Romans 12:1-8 ~ Do You Know Where You Are Going? The Spiritual Gifts of Leadership and Faith ~ Pastor Bill Slabaugh
A Great Example of the Spiritual Gift of Faith:
Dr. Howard Hendricks gave an excellent example of the gift of faith working in the life of Dr. Harry Ironside. Shortly after the seminary (Dallas Theological Seminary) was founded in 1924, it almost capitulated. It came to the point of bankruptcy. All the creditors were going to foreclose at 12 noon on a particular day. That morning, the founders of the School met in the President’s office to pray that God would provide and in that prayer meeting was Harry Ironside.
When it was his turn to pray, he prayed in his characteristically refreshing manner, “Lord, we know that the cattle on a thousand hills are thine. Please sell some of them, and send us the money.”
While they were praying, a tall Texan with boots on and an open collar came into the business office and said, “I just sold two car-loads of cattle in Fort Worth. I have been trying to make a business deal go through and it won’t work and I feel God is compelling me to give this money to the seminary. I don’t know if you need it or not, but here is the check.”
A secretary took the check and knowing the criticalness of the hour financially, went to the door of the prayer meeting and timidly tapped. When she finally got a response, Dr. Chafer took the check out of her hand and it was for the exact amount of the debt. When he looked at the signature of the check, he recognized the name of the cattleman from Fort Worth. Turning to Dr. Ironside, he said, “Harry, God sold the cattle.”
Dr. Ironside was a man gifted with faith. He knew God’s Word and claimed its age-old promises for current needs while the other men possessed faith and hoped God would do something. Dr. Ironside expected God to provide the need.
This message considers those spiritually gifted believers in Jesus Christ who are willing to pick up a corner of a stretcher in order to help someone do what he or she can’t do for themselves. It looks at those who are willing to take hold of someone and help them do what needs to be done. And it looks at those gifted believers who work quietly behind the scenes so that other believers can do what God called them to do. These are the believers who have been given the spiritual gifts of mercy, helps, and service. These are the gifted believers “Who Lend a Hand.”
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.
The phrase “in Christ” is used eighty-nine times in the New Testament. This great truth to be “in Christ” means that when you trust Jesus as your Lord and Savior a union is established between Christ and you. This union is established between Christ and you in such a way that everything in Christ that can be shared will be shared with you. Only Christ’s deity and it’s unique God-defining attributes like omnipotence and omniscience cannot be shared. But everything else that Christ is and has is yours in Him.
For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. (Romans 12:3)
Paul shows us in Romans 12:3 that you are not to think too highly of yourself. But he also shows us that you are not to think too low of yourself. Godly humility is not thinking too low of yourself, but to think as to have sound judgment. If you are a believer you are a recipient of God’s Grace—not only the grace that saved you, but the grace by which God has gifted you for service. Our spiritual gifts differ according to the grace given to each one of us. But each one of us does have gifts. You are not nothing. You are not someone who can’t do anything or incapable—not at all.
Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; (Romans 12:6)
God’s goal for you as a Christian is for you take the same form as His Son, Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul taught that before time began God chose to save believers so that they might come to have the same form as His Son (Romans 8:29).
This expresses the glorious goal of Christlikeness—of becoming like Jesus in our actions, in our behavior, in our thinking, motivations, compassions, love, and in our service to others. It’s everything that it means to be “transformed by the renewing of our minds” (Romans 12:2). In this we “prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.