July 25, 1999
V. 20. V. 19, the great house is the Gospel Church, built upon the foundation of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. Individuals are compared to vessels, and they are in that house according to the Lord's will. They are clearly not alike, for each has his unique gifts:
1 Corinthians 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
1) God created each person as an individual, not as a group, and he works with individuals.
2) God gave each person an unique "natural" ability.
3) God gave, in addition, each person an unique "spiritual" ability, or spiritual gift.
4) God gave each according to his divine will and purpose in that person:
1 Corinthians 4:7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?
A) Glory against God as though we obtained it ourselves.
B) Glory against our fellow man as though we are better than others.
5) God will hold each person accountable for how he developed his gift(s) in this life. (Mat. 25.)
6) God will hold each person accountable for how he uses what God gave him for God's glory. Having "free will," man can use or misuse his abilities--he can use them for God or for self. Most use them for self.
No doubt one of our biggest problems is realizing that God is the One who made us as we are; he is the One who equipped us with particular gifts and abilities, and we had nothing to do with it. The Creator made each of us unique, so we can fulfill an unique position in his work.
We must be content with who God made in us.
We must be content with the social standing he placed us in.
We must be content with the family he placed us in.
We must be content with our looks. We look the way God wants us to look.
I should also mention here that we must be content with where God has us:
Philippians 4:10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Note here Paul said he had to learn to be content. Guess how he had to learn it?
Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
First, because God is the Sovereign God who controls all events through Divine Providence, (though we certainly do not understand how he does that), we must be content with where he has us. Paul was in prison, and it was God's strengthening that enabled him to be content.
Second, the promise is that he said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. If we are not confident that God has us where we are for a HIS PURPOSE in whatever situation we are in, then we cannot boldly say, The Lord is my helper. We will doubt the Lord's car for us, and we will fear what man shall unto us.
See Aug 1, 1999 for continuation.