(#407) Romans 12 - Spiritual Gifts are for Fellowship

ROM-333-180408 - length: 95:40 - taught on Apr, 8 2018

Class Outline:


Welcome To


a Christian Church

Rory Clark



Good Morning!


Welcome to Barah Ministries…a Christian Church that makes a difference worldwide courtesy of the internet…a Christian Church that makes a difference locally in the Gilbert, Mesa, and Chandler, AZ communities.  My name is Pastor Rory Clark.  At Barah Ministries, our God is the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and we teach the Word of God from God’s perspective, not from man’s perspective. 


There’s nothing that puts a smile on my face faster than anything written by the disciple that Jesus loved…the apostle John.  Here’s what He says about our God in John, Chapter 1, Verses 1 to 3…


JOHN 1:1

In the beginning was the Word (the Lord…God the Son), and the Word was

with God the Father, and the Word was God.


JOHN 1:2

He (the Word…the Lord…God the Son) existed in the beginning with God the Father.


JOHN 1:3

All things came into being through Him (the Word…the Lord…God the Son…He is the CREATOR), and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.


Jesus Christ is God, manifest in the flesh…He took on human form and became clearly visible…and His words and His deeds are those of the God-Man…100% God and 100% man in one person forever…the uniquely born Son of God the Father…full of grace…full of truth…the Creator of the earth and the universe and all that’s in it.


Welcome to a place where you can learn about the One who has always existed…the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.



Spiritual Gifts are for Fellowship


What is your spiritual gift?  How are you using it?  Romans, Chapter 12, Verse 6…



Since we believers in Christ have spiritual gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise his spiritual gift accordingly…


In this lesson, we continue our study of spiritual gifts.  And since this is the second Sunday of the month we celebrate The Lord’s Supper, our look back to the Cross…today we learn the value of single-mindedness as demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ at the Cross.  What was the Lord’s sole focus during His time on earth?  We’ll see!



Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ

Enjoy the Singing of His Praises



Chris Tomlin


The God who created you...the God who gave you a spiritual gift is the God who loves you unconditionally.  Let’s hear Christ Tomlin sing about God and His love in his song JESUS LOVES ME.



Let us pray...


Almighty God and Father…You are the One who created the idea of fellowship…it began when perfect creatures sang with the Lord God, Jehovah Elohim, Your Son, when He created the earth and the universe… and it continued after the fall of angelic creatures and the fall of man when the Lord Jesus Christ restored our fellowship with You, Father, breaking down the barrier of the dividing wall at the Cross…


Clear up the idea of fellowship for us once and for all time, as You love to do, and illuminate our spiritual gifts individually and collectively so You can be proud of us as Your body…the Body of Christ…


We ask this through the power of God the Holy Spirit…in Christ’s name...Amen.



Spiritual Gifts are for Fellowship


A life that does not contribute to others is meaningless. 


The passage that is the subject of our study is the third passage in Romans, Chapter 12, and it extends from Verses 3 to 8…let’s review it together…



For through the grace given to me by God the Father (the grace gift of being an apostle…Paul’s spiritual gift), I (Paul) say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think…but to think so as to have sound judgment…the thinking that’s in line with the measure of faith given to you by God (your spiritual gift).



For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function…



…so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.



Since we each have a gift (charisma) that is different according to the grace (charis) given to us, each of us is to use the gift accordingly…if he has the gift prophecy (preaching the Word of God), exercise it according to the proportion of his faith…



…if he has the gift of service, in his serving…or he who teaches, in his teaching…



…or he who exhorts, in his exhortation…he who gives, with liberality…he who leads, with diligence…he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.


This passage asks you a simple question…if you were accused of being a Christian in a court of law, would there be enough evidence from your life… evidence that witnesses can clearly see and testify about…to convict you?  Do you show up in life?  Does it make a difference that you are on the planet?  Does your life make a difference to those around you?  These are the things we ask ourselves as we begin to study the spiritual gifts.


Don’t fret about this question…remember that God considers your problems to be His responsibility…and so He considers it His responsibility to turn you into a Christian whose life is LIGHT…and you owe it to Him to let Him transform you like this…and your LIGHT is reflected by your spiritual gift.

Romans, Chapter 12, Verses 4 and 5…



For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function…



…so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.


