Summary: In this sermon we examine the biblical definition and use of Srvice (or helps), giving and mercy in the spiritual gifts.
Spiritual Gifts Series
Part 4 – “Service, Giving and Mercy”
Rev. Bruce A. Shields – First Baptist Church Tawas City Michigan
I would like to welcome you to the First Baptist Church of Tawas City, we are very glad you are here today.
If you are visiting, please fill out a Visitor Card located in the back of the pew’s, and leave them on the pews as you leave, and someone will come by after the service and pick them up.
“In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. 2So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, "It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word."
5This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. 6They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.
7So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.”
Last week we talked about the first spiritual gift listed in Romans which was prophecy.
This week I would like to talk about a few more of the gifts listed, Service, Giving and Mercy.
Although these three gifts are different, they are also related in many ways.
All the Spiritual Gifts will fall within one of three categories.
There are the SUPPORT GIFTS which are foundational. They are vital to the body of Christ because they provide direction and leadership for the church.
Then there are SERVICE GIFTS which work behind the scenes, quietly encouraging and building up the body.
Lastly there are the SIGN GIFTS which supernaturally manifest the Holy Spirit’s power, authenticating God’s presence in the church.
Service or helps, Giving and Mercy all fall under the service gifts.
The scripture we just read is directly related to Deacons. Why they were needed in the church at the time, how they chose them and what kind of men they needed to be to fill the part.
Let’s take a look at the first of the three gifts we’re going to talk about today, and that is Service.
Service which is sometimes called helps is the Spiritual gift that gives you the capacity to take the initiative to meet the practical needs of others, freeing them to fulfill their own calling.
You are helping them to serve God the way He called them to serve.
Here we read in Acts that some of the widows were being overlooked in the distribution of food.
So the twelve (Elders of the church at the time) gathered all the disciples (congregation) together and let them know there was a need.
The twelve knew that it would not be right for them to stop doing what God had called them to do to distribute food, but the food still needed to be distributed, so they wanted the disciples to choose 7 men full of the spirit and wisdom to take this responsibility. The congregation chose them, not the Elders.
Deacon in Greek (diakonos) literally means those who wait on tables.
But this is just one example of service or helps.
The Spiritual Gift of Service would be anyone who takes on a task or responsibility that would free someone else to serve God in the way of their calling.
You are helping them serve God!
Through the next few weeks I want everyone to remember that NO GIFT IS NON-ESSENTIAL.
God wouldn’t give you a gift if it was worthless or didn’t really address a need in the church.
The gift of service is one of the quiet giants.
In the scripture we read that the elders would be taken away from their calling if it weren’t for the deacons.
They stated that they knew it would be wrong of them to go, so God addressed a need within the church through the elder’s obedience to their calling from God in their ministry.
If anyone here ever says, “I’m just an usher.”
Or, “I just clean the church.”
Or, “I just count the tithe.”
Or, “I just ring the bell on Sunday before service.”
You are in the wrong mindset. You are DOING something. You are serving the body of Christ! You are serving this church!