Dear Fellow Believers in Christ, (Christ is the minister in us with His Ministry Gifts)
How does Holy Spirit mind renewal tie in with Christ's ministry gift operation? What or who is "the measure of grace" that the Father has given us? Where does Paul teach that God only gives you a primary gift or possibly a secondary gift? Could we be limiting God in these ministry gift areas by our incorrect thinking? Are prophecy and preaching the same, even when they are from two clearly different root words in the Greek? Let us be open to truth and let the Holy Spirit guide us into all truth to see Christ -- the Person living in us as us with His Ministry Gifts for others.
CHRIST'S MINISTRY GIFTS
"For even as in one body we ever have many members, but the members in all things has not continually the same action: So we, the many, ever are one body in Christ and each one, members of one another. And continually having gifts according to the grace given to us, differing; whether prophecy according to the proportion of faith; . . ." (Rom. 12:4-6, author's translation).
First, The Holy Spirit Ever Transforms the Mind for Christ's Ministry In Us
Paul exhorts the brethren to once then present your bodies to God (Rom 12:1a). We do that initially at the point of our Spiritual rebirthing and salvation. Paul goes on to declare, that our bodies are an ever living sacrifice to God, which is our reasonable worship offering to God (Rom. 12:1b). This only will be possible with Holy Spirit mind transformation. Paul declares without Holy Spirit mind transformation, we will just be conformed to this world and won't really know or understand the complete will of God (Rom. 12:2). The whole purpose of the renewed mind is to give the Christ within us since our Spiritual rebirthing, the freedom to express Himself in and through us, according to the will of the Father. The Father wants us as members of the Body of Christ to be in tune with Him, so Christ can spontaneously flow forth in us to minister to others. Without a Holy Spirit taught, renewed, exchanged, and empowered mind, Christ even in all fullness in us, will be greatly limited in His expression through us as us.
Second, The Father Has Placed Christ with His Faith in Us by His Grace
We certainly received 100% of the Father's grace at the split second we were Spiritually rebirthed. Out of that grace, the Father has placed Christ with all the fullness of His faith in us. Paul calls it, "the measure of faith" (Rom. 12:3). Our mind needs to understand that Christ is in us with the fullness of His faith to be, live, and do everything in His ministry through us to others. Since our Spiritual rebirthing, our Father has not left us to have to live and minister separate from Christ. No, our Father has placed Christ – the Faithful and True within us at the Spiritual rebirthing to be the minister in and through us as us. It is not our power or strength. It is the power and strength of Christ ministering in and through us.
Third, Understanding the Differing Functions of Christ's Gifts by His Grace
The Body of Christ today is a many membered body (I Cor. 12:14,20). God has set the members in the body as it pleases Him (I Cor. 12:18). All the members in His one body do not have the same function (Rom. 12:4). We function in His unity of purpose together as one body. There are different gifts distributed according to the grace that is given us. Paul isn't teaching here that God gave His grace to you only for a primary or possibly a secondary gift. Please don't limit God! Christ now lives in Spiritually rebirthed saints. Paul tells us, "For in Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and we are complete in him" (Col. 2:9,10). That is an awesome thought! You may normally operate in one or more gifts according to His grace. Be open. Christ can minister in and through you in any gift, any time that He may desire to meet a need that isn't being met.
Fourth, Christ's Three (3) Spiritual Word Communication Ministry Gifts
Paul discusses prophecy or prophesying, teaching, and exhortation or encouraging. These are Christ's three (3) communication ministry gifts (Rom. 12:6-8). The word used for "prophecy" in the Greek text is "prophetia," which Christ operates in us to "foretell" through His divine foreknowledge. The word used for "preach" in the Greek text is "kerusso," which means to "forthtell" or herald especially of divine truth as the gospel. By the revealed Word given by the Holy Spirit, these are clearly two (2) distinct and different ministries. Prophecy or prophesying as used here is clearly different and not the same as "preaching." The word used for "teaching in the Greek text is "didskalia" which indicates a master or instructor in doctrine, learning, or teaching. The word for exhortation in the Greek text is the word "paraklesis" which means to bring along side – comfort, consolation, exhortation, and intreaty. Paul exhorts those so gifted in these word communication ministry gifts to so use them in behalf of the body.
Fifth, Christ's Expression of Showing Mercy Ministry Gift
Christ lives in us with a love-for-others Spirit. With a renewed mind, Christ can express his love and mercy through us to others. The word "mercy" in the Greek text is "eleeo" which means compassionate by word or deed (Rom. 12:8). Mercy is the functioning gift between the three (3) Spiritual word communication ministry gifts, and the three (3) temporal serving operational ministry.
Sixth, Christ's Three (3) Temporal Serving Operational Ministry Gifts
Paul also discusses leading or ruling, ministry or serving, and giving. These are Christ's three (3) temporal serving operational ministry gifts (Rom. 12:7,8). Christ is the head of His Body – the Body of Christ (Eph. 5:23; Col. 1:18). We have the head of the Body of Christ living in us. When we are in union with Christ, it is easy for Christ to express Himself in and through us as us in the ministry gift of leading (or ruling). The word for "ruling" here in the Greek text is the word "proistemi" which means to stand before in rank or to preside, leading, be over, or rule. The word "ministry" in the Greek text is the word "diakonia," which means attendance as a servant, as a deacon, through serving others. The word for "giving" in the Greek text is the word "metadidomi," which means to give over, share, or impart.
Seventh, Christ's Spirit of Love, Fellowship, and Ferver to Other Members
Paul encourages to allow all gifts to flow in love and goodness (Rom. 12:9). He also shares that we should "be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another" (Rom. 12:10). That is sincere selflessness expressed in brotherly kindness. Paul exhorts us to be diligent and fervent in Spirit as we serve the Lord (Rom. 12:11). Paul also indicates rejoicing, patience, prayer, hospitality, blessing, sympathy, humility, goodness, peaceable, and longsuffering, in our fellowship with the body with these gifts (Rom. 12:12-19). These are similar character traits as the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit which "is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control" (Gal. 5:22-23). These are the fruit of the Spirit of Christ, the One who lives in us as us. "It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me" (Gal. 2:20). We may interpret these gifts as our gifts. Ultimately, Christ, the gifted One lives and expresses His gifts in us as us. These are really Christ's ministries.