If we are going to “do” church in a manner that pleases and honors God we must first understand that God is the Source of all true ministry.
This is not how we usually think. We often proceed with the notion that we are trying to do things for God… and somehow God uses those things to accomplish His purposes. But this is mistaken.
God is the only One capable of doing God-things, but He chooses to do those things through those who have committed their hearts and lives to Him. He works within us so that He can work through us to accomplish whatever He wants to do in any given situation. This is the very foundation of doing church.
So much of our emphasis is on getting our “ducks in a row” or in getting “good enough” so that God can do something through us (if He so chooses).
But the whole point of salvation is that Jesus has already (and for all time) put all our “ducks” where they need to be – and by receiving His redeeming sacrifice, we are made completely blameless and whole. We do not have to do better, or try harder (now that we belong to God) we just have to come to the realization that God inhabits us AND He desires to do those God-type of things through each of us.
In short: God wants to work through us… and He has already done everything that is necessary for that to happen.
And not just in ministers or priests or those who seem to be “super-spiritual.”
The very essence of doing church is that every person who is in relationship with Jesus is already qualified to be used by God in each and every moment of every day.
That is what the apostle is telling us (in our verses today). He reminds us that the whole story is God… Who is now working through us to do what He desires to do.
IF we will trust Him. IF we will surrender our wills to Him. IF we will listen for the voice of His Spirit, urging us to step out in faith and have faith that God is seeking to use us to make a difference in people’s lives.
Sadly, most of our church services have turned into a “spectator sport.”
Those “called” to minister, perform their service… while the rest of us hope to benefit from the few who are ministering. There is nothing particularly wrong with this format – unless that is sum of what church is for us.
We can’t read 1 Corinthians 12-14 without understanding that God’s idea for doing church was for each of us to be used by God to bring something to our gathering. The emphasis is on every believer participating in what God desires to do – because He has a vast variety of different things that He wants to do in many different ways – through the different people gathered for His purposes.
God enjoys diversity. He loves variety. And He is especially fond of everyone having a part to play in what He wants to do.
If we are truly interested in doing church God’s way, we have to realize that we are each called to play an active role in what happens in our gatherings.