While salvation is wholly and completely a work of God's free grace, the purpose of God is that a righteous life including good works shall be the result (Eph. 2:8-10).
To this end God has planned that the story of His love should be carried not by the ministry of angels, but through the dedicated, consecrated service of redeemed men and women (Rom. 12:1-2).
Because the Christian faces the threefold foe of the world, flesh and the Devil, it is impossible that he alone should do a work for God that will be lasting and successful. God therefore has given to every believer an incomparable aid in the person of the blessed omnipotent Holy Spirit. By the omnipotence which is His, the Christian may live his own life victoriously and do service which will be effective (John 14:16; 16:12-15; Gal. 5:22-23).
In addition to this, one of the present ministries of our risen Saviour in heaven is the bestowal of gifts or abilities to all believers. These gifts are divine enablements for a consistent Christian life and for efficient Christian service. While Christ is said to bestow them, they are distributed by the ever-wise Holy Spirit. These gifts may be according to natural endowments or entirely apart from them (Eph. 4:8; I Cor. 12:4-31).
While there are many avenues of service, perhaps the most profitable is that of the miracle of a heavenly life lived under earthly circumstances. This is said to be the "fruit of the Spirit" or a ninefold fruitage of greatly desired life characteristics which will appear in the life of a truly yielded Christian (Gal. 5:22-23).
It is to be understood that enduring service is not attained by feverish fleshly activity, but rather by a committal daily to the leading, empowering and infinitely wise ministry of the Spirit of God (Prov. 3:5-6; Ps. 37:5; Rom. 8:14).
There is little doubt but that the greatest service ever to be performed by the child of God is the leading of others to Christ. And while sincere Christians may have a part, this important ministry is entirely under