Journal – August 23, 2020

Published September 12, 2020

Dominion Baptist Church
August 23, 2020 AD

1 Samuel 19:18

18 So David fled, and escaped, and came to Samuel to Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and dwelt in Naioth.

ROMANS 12:6-8

6Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; 8he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Vs. 6a Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us. The word translated gifts in the Greek in is Charismata and is based upon the word grace Charis actually meaning a grace gift. It is God giving something to the people of God. Verse 6 may be regarded as a continuation of verse 5, thus carrying on the thought: we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us. These two separate verses carry the same thought—the many are one body in Christ, yet we are individuals and are members one of another but each one of us having different gifts according to God’s grace. Lets apply this to our church, to be a member of Dominion Baptist Church means you are a part of Christ’s body. This means that the person who is joined to Jesus Christ by the work of the Holy Spirit is no longer in Adam but in Jesus—it is a spiritual reality! Paul calls us individual members belonging to one another, he also calls the parts of our body members, showing how we are to act in unity. Using the gifts of God’s grace bestowed upon us. John Murray says of Christians, “They have property in one another and therefore in one and another’s gifts and graces.” It would be correct to add that you, as a Christian have a right to the gifts that other members of the body have been given, and they have a right to your gift. You cheat them if you do not use it, and you are poorer if you do not depend on them   

Vs. 6b-7 & 8. if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; 8he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. There are seven gifts mentioned here in Romans, lets us look at each gift:

     1.Prophecy—Greek propheteai means the speaking forthof the mind and counsel of God. In 1 Corinthians 12:28 this gift comes immediately after the gift of apostles, and inasmuch as there were no apostles in the Church at Rome Paul lists it first. Today the word prophesy retains less of its former meaning, foretelling the future. In the Old and New Testaments, a prophet literally means one who stood in front of another person and spoke for him. An example is the relationship between Moses and his brother Aaron. Moses was not willing to accept God’s call to go to Egypt, and stand before Pharoah, and demand that he let Israel go, because he said O my LORD, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue (Exodus 4:10). God answered Moses by sending Aaron to speak for him. He shall be your spokesman to the people. And he himself shall be as a mouth for you, and you shall be to him as a God (vs 16). This is the sense in which Abraham is called a prophet in Genesis 20:7, because God spoke to him and he spoke to other people. In the New Testament, John the Baptist, in Matthew 11:9 Jesus says that John was more than a prophet; he was God’s messenger to announce the coming of Christ (vs 10); among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist but the least in the kingdom is greater than he (vs11). All the prophets and the law prophesied until John (vs 13). He was the last prophet. There were a few prophets in the early church, that had lived before John, but when the Lord took them it appears prophecy ended. We have the complete Old and New Testaments, the Bible, the Bible is for us the recorded testimony of these inspired men. Therefore, the gift of prophecy, like the gift of apostleship, is something that is no longer with the church, nor speaking in tongues. I like the way Charles Hodge expresses in his commentary on Romans. “The point of distinction between them (prophets) and the apostles, considered as religious teachers, appears to have been that the inspiration of the apostles was abiding, they were the infallible and authoritative messengers of Christ; whereas the inspiration of the prophets was occasional and transient. The latter differed from the teachers (didaskaloi), inasmuch as these were not necessarily inspired, but taught to others what they themselves had learned from the Scriptures or from inspired men.”

     2. Ministry, the Greek word diakonian may be translated serving, we should take notice of the fact this word comes from diakonia the root word for deacon or service. All Christians are called to serve others, but some are given a gift of service. Our deacons need to remember the high office the church has given to them; our Lord Jesus Christ called Himself a deacon: the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many (Matthew20:28)Diakonian may be used of ministry, or service in the domestic duties, of religious and spiritual ministration, for the service of believers, and of a servant of the Lord in preaching and teaching the Word of God. I enjoy what Count Zinzendorf, the founder of the Moravians, (I have contact with Moravians right here in USA) told his missionaries: “Do not lord it over the unbelievers but simply live among them; preach not theology but the crucified Christ.” Then Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote regarding the ministry of Christians to other Christians, he says, “It is, a ministry of holding one’s tongue, meekness, listening, helping, bearing burdens, yes, and also speaking the truth when needed. Each of us has a service ministry to perform, because each of us is called to be like Jesus Christ. Even if you don’t have the gift of service, you should consider where you can serve that you are not serving now.