The apostle Paul was the first to talk about the idea that as believers in Christ we are the “Body of Christ.”  Yes…those of us born after Pentecost…forty days after the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…all the way up to the exit resurrection of the Church…known as The Rapture…we are the Church Age Believers…we are the Body of Christ.  He is the Head of the Church, and we are the Body.  Each of us is a reward to the Lord for His strategic victory at the Cross.


As believers in Christ we are in fellowship with God.  First John, Chapter 1, Verses 6 and 7…



If we say we have fellowship with God and yet walk in the darkness (as unbelievers), we lie and do not practice the truth…



…but if we walk in the Light as God the Father Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin.


As believers in Christ we have fellowship with God…and we have fellowship with each other. 


What is fellowship?  Fellowship with God is eternal life.  It is the resurrection life, given to us by God at the moment of salvation, and we cannot lose it.  John, Chapter 10, Verse 28…


JOHN 10:28

…and I (the Lord Jesus Christ) give eternal life to believers in Christ, and they will never perish…and no one will snatch them out of My hand.


As believers in Christ our fellowship with God ensures that we cannot lose our salvation…because our fellowship…our eternal life was accomplished for us by an immutable God who never changes.


What is fellowship?  Our fellowship with each other is called unity.  It is not something we accomplish…it is not something we work at…UNITY is a gift given to us by an immutable God who never changes.  This fellowship is defined as partnership…community…involvement…relationship…close association…mutual interest…sharing…brotherhood…in short, fellowship is intimacy.  Romans, Chapter 12, Verse 6…


ROMANS 12:6a

Since we each have a gift (charisma) that is different according to the grace (charis) given to us, each of us is to use the gift accordingly…


The physical body has many functioning parts…and they work together as a unit…when one of the parts doesn’t function, it taxes the other parts to compensate…each part has a separate function that contributes to the whole.  Your functioning part is your spiritual gift.


The church we are building is not merely a physical structure…it is a group of people with spiritual gifts, using them in ministries, and we will need a building to house the use of these gifts.


Let’s take a music break…if the God who considers your problems to be His responsibility has not revealed your supernatural spiritual gift to you yet, remember, there’s only grace.  Here’s Matthew West to sing about it.  Take a moment to listen to the song and then we’ll take a break.




Matthew West



The Lord Taught Us Single-Mindedness at the Cross


Giving is both a spiritual gift and a function of our ambassadorship.  When it is a spiritual gift it is supernatural.  People with the supernatural spiritual gift of giving do so with an almost insane generosity.  For those who give as a function of their ambassadorship, they give based on ability.  There are some of us who have more means than others…thus some ambassadors give more than others based on their means.


Several things should guide your giving.  First and foremost…just give.  Matthew Chapter 10, Verse 8…



Freely you received…so freely give.


Always remember that TAKING ONLY is not God’s way.  So don’t let Satan and the world, his kingdom of death, sour you on being generous.  Give to God from your firstfruits, and let God do the rest.  Have confidence in God as you give.  Let’s welcome up Deacon Denny Goodall with the offering message.



Deacon Denny Goodall




ROMANS 4:20-21

…yet, with respect to the promise of God, Abraham did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God,//and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.




Dave McClure, Instrumental



The Lord Taught Us Single-Mindedness at the Cross


Today…just as we do every month…we celebrate the Lord’s Supper…a meal of remembrance.  In this celebration we obey the Lord as outlined in First Corinthians, Chapter 11, Verse 26…



For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup (as part of the Lord’s Supper Celebration), you proclaim (as a reality and you announce the significance of) the Lord Jesus Christ’s death (on the Cross and His resurrection from the dead) until He comes (again in the second coming).


The Lord’s Supper is a way for Christians to demonstrate unconditional love for the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is the most intimate thing we do in the Christian Way of Living.  Our Lord wants a deep, intimate and personal relationship with each of His believers, and He shows us His own intimacy by sharing His body and His blood with us in this celebration. As we break the bread we share His body…as we drink the cup, we share His blood…and as we look back for a moment to the Cross, we are to remember all the Lord accomplished for us there.  Our memories are our intimacy with Him.


I hope those of you in the non-resident congregation are joining us by getting your own bread and your own cup, so that you can enjoy the communion elements with those of us in the resident congregation.  We are one…we are in unity…let’s break bread together.


As believers in Christ we ask ourselves…what did the Lord Jesus Christ do for us at the Cross?  Perhaps more importantly, what do the Lord’s accomplishments at the Cross provide to each of us personally?


At the Cross, the Lord Jesus Christ taught us single-mindedness. 


