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Serving One Another

"10 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen."

Good Morning my beloved,


Welcome to worship this Lord's day! We're so glad to have all of you here with us today. Please know, that we continue to lift all of you up in our prayers. We respectfully ask that you would do the same for us. We are so grateful for those of you who have been sharing the ministry website with all of your family and friends. Your faithfulness to share God's Word with others has brought about tremendous results. Where will God's Word be heard today? With your continued help, we pray that God's Word will continue to reach those who most need to hear it. 
Contrary to what is being taught in many churches today, salvation is not just forgiveness for sins. Many pastors talk so much about salvation being the point of which your sins are forgiven,  you’re delivered from sin, guilt, death and ultimately hell. But if you understand salvation in a biblical sense, then you must understand salvation is more than the forgiveness of sin, true salvation is a transformed life. Salvation effects your whole life, your entire way of living. Salvation is the transformation of life. 
Since the emphasis of salvation today is the forgiveness of sins by faith in Christ, it allows pastors to focus on the cross, which is the point at which Christ bore our sins, and so it is there at cross cross, the sinner finds forgiveness for sins. And of course, that is true. However, salvation is much broader than that. It begins at the forgiveness of sin, which leads to a transformed life of obedience and is consummated in the glory with Jesus Christ.  
When we think about Christianity, however, we immediately tend to think of the cross as the symbol of our faith. It is interesting to note, that the early church did not focus of the cross. The early church saw salvation in much broader terms than that. The early church focused its attention on the resurrection. 
The preoccupation was not with the cross, the point at which sin is forgiven, but the resurrection, the point at which new life begins. It was to enter in to an entirely new kind of life. The Spirit of God in the soul of man. Because one who is saved has dealt with sin, he desires to live in that new way of life. A desire which arises from his new nature, an incorruptible, holy seed, planted in the life of the believer. I believe that is a very important concept.
Scripture identifies the Christian as one in whom is planted an incorruptible seed of life indicates that there will be fruit bearing. A seed is that which produces something. Therefore, that seed of new life which is incorruptible, will then flourish and produce something new. So salvation is not only then the forgiveness of sins, but turning away from the old life, the old ways to a new life and new ways, ways which are the very expression of that new life. Salvation is transformation, it is regeneration. True saving faith is a powerful, life changing force.
Martin Luther describes true saving faith this way " O, this faith is a living, busy, active, powerful thing.  It is impossible that it should not be ceaselessly doing that which is good.  It does not even ask whether good works should be done, but before the question can be asked, it has done them.  And it is constantly engaged in doing them.  But he who does not do such works is a man without faith.  He gropes and casts about him to find faith and good works, not knowing what either of them is, and yet prattles and idly multiplies words about faith and good works. Faith is a living well-founded confidence in the grace of God, so perfectly certain that it would die a thousand times rather than surrender its conviction.  Such confidence and personal knowledge of divine grace makes its possessor joyful, bold, full of warm affection toward God and all created things, all of which the Holy Spirit works in faith.  Hence, such a man becomes without constraint willing and eager to do good to everyone, to serve everyone, to suffer all manner of ills in order to please and glorify God who has shown toward him such grace."
We must therefore see salvation as a transformed life that makes meaningful and desirable all the commandments of the Word of God. Therefore, inherent in that new life is the impulse to obey God. We don't resist it, we don't attempt to rationalize not doing it, we long for it, we desire it. That is the mark of transformation and true saving faith.
Let us pray
Heavenly Father,
Father, as always, we are so thankful for Your Word for us. Thank You for this reminder that since the end of all things is near, that we should cause us to be accountable. Lord, we pray that You would help us to be the people You have created us to be, who are obedient and demonstrate a transformed life  before the watching world. May we continually yield that which You desire to produce in us by You Holy Spirit. Because You expect the best from us, let us expect that also from ourselves. Forgive us Lord, for our lives which have been disobedient to Your Word, that have rebelled against Your commands. Refresh our hearts, renew our commitment to You and to Christ, that would desire to be more than just forgiven, that we would desire to be truly transformed. Thank You for the precious gift of salvation.
In Jesus' name we pray

Today's Message: Serving One Another

If you will remember, in verse 7, Peter reminds us to keep in mind that since Christ could come at any moment, we are to live in constant expectancy of His return. He was talking about sound judgment and a sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. A holy life which enhances your communion with God.

Then, in verses 8 and 9, he spoke of love, a fervent love that covers a multitude of sin, the sins of others, a love that is hospitable to strangers, and never begrudges it. In other words, we are to one, maintain a holy relationship with God. And two, we are to maintain a loving relationship with others. Today we come to verses 10  and 11, we come to the third point, we are to live a life of service.
Open with me your Bibles to I Peter chapter 4, verses 10-11. These two verses tell us about spiritual service. Peter says that you’re to be busy serving one another. Inward holiness leads to outward love, which produces spiritual service. That's simply his point. It starts with a right vertical relationship. And, you follow that with a right horizontal relationship, which engages you into a life of effective service. 
Without outward love, spiritual service is little more than hypocrisy.

I invite you to follow along with me as I read to you verses 10 and 11, to set the text in our minds, I hope that you will prepare your hearts with me for a Word from our Lord. Listen for His voice. I Peter 4:10-11.

