Sermons

Summary: Christians must realise that God appoints each of us to service within His Kingdom. We are not hired or voted to our work; God (as Sovereign) appoints.

“The LORD said to Aaron, ‘You and your sons and your father’s house with you shall bear iniquity connected with the sanctuary, and you and your sons with you shall bear iniquity connected with your priesthood. And with you bring your brothers also, the tribe of Levi, the tribe of your father, that they may join you and minister to you while you and your sons with you are before the tent of the testimony. They shall keep guard over you and over the whole tent, but shall not come near to the vessels of the sanctuary or to the altar lest they, and you, die. They shall join you and keep guard over the tent of meeting for all the service of the tent, and no outsider shall come near you. And you shall keep guard over the sanctuary and over the altar, that there may never again be wrath on the people of Israel. And behold, I have taken your brothers the Levites from among the people of Israel. They are a gift to you, given to the LORD, to do the service of the tent of meeting. And you and your sons with you shall guard your priesthood for all that concerns the altar and that is within the veil; and you shall serve. I give your priesthood as a gift, and any outsider who comes near shall be put to death.’” [*] [1]

The Apostle to the Gentiles has written, “Concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols; however you were led. Therefore, I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says, ‘Jesus is accursed!’ and no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except in the Holy Spirit.”

Then, in words that have been often misapplied in modern church life, he wrote, “There are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” [1 CORINTHIANS 12:1-7].

God gives good gifts to His people. However, God’s gifts are given for His glory as we serve others! We can never find warrant in Scripture to see divine gifts as given for our own consumption. If God blesses us, it is so that we will be able to bless others, revealing the glory of the Lord through our service. This is especially the case when thinking of spiritual gifts.

YOU SHALL BEAR INIQUITY — “The LORD said to Aaron, ‘You and your sons and your father’s house with you shall bear iniquity connected with the sanctuary, and you and your sons with you shall bear iniquity connected with your priesthood. And with you bring your brothers also, the tribe of Levi, the tribe of your father, that they may join you and minister to you while you and your sons with you are before the tent of the testimony. They shall keep guard over you and over the whole tent, but shall not come near to the vessels of the sanctuary or to the altar lest they, and you, die. They shall join you and keep guard over the tent of meeting for all the service of the tent, and no outsider shall come near you. And you shall keep guard over the sanctuary and over the altar, that there may never again be wrath on the people of Israel. And behold, I have taken your brothers the Levites from among the people of Israel. They are a gift to you, given to the LORD, to do the service of the tent of meeting’” [NUMBERS 18:1-6].

“You shall bear iniquity.” Isn’t that an arresting phrase? The mere pronouncement implies responsibility—awesome responsibility! That statement should serve to give anyone pause who thinks of entering full-time Christian service. While we are not appointed as priests, we are given workers who are to labour in full-time service among the churches today.

The Apostle speaks of the ascension gifts our Saviour gave to the churches. He writes, “He [the ascended Son of God] gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes” [EPHESIANS 4:11-14]. Paul lists apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers as given by the ascended Saviour for the benefit of the congregations of our Lord.

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