I Peter 4:10-11

Sunday, May 1st, 2016

SERVING THE LORD

WITH YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFT

INTRODUCTION:

 

I Peter 4:1-2 – (1) Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; (2) That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

 

In I Peter 4:10-11 Peter instructs his readers that, as part of living in the will of God, they must use their spiritual gifts in their Christian service.

 

I Peter 4:10-11 – (10) As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. (11) If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Whatever spiritual gifts believers received are to be used in their Christian service to the fullest extent possible in order to bring glory to God.

We note that –

    I.     EVERY BELIEVER HAS RECEIVED AT LEAST ONE SPIRITUAL GIFT – 4:10A

 

I Peter 4:10 a – As every man hath received the gift. . . .

 

As every man hath received the gift introduces the next thing believers should do as part of their living within the will of God because the end of all things is at hand.

 

As is used in the sense to the degree that.

 

Every man is each (one), every (one), or each (person). No distinctions are made regarding age or sex.

 

Hath received indicates that it came from some source outside of himself. It is a gift and not something he can gain for himself by practice or by hard work.

 

The gift is whatever gift has been received, and it is not limited to a particular gift as if all believers have received the same one. Instead, it refers to whatever spiritual gift each believer has received; and it implies that every believer has received some spiritual gift. Some may have received more than one spiritual gift.

 

Of God indicates that the source of this gift is God.

 

Other gifts are also mentioned in the New Testament in Romans 12 , I Corinthians 12 , and Ephesians 4 .

 

Romans 12:3-8 3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office [i.e. the same function]: 5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace [i.e. the spiritual gift] that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 7 Or ministry [i.e. serving], let us wait on our ministering [i.e. let us use it in our serving]: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 8 Or he that exhorteth [i.e. encourages], on exhortation [i.e. on encouraging]: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity [i.e. with generosity]; he that ruleth [i.e. the one who has leadership], with diligence [i.e. let him take his role as a leader seriously]; he that sheweth mercy [i.e. the one who shows kindness], with cheerfulness [i.e. let him do it cheerfully or gladly].

 

I Corinthians 12:8-10 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues.

 

The gifts mentioned in verses 8-10 were sign gifts which were given to believers to guide in the establishment of local churches until the New Testament was completed. At that time they ceased to be given.

 

I Corinthians 12:28-30 28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? 30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

 

Ephesians 4:11 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.

 

It should be noted that some of these spiritual gifts were only given temporarily and have not been given since the New Testament was completed.

 

There were twelve apostles plus Paul. When they died, they were not replaced; so, there is no such thing as apostolic succession as far as the Bible is concerned. This means that the pope is not a successor of the Apostle Peter.

 

In addition, the gift of prophecy ceased with the completion of the New Testament. This means that there are no prophets today. This means that when the New Testament was completed, the gift of prophecy ceased to be given and that no one is receiving divine revelation directly from God today.

 

At that same time, speaking in tongues ceased as did all the rest of the miraculous gifts in I Corinthians 12 .

We also note that –

  II.     SPIRITUAL GIFTS ARE INTENDED TO BE USED BY BELIEVERS TO MINISTER TO EACH OTHER – 4:10B

 

I Peter 4:10 b – . . . Even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

 

This tells the responsibility of the believer with his spiritual gift.

 

Even so is printed in italics to show that the translators have supplied it to aid the English reader’s understanding of the Greek text. It suggests in the same way.

 

Minister is a definite command which is used in the sense of serve or attend to, and its present tense indicates continuing action. Our word deacon comes from the noun form of this word. It means be ministering, be serving, or be attending to.

 

The same is it and has reference to whatever spiritual gift the individual believer has received.

 

One to another means unto one another or unto each other. It points out the duty of believers to use their spiritual gifts for the mutual benefit of their fellow-believers.

 

As good stewards of the manifold grace of God further reminds us of our responsibility as believers to use our spiritual gifts to minister one to another.

 

Stewards is the term used of those who were given charge over a household. It is well-represented today by our term managers.

 

Paul wrote that a primary responsibility of a steward is to be found faithful (I Corinthians 4:4). Here they were to be good [i.e. excellent].

 

It is of the manifold grace of God that they are to be good (or excellent) managers.

 

Manifold means of various kinds or diversified.

 

The . . . grace of God is a reference to the spiritual gift which a believer has received. It is called a grace of God in that it is a spiritual gift given by God to the believer which the believer did not in any way deserve.

 

Believers are to be excellent managers of the various spiritual gifts God has given to them.

 

The fact that the grace of God is manifold indicates that there is a wide variety in these gifts. Although every believer will have some gift, not every believer will have every gift or even the same gifts. Peter cites two examples of the various spiritual gifts in verse 11: speaking and ministering. Paul cited a number of examples elsewhere. We have already looked at these.

 

What it amounts to is that God has given whatever gifts He chooses to each person whom He chooses and has also placed people with particular gifts in particular local churches which He wants in those churches.

 

As individuals, we should serve Him faithfully with the gifts He has given us. As a church, we should serve Him in conjunction with the gifts He has placed within the congregation. As a church, we should be careful about taking on things God has not enabled us to do even though other churches might do them.

