Serve One Another
Passage: 1 Peter 4:7–4:11
Serve One Another
1 Peter 4:7-11
C.S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity:
“A continual looking forward to the eternal world is not (as some modern people think) a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do.
It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is.
If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next.
The Apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven.
It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.
Aim at Heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in’: aim at earth and you will get neither.”
“The end of all things is at hand;”
Greek – “Telos” - refers to a goal achieved, a result attained, a realization, an end-goal, a purpose fulfilled.
Most of the major events of God’s great salvation plan had already occurred. (The life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ along with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost)
Jesus’ coming was never intended to be a subject for Speculation; it was always intended to be a reason for anticipation and motivation!
How Do We Live Between the “Already “and the “Not Yet”?
- Focus in prayer with a clarity of mind (7)
Think and live sensibly as you contemplate the brevity of this life and the things that really matter.
Biblical World View - informed by the truth revealed in Jesus Christ and God’s Word.
An expectant attitude toward Christ’s return involves a serious, balanced mind and an alert, focused prayer life.
- Love one another Fervently (8)
“The word pictures an athlete straining to reach the goal. It speaks of eagerness and intensity. Christian love is something we have to work at, just the way an athlete works on his skills. It is not a matter of emotional feeling, though that is included, but of dedicated will. Christian love means that we treat others the way God treats us, obeying His commandments in the Word. It is even possible to love people that we do not like!” Warren Wiersbe
Covering does not mean Condoning
- Practice hospitality without complaining (9)
To be hospitable means to share what God has given to us with others including our home, our meals, our resources, and our very lives.
- Heart Attitude
- Beneficial Actions
- Serve each other faithfully (10-11)
“Charisma” - a gift of grace, a gift involving grace on the part of God as the donor
“That's the way we should think of our responsibility in the church - all of us. We are recipients of grace and it is our duty to disburse this grace for others. The vehicle by which we make these disbursements is our spiritual gift. So now we have another definition of spiritual gifts: they are abilities by which we receive the grace of God and disburse that grace to others. This fits beautifully with our earlier definition of spiritual gifts as the abilities given by the Spirit which express our faith and aim to strengthen the faith of others. “ John Piper
Two Broad Categories:
Note: Both are dependent on God’s Enablement
One Enduring Motivation:
The Glory of God
When we use our gifts as part of the body, God brings glory to himself through Christ. We honor him and glorify him.
Consequently, we dishonor God when we do not use them. (See Matthew 25)
Living In Light Of Eternity
Closing Question: How am I living in light of eternity?