"As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen."
Verse 10, "As each one has received a special gift." In verse 11, "Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies. Peter divides all spiritual gifts into two pretty broad categories: Speaking gifts and serving gifts. Speaking gifts are usually more visible: preaching, teaching and prophecy. Serving gifts are usually more behind the scenes: good deeds, kindness, giving, or administration. They are the ones who the work that enables others to do what they do. Those members which are the most visible, the most entertaining, and the most prolific are not necessarily the most important. That's the point.
The New Testament is clear that every believer has at least one gift. In other words, we are stewards of the resources God has given to us, which we are to use for His glory. The word "serve" is sort of a mundane word, it is the Greek verb "diakonéō," which literally means to wait. It means to wait on people. It also means caring for the needs of others as the Lord guides in an active, practical way. We are all uniquely equipped by God for distinctive functions.  By the way, no gift greater or lessor than any other gift, there is such thing as an insignificant gift.
Paul says in I Corinthians 12:7, "But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good." And, in verse 11, he says "But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills." In verse 12 "For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ." In the body of Christ every member has a certain function. Look at verse 14, "For the body is not one member, but many." So, he's talking about the church, function together, as one body in Christ. While we are universally gifted, we are individually gifted as well. 
verses 8 through 10, list several spiritual gifts, "For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues."
And, in Romans chapter 12, you have another list of gifts. "Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness." 
In Ephesians 4:7 Paul says "But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift." Christ measures the gift, so whatever gift you are given, whether preaching, showing mercy, or serving, the measure by with which you are given that gift might vary. Many people have the gift of teaching, but in each case it's different. Your gift is not the same as someone else's, each is unique. Just as each of us are unique. We're like spiritual snowflakes, no two are the same. Even if you are an identical twin, your fingerprints are different. And, you have different other parts as well. So, even if you had 15 or 20,000 people with the gift of teaching, each one would uniquely teach. 

Paul emphasizes the same point from a different viewpoint, in I Corinthians 12, when he says there are varieties of gifts but the same Spirit. Since every Christian is a steward of God’s varied grace, what a great reason to be alive! My spiritual gift is that which I do to serve Christ, obviously, it includes preaching and teaching, your gift may be a combination of other of gifts. But each one is absolutely unique, because we are all unique.
By the way, the church will be healthy only to the extent that every member conscientiously exercises his or her gifts as stewards before God. 
Notice in verse 11, Peter says "Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God." That doesn't necessarily mean that he is speaking under divine inspiration, it does however calls attention to the seriousness of communicating God’s Word. When someone preaches the Word of God, he isn't to just throw around human philosophies and opinions, rather you are to bring people face to face with God’s authoritative truth. 
In I Timothy 4:14, Paul tells Timothy, "Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery." Timothy, who did many things, an evangelist, who counseled and exhorted, who had to demonstrate leadership capabilities, all rolled into one. But when Paul addressed it, he addressed it as one gift. 
Like a combination of colors on the pallet of giftedness. Which all come together, to create your unique gift. That's why if you don't exercise your spiritual gifts, there's no one to replace you. That's doesn't mean that the job won't get done, God will use someone else to fulfill His purposes and plans, but the point is, it won't be your exact same gift. Yours is unique to you alone. That's why is so important that each member in the body of Christ functions,because of your background, your training your environment, you function like nobody else. 
Let's look at verse 10 again, where Peter says "As each one has received a special gift," it's a gift. You didn't earn it, you didn't pray for it. You received it as a gift. It is a gift of grace. As a footnote, when Paul in Ephesians 4:7 calls it Christ’s gift. Its the word charis, which means a gift or blessing brought to man by Jesus Christ. The word gift is the word "dōreá,"  which emphasizes the freeness of the gift. Sometimes spiritual gifts are from the word "pneumatikos," it talking about the character of the gift, its a spiritual capacity. It's a gift of grace, a spiritual enablement. Supernaturally given, and supernaturally energized. The Spirit gives the gift, the Lord gives the ministry, and God works the effects. That's the Trinity.

Back to verse 11, "Whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies." Those who serve must do so by the strength which God supplies, which points to the need for conscious dependence on God, no matter how mundane the task. You have an obligation to use your spiritual gift. And, if you don't, you’re in disobedience to the Word of God, because you were saved to serve. Our motivation in service, must not be for personal recognition, it must be God’s glory. Sadly, some get involved in serving the Lord in order to meet their own needs for love or recognition. The glory of God is the only motive that will energize us and enable us to persevere in serving Him without burning out.
Peter's instructions for us are fairly simply, holiness with God, love with men, spiritual service. And since you have been transformed by Christ, you have a desire then to obey. So, we've seen the incentive, the Second Coming of Christ. We've seen the instructions, holiness, love and service. Now, at the end of verse 11, we see the intention.
"So that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen." This is what we call a doxology. A doxology is simply a word that means a word about praise, a word about glory. Notice the only way we can glorify God "through Jesus Christ,"  "to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen."
I have heard of many debating whether the "to whom," refers to God or to Christ, it's ambiguous because the glory belongs to God in Christ and Christ in God. I want to do all to the glory of God.
In Closing..
We are to live in the light of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, to fulfill the obligation of holiness, love and service in the power of the Spirit, living for the glory of God. The cost discipleship is high, but not nearly as costly as rejecting Christ.
The King is coming soon, your life should always be ready for royalty. Let us live to the glory of God!
May it be so..
And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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