God doesn’t create lone rangers.
AUGUST 18, 2022
God doesn’t create lone rangers. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
It’s for freedom that Christ set us free and Key Life is here to bring you Biblical teaching that encourages you to never give into slavery again. Our teacher on Key Life is Steve Brown. He’s an author, broadcaster, and seminary professor who’s sick of phony religion.
Thank you Matthew. We’re talking about spiritual gifts and we’re looking at the first few verses of Acts 16 in our study of Acts. We’ve seen that this may not seem at first to be a teaching on gifts, but it really is. And we’re checking out some things you ought to know. First, we’ve seen that if you have a spiritual gift, it’s because you are a Christian and every Christian has a spiritual gift. Now, I’m not making this a teaching section on spiritual gifts. Maybe we’ll do that another time, but if you want to check out kind of some other Biblical teaching on it, you can go to I Corinthians 12 through 14, Ephesians 4, or Romans 12. And there are a number of other places. So, I’m not specifically looking at those gifts and what they are. Maybe someday we’ll do that, but they are exclusively reserved for Christians, but secondly, God also has created you. And so ordained your life, that the spiritual gift he gives probably won’t contradict the natural gift that you have in that particular area. I get it. And that’s Acts 16:1 and II Timothy 1:5. I’m always getting things from Christians who believe that if they become a Christian, God is going to send them to a place, make them do things, make them say things, make them be involved in things that they don’t like. That’s not true. God’s not a child abuser. Man, he’s going to take what he’s been creating in you from the day of your birth. And he’s going to ordain it in a supernatural way with a spiritual gift, and you’re going to love what he’s planned for you. All right, let’s go on. I want you to note that an important part played in the whole body of Christ, when we talk about spiritual gifts, is the whole body of Christ, that happened with Timothy. Look at Acts 16:2, he was well spoken of by the brothers at Lystra and Iconium. Now, the Greek word used for well spoken of, means to bear witness to. The people of the church were going to Paul and saying, Hey, have you met Timothy yet? Hey, we have a young man here, who’s really something else. And God is using him in a wonderful way. Paul, it’s important that you meet Timothy. In other words, what was going on in Timothy, in his growth, in his ministry, and how he was being used by God. And we’re gonna see this more in detail later on, but all of that was a part of the body of Christ. Let me tell you something about your self image. When you are a child, you ask in a thousand ways, who am I? And you bounce that gift off first, your mother and father, then your family, then your friends, you determine who you are, not by yourselves, but by bouncing yourself off others. That’s one of the reasons that some people are so dysfunctional, they had fathers, they couldn’t please and mothers who were angry. They had family who wished they weren’t a part of the family. They had friends who ignored and demeaned them. And as a result, as they, as they grew up, they began to think of themselves as ugly and their mother dressed them funny. Now, the church ought to be the remedy for that for a number of reasons. First, as in the case of Timothy, he was thought well of by the church. The church is a hard place, isn’t it? I’ve often said to congregations, if you’re not a believer, take it from the old guy leave before you get hurt cause we’re not nice people, we’re in cliques and we’ll talk about you and you’re going to get hurt. So, get up and leave right now and don’t thank me, I was glad to help. But if you stay and you can get over some of that and see your own stuff as a part of it, you’re going to find a family here that will be the most important family of your life, and it will change your life. I, have spent my entire life feeling I was on the outside trying to get on the inside. I still have some of that and there are reasons for it. I’m not gonna go into them, but it’s a part of my biography. You know, I, when they gave me my first phony doctorate, they said, are you going accept it or are you going to embarrass this university for giving it to you? I said, no, I accept it. I was just a kid on the outside throwing rocks at the house cause nobody would let him in. Well, they let me in, didn’t help much. But you know what helped, the church helped. Somebody has said, and it was a poet and I can’t remember his name.
That home is where, when you go there, they have to take you in.
Church, is that too, when you go there, they have to take you in. And not only do they have to take you in, you have to be accepted for who you are. That’s why we have, and I’m one of them, so many weird people in the church. I have, and I love the church because she’s my mother because for my entire life the people in the church, when I sin, cut me slack. Now, I know that’s not the experience of everybody, but it was my experience. Where I was accepted and made a part and made to feel that this was my family. And so, the spiritual gifts that you have, can’t be separated from the family, the real family that God has given you. And that puts a responsibility on that family, if you’re listening, to make sure that that’s happening in the church. Are there are people in your church who feel like they’ve been rejected, that nobody spoke to them, that nobody cared about them or listened to what they said. Don’t let that happen, man, find one person in your church who feels that way, and for God’s sake, fix it. For the sake of the church also, fix it. Make somebody who feels on the outside, feel they’re on the inside. Make somebody who feels rejected, feel accepted. Make sure that you fulfill what is taught clearly in Scripture, that when you come to church, it’s a place where they have to take you in and where you have to be accepted. That’s true. I was thinking, one time I was sitting in church and thought, you know, if it weren’t for a church, these are not my kind of people. If it weren’t for church, I just wouldn’t hang out with these people. They’re different than me. They like things different than I like. They go to places, I don’t go. They say things, I wouldn’t say. They like stuff, that I don’t like. These are not my kind of people, but they are my kind of people. And you know why because of Jesus. And that goes deep. That’s the reason we have small groups in church. So, what I’ve been teaching you can become a reality in the church. It’s why we have church suppers, dummy. So, what I’ve been teaching you can become a reality in the church where you know, when you come there, they have to take you in. And so, spiritual gifts and we’re going to talk more about it at a different place in a day or two, but spiritual gifts do not operate in a lone ranger style. They’re a part of the family that God has made you a part of, or for you English teachers of which God has made you a part. And that’s important to remember. And so, when you see Paul coming into the church, and people start saying to him, have you seen Timothy, something was going on. There was some good stuff going on on the part of the church, that’s called the encouragement of young men and young women in the ministry to which they have been called, but there was more going on than that. It was supernatural because the church is called to be the cheerleader for the people who are the church. The church is called to be the cheerleader for the people who are the church. And so, as weird as I am, as sinful as I am, as offensive sometimes as I am, I attend church for a lot of reasons. I want people to know whose side I’m on, but more than that, I’m a part of the church because when I go there, they have to take me in and love me. You think about that. Amen.
And thank you Steve. That wraps up another fantastic week of exploring the book of Acts. In a world that’s always in a hurry, it’s so nice to take this unhurried tour through this important book. And by the way, if you missed any episodes this week or in this series, you can find and stream all of them for free anytime at Keylife.org. And be sure to join us tomorrow for Friday Q&A. Tomorrow Steve and Pete will tackle this listener question. Does God approve of polygamy in certain circumstances? I, I think I know the answer to that one, but I couldn’t tell you why. So, how about we both listen in and learn? So, I think you’ll agree that we, as Christians are often right on issues of salvation and theology, but we sometimes miss the less articulated truths of humility and, and love and forgiveness. Well, Steve talks about that challenge in a special booklet called Talk the Walk and we’ll send it to you, for free. Just call us right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that booklet. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794
in Canada, mail
Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8
Just ask for the booklet called Talk the Walk. Finally, would you partner in the work of Key Life through your giving? You can charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or just pick up your phone and text Key Life to 28950. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And as always, we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.