Summary: In the context of exercising fervent love for one another for the glory of Christ, Peter gives instruction on spiritual gifts. This is not something for us to gloat over, nor to depreciate ourselves over. Just as certain that our “grace gift” is not earned or deserved, it is given to every follower of Christ nonetheless. So why don’t we do a better job using our gifts? It could be doctrinal confusion, a wrong self- diagnosis, a dreading of drudgery, or we have lost our first love. But one thing is certain, as we fill ourselves with the knowledge and love of Christ, nothing can hold us back!
1. A. As emphasized last week, verse 10 states that all believers have “received a grace gift” directly from “the manifold grace of God.” What is the significance of us receiving this exclusively by His grace?John 15:4-5, Ephesians 2:8-10
1.B. Since we are saved initially by the grace of God and not by works, explain how God intends that we continue in that salvation on a daily basis.John 7:37-39, Galatians 3:2-3, 2 Timothy 2:1-7
1.C. Some of us do not feel capable, or we think we don’t have anything to offer. Some of us don’t even feel worthy. But what does God say? Exodus 3:1-12, Psalm 103:10-13, Ephesians 3:16-4:2, Philippians 1:6, 4:13, Colossians 1:27-29)
2.A. 1 Peter 4:10 says, “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” Do you think this is a suggestion or a command? Why?
2.B. The word “employ” (a present active participle ) is expressed as an imperative in the Greek, which is a command. Considering the context how does 1 Peter 4:7 add to the urgency of this command? In what fashion does verse 8 motivate us to obey this command?1 Peter 4:7-11
2.C. Do you love your brothers and sisters in Christ? Does it show in your commitment to serve them with your gift? Do you even know what your gift is? They tend to surface as we make ourselves available to assist God’s people. What are some of the most important disciplines we can cultivate in order to bring this about?Joshua 1:7-8, Psalm 1:2-3, Isaiah 6:8, Acts 6:4, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19
3.A. Again in verse 10, what is the meaning of “good stewards?”Genesis 39:1-9
3.B. What were some of the characteristics of Joseph, even in the midst of his horrible circumstances? Was the grace of God upon him? How so? How do you think his view of God impacted his sense of stewardship?
3.C. Not only did Joseph have a strong sense of personal responsibility before God as a worker, but he also was committed to personal holiness. A good steward is also a pure steward. How might we profit from his example? Proverbs 3:5-7, 4:23, Romans 13:14, 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, Galatians 5:16, Hebrews 4:16, James 4:4-8, 1 John 1:8-9
4.A. What two categories of gifts does Peter discuss in 1 Peter 4:11?
4.B. Other than the fact that we are commanded to do so, why bother using our gifts? What is the greatest reason, the grandest motivation to apply ourselves with vigor and self sacrifice in using our gifts? Isaiah 53:4-6, Matthew 27:46, John 3:16, 14:15, 14:21, Mark 6:34, 1 John 4:19
4.C. Caring and feeling sympathy for the needs of others is one thing, but love goes beyond that; genuine love is compelled to take action. Have you lost your first love? Then it probably shows. Is your love for Christ growing steadily? Then that will show as well. What we discover almost by accident is that the more we spend ourselves for God, the greater our joy of living becomes. His honor and glory becomes our delight. Why not come to the Lord in prayer, that we would grow in these ways. Job 22:21-26, 2 Peter 3:18