"GLORY TO GOD"
I. The gifts of grace.
A. Because God loves you, He enjoys giving gifts to you.
1. These are called gifts of grace, because we do not deserve them nor can we merit them.
2. Paul wrote to the Romans about these gifts.
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, [let us prophesy] according to the proportion of faith;
Or ministry, [let us wait] on [our] ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, [let him do it] with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
3. To the Corinthians he gave another list of the gifts of the Spirit as he told them that they were for the profit of the whole church.
4. God's love goes far beyond the borders of our own lives, or beyond the borders of our church.
5. God gives you gifts in order that you might share those gifts and use them to benefit others.
B. So as you have received the gifts from God, you are to use those gifts to minister to others.
1. This is what Peter refers to as being a good steward of the manifold grace of God.
a. A steward was one who was responsible to oversee the goods of another.
b. He was entrusted with the management and care of another's property and affairs.
c. He was often a slave, but was expected to always have his masters best interest at heart.
2. Jesus gave parables that related to stewardship.
a. In Luke 16
He spoke of the unjust steward that wasted his masters goods.
b. In Luke 12
when asked to explain a parable about being ready for the masters return at any time, Peter asked Him who He intended the parable for, the disciples or everyone. Jesus replied,
Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom [his] lord shall make ruler over his household, to give [them their] portion of meat in due season?
Blessed [is] that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
c. That is what Peter is basically telling us to do in our text. Use your gift to minister the grace of God to others.
d. Paul tells us that the most important thing for a steward is that he be found faithful.
II. "If you speak, speak as a oracle of God."
A. The word translated oracle is the Greek word logia. The Greeks used this word to refer to the oracles, whom they believed were instruments through which the gods spoke to men.
1. The oracle of Delphi was probably the most noted of the Greek oracles.
2. For us, Peter is telling us to speak the word of God to the people.
a. Paul said, "For I received from the Lord, that which I also delivered unto you."
b. The Old Testament prophets often began their pronouncements, "Thus saith the Lord."
c. It was quite common in the pentecostal churches in the exercise of the gift of prophecy to begin or end the prophecy with the words, "Thus saith the Lord."
d. I have great reservations in using that phrase unless I am quoting scripture.
B. "If any man minister let him do it with the ability that God gives."
1. Paul declared that he was made a minister according to the grace that was given unto him.
2. We all are ministers according to the grace given unto us.
3. There are many ministries in the body of Christ.
4. My particular ministry is often referred to as a pulpit ministry. So as I minister the word of God to you, I am to do it with the ability that God gives to me.
5. I believe that every one of us have been called of God to minister in some capacity or other.
6. I believe that every child of God can say, "I am a minister of Jesus Christ."
7. The word minister actually means servant. A servant is one who ministers. We have all been called to serve our Lord, Jesus.
8. The Lord has gifted people in many different ways.
a. Some are gifted musicians.
b. Others are gifted with artistic skills.
c. In the Old Testament when Moses was given the plans to build the tabernacle, God said of Bezaleel,
And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,
To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass,
And in cutting of stones, to set [them], and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.
9. Some have been gifted with writing skills.
10. Others are gifted athletes.
11. What has God gifted you with?
12. It is important that we discover our gifts and then use them for the glory of God.
13. Are you using your God given gifts for the glory of God?
a. Bach used to write on every composition, "To the glory of God."
14. Whatever talent or gift God has given to you, it will always find it's highest value and use, when you use it for the glory of God.
a. So many prostitute the God given gifts by using them for their own glory.
b. Some never acknowledge God as the source of their gifts.
c. Daniel had said to Nebuchadnezzer
Thou, O king, [art] a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.
d. Later Nebuchadnezzer said of Babylon,
Is not this great Babylon, that which I have built by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?
e. So God allowed him a period of insanity until he realized that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.
13. Paul said,
Who makes you different from anyone else? and what do you have that you did not receive? now if you received [it], why do you glory, as if you did not receive [it]?
III. The purpose of the gifts is that God may be glorified in all things by Jesus Christ.
A. The chief purpose of life is to glorify God in everything we do and say.
1. Paul said,
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. And again in 1 Corinthians:
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. He also said:
But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
2. Jesus said, Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
B. We sing "To God be the glory, great things He hath done."
C. Speaking of God Peter adds, "To whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever."
1. It is interesting to me that when John records his being taken up into heaven in Revelation chapter 4, the first thing that arrests His attention is the awesome throne of God and the Cherubim about the throne praising God.
2. I will be forever grateful to God for the wonderful gifts that he has given to me.
a. The gift of eternal life.
b. The gift of His Son.
c. My lips forever will declare the praise and glory of the true and living God who created me and called me to be His son.