The faithful who have been baptized by immersion into Yahshua’s Name and with hands laid upon them have been pressed into a force that will ultimately change the world.
They have responded to Yahweh’s call to obedience and have yielded to the tugging of Yahweh’s Spirit, realizing the life they were living was a dead-end. For the first time the Scriptures make real sense to them as they continue going deeper into His Word and as Yahweh gives them more light—even as they walk in that light.
When we were immersed into Yahshua’s Name each of us was promised a certain spiritual gift to be used in the high calling we have in the Messiah. Those who have been baptized and congregate with others of like faith as a body are to assume a measure of responsibility toward the body of believers.
Yahweh, who produces spiritual gifts through His mighty Power, provides each one with his and her special ability. All of the various gifts are of the same Spirit. Note that Paul goes into detail for his Corinthian converts as well as us, as each of us is now his protege:
“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these work that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will” (1Cor. 12:7-11).
It is surprising to learn that some who seek baptism are unaware that baptism puts them in a special group that belongs to Yahshua and they are then under His care. They serve and sacrifice for His sake. Paul refers to this group as the “body of Messiah.”
“For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in the Messiah, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another; not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Sovereign; rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer” (Rom. 12: 4-12).
Paul is adamant that baptism into Yahshua is not an end in itself, but is the beginning of a devoted life dedicated to Yahweh through Yahshua. Those who have been baptized should be acutely aware of what special spiritual gift is theirs and have set their goals to become an active part of the body of Messiah. They are given a charge, which is to use their gift for the benefit of those in the assembly. Paul explained this in his letter to the Ephesians.
“But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of the Messiah. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of the Messiah: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of Elohim, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Messiah” (Eph 4:7-13).
Any combination of abilities or talents suddenly given or leisurely cultivated may qualify as a spiritual gift if used for Yahweh’s honor and glory and His work in the world. Because none of the lists of spiritual gifts is the same, Paul evidently felt others may have a similar experience as his and would seek to use whatever combination of talents and abilities might be needed for the common good of the Assembly.
Upon being baptized into Yahshua’s saving Name, the brethren are urged by Paul to get involved in the Assembly and participate as the Spirit leads. It is time to get active as a member of that assembly. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of Elohim, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto Elohim, [which is] your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of Elohim” (Rom. 12:1-2).
The following is taken from “The Open Bible” (NASB) study section: “Paul, Peter, and the other apostles learned the secret of developing an eternal perspective in the midst of earthly problems. They were able to live above their circumstances and rejoice even while being persecuted because of their firm grasp on who they were in [Messiah] and where they were going. In spite of his imprisonment, Paul could write, ‘For me to live is [Messiah] and to die is gain’ (Phil 1:21). Are you looking more at ‘the things which are seen’ or at the things which are not seen? The former are temporary, but the latter are eternal” (2Cor. 4: 18).
Rather than to just sit quietly listening to sermons week after week, the audience should also be challenged to represent Yahshua wherever they might be. The early apostles thought of themselves as doing the same work as Yahshua, living and proclaiming Yahweh’s truth wherever possible. The converts shared their knowledge with those they knew, especially among other Israelites and Judahites. Our task is no different from theirs. We must make the world aware that Bible truth exists and that that Word will one day judge them. Yahweh does not give us this special knowledge only to have us hide it forever out of sight.
“[Even] the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom Yahweh would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Messiah in you, the hope of glory” (Col 1:26-27). Ours is to be a light and example.
Yahshua’s parable of the talents should be lesson enough for us. We
will each be rewarded in direct proportion to the amount that talent profits and aids others seeking the Word
by Donald Mansager