The Lord gave this instruction at a crucial time in history. Christians were being persecuted and they were experiencing very difficult times. History is repeating itself. We are seeing persecution in our nation and in many parts of the world.
In the Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11:1-4) one phrase reads, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth” (v. 2, KJV). One of the earliest manuscripts on the gospel of Luke puts it, “Thy Holy Spirit come upon us and purify us” (St. Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa). The word “purify” means “to be free from defilement and imperfections, to be free from guilt, to be free from undesirable elements, to be clean.” We are asked to pray for the Holy Spirit to come upon us and purify us so that we can know the will of God, do the will of God, and fulfill the purposes of God concerning the earth. The “will of God” is simply “the desires of God” or “the law of God.” The Holy Spirit purifies our desires to conform to God’s desires and empowers us to do them. In Romans 12:1-8, the Spirit lists seven needs in people’s lives and the seven gifts that we are to use to meet those needs. The Lord wants His people to live full and complete lives. The land is full of unfulfilled saints. Romans 12:6-8 lists the seven gifts for those seven needs. Three are speaking gifts and four are service gifts.
a) The gift of prophecy meets spiritual needs… 1 Corinthians 14:3… The person who prophesies speaks to men for the purpose of exhortation, edification, and comfort. Anointed utterances build up the human spirit. A word from the Lord, by the Spirit, can turn a hurting soul’s life around. People are hurting. Many are depressed, some are fearful, and others are tearful and without hope. Prophecy declares the will of God. Prophecy gives insight. Prophecy declares truth. Prophecy motivates.
b) The gift of ministry meets practical needs… The key thought here is serving. Seeing a need by the Spirit and then meeting that need is what is meant here. In Acts 6, the Spirit made serving a spiritual work. The word “ministry” means “to give attendance to at the highest level of excellence, to give aid, to give service, to demonstrate the excellence of Jesus’ name.” This standard of excellence is what God expects from every believer who serves in the Kingdom of God. It’s the word diakonia, referring to the gifts that God gives to those who hold the office of pastor, teacher, deacon, or deaconess. It covers a lot of ground. Serving requires that each person be led of the Spirit. Spirit-led saints have the ability to see a need and fulfill it. They are motivated by love and compassion.
c) The gift of teaching meets intellectual needs… by imparting knowledge, clarifying truth, and sharing truth. There is much confusion in the land. Teaching involves commitment to prayer and the Word. The Lord, in Hebrews 5:12, chastises Christians with the words “ye ought to be teachers” (KJV). Why? Because people need knowledge. God is anti-ignorance. Lack of knowledge destroys a sense of worth. People are perishing on the inside; this is why there are many people in poverty. A teacher clarifies truth and has the ability to impart knowledge. He is motivated to search out truth by prayer, study, and research.
(To be continued…)
Pastor George Belobaba
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