The Gift of Helps
The late President John F Kennedy, in one of his best-noted addresses to the people of the United States of America, said, “Ask not what my country can do for me, ask what I can do for my country.” I see several principles, biblical and otherwise, within a statement of this caliber. For clarity, I would like to rephrase this quotation, “Ask not what the body of believers can do for me, ask what I can do for the body of believers.”
The Apostle Paul recalled the words of Jesus, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). I suppose the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” would complement this quotation as well. Our camaraderie, coupled with the reciprocity we share among fellow-believers, is very important in establishing a strong expression of faith in our community.
The gift of helps is one of many with which God endows believers, enabling them to serve others in ways that do not come within their natural inclinations or capacities. These promptings from God are called the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Co. 12:4-6). They are motivated by love (1 Co. 13), and they are given by God at his own discretion (1 Co. 12:11) for the common good of the church (1 Co. 12:7). Some are for leadership, some are for service, some seem rather spectacular, and others are performed in a quiet and unassuming way. Nevertheless, all gifts are important for the Church as a body. The gifts of helps (1 Co. 12:28) is a gift of service for all kinds of assistance, and it is necessary to support the body of believers.
Here at Troy Christian Chapel we enjoy a ministry entitled the “Barnabas Ministry.” I believe it comes under the category of the gifts of helps, that is, “those able to help others.” Barnabas, the name meaning Son of Encouragement (Acts 4:36), was an early church leader who was exemplary in character, strong in faith and full of the Holy Spirit (Acts 11:24). This ministry seeks to provide Christian care out of pastoral concern to the members and friends of TCC. It works out of loyalty to the fundamental biblical principle of love, which is expressed again and again in the Bible in such passages as:
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellow man has fulfilled the law” (Romans 13:8).
“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Galatians 6:10).
“If a man’s gift is…serving, let him serve…if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully” (Romans 12:6-8).
Ministry is often thought to be the task of professional ministers only. This popular conception can hardly be correct. Rather, the New Testament calls for the entire company of believers to be involved in ministry.
“From Christ the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” (Ephesians 4:16).
We encourage one and all to become involved in the gift of helps, whether it be ministering to one another or allowing others to minister to you.
Pastor Jake StirnemannApril 1, 2021