Romans 12:7 “ if service, in his serving; or he who teaches in his teaching;”
We need to see that we naturally look at most if not all scripture through the lens of man working for God, but the true secret and reality of the Christian life is Christ IN YOU AS YOUR LIFE and all He does in and through you will be to the glory of God. We come to these verses about the “motivational gifts”, we talk about “what my gift is”, and often ask people “what’s your gift?”. This is looking through the lens of man working for God. Remember the first verse in this chapter, “I urge you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”
From this first verse and the verses leading up to verse 7, we see that the focus is the mercies of God and God’s people offering themselves to Him as a living sacrifice, that, as each member of the body does that, Christ is manifested among them. This verse is not saying if you are naturally inclined to serve, that’s your gift, so do that for the glory of God, or if you are talented and gifted in teaching that is your gift, so keep on teaching. These gifts are merely the descriptions of CHRIST ministering through HIS body, that God the Father may be glorified (recognized).
In Luke 10:38-42 we see Jesus correcting someone to whom serving came naturally. Jesus is visiting Martha and Mary. Martha gets upset with Mary for not helping her serve everyone. Martha appeals to Jesus and Jesus gently tells Martha that she is worried and bothered by so many things, but there was only one thing needful and Mary had chosen that.
In Matthew 15:1-9 Jesus rebukes some scribes and Pharisees because of they manner in which they are teaching. He says, “You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying, ‘This people honors Me with their lips but their heart is far from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’”
How do we then, serve or teach or carry out any of the gifts not from our natural life, but through the Spirit? It goes back to what the secret and reality of the Christian life is…and that is CHRIST IN YOU as your life. What do we see in the Word of Christ serving and teaching? In John 8:28-29 Jesus says “When you lift up the Son of man, then you will know that I AM, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me. And He who sent me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing in His sight.(Italics added for emphasis.)
Also in John 5:19 Jesus testified saying “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees that Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.” There are many, many, many more verses that reveal how Jesus lived yielding His life and soul to His Father. We see that Jesus already lived on earth presenting His body to His Father as a living and holy sacrifice. If that is what He did then, and He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, then He WILL in and through us (HIS BODY) continue to live that same way. So whether it be in serving or teaching or any other way Christ is manifested, may we offer ourselves up and receive and know it to be “no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” that God may be recognized on earth in this day and age.