Recently, a friend of mine challenged me to think about my love for my sons.  I have two sons, Zachary and Elliott, and I love them with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my mind, and with all my strength.  When I accepted the challenge of thinking about my love for them, and began remembering all the things I love about them, God the Holy Spirit used the opportunity to divert my mind to HOW I love, instead of THAT I love.  It was an interesting journey.


When I love someone, it is single-minded.  When I love someone, I am all in.  When I love someone I am so focused on them, it almost scares me.  I can remember the second after Zachary was born.  An instinct arose in me that had me willing to kill anyone who looked at him in a threatening way.  I can remember when Elliott was on a basketball team and a few of the kids on the team were hazing him.  Elliott was crying about it, and I went to have a talk with the kids and the coach.  If I were to judge what it was like to be on the other side of my conversation with them, I’d say it probably felt life threatening.  I know this…the situation changed immediately when these few people were put on notice that I wouldn’t tolerate their mistreatment of my son.  The commitment level of my love scares me. 


If there were a word to describe my love, it is single-minded.  When I love someone they become the center of my concern.  And the funny thing is I can sustain that love for years and years without deviating from the concern and without requiring anything from them in return.  I think loving my mother taught me this love.  She needed a lot of love, and I gave it to her unconditionally.  I think my love overwhelmed her.  If you check with people I have loved, I think they would describe being completely overwhelmed by the single-mindedness of my love.


When I love someone, there is no mixture…there is no distraction to divert my focus.  I am single-minded.  I am not distracted.  I have no desire for the intrusion of a second thought.  The Lord teaches this single-mindedness in Luke, Chapter 5, Verses 36 to 39…


LUKE 5:36

And Jesus was also telling them a parable: “No one tears a piece of cloth from a new garment and puts it on an old garment…otherwise he will both tear the new garment, and the piece from the new garment will not match the old garment.”


LUKE 5:37

“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins…otherwise the new wine will burst the old wineskins and the wine will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined.”


LUKE 5:38

“But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins.”


LUKE 5:39

“And no one, after drinking old wine wishes for new wine…for he says, ‘The old wine is good enough.’”


The Lord makes it clear that His way and another way do not mix.  There is no room for the old amongst the new.  The death of the old must occur to make room for the new…the same thing that happened at the moment of salvation for all of us believers in Christ.  We died to self.


Interestingly enough, when I have cause to love my enemies as I love myself…when I have cause to pray for those who persecute me…my love for them is just as single-minded.  I become solely focused on the frailty and the futility both of their humanity and my own, and that makes it easy for me to love them unconditionally and to care about them in the face of their persecution of and their contempt for me.  And even if their persecution hurts me to my very being, I can love them with a single-mindedness that perplexes even me.


It’s easy for me to conclude that this love is built into a Pastor.  It is a necessary prerequisite of the job.  It is a gift from a loving God.  He is the source of this love…I am not.  I was explaining this love to a different friend recently…the love a Pastor has for congregation members, and they suggested that I was a bit too loving…they suggested detachment…they said I should know what is a congregation member’s crap and what is my crap…and that I should not take it personally when people are going through their own crap as it relates to their participation in this ministry. 


I considered their suggestions, and even thought they were right…that this detachment is, perhaps, something I should do…unfortunately, I can’t do it.  It reminds me of telling a Mom that she should have tough love for her kids.    As a Pastor, I take everything that happens in this ministry and with my congregation members personally.  This caring comes from my spiritual gift, and it is supernatural.  If my congregation members could actually feel how much they are loved, it would scare them, too.  I conclude that this supernatural, unconditional love comes straight from the source of God, and it is powerful enough to circumvent all of my psychological attempts to detach from its power.


Thinking about HOW I love, courtesy of God the Holy Spirit…how deeply I love…in preparation for this Lord’s Supper Celebration…has brought me a peace that surpasses understanding.  I am content with HOW I love, with whom I love, and the results that come from this love even when the love is unrequited…even when love is not reciprocated.



I did not invent the idea.  One of my favorite clips is from an American western, a comedy film called City Slickers.  On the verge of turning forty, an unhappy Manhattan resident and “yuppie” (a young urban professional) is “roped” into joining his two friends on a cattle drive from New Mexico to Colorado.  The main character Mitch, played by Billy Crystal meets the trail boss Curly, played by Jack Palance, a tough guy who has wise advice for the young man.




