DUTY OF THE BELIEVER
Last week we talked about the dedication of the believer.
Voluntarily giving of one’s self to the Lord’s service.
Tonight we go a step further and talk about the duty of the believer as the Holy Spirit of God relates it to us through the Apostle Paul.
Dedication and duty go hand in hand.
We are dedicated to God so that He can use us.
Therefore we have a duty to serve.
We are valuable to God as we are available.
Now lets look at several characteristics of a vessel that God can use, remembering that it is our duty to yield our bodies a living sacrifice, and yield our minds to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit of God.
3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
I. A VESSEL FIT FOR USE
Were not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought, But soberly, realistically as opposed to recklessly.
To think soberly require humility.
I recognize the need for self esteem and do not confuse self esteem with arrogate pride.
It is important for the Christian to have a realization of self-importance for indeed we are all important in God’s economy.
The warning here is that one will not feel he is more important than another and give himself the pre-eminence.
A vessel that is fit for the Master’s use must:
1 John 1:9
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
Controlled by the Spirit
18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
1 Pet 4:19
19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
2 Tim 1:12
12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
II. A VESSEL FORMED FOR USE
4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
Each member of the body of Christ is fitted into place to make a compact and perfect whole.
Every member has a purpose.
No other member can properly carry out the purpose of another.
This assures the value of every member seeing every member is unique in make-up and usefulness.
You cannot be replaced.
Another may fill your office in case of your removal, but you cannot be replaced.
God may use you in another area of service, He may want to use you as a missionary or change your area of service locally.
But, no one will replace you.
The next person, though he may do a good job in your old office, he will not replace you.
His term of service in that office will be unique to his make up and will serve the same purpose, but in a way unique to his personality.
No one can replace you.
You are precious to God and you are one-of-a kind.
Therefore, we must be submitted to God.
knowing one’s placement
God has a place of service for every one of His Children.
Do you know where your place of service is?
Do you know where you fit in to God’s economy?
Where is your place of service?
As we submit to God’s known will, He will reveal the service He wants us to render.
You have certain talents and abilities that suit you for a service that only you can provide.
Your personality, your physical make-up, all that you are equips you for a place in the body of Christ.
knowing God’s process
First there must be a commitment on the believer’s part.
Then there comes the test to confirm the level of commitment.
No responsibility is given to the believer without commitment and no commitment goes unchallenged.
10 For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.
71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.
25 And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin:
2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
II Th 1:4-5
4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the
1 Pet 4:12
12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
II. A VESSEL FUELED FOR USE
6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
Enabling (God gives the enabling) vs 6
1 Cor 7:7
7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.
We must be filled that is controlled by the Holy Spirit.
18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in
2 Cor 4:7
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
2 Cor 12:9
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
We need a means to detect danger.
16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.
1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,
1 Tim 1:5
5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
The vessel is equipped and now must be engaged in God’s service.
There are many areas of service.
Certainly the list here is only partial.
Prophecy- Two-fold area.
The ability to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ with clarity.
The ability to relate the prophecy of the Bible to current events.
Ministry – service
Deacons, waiting of tables, labor that makes a ministry run. Cleaning, mowing, etc.
Teaching – making the Scripture clear and understandable.
Exhortation – the ability to comfort and lift up those who are emotionally or spiritually weary.
Giving – the ability to receive and give to God’s work financially above and beyond the simple tithe and offering to the glory of God.
Ruling – the gift of administration and leadership.
Mercy – the ability to show compassion and benevolence.
These are all gifts given to those who would dedicate themselves to God’s service.
There are many more. And one person may have more than one gift.
Whatever your gifts they will do no good unless they are engaged in the Lord’s service.