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Latest revision as of 00:32, 14 February 2020

Spiritual Survival in the Coming Days 43

We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; (Romans 12:6,7—NIV)

Notice how the term "grace" is employed in the above verse. Divine grace includes much more than forgiveness. Divine grace is the Presence of God in Jesus Christ to enable each believer to attain the fullness of salvation.

We each have a gift. Whatever our gift is we are to use it in proportion to the faith God has given us, not falling behind or pushing ahead of our proper role in the Body.

In some churches there is a presbytery that prophecies over people and lays hands on them, in this manner helping them to discover and operate their gifts. This procedure is scriptural and I have seen it used many times.

But I have noticed that if the individual does not present his or her body to God as a sacrifice, and live as a cross-carrying disciple, the prophecies are not fulfilled in them. The word spoken over them was true but they did not do their part.

The penalty for not using what has been given us by the Holy Spirit is severe.

For some of us it will mean a change in our customary life style if we are to take the time to find out the role we are to play in bringing the Body of Christ to full maturity.

Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.

From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Ephesians 4:13-16—NIV)

It unquestionably is true that if the Body of Christ is to come to maturity, then each member must contribute his or her part to the process. The Body is not mature in the present hour, due in part to the absence of the gifts and ministries that are resident but not functioning in the believers.

We know from the Scripture that when the Lord returns we will be held accountable for the use of our talents. If we do not use our talent it will be removed from us and given to another who has been more diligent.

Then we ourselves will be driven into the outer darkness. This is clearly the Word of Christ and we are foolish indeed if we allow ourselves to be talked out of it by "every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming."

Who are these who would deceive us in this manner? Is it not self-serving ministers who worship their own belly? This was the case in Paul's day!

God will not pardon us because the ministry has deceived us with soft words. He will ask us why we did not test those who claimed to be ministers of Christ.

We understand all this is true. But what do we do about it?

To continued. Spiritual Survival in the Coming Days 44