“The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:7–11 ESV)
It must be used to serve one another
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another.” (Verse 10)
Here is our privilege and responsibility. “Use it to serve one another.” This is a command. Use it. How or where? To serve one another. He is writing to Christians so the “one another” is Christians and the church.
Now as we all know, when we serve others, they are blessed and we are blessed. Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35) This command to serve others is a means to our own happiness. I wish more people realized this. This would keep us from evaluating service for Christ in terms of our own convenience or comfort: “I’ll try to work it in.”
Peter is calling service and gift-use to be a high priority for every Christian. Is it for you? You might say, but I’m not saved by serving or any kind of good work. No. We are not saved by serving, we are saved for serving. Listen to the balance in Ephesians 2,
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8–10)
Saved by grace? Yes. Saved to grace others? Yes! You were saved for this serving. God ordained our justification by faith and our sanctification by grace-motivated, Spirit-empowered acts of service in the church.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
©2015 Steve DeWitt. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that: (1) you credit the author, (2) any modifications are clearly marked, (3) you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, (4) you include Bethel’s website address (www.bethelweb.org) on the copied resource.
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