Understanding The Bible
STUDY REFERENCE
Clarence E. Mason's "Soteriology II"
THE SERVICE OF THE SAINTS

 

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BY THE AUTHOR
Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
1970

THE SERVICE OF THE SAINTS

  1. INTRODUCTION
    1. The service of the saints is the ministry of believers. Can anyone else serve God? Only a believer can do the direct will of God. But God can use others to bring about His will, Ps. 76:10.
    2. The grace of God which is involved in the matter of the privilege of serving the Lord is seen in two considerations:
      1. The omnipotence of God.
        He does not need our service, but chooses to use those who will yield to Him.
      2. The Christian is given the privilege of serving the Lord, Jn. 15:16. God alone can save the world, but God cannot save the world alone.
    3. The service of the saints may be divided into two kinds:
      1. General service - for all believers.
        This is what all children of God are expected to give.
      2. Specific service - specific work, revealed by the Holy Spirit, for each believer's enjoyment. Only certain of the children of God are to be engaged in specific service.
         
  2. THE GENERAL SERVICE OF THE SAINTS
    There is a striking parallel of the service of God in the Old Testament and the service of God in the New Testament.
    1. The service of God in the Old Testament was in the hands of the priests. So, in the New Testament the service of God is in the hands of priests, Rev. 1:6 R.V.; 1 Pet. 2:5-9.

      God actually recognizes only one Potentate, Christ, but every child of God is a priest.
       
    2. To qualify as a priest, one must be born into the family of Aaron, Ex. 28:1. We have to qualify on the same ground in the New Testament, Jn. 1:12.
    3. The Old Testament priest had to be cleansed at the outset of his ministry, Ex. 29:4. This is also true of the New Testament believer, Ti. 3:5; 1 Cor. 6:11.
    4. The service of the Old Testament and the New Testament priest
      1. In the Old Testament the service of the priest was:
        1. Sacrifice, Ex. 29:38-44.
        2. Worship, Ex. 30.
        3. Intercession, Ex. 30:10.
      2. So the New Testament believer has the same general service:
        1. The New Testament believer's service of sacrifice.
          This service has nothing to do with the sacrifice for sin. Some churches teach that the priest is the sacrificient. Each time a mass is said, they renew the sacrifice of the death of Christ. We believe that Christ died once for all, Heb. 10:10.

          According to 1 Peter 2:5-9, the children of God are the stones in the beautiful temple.

          The New Testament priests are not called to offer up material sacrifices, but spiritual sacrifices which are
          three:
          1. The sacrifice of person, Rom. 12:1-2.
            1. They were to present their sacrifice.
              "Present" is the same word which is translated "yield" in Romans 6:13; it implies to "surrender to Him as to be beyond our own control. "
               
            2. A living sacrifice. God is not asking for dead sacrifices. A living sacrifice suggests constant and intelligent devotion to God and His cause.
            3. It was to be a sacrifice, never to be taken back.
            4. The divine requirement: holy, acceptable holy, acceptable unto God. The Levitical sacrifices were to be free from blemish. The believer shall be free from defects and stains as a sacrifice unto the Lord. Therefore, he must put away all impurity of life and every fleshly evil, 1 Pet. 1:19.
          2. The sacrifice of praise, Heb. 13:15 R.V.
            1. We are to offer praise through Christ.
            2. This sacrifice is to be offered continually, Eph, 5:20; 1 Thes. 5:18.
            3. This is the fruit of lips that confess His name.
          3. The sacrifice of possessions, Heb. 13:16; Phil. 4:10-18. These sacrifices are to be given:
            1. To the saints who are in need, 1 Jn. 3:16-17; Rom. 12:13; Eph. 4:28.
            2. To those who minister in the Word, Gal. 6:6; 3Jn. 5-8.
            3. To all men in need, Heb. 13:2; Gal. 6:10; Ti. 3:8.
            4. The New Testament believer's general service of worship.
              1. We are a holy priesthood, 1 Pet. 2:5.
              2. We are a royal priesthood, 1 Pet. 2:9
              3. We are a "peculiar" people, or as ASV reads, "a people for God's own possession. "
              4. There were certain prohibitions of worship in the Old Testament:
                1. Strange incense, Ex. 30:9; cp. Jn. 4:23-24; Phil. 3:3.
                2. Strange fire. Lev. 10:1.
        2. The New Testament believer's ministry of intercession.
          1. As the children of God, we are commanded to be intercessors, 1 Tim. 2:1; Col. 4:12.
          2. The perfect illustrations of the ministry of intercession are the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, Rom. 8:34; Heb. 4:14-16; 7:25; Rom. 8:26-27.
             
  3. THE SPECIFIC SERVICE OF THE SAINTS
    Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12-14; Ephesians 4.
    1. Definition
      Specific services are spoken of as gifts. Gifts are special abilities given by God, and are the manifestation of the Spirit, 1 Cor. 12:7. A gift is not something which is wrought by the believer or the believer assisted by the Spirit.
    2. Three diversities, 1 Cor. 12:4-6.
      1. Diversities of gifts, 1 Cor. 12:4; Rom. 12:6.
      2. Diversities of ministrations, 1 Cor. 12:5.
      3. Diversities of operations, 1 Cor. 12:6.
    3. Every believer possesses a gift, 1 Cor. 12:7,11; Eph. 4:7; Rom. 12:5-6.
      1. Each child of God has a gift from God, one of these special abilities sovereignly given by God. The ascended Lord gives the gifts, but the Spirit of God divides them, Eph. 4:7-11; cp. 1 Cor. 12:11,
      2. The purpose of these gifts is that the servant of God may be profitable (1 Cor. 12:7 margin). This truth suggests or implies that service which is wrought in the energy of the flesh is not profitable.

        The Spirit's manifestation in the exercise of a gift is as "rivers of living water" and is the realization of those "good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them, " Eph. 2:10.
         
      3. Some believers may have only two or three gifts, while others may have many gifts, 1 Cor. 12:8-10.
         
    4. The enumeration of the gifts
      1. The word of wisdom, 1 Cor. 12:8.
      2. The word of knowledge, 1 Cor. 12:8.
      3. Faith, 1 Cor. 12:9.
      4. Healings, 1 Cor. 12:9.
      5. Miracles, 1 Cor. 12:9.
      6. Prophecy, I Cor. 12:10.
      7. Discernment, I Cor. 12:10.
      8. Tongues, I Cor. 12:10.
      9. Interpretation of tongues, I Cor. 12:10.
      10. Teaching, I Cor. 12:28; Rom. 12:8.
      11. Governments, I Cor. 12:28; Rom. 12:8.
      12. Ministry, Rom. 12:7.
      13. Giving, Rom. 12:8.
      14. Showing mercy, Rom. 12:8.
      15. Exhortation, Rom. 12:8.
      16. Evangelism, Eph. 4:11; 1 Tim. 4:14; 2 Tim. 1:5-6; 2 Tim. 4:5



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