“Do you know what the secret of life is?    One thing.    Just one thing.    You stick to that and the rest of the crap doesn’t mean a thing.”




But, what is the “one thing?”





“That’s what you have to figure out.”




The Lord has allowed me to share a personal set of experiences before I talk about Him and His single-mindedness as we look back to the Cross.  Let’s be clear on one thing.  I am not single-minded because there is intrinsic goodness in me.  I am single-minded because the Lord taught me to be.  And of course, often I am distracted.  Of course quite often self-focus, self-interest, and the self-life rear their ugly heads to dominate my thinking.  In fact, “often” means every day.


Yet I can simply look to the Cross for a reminder.  What did the Lord Jesus Christ do for us at the Cross?  At the Cross, the Lord Jesus Christ taught us single-mindedness.  The Lord Jesus Christ had His ONE THING figured out from eternity past.  If there were a word that describes the Lord Jesus Christ’s single-mindedness, the word is DEPENDENCE.  His one thing is to do God the Father’s will.  In John, Chapter 5, Verse 30, Jesus says…


JOHN 5:30

“I can do nothing on My own initiative.  As I hear…I judge…and My judgment is just…because I do not seek My own will…but the will of God the Father who sent Me.”


When someone is DEPENDENT, it is his express purpose to do the will of the person he is dependent on.




The Lord Jesus Christ was the definition of single-mindedness.  Luke, Chapter 22, Verses 39 to 42…


LUKE 22:39

And Jesus came out, and He proceeded, as was His custom, to the Mount of Olives…and the disciples also followed Him.


LUKE 22:40

When Jesus arrived at the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”


LUKE 22:41

And Jesus withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray…


LUKE 22:42

…saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup (the Cross) from Me…yet not My will, but Yours be done.”




Not MY will…but YOUR will be done, Father. 


Single-mindedness.  Total dependence.  John, Chapter 10, Verse 30…


JOHN 10:30

“I (the Lord Jesus Christ) and God the Father are one.”


This single-mindedness…this oneness…is the very definition of intimacy.  As believers in Christ, we long to think…we long to feel…we long to experience…in every moment…the deep, intimate and personal relationship we have with the Lord Jesus Christ.  Everything about our lives emanates from this singular relationship…from a single mind used by two or more beings that choose to be in fellowship with other.  Galatians, Chapter 2, Verse 20…



I (Paul) have been crucified with Christ…and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives indwelling me…and the life that I now live in the flesh (my physical body) I live by faith in the Son of God (total dependence on Him)…God the Son…who loved me unconditionally and who gave Himself instead of me.


Every death frees us from a marriage to slavery…and opens us up to another…in this case, opening us to the Christ…the Messiah…the Sovereign God of the Universe…the Savior of the world…the Lord Jesus Christ.


As believers in Christ WE ARE LIGHT.  A light does not hide…a light cannot hide…your spiritual gift is a light.  As believers we are chosen by Christ to be a light in the world…Luke, Chapter 11, Verses 33 to 36…

LUKE 11:33

“No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar…nor do they put it under a basket…they put it on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light.”


LUKE 11:34

“The eye (single-mindedness) is the lamp of your body…when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light…but when the eye is bad (distraction), your body also is full of darkness.”


LUKE 11:35

“Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness.”


LUKE 11:36

“If therefore your whole body is full of light (single-mindedness), with no dark part in it (distraction), your whole body will be wholly illumined…as when a lamp illuminates you with its rays.”




It is not duality.  It does not allow intrusion by one other single thought.  It is God-interest, not self-interest.  There is no evilness of heart in single-mindedness.  There is no unholy motive in single-mindedness.


Single-mindedness is complete dependence on God…and complete submission to God…complete surrender to God…and complete obedience of God.  John, Chapter 4, Verse 34…

JOHN 4:34

Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of God the Father who sent Me and to accomplish His work.”


John, Chapter 6, Verse 38…


JOHN 6:38

For I (the Lord Jesus Christ) have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but to do the will of God the Father who sent Me.

Matthew, Chapter 7, Verse 21…



“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven…he will enter the kingdom of heaven.”


John, Chapter 12, Verses 49 and 50…


JOHN 12:49

“For I did not speak on My own initiative, but God the Father Himself, who sent Me, has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak.”


JOHN 12:50

“I know that His commandment is eternal life…therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.”


Philippians, Chapter 2, Verses 5 to 11…


Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus…



…who, although He existed in the same essence as God the Father, did not regard equality with God the Father a thing to be seized and held…



…but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.