In addition, we note that –

 III.     SPIRITUAL GIFTS ARE INTENDED TO BE USED TO GLORIFY GOD – 4:11

 

I Peter 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

 

If any man speak is a simple condition which, for sake of discussion, is assumed to be true. If is, therefore, to be understood in the sense of since, inasmuch as, or assuming that.

 

Any man is indefinite and means any, anyone, someone, or somebody. It is not the term for an adult male, and it is not necessarily limited to adult males.

 

Speak is present tense and suggests continuous or habitual action. Now this is not just any conversation in which all might engage. It is the exercise of the spiritual gift of speaking as is made clear by let him speak as the oracles of God.

 

Since this condition is assumed to be true, it is also assumed that there were some that were using this spiritual gift.

 

Let him speak, where him refers to anyone exercising this gift of speaking, is in italics, which means that our translators have supplied it in order to aid the understanding of the English reader. It is understood in the sense of he must speak. It is the speaking of divine revelation or the giving of messages direct from God which Peter intends.

 

The words following as indicate the quality of a thing, and as is used in the sense of as it were which we use in present-day English. Furthermore, its use serves to emphasize the quality of the thing which follows it: the oracles of God.

 

Oracles is variously translated words, sayings, or utterances and is used mostly of short sayings originating from a divinity.

 

Of God may indicate the source of these sayings and may, therefore, mean from God. On the other hand, of God may instead indicate possession, meaning that they are God’s sayings or that God is the One Who said them. In either case, they are sayings which belong to God and which also come from God. The one exercising this gift should never add to, subtract from, or alter in any way the saying given to him by God. Nor should he seek to change its emphasis.

 

Although we realize that this gift would have been given only temporarily and that it existed only prior to the completion of the New Testament, we must also remind ourselves how important it is today that we handle the Word of God properly, not adding to it, subtracting from it, or changing it in any way because it is the Word of God. Consequently, warnings against this practice have been given in Scripture. One should note such warnings in Revelation of Jesus Christ 22:18-19 , in Deuteronomy 4:2 and 12:32, and in Proverbs 30:5-6 . Today, we preach and teach the completed Word of God as found in the Bible, and we are not receiving additional revelation directly from God regardless of what some may claim.

 

Revelation of Jesus Christ 22:18-1918 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book [i.e. the plagues recorded in the Book of Revelation]: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

 

Deuteronomy 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

 

Deuteronomy 12:32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

 

Proverbs 30:5-65 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. 6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

 

A second example of a spiritual gift is indicated by the words if any man minister. This is also a simple condition which, for sake of discussion, is assumed to be true.

 

Any man is the same indefinite pronoun found in the phrase if any man speak and means any, anyone, anybody, someone, or somebody. It is not necessarily limited to an adult male.

 

The tense of minister indicates that its action is ongoing, habitual, or repeated. It is the same word used in verse 10 and means be serving, continue serving, or keep on serving. Deacon comes from the noun form of this verb. How or where this one ministers is not made clear. Peter’s statement was fairly general and would include many acts of service.

 

Let him do it as of the ability which God giveth indicates the responsibility of the believer who has this gift of ministering.

 

Let him do it is supplied from the context by the translators to complete the meaning in English as is indicated by the italics. It suggests let him be serving or he must be serving.

 

As is used to introduce a characteristic quality of something. It serves to emphasize the thing which follows and is understood in the sense of as it were.

 

Of the ability which God giveth indicates how one should use this spiritual gift of ministering.

 

Ability means strength, power, or might; and of indicates that this strength which God gives is the source of his ministering. The word translated ability is also used in Philippians 4:13 where it is translated can do: I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

 

Which God giveth indicates that God provides the strength or ability to carry out this spiritual gift of ministering.

 

Giveth suggests provides or supplies in abundance.

 

That God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ tells why one who has the spiritual gift of speaking should speak the oracles of God and also why one who has the gift of ministering should minister out of the strength which God provides in abundance.

 

That may be showing purpose or intended result. If showing purpose, it is understood as in order that or for the purpose that. If it is showing intended result, it is understood as so that or with the result that.

 

God is God the Father inasmuch as Jesus Christ is mentioned separately.

 

In all things is all-pervasive or all-inclusive. It is in all (things) or in all (ways).

 

May be glorified is the end or goal of all things, including the use of these spiritual gifts. Their use is to bring glory to God.

 

Through Jesus Christ indicates that He is the One through Whom God the Father will be glorified. Believers are to use their spiritual gifts in serving Jesus Christ; and when this is done, God the Father is glorified through Christ.

 

To whom be glory for ever and ever may refer either to God the Father or to Christ. The closest antecedent is Christ, but God is the subject of the previous verb. A similar doxology is addressed to God the Father in I Peter 5:11 , To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. In II Peter 3:18 a doxology is addressed to Jesus Christ, But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Also, in Romans 16:27 a doxology is addressed to God through Christ, To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen. Thus, other doxologies in Scripture are addressed to God the Father, to Christ, and to both God the Father and Christ.

 

Amen, meaning truly or so be it, concludes the doxology.

CONCLUSION:

 

Whatever spiritual gifts you have received are to be used in Christian service to the fullest extent possible in order to bring glory to God.

 

How are you doing?