     3. Teaching, the Greek is didasko. It is a critical gift, more used today because the gift of apostleship has ceased. All Christians know truths from God’s word and should be telling what they know. You can do this formally as you are given opportunity, but also informally by casually dropping a word or testimony. This is the preeminent gift of a pastor, pastors have been called to teach, therefore they must teach. But before anyone can teach, they must study God’s Word, its hard work; therefore, before anyone can teach, they must learn themselves—but what better calling can we have?

     4. Exhortation, the Greek is paraklesis. Depending on how the word is used in the context we find its meaning. Primarily it means to ‘call to one’s side’ and ‘to go to one’s aid.’ Therefore, it could be used as an appeal or entreaty, to offer encouragement or comfort. This word describes the gift that Barnabus had, he traveled with Paul on some of his missionary trips. Barnabus given name name was Joseph, but was called Barnabus which meant ‘Son of Encouragement’; and that is what he was when he stood by John Mark to help him when Paul refused to take Mark along on one of his missionary journeys because he had departed them earlier (Acts 13:13). Barnabus got alongside of Mark, lifted him up, and reestablished him as a useful servant of Christ. Paul acknowledged Mark later on as a useful servant. (2 Timothy 4:11)

     5. He who gives with liberality, the Greek is haplotes whichindicates simplicity, sincerity, and unaffectedness with simplicity. John Calvin was among earlier commentators that thought this gift referred to an official church office—that would be to the diakonian that is particularly trust with this task. There is no need to limit this gift to an official position, and most modern scholars agree. All Christians are instructed to give, but some, who have the gift of giving are often used as conduits by God to funnel large sums of resources into certain ministries. The deciding element is that Paul teaches they who have this gift are to give with liberality. This is appropriate to say if the person giving is using his own funds, and he is to do it without sounding a trumpet.  But deacons administering the church’s funds are to be careful, judiciously, or prayerfully realizing that this is the Lord’s money.

     6. He who leads, with diligence, the Greek is spoude meaning earnestness, zeal, or sometimes the haste accompanying this, and care. It is interesting that Paul is putting leadership in his list of Christian gifts. The word looks to good government or administration including the task of management. The elders need to manage or take care of God’s church.  The Swiss commentator F. Godet points out how important this must have been in the early church, when so many of the institutions we take for granted were lacking: “Think of the numerous works of private charity which believers then had to found and maintain! Pagan society had neither hospitals nor orphanages, free schools or refuge (rescue missions) like those of our day. The church impelled by the instinct of Christian charity, had to introduce all these institutions into the world; hence no doubt, in every community, spontaneous gatherings of devout men and women who, like our present Christian committees, took one or the other of these needful objects, and had of course at their head directors charged with the responsibility of the work. Such are the persons certainly whom the apostle has in view in our passage.”

     7. He who shows mercy, with cheerfulness, the Greek word for mercy is eleeo which signifies in general, to feel sympathy with the misery of another, and especially sympathy manifest by actions. Or in the passive voice to have pity or mercy shown or to obtain mercy.Notice Paul states this is to be done with cheerfulness; in the Greek this is hilarotes this is where the English word hilarious comes from; therefore, if you are going to show mercy don’t show a long face or an unhappy countenance. The Word of God tells us to rejoice always (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Having been saved from sin by the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, been given His perfect righteousness to cover our nakedness, and adopted into the Family of God, think of that, a joint heir with Jesus Christ—Do you know how to rejoice? Do you actually do it?

Catechism Question 35

Q: What benefits do they that are effectually called partake of in this life?

A: They that are effectually called do in this life partake of justification, adoption, sanctification, and the several benefits which in this life do either accompany or flow from them.

Romans 8:30

30  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.