Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly.
Our understanding of grace impacts our thinking about church membership, church attendance, and giving to the church. Finally, grace affects our attitude toward serving in the church. Churches that push bad grace say things like, “If you have any time left over in your busy schedule, then you can consider serving in the church. But do not feel like you have to.”
Yet good grace understands that we have both the responsibility and the incredible privilege of serving in the church. Look at Romans 12:6: “Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly.” When you trusted in Christ as your Savior, you received God’s grace in your life. And He brought into your life a unique spiritual gift through which to serve Him. Every Christian has been given a unique spiritual gift.
What is a spiritual gift? A spiritual gift is the unique passion and power God has given you to further His kingdom. Some people have a passion to teach God’s Word. Other people have a passion to show mercy to those who are in distress or to meet the practical needs of other people. But your spiritual gift is not only a passion; it is a power. It is something you are especially good at. And it is to be exercised in the local church.
Paul’s whole discussion of spiritual gifts began after he talked about the body of Christ. Verse 5 says, “We, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.” The church is a body with different parts: eyeballs, ears, pancreas, liver. We are all different parts, but we are joined together. That is the context for spiritual gifts: the church.
Some people say, “I prefer to be a part of the universal church–all Christians everywhere. I do not want to get tied down to a local church.” Did you know that is totally anti-scriptural? “Ecclesia,” the word for “church,” is used one hundred and ten times in the Greek New Testament; ninety of those times it refers not to the universal church but to the local body of believers. The local church is not man’s idea; it is God’s idea. It is God’s plan to further His kingdom through local bodies of believers. Every Christian is to be a part of a local body of believers, and every Christian should find a place of service in that local body of believers. We have a saying at First Baptist Dallas: “No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.” Have you found your something?
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Good-Grace Churches – Part 2” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2020.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org