Perfecting training – 2          Sat. May 7, 2011       held in Markham meeting hall

Verses: Romans 12: 1-13

Brother Minoru’s burden – don’t let the word drop at the wayside.  Be equipped and furnished – be perfected.

In Romans we saw the 4 statuses of the living of the apostle Paul.  We should be the same.  Paul’s gift may be higher than ours, but we need to have the same office – to perfect all the saints – enter into the same function as Paul.

  1. Slave – no right – to serve God and righteousness.  We need to have the spirit of a slave and let this spirit permeate the church life.  Then we will have a good foundation in the church life: starting with the leading ones.  We all are slaves; He owns us and control us.
  2. Priest – every saint belongs to the Holy priesthood and royal priesthood – one who serves Him.  This is to worship Him.  Preaching the gospel is to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God.  In the OT offerings – they are just Christ.  Praying is also to offer Christ to God.  Function to serve the saints, not just to them, but to God – for His satisfaction.  Praising in the meetings is toward God.  Material offerings also to God – a sweet smelling savor to God.
  3. Deacons – practical serving ones.  As mentioned in Romans 16:1 Phoebe – patroness, protectress.  Various practical services in the church life – love feast, signing checks, 1st items of the deacons in the church in Jerusalem was to serve the matter of food, due to some saints who were not properly cared for.  These services sustain saints.  Most of the Levitical services are needed (will cover more in the days to come).  New ones saved, then we need to help them to serve on small items.
  4. Ministers – public servants: to minister the gospel to the gentiles, to the world.  Matt. 28 says – go to disciple the nations.  This is commissioned by God.  This is to all mankind.  We need to turn to our community.  Paul says in Rom. 1:9 I serve in the gospel of His Son.

How to serve -  in 2 main areas – critical things.

  1. serve God in our regenerated spirit, in the mingled spirit.
  2. Serve God in the Body.

1.  Romans 1:9 and Phil. 3:3 are sister verses – to serve in spirit.  In John 1:14 He became a man.  In 1Cor:15 He became a life-giving spirit.  That spirit was breathed into us – the Triune God came into our human spirit.  Today He is in us – resides and mingles into our sprit.  He is joined to us in spirit.  To serve Him, we have to go where He is – in spirit.  In John 4 the Lord told the Samaritan woman – that God is not in some physical location, but God is in our spirit today.  We have to worship (by serving) in our human spirit.

Our spirit is different from our heart, or soul, or our natural life.  Paul emphasized he served not by these faculties.  Therefore we cannot serve properly in these faculties, definitely not in our natural life.  For this reason, we must know how to touch our spirit.  When we call, pray, we are using our spirit.

Heb. 4 says that we must separate our soul from the spirit.  All the problems comes from the mind, emotions, natural love, hatred, stubbornness, our will – unsubmissive, all these things will damage the church life.  Living in the natural life causes much damage.  They are 2 different realms.   We have to reject and deny our natural life – our natural ability, ways of doing things – put them to death.  Let our heart be denied.  Le the spirit be our manager – so our faculties can be brought into subjection.  2Tim Paul says he serves with a pure conscience, that is in his spirit.  Otherwise the church life becomes a worldly place.  We must know the realm of the spirit.  So the first thing to do is to pray – pray to be out of our soul, then we can serve.

Romans 6:4 old man has been crucified, buried.  Therefore we have a new daily life, a new walk – in newness of life.  7:6 to serve in newness of spirit – our regenerated spirit.  Since we have been discharged from law – to be one with Him, leave the old man outside of the church life.  The new man must be identified with Christ.  Declare that, believe in that!  As such, we need to serve in the newness of life – where the spirit dwells.  In the spirit, nothing is old.  In 2Cor 5 new life and new spirit.  Everything is new in our spirit.  When we serve in our spirit, everything is new.  OT priests – according to ordinances, the letter – everything becomes ritualistic and routine and old.  In the church life, we serve Him in spirit, in newness, because we exercise our spirit.  Saints will be served and touched by this newness.  Every meeting is new, and not by a set program.  We must touch the newness of the spirit.  Our spirit is the source of the newness of God, of resurrection.

Romans 12:11 do not be slothful in zeal, burning in spirit – not just in spirit, but hot, not dragging.  In Rev. the Lord said you are neither hot or cold.  Don’t be lukewarm.  We must be burning in spirit.  Take the lead in the church to be burning.  The gift has to be fanned into flame.  Don’t be passive, cold, indifferent, but be burning all the time.  Refuse to be a lukewarm Christian.

The strength of our testimony is how much we are burning.  This is when our gift is exhibited.  Tea bag should never be put into cold water, but in boiling water.  Otherwise nothing happens.  When tea bag is put into hot water, it is so tasty.  Serve Him in our burning spirit, in newness of spirit – in a burning way.

2.  Romans 8 mentioned spirit is life.  So set our mind on the spirit, full of the mingled spirit – no spirit, no church.  No spirit, no service.  In His Body, not individuals independently.   I want to mention 10 points:

i) By presenting our bodies to the church.  It is reasonable service.  Be available to the saints.  Care for the Body and YOU are not there!

ii) Transformed by the renewing of the mind, not fashioned according to this age, not the world.  Be delivered from the things of the world interest, which occupies you.  How can we serve – how can we prove what the will of God is?

iii) Serve y thinking soberly as God has apportioned to us a measure of faith.  Otherwise we are out of place.  Don’t think highly or lowly of ourselves, but soberly.  Then there will be no conflict and disharmony.

iv) By knowing we are the Body of Christ, we don’t all have the same function.  In the Body there is a variety.  We must have the Body sense – not individuals.  All the function must fit together for the building of the Body – in coordination – to help the Body life

v) By realizing we are members of each other; we are organically joined – from member to member.  All members function together.  It is of life and organic relationship.  We should never be serving individualistically – this is the principle of the Body.  Coordination is a 3-legged race.  We need to learn to be bound together.  That’s the Body way – in harmony.

vi) By exercising the different gifts according to the grace He measured to us: some prophesy (12:6), some teach, some cannot give a message, but can give and offer to the Lord, some can lead diligently – different gifts but harmonious church life.

vii) Love and honor one another, even to a new one.  (Brother Minoru’s testimony – even honor new ones)  New one has his portion.

viii) Living in the Kingdom of God, under His headship (14:17) – serve with fear within us.  The Kingdom is righteousness, peace, joy in the Holy Spirit.

ix) By helping and sustaining and supplying the saints – example of Phoebe.

How do we serve?  Everyone pick up the burden; fill those needs.  We don’t need to care for a position.  We care for the building up the church and the Body of Christ.  First serve in he spirit, and serve in the Body.