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Summary: Through the grace given by the Holy Spirit, ordinary people become extraordinarily equipped. Through the empowering of the Spirit, the word of God equips us to enrich, edify and equip people to serve the Lord with effectiveness according to the gifts give

Romans 15:14-16 (quickview) 

What are the reasons certain believers lack goodness, knowledge, and competence to serve?

Illustration: The great violinist, Nicolo Paganini, willed his marvelous violin to Genoa -- the city of his birth -- but only on condition that the instrument never be played upon. It was an unfortunate condition, for it is a peculiarity of wood that as long as it is used and handled, it shows little wear. As soon as it is discarded, it begins to decay.

The exquisite, mellow-toned violin has become worm-eaten in its beautiful case, valueless except as a relic. The moldering instrument is a reminder that a life withdrawn from all service to others loses its meaning.

Bits & Pieces, June 25, 1992.

Theme - The Spirit fills us with goodness, knowledge, and competence to enrich others.

What makes some people capable of leading believers to higher levels of Christ-likeness?

1. Through the grace given by the Holy Spirit, ordinary people become extraordinarily equipped. Through the empowering of the Spirit, the word of God equips us to enrich, edify and equip people to serve the Lord with effectiveness according to the gifts given to each one. Many people are underutilizing the gifts God gave them because they are yet to understand the way the Spirit fills them with goodness, knowledge and the competence to instruct one another.

Illustration:

Erwin M. Soukup has compiled what he terms "The Seven Steps to Stagnation":

1. We’ve never done it that way before.

2. We’re not ready for that.

3. We are doing all right without trying that.

4. We tried it once before.

5. We don’t have money for that.

6. That’s not our job.

7. Something like that can’t work.

Soukup admits that "there’s probably an eighth step, but we’ve never looked

it up before."

Martin E. Marty, "Context," April 15, 1985, p. 5.

2. People seldom improve when they have no model to copy but themselves. Paul wrote to Timothy, "You followed my teaching, conduct, love, faith and purity." (2 Tim. 3:10) Ask the Lord to help you get around people of godly character so you can learn from their example. Allow the Lord to use you as an example to those who need to learn how to model godliness through your fine example. Do not hide your light under a bushel basket.

3. Stop looking at yourself, your circumstances, or your cultural heroes, for your examples. Too many Americans are following cultural icons not realizing that the qualities of TV and film stars are not empowerd or equipped by the Spirit of God. It is the Spirit that gives life, the flesh profits nothing. The secular humanists insist that we can live a moral, upright and respectable life without any supernatural empowerment, but they are dead wrong. Paul wrote, "We all with open face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed from one degree of glory just as by the Spirit of the Lord." (2 Cor. 3:18) The Spirit of God transforms, sanctifies and edifies us in way that no human theory or philosophy can.

Illustration:

Evangelism

An executive hirer, a "head-hunter" who goes out and hires corporation


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