7 of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power.
In verse 7 the Apostle Paul refers to himself as a minister and in the original language means servant and through faith in Jesus Christ we are all servants. Throughout the gospels Jesus calls us to serve. Serving isn’t very popular in our culture or our churches, but when we are called into a relationship with God we aren’t only being pulled into an eternal reconciled relationship, but also eternal activity with God.
To be clear the activity doesn’t change our spiritual condition before God because it is only through the righteousness of Jesus Christ that our spiritual condition is changed. If we skip faith in Jesus Christ and go directly to activity it results in self-righteousness and us trying to prove our commitment with God. This will inevitably lead to exhaustion and frustration. Therefore, we first start with relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ’s work on the cross and then it results in activity with God.
I know some of us hear some of this language of “activity of God” and immediately we are filled with inadequacies. We think we aren’t smart enough, we don’t know enough Scripture, we aren’t eloquent with our words, and we aren’t good on our feet. Some of us think we have done too many stupid things and what we say or do doesn’t matter. Maybe somebody has told us we have disqualified ourselves because of a moral decision we made. Maybe for some of us there is a lack of passion or zeal and if we are honest with ourselves we would rather serve our own personal interests than the interests of others. It is so easy for us to feel inadequate and we connect our power to our performance. If we look at our life and see a good performance we feel confident, however, Scripture teaches us that our power doesn’t come from our performance.
That feeling of inadequacy doesn’t just magically go away. The apostle Paul referred to himself as the “least of all saints” and if anyone could have found power in their performance it would have been Paul. He wrote half the New Testament, started multiple churches, has seen and spoken to the resurrected Jesus Christ and yet still refers to himself as the least of all saints and it isn’t because Paul has low self-esteem.
The beauty of the gospel is that it isn’t our performance that brings us to Jesus, nor is it our performance that keeps us in relationship with Jesus, therefore, it is His mighty working power. Because ultimately as we participate in the activity of God we aren’t calling people to ourselves or asking them to live like us, but we are pointing them to Jesus Christ and that isn’t only an eternal relationship, but also an eternal activity.
Here is the difficulty…most have been taught directly or indirectly that a relationship with Jesus is simply a buffet of religious activity.It means we periodically come to church, make some friends, maybe help out with the youth and maybe learn some biblical information. That isn’t it. That isn’t even close. There is so much more and as we walk in His activity we will experience power, joy, boldness, confidence, and it will be beyond anything we could ever imagine!