Being found in appearance as a man, He humiliated Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a Cross.



For this reason also, God the Father highly exalted Christ, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name…



…so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven, and of those who are on the earth, and of those who are under the earth…



…and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord (God the Son), to the glory of God the Father.


God wants this same single-mindedness, dependence, surrender, submission and obedience from us believers in Christ as He received from Christ Himself.  Ephesians, Chapter 2, Verse 10…



For we believers in Christ are God the Father’s workmanship, created to be in union with Christ Jesus for good works, which good works God the Father prepared beforehand (in eternity past) so that we would walk in them.


The Lord’s work on the Cross…His personal presence on earth…are a testimony that make Him a witness able to testify to the goodness of God the Father.  At the Cross, the Lord Jesus Christ made Himself an instrument of God the Father’s will.  As an instrument, the Lord Jesus Christ’s single concern was the glory of God the Father… “not my will…but thy will be done.”  The Cross begs the same single-mindedness of each of us believers in Christ.


You see…the love that God has developed in me gives me a presence that others notice…it allows me to be a testimony…it allows me to be a witness to God the Father’s goodness…it makes me an instrument of His will…it allows me to BE A LIGHT that illuminates God…He is shaping me to reflect a single concern…that others see the glory of God…“not my will…but thy will be done.”


When we allow what we see as we look back to the Cross to shape us, we give God perfect assurance that each of us, in our spiritual gift, are the perfect instrument to use for His will.



Enjoying the Elements


Obeying God’s command, we keep on celebrating CHRIST and His Cross on a regular basis…we eat to remember who He is as a PERSON…we drink to remember His WORK on the Cross…the voluntary sacrifice He made at on our behalf as our sin substitute.  We are grateful for what God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ have done for us.  Matthew, Chapter 26, Verses 26 to 28…



While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take…eat…this is My body (which is being broken for you).”



And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you…”



“…for this is My blood…the blood of a new covenant….blood poured out for many for the forgiveness of their sins.”


As you enjoy the bread and the cup, enjoy the memory of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as well. Now and always, let us keep on giving thanks that we are loved unconditionally and accepted fully by a Lord who is always there for us…the One on whom we can depend…and let’s keep on being transformed by His life, His death, His resurrection and His Word… and let’s enjoy His unconditional love.




June Murphy



Make the Most Important Decision of Your Life


There are only two ways to get to heaven.


One way to get to heaven is to be perfect like God is perfect.  Why?  It is because God demands perfection from us.  Once we sin, we are no longer perfect.  James, Chapter 2, Verse 10…


JAMES 2:10

For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of breaking the whole law.


The other way to get to heaven is by means of grace.  The Lord Jesus Christ Himself said in John, Chapter 14, Verse 6…


JOHN 14:6

Jesus said to the doubting apostle, Thomas, “I am the way (to salvation), and I am the truth (through the Word of God), and I am the resurrection life…and no one comes to God the Father (in heaven) but through believing in Me.”


Believing in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation makes you perfect… accepting the Lord Jesus Christ’s grace…the One who went to the Cross to pay for the sins of all mankind…offers salvation.  As a result of the Lord’s work at the Cross, sin will never again be a barrier between God and man.  Second Corinthians, Chapter 5, Verse 21 says…



God the Father made Jesus Christ who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in union with Him.


If you are imperfect, you can be made perfect by the imputation of God’s righteousness to you at the moment of salvation.  As a result you can join the apostle Paul in shouting at the top of your lungs…Romans, Chapter 1, Verse 16…



For I (Paul) am not ashamed of the gospel…for the gospel is the divine power of God the Father for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greeks.


Acts, Chapter 16, Verse 31…


ACTS 16:31

“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and everyone in your household who also believes.”


John, Chapter 3, Verse 36…


JOHN 3:36

“He who believes in the Son has the resurrection life right at that moment… but he who does not obey the command to believe in the Son will not see the resurrection life…instead the wrath of God (the Lake of Fire) abides on him.”


John, Chapter 3, Verse 17…


JOHN 3:17

For God the Father did not send God the Son into the world to judge the world…but the Father sent the Son into the world that the world might be saved through Him.


Take the free gift of eternal life right now!  There’s no time to waste!  God wants you.


Here’s June Murphy to sing about God’s unconditional love for all of His creatures in her song DEMONSTRATED LOVE.




June Murphy



Let us pray...




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