Home Media Sermons by Pastor Nicki Coertze Series 14 Unification of Logos & Houtkruis . Are you a spiritual couch potato?

. Are you a spiritual couch potato?



This morning I want to challenge each of us to answer the question whether we have become spiritual couch potatoes or not? I am afraid that ‘church’ today and what it entails Biblically is no longer how it is viewed by many believers. For many it has become a place to attend on a Sunday, as short as possible, simply to desire that which I am used to. In a sense, we have become spiritual spectators and we pay professionals to serve us the spiritual dish that we require, and it must taste just the way I like it, not too cold, not too hot, not too salty and not too bland, not too much, and not too little. We have become spiritual Goldilocks’ that are looking for what is just right.


We live in a society where people are so egotistical, self-absorbed and self-centered. Too many Christians have become self-driven instead of Bible Driven, and God has become subservient to our desires, instead of us desiring God. When I look at society in general we have become a ‘couch potato culture’ where we like to sit back and be entertained. We will spend hours watching TV, sport, and anything and everything we like, and then we have also become a ‘fitness culture’, where much time is spent on our physical care. Now, there is nothing wrong with that, but it all is about self-indulgence, and we tend to forget the importance of spiritual fitness, and involvement that ultimately is more important than being entertained and keeping fit. It requires discipline, cooperation, ministry, caring and doing whatever we do for the Glory of God, and not self. Marriages fail when one partner is so absorbed with self, that they ignore the bigger picture which includes the need of the other. Any relationship is only as strong as that selfless, humble love.


Something that I don’t often get time to do, but which I enjoy doing is to read church history and biographies. Now, I can share stories for hours, and just don’t have the time to do that, but our pastors present today will agree with me that the reason you and I enjoy the freedoms we do today is because church history is filled with the memory of noble Christians, and they are noble because of their devotion to Christ, their devotion to Scripture, their devotion to the church, their devotion to the lost and their lives saturated with humility, zeal, selflessness and sacrifice. Do you realise that these great buildings we are in, were funded by somebody, furnished by somebody and maintained by somebody. Today, you and I are somebody, and we represent what the church is today.


My prayer today for Logos is that we will be a fellowship of people who are Christ centered and are engaged in a loving expression of ministry to one another. I pray that we will be a church where we aspire to understand our spiritual gifts and where we use our spiritual gifts. Ephesians 4, First Peter 4, Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12 all speak of the gifts that the Lord of the church has given to every member of the church to be distributed mutually among those in the church for their spiritual benefit and edification. Our text for today is from Ephesians 4. We will look at it hopefully in two sermons.


Let’s read Ephesians 4:7-16 (ESV) 7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” 9 (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”


I love this text, because what it says in essence – is that my job is to equip you to do the work of ministry. In a real sense, ministry cannot belong in the pulpit only but it belongs in the pew. So, today I want to call all of us to mutual ministry.


Now, it does not help I continue preaching if we do not adhere to one verse in this section which is verse 13 :- “13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Let me ask you a few questions based on verse 13. Do you desire to attain the unity of the faith, do you desire to have full knowledge of the Son of God, do you desire mature manhood, do you desire for your life to arrive at that standard where the fullness of Christ will be seen in you? If this is our desire, we cannot play games, but we must put our heads down and boldly work hard at growing in the Word, so that we know what God’s intentions are for His church. Oh, that we will be the church that Christ intended us to be. I don’t want Logos to be a church after my liking, and I don’t want it to be a church after your liking.


Let me try and motivate you today to become active based on a few reasons.


The Million Dollar Question: Why will you ever be motivated to work hard at your part in ministry?


Reason 1. The source of our service.


Ephesians 4:7 (ESV) 7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”

A study of Ephesians 4:1-6 teaches us that we must maintain the unity of the body through the bond of peace. There is only one body, and you and I belong to that body, and according to verse 7 we are told that grace has been given to each one in the body according to the measure of Christs gift. Now notice carefully that verse 7 does not say that pastors alone are gifted. There is no such thing as an ungifted member. By grace He has gifted us all. Sadly, too many gifts lie unwrapped under the tree.


