Gifts & Calling // Part 3
For a couple of Sundays, we’ve gone through a series called “Gifts and Calling”. These teachings are centered on the indisputable truth that every believer in Jesus has spiritual gifts and a calling into ministry. Pastors, missionaries, and traveling evangelists are not the only people called into ministry. Ephesians 4:11-13 tells us that every person in the Body of Christ is called into ministry. Pastors, missionaries, evangelists, etc. are called as well but their calling is to equip the saints to do the work of the ministry.
Did you know that approximately 10% of Israel’s population were teachers. The other 90% were those who took the land. The five-fold ministry are the teachers while it is you who take the land! Religion is only one of the seven mountains of influence in our nation. We need strong, equipped, gifted believers to go into the other six mountains and take them for the Kingdom of God! Last week, we talked about the five-fold ministry working until all come into unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God. Listen to that teaching if you get a chance. One point of that teaching was that unity is important. Why is unity so important?
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing—life forevermore. /// Psalm 133 (NKJV)
Unity is a product of being united in heart – not intellect. You may remember that the five-fold ministry works to the unity of the faith – not the unity of doctrine. If we can be unified in our love for one another in spite of some disagreements over non-essential doctrinal issues then God can pour out His anointing on the priesthood of believers in such a way as to bring saturation. Mount Hermon is the tallest mountain in Israel and always seems to have water on the summit even when other mountains in Israel do not. The metaphor being that which is high like the heavens and saturated in anointing can come and rest upon Zion, the place of God’s people when unity is present! Since we are called to unity of the faith rather than unity in doctrine, how do we have unity without uniformity?
Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.
One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks. For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.
I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died. Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.
Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.
/// ROMANS 14:1-23 (NKJV)
How do we have unity without uniformity?
1. Stop judging one another.
Pride is the root of judgment. Control is the root of judgment. Fear is the root of judgment. According to Matthew 7:1, what does judgment bring? Anointing? No, it brings judgment upon those who judge! So, if we want a constant state of judgment in this church, then let’s judge one another and argue over disputable matters.
2. Types and shadows don’t bring anointing – love and unity does!
Look at the church at Rome. Some couldn’t eat certain things because of what they had been used for. Some ate whatever was set before them no matter the origin. Some observed feasts and others counted those days as any other. It wasn’t the types and shadows that brought the anointing but love and preference.
3. Unity in faith became more important than universal agreement.
Most Christian gatherings argue over freedoms. How much do we have? How much is too much? We tend to push our beliefs on other believers. This causes more damage than good. Let’s look again at this:
Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died. /// Romans 14:15
Notice how unifying around faith is the goal:
Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin. /// Romans 14:22-23
As we saw earlier, we can condemn ourselves if we fight over our revelations. We must unify around the faith – that which we do agree on. We are not to push one another but to love one another. This is the key to anointing and God’s life for the corporate body. It is more important that universal doctrinal agreement.
- Ephesians 4:11-13
- Psalm 133 (NKJV)
- Romans 14:1-23 (NKJV)
- Matthew 7:1
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