We have ministry groups, most of which meet in homes. We also have many these days who have not known the love and devotion of a Christian home. Hospitality does not come naturally these days; it comes supernaturally. This is not because hospitality is dangerous for us, but because our culture holds privacy so dear. Our high fences isolate and protect us from our neighbors. We have burglar bars, security systems, and big ugly dogs, all sending the same clear signal—stay away!
Hospitality will not happen naturally in this culture. But the kind of hospitality Jesus and the apostles spoke of is not natural—it is supernatural. Hospitality is but one more way in which submission and servanthood are expressed. While it is Paul who speaks more often and more fully of the spiritual gifts Romans ; 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians , in these two verses Peter also provides very important knowledge about spiritual gifts.
These are supernatural abilities given to Christians so they may minister spiritually. Spiritual gifts are supernatural capacities for ministry which God sovereignly bestows on His children. No believer is excluded. Every Christian has been divinely gifted for service. Some may have more than one gift, but each believer has at least one gift. Grace is unmerited, and so we cannot boast in the gifts we have been given 1 Corinthians Spiritual gifts are to be used, and we will give an account for the use we have made of the gifts we were given.
This means each Christian must not only know his gift s , but he or she must develop and use them to the greatest possible extent. Spiritual gifts can be neglected 1 Timothy ; 2 Timothy , and they can also be prostituted 2 Peter Peter writes that spiritual gifts are to be employed in serving one another verse No wonder Paul, in the twelfth chapter of Romans, speaks of spiritual gifts verses after he has exhorted us to present our bodies as a living sacrifice verses In 1 Corinthians, Paul strategically places an entire chapter on love between chapters 12 and 14 which deal with the exercise of spiritual gifts.
This is because spiritual gifts have little value apart from love. In our text, Peter has spoken of love first in verse 8, and now he writes about the ministry of the saints one to another through the exercise of spiritual gifts. If spiritual gifts are to be employed in serving one another, they are ultimately to be employed to the glory of God.
In the final analysis, this is the goal of every aspect of our life:. By following clues provided by the grammar of the original text, we would classify the different gifts named in this way:. Some of the translations appear to go too far, suggesting or at least leaving room for, something the Scriptures elsewhere condemn.
If any of you is a preacher then he should preach his message as from God. If you are a speaker, speak in words which seem to come from God.
New Jerusalem Bible. The emphasis of all these translations falls on the way we speak, not on what we speak. Peter assumes something in writing these words which we may not assume in interpreting them.
This means we do not, like the false prophets, speak independently of God and even contrary to His Word see Jeremiah ; Ezekiel ; Colossians Peter expects those who speak to speak for God by speaking His Word. The Word of God is completely sufficient revelation for every spiritual need 2 Timothy ; 2 Peter , When Moses spoke his final words, he warned the Israelites not to become preoccupied with the mysteries which were not revealed, but to become students of what God had revealed to them in His Law:.
He further told them that after He was gone, the Holy Spirit would enable them to remember the things He had said to them John The writer to the Hebrews indicates God spoke finally and fully in His Son, and those who heard Him repeated and recorded His words for us Hebrews ; The apostles were accredited as such by signs and wonders, which proved them to be true apostles of our Lord 2 Corinthians ; Hebrews In writing to the Corinthians, Paul warned of going beyond the Scriptures as some teachers in that church seemed to be doing:.
Paul was very careful in the things he spoke and wrote to distinguish between what he taught by the command of the Lord, those things he taught by permission, and those things which were his own opinion 1 Corinthians , 10, 12, 25, We are to speak as though God Himself had spoken. Rather than preach from behind a pulpit, the speaker sat on a bar stool. I simply could not do that. It was not I who had authority, but the Word of God has authority. The Bible should not be on a bar stool.
1 Peter 4:1-2 KJV
It is not the messenger who is authoritative; it is the message. We cannot serve apart from the gracious gifts of God which enable and empower that service.
We must do everything in the strength God Himself supplies. How easy to serve another in the flesh. How easy it is for a man to stop and help a beautiful young woman change the tire on her car. How easy for a woman to help a young mother care for her newborn baby.