The Greek word for ‘measure’ is ‘dorea’, which means ‘it is free’. You received it by the free grace of Christ. So, the source of your gift is Christ, and the reason He gave you your gift is so that you will use it for His glory.


Paul talks about these gifts in a similar vein in Romans 12:4-8 (ESV) 4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.”

Then we see in 1 Corinthians 12:4 (ESV) 4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;…”

Now, both these sections correspond greatly with Ephesians 4, as it speaks about one body, one Lord as we have the same Spirit and are the body of Christ, and then the gifts are given as the Lord decides and they are different.

Now, why did He give you these gifts? 1 Corinthians 12:7 (ESV) 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”

So, taking these 3 chapters together. It is a manifestation of the Spirit; it is a free gift of grace; it comes with a proportion of faith so that it can operate in its fullness for the benefit of the church, for the common good. The letter to the Corinthians goes on and highlights those gifts. The detail we will get to at another time.


Let me share one more section where we read about this. 1 Peter 4:7-11 (ESV) 7 The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. 8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

Church family, we are to use our gifts to serve one another. The gifts are not there to serve ourselves. It is not an opportunity to use your gifts to be seen, but to use your gifts to serve one another in love, because Christ has given you the gifts for that purpose. I love the meaning of the word earnestly in verse 8. It says: “Keep loving one another earnestly.” The Greek word here is ‘Ektenes’, which means to stretch a muscle to its limit. Do we love one another as such? What is your gift? And, are you using it to serve others. How can we ignore the source of our gift which is the grace of God? We need to get low on our knees, thank the Lord for His gift and use it for His glory.

In 1 Peter 4 there are speaking gifts and serving gifts in order that in everything God may be glorified. So, there are verbal gifts and non-verbal gifts.

Now, something interesting about the gifts is that they all are according to the measure that the Holy Spirit has provided. In spite of the fact that I can desire certain gifts, I cannot claim them or even purchase them. I take what I got and I use it for His glory.


Another thing that is interesting is that these gifts are not stated in hard and fast categories. That is why the epistles differ in how it is revealed. I believe that gifts today will vary from gifts in the years gone by. There might be numerous gifts that are not even mentioned in Scripture, that are from God, and that benefits the body in the 21st century. You might be gifted by God in music, in finances, in organisation, you might be artistic, or a computer wiz, or an architect, or a designer, builder, and somehow you know it is more than a talent, but that you are uniquely gifted for God's purposes. You might be a gift to the body, and be blessed with the necessary gifts to minister to children, youth, young adults, seniors, and all of them are according to the grace you received. And you know that God has blessed you so that you can bless the body. Those who are picking up people on a Sunday morning for church. Why can you do that? Simply, because by God grace you have been able to buy a car and by grace you care, by grace you are merciful and by grace you use these gifts to bless and help others, because somehow God has spiritually gifted you to do that. Naturally you might not have a heart for these purposes.


Now, many theologians will shoot me in what I have just shared as we love to separate supernatural abilities granted by the Holy Spirit from material gifts and talents and in some sense we need to do that as they are not the same, even though there is overlap.  But I think as Christians we need to realise that all we have comes from above, from the Father of lights, from the Lord of loving.I believe there is too much debate on the issue, instead of just getting on and using what God has given us for His glory.So in a sense spiritual gifts are not natural talents but all natural talents and abilities are a gift from God, as He is the author and creator of life.


Whether we are looking at supernatural abilities or spiritual gifts in speaking and serving, or whether we are looking at our material gifts or natural  talents, I am sure you will agree with me that the source of this all is God Himself and the Lord of the church and the Holy Spirit who dispenses the gift. Not to use your gift and abilities is an affront to God, an affront to Christ and it is an indifference to the Holy Spirit. It is also a rebuff of divine love, disobedience to your duty. It is also to shirk your calling, to ignore the very purpose for which God has placed you and empowered you in His church.


Every believer must look at the source of giftedness and find in that a motivation to be faithful, and when we see the gifts in action, we will know what our gifts are.


So, I am motivated because of the source. Next week we will get to the second reason.



Soli Deo Gloria

Logos Community Church: 5 February 2017