III. AS EVERY MAN HAS RECEIVED A GIFT,
EVEN SO MINISTER THE SAME TO ONE ANOTHER,
AS GOOD STEWARDS OF THE VARIED GRACE OF GOD
First Peter 4:10 says, "Each one, as he has received a gift, ministering it among yourselves as good stewards of the varied grace of God." In this verse Peter points out that each one has received a gift. The Word says everyone has received a gift, so there is no excuse; we must minister this gift to one another. We have to serve one another with this gift. The word minister in Greek really means serve. A minister simply means a servant or a deacon. Everyone is a minister, a servant, a deacon, a steward, ministering grace to others. Since we all have received a gift, we need to minister this gift to one another as good stewards of the varied grace of God. This is the grace in many aspects. The varied and manifold grace of God can be fully ministered only when all are ministering, or serving.
IV. THE PRACTICAL SERVICE—MINISTRY
Now we want to see something concerning the practical service —ministry (Rom. 12:7a; 1 Pet. 4:10). When we refer to the practical service, we mean the practical ministry.
A. As Deacons and Deaconesses
The practical service, the practical ministry, in the church is by the deacons and deaconesses (1 Tim. 3:8-13; Phil. 1:1; Rom. 16:1). The deacons and deaconesses are the serving ones. First Timothy 3:8-13 gives us the qualifications of the deacons and deaconesses.
B. Serving Others
The practical ministry is one of serving others. Acts 6:3 says that seven deacons were appointed to take care of the practical need of serving tables. These ones were full of the Spirit and of wisdom.
C. Helping Others
First Corinthians 12:28b uses the term helps. This refers to the services of the deacons and deaconesses. These verses give us a clear view that the saints in the local church should take care of one another. If you need something, I should serve you. If I need something, you should serve me. The church life is not merely a matter of meeting. Serving one another should be a part of our communal life. In the early church life, the serving ones even took care of serving tables. Paul used the word helps in a very general way. This word covers everything. If a brother does not know where a barber shop is and you help him, this is the practical service and this is brotherly love. To help one another is the practice of the Body life in a communal way.
(Basic Lessons on Service, Chapter 11, by Witness Lee)