Today’s message summary of October 6, 2019 from Pastor Gus Brown:
Have you ever noticed that, at times, there is envy and jealousy in the church? Sometimes we get upset over a person who has a title or a position. We sometimes lump the church to be an institution that is more worldly, but in fact we should be looking at it as a divine institution. It calls for a greater focus on not pleasing man but on pleasing God.
You should always desire to please God. Even with spiritual gifts, it is important to be pleasing to God. A gift is not meant to elevate one over another–it is meant to elevate Jesus Christ.
The Holy Spirit assigns gifts according to His pleasure for those who desire to serve Jesus Christ. The gifts enable Christians to serve the church by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The gifts are given through grace, and not deserved by anyone. The operation of the gift is by God through the Holy Spirit in order to fulfill His will and purpose. All things are to be accomplished for His praise and glory.
John 16:14-15 ESV
He (the Holy Spirit) will glorify me (Jesus), for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
You, by yourself, do not glorify God. You do so only through the power of the Holy Spirit working from within you.
The gift should not be the object of out seeking. As we seek more of Jesus to be more like Him, the gift itself becomes more apparent or noticeable in our lives by the manifestation of the Spirit revealing the work of Jesus through us in ministry.
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
Be mindful of the fact that the flesh (your flesh) desires to serve itself. Serving Jesus is a direct conflict to your fleshly desires. It requires the presence of the Holy Spirit to repel the desires of the flesh. He reminds you that you are indeed a child of God. His purpose is that you become more like Jesus Christ.
The evidence of Christ in me can be seen outwardly through His gifts in you.
A. W. Tozer writes in his book, The Knowledge of the Holy: “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”
How we see God (within our vision) has a very strong influence on us and how we function. It shapes us. It may be subtle at times, but it has a profound influence on our life. If He is insignificant or less significant compared to our own desires, our level of function will be negatively affected.
It is important to ask God the question as to our actions: “God, is what I am doing pleasing to you?”
Therefore, it is important to remember that we are designed to function as a body (in the body of Christ). We get to serve and contribute our gifts to projects we could never do on our own. We have to see ourselves as a part of a local and global community of Jesus within the body of Christ.
Life is not just about me or you! Having a role within the body of Christ does not elevate one person over another. God has called us to be servants as Christ was a servant.
You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
We are not called to serve to be the boss, to just be seen, or with improper motives.
There are different values within the gift itself, but not in the person.
But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
1 Corinthians 12:22-26
On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which are more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
What does this mean? We need the weaker parts of our bodies. There is a lesson in this.
Aktion T4 was a postwar name for mass murder through involuntary euthanasia in Nazi Germany. T4 is an abbreviation of Tiengartenstrabe 4, a street address of the Chancellery department set up in the spring of 1940 in Berlin, which recruited and paid personnel to select people who were “deemed incurably sick, after most critical medical examination” and then administer a “mercy death.”*
Those who were disabled were deemed to be living a life unworthy of life.
In contrast, God wants to reach everyone, disabled or otherwise, to recognize Jesus Christ. God can reach everyone, including those that we would not necessarily reach out to.
They are worthy of a special honor. Those who are unrepresented are deemed important by God. Even though they are deformed, indecent or unseemly, they are still to be honored within the body.
1 Corinthians 12:27-31
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, them miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.
There are no more apostles (personal witnesses to Jesus Christ) today, but there are people who carry the spirit of an apostle. He is still a messenger of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Prophets are people who proclaim God’s message–a foreteller; an inspired speaker.
A teacher is one who teaches concerning the things of God and the duties of man.
After the mention of the three of these gifts, there is no more numbering but just naming of the gifts.
There are many workers of miracles. They are the little things that happen each day that we sometimes don’t recognize.
- Workers of miracles (more than one)
- Gifts of healing
- Those able to help others
- Those with gifts of administration
- Those speaking in different kinds of tongues.
(Note–not all healing is something that is grand in nature. Some healing provides relief to the mind that helps a person to experience peace.)
All have this in common–the need for Jesus Christ as Savior.
Don’t be envious or jealous of another person’s gift(s). Jesus is calling you to allow Him, through the Spirit, to use whatever your own gift is to glorify Him in your service.
The greater gift for each of us is love. Without love, you cannot express your gifts effectively. It comes from a love for Jesus Christ.