“And tell Archippus, ‘See to it that you complete the ministry you received in the Lord'” (Colossians 4:17 NET).
Much like the individual components of the human body, every member of God’s family has an individual role and responsibility within the body of Christ. In addition to the passage quoted above, the Apostle Paul expressed this idea within the New Testament book of Romans…
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:6-10 NIV).
The Apostle Peter echoed a similar theme…
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 4:10 NIV).
These passages remind us that there are two great and equal dangers to the body. The first is a member that doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do. The second is a member that does something it’s not supposed to do. Therefore, it is critically important to identify our individual roles and functions within the Body of Christ and work to fulfill them.
Each day represents a new opportunity to do something good and productive in God’s service- and those who identify and use their God-given spiritual gifts will be well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities that may be available. The person who does so will not only benefit others but will also enjoy the fulfillment and satisfaction that comes from using God’s gifts in His service.
Much like Archippus, we should seek to complete the ministry we have received in the Lord. In doing so, we can begin to exercise our individual, God-given talents to accomplish those things for which we are uniquely qualified.
Portions of this study originally appeared here