Posted by: Kerry Spencer | February 15, 2009

Word & Deed

One of the attractions that brought me to Jeff. St. was their focus on ministry in both word and deed. Evangelism and service. Meeting spiritual and physical needs. Too often I have done simply one or the other (and sometimes neither). I am still learning about the importance of doing both whenever possible. Lately I’ve been reading (in “Ministries of Mercy” by pastor/author Tim Keller) about the Biblical impetus to minister in both word and deed.

First of all, our Creator and Example, Jesus Christ was describe as “a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people” (Luke 24:19). If we are to be followers, imitators of Jesus, then we need to be ministering in both deed and word as He did.

Keller writes, “As Christ came both to speak and to serve, so the church is gifted both to speak and to serve.” He sites 1 Peter 4:11, “Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies.” Furthermore, Keller points out that most spiritual gifts can be easily placed into one of two categories: word-gifts and deed-gifts. For example, some word-gifts are evangelism, teaching, and exhortation. Some deed-gifts then are service, giving, and mercy.

The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) is clear: we must teach and make disciples of all nations. The Great Commandment is clear: we must love God and love our neighbor. John tells us how to love: “not in word or with tongue, but in deed and truth” (1 John 3:18). The Scripture is clear: “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father” (Colossians 3:17).

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