How easy to want to help ease the suffering of someone experiencing the consequences of their own sin. I once told a mother that while her child was indeed a prodigal, the difference between the father of the prodigal and this mother was that she built the pig pen in her own back yard. We need to be careful not to admonish the fainthearted nor to help the unruly see also 2 Thessalonians We must pray and ask for divine wisdom to know how best to serve others, and then we must do so in the strength God supplies. There is a world of difference between serving our brothers and sisters by giving in the strength God supplies and the kind of giving we see when a panhandler receives a dollar on a city sidewalk.
Spiritual service is serving in the name of Christ. Indeed, it is serving the other as though they were Christ see Matthew In the context of 1 Peter not to mention Matthew 24 and 25, along with Hebrews 10 and 13 , it may well be serving one of the saints who is suffering for the sake of Christ. It is serving fellow-believers so they are edified and built up in their faith. The desired goal is not just the meeting of a need but the praise and glory of God. This happened to Paul due to the generosity of the saints as recorded in 2 Corinthians:.
Our text of Scripture has much to say to Christians today. It reminds us we are living in the latter days and that the return of our Lord and the consummation of His eternal plans and purposes are at hand. A sense of the nearness of the end is not natural nor is it based primarily on what we see. Rather it is based on what God has said in His Word. Jesus warned us the great day would catch many, even Christians, unaware. We must be ever mindful of the times, looking, watching, and working so that when He comes He will find us faithfully carrying out our stewardship.
It also gives us a sense of urgency that the time for the preaching of the gospel and the salvation of the lost is short see 2 Corinthians — Because we live on the edge of eternity, we must not lose our heads. We must get our heads on straight and think in accordance with divine revelation.
2. God desires spiritual maturity.
We must not be oblivious to the times in which we live; neither should we be frightened and act in panic. Our clear-headedness enables us to pray as we ought, seeking divine wisdom, guidance, and power to live faithfully in difficult times. Perseverance in our love for fellow believers should be a matter of the highest priority for us. Rather than allowing hard times to produce contention, strife, and self-protection, we should continue to give ourselves sacrificially in the service of others. In so doing, we will deal with sin in a Christlike fashion and pursue holiness rather than persisting in the pursuit of sin and fleshly lusts as we formerly did.
We must demonstrate our love for one another by practicing hospitality. We should realize that the only barrier to hospitality for us today is selfishness. We do not risk our property or possessions; we do not put our lives at risk as some do even today because they identify themselves with those who faithfully practice and proclaim the gospel. If we do not pursue the practice of hospitality now, how will we possibly do so in trying times? Let us happily open our homes and our lives to those whom we do not know, especially those who our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Finally, we must in these final days make the most of the gifts of which God has made us stewards. If we are to be good stewards of these gifts, we must first know what God has endowed us to do—to serve others to His glory. It may not be as important for us to have the right label for our gift as to have a sense of what God has gifted us to do.
If our gift is in the area of speaking and this means much more than preaching , we must be sure to speak the truth of His Word in a way that communicates the authority of the Word. May God help us to grasp what this text means to our lives and give us a sense of urgency concerning His coming. And may He give each of us a commitment to conduct our lives accordingly.
4 Powerful Life Lessons from the Books of 1 Peter and 2 Peter - Bible Study
One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; 33 but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, 34 and [his interests] are divided. And the woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
How near Peter does not say, but he urges readiness f. In the New Testament, the destruction of Jerusalem is also a temporal judgment which anticipates the great coming judgment on Israel--the Great Tribulation. This may refer to the prayers of individual saints which are of various kinds and over a period of time. It may also include the prayers of the church collectively offered up in these latter days.
It is only when we see the affairs of earth in the light of eternity that we see them in their proper proportions; it is when God is given his proper place that everything takes its proper place. They are simply examples of sins that will not bring rewards. This is one of only three places where the word Christian Christianos appears in the New Testament.
The other two are Acts ; This word combines the word Christ with the suffix ianos —a common practice to designate the follower of a particular person. The word Christianos , then, simply means a follower of Christ. English translations are often imprecise. Christians who suffer because of their faith have no reason to be ashamed. The ASV, which is also in the public domain due to expired copyrights, was a very good translation, but included many archaic words hast, shineth, etc.
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