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1 Peter 4:11

Dec 10, 2019   //   by Charlie Garrett   //   1 Peter, 1 Peter (written), Daily Writing, Epistles, Epistles (written), Writings  //  8 Comments

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:11

Peter now details two gifts which may have been imparted to individuals which demonstrate “the manifold grace of God,” which he referred to in verse 4:10. In naming them, he will explain how they should be handled. Along with this, he will give the reason for it. First, he begins with, “If anyone speaks.”

This display of grace is speaking. The context, however, is more than just speaking in general. And yet, it certainly should be inclusive of all speech. To define what he means, he says, “let him speak as the oracles of God.” One might think, “Oh, Peter is referring to preaching because he is referring to someone speaking about Scripture.”

It is certainly true that if a person is preaching, he is to do it based on Scripture. A sermon which is not based on the word may be a motivational speech, it may be an incitement to wage war, it may be a political rally, but it is not “preaching” as intended by Scripture. But there are other types of speaking that must surely be on Peter’s mind, such as teaching, counsel, tongues, prophecy, etc. Each of these must be “as the oracles of God.”

For example, if someone speaks in tongues, and it is not in accord with God’s will and his directives for tongues (which are laid out clearly in Scripture), then that person is in violation of Peter’s exhortation here.

Understanding this, all forms of speaking which involve Scripture are to be “as the oracles of God.” But should that be the end of the directive? No. In Deuteronomy, it says this –

“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:6-9

This set of words was probably what was on Peter’s mind. It is not merely speaking by someone invested with an office, but all people at all times. “When you speak, do so as you have the oracles of God on your lips.” And this does not mean the fulfilled law of Moses, but the entire body of Scripture. As Paul says elsewhere –

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:16, 17

Next, Peter says, “If anyone ministers.” This display of grace is ministering.  The word signifies caring for the needs of others in a practical way, and as the Lord guides. This is obviously a function within the church. The word is translated into English as “deacon” in 1 Timothy 3:10. However, it is a word which is broadly used to refer to any type of ministering, serving, etc.

Again, the thought should not be limited to those in church employ, but rather to all people who minister at any time. In such, Peter says, “let him do it as with the ability which God supplies.”

People are given the ability to minister in an almost infinite variety of ways, but the thought is inclusive of talent, level of authority, amount of strength, level of wealth, availability of property for use, and on and on. God has supplied all people with their station in life. It is the obligation of God’s people to then use that station for His glory in the conduct of the service of others.

Peter then says this is so “that in all things God may be glorified.” What good is speaking without bringing glory to God? What good is serving without glorifying the One who gave the abilities to serve in the first place. Everything is temporary and fleeting except that which is done for the glory and honor of the Creator. Our station is not to work independently of Him, but in accord with Him and His will for us.

And this can only truly be done properly when God is glorified “through Jesus Christ.” Without Jesus, we truly only have a limited idea of who God is. Jesus is the Christ, meaning “Messiah.” It was He who was prophesied to come, even moments after the fall. It is He who was the hope of all of the faithful of ages past.

The Lord directed the people’s attention to this coming One, so that when He came, it would be He who expressed God in a way in which we could concretely see and understand. Without him, religions have formed 7 jillion “gods” out of their own imaginations. But in Christ is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15), and He is, therefore, the way that God has chosen to express Himself to us.

Understanding this marvelous thing, Peter finishes with a short doxology by saying, “to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” All things came from God, all things belong to God, and all things are to bring glory to God forever and ever. He alone is sovereign over all things, and it is right that all things are to be done by us to bring Him all of the glory that He is due.

Life application: Deuteronomy 11 repeats the same idea as cited from Deuteronomy 6, which is quoted above. Peter uses this familiar idea. Whenever we speak, our language should be continuously salted with verses and our words should be sprinkled with glorifying God. It doesn’t matter who we speak to, we should be bringing the knowledge of Jesus to those around us.

Likewise, Peter tells us that God doesn’t supply half-heartedly And so, we shouldn’t minister that way either. In all we do – whether speaking or ministering, we need to do it to glorify God. If we are doing otherwise, then we are depriving the Lord of the honor, glory, and dominion that He alone is due. Let us never fall into this error, but rather let us be living testimonies to the Lord, the Lord Jesus Christ – to the glory of God. Amen!

Lord, as Isaiah cried out – “I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips.” We ask you today to purify our hearts and souls and bring us to the place where we speak, act, and live solely for You and Your glory. On our own, we cannot do this, but with Your Holy Spirit surely we can. Glory to You O God! Amen.

 

 

8 Comments

  • Thank you Pastor Charlie
    I wonder if anyone can help me with this problem. The church I attend here in Trinidad has been going through some rough patches for about the last 2 years. Attendance has dropped significantly as well as finances. Staff members have been paid half salary for the last 6 months and some will have to look for alternative employment in the New Year.
    A lot of reasons have been given for this decline in a church that once had great financial prosperity. Bibles were sent to India on a monthly basis, churches have been built in South America, and help has been given to Haiti. Etc. But the money has just ‘disappeared’
    Last Sunday a young man got up to preach. He was not the Pastor just an ordinary member of the church. Among other things this is what he said. “I declare that within the next 30 days, this church attendance will increase to 5000.” Is this speaking “according to the oracles of God” according to our lesson today?

    • Ruth, no. It isn’t at all. He is making a prophecy of the future – of which he has no claim to and no right to declare. I do not believe in extra-biblical revelation, because there is no need for it and because we now have God’s full and complete word. To speak according to the oracles of God is to speak in accord with them, not in addition to them.

      In one month, if you don’t have 5000 people, I would recommend the congregation expel him.

  • thank you , praying for your church Ruth . love and prayers

  • Hi Ruth, so good to see you here again. We’ve missed you.

  • Romans 6:18 says…being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

  • May we have many opportunities In these last days or moments to share the joy of salvation with others. Sorry to hear this report about your church Ruth but this is what is happening world wide, churches are failing especially because people don’t want the truth they want to hear what they want to hear, a life of wine, roses and prosperity. How quickly they forget that Jesus told us that to follow him would be hard but blessed are those that do for their rewards are in heaven….ok I paraphrased that but it’s in the ball park. I was made aware of a YouTube channel the other day that has 282k subscribers, wow It’s called “Wretched” not to be confused with Wretched Knuckelhead he is a powerful force for Jesus. This Wretched channel is like watching Satans snake oil salesman. In One video they say how they would not use…………………you better sit down for this………………….ready?………………….they would not use john 3: 16 to evangelize people because it’s to boring ……………TO BORING. And this channel has 282k subscribers?????? 282k people fast tracked to hell OMG. Thank God for leading us to Charlie and the superior word and to many other lesser known pastors that are committed to preaching the meat of the bible no mater how many don’t want to hear it but only want the baby formula preaching, the feel good crew. The silver lining around this is it’s just more proof that we are only moments away from going home AMEN. If anyone recommends the Wretched channel to you run as fast as you can from them. Myself I was only able to watch 10 minutes of it mostly like a deer in the headlights and then the John 3: 16 statement came on and I was done, switched it off never to be watched by me again. And let me preface this by saying I don’t know your Church situation Ruth,it may not have anything to do with what I shared here I just shared it as an example of why the faith of many is failing. And yes we were told this would happen it’s just amazing to see it right there I our face.

    We ARE another day closer to home
    Grace mercy and peace on you and yours
    God bless my friends we fly soon

    • Can you imagine someone saying they would not use the word of God to bring people to Him? Insane. Big numbers on YT do not equate to sound theology, and quite often it is the opposite which is true. There are some great ministries that have high numbers, but there are many with high numbers that have nothing to do with true faith in Christ.

  • BLESS GOD PRAISE JESUS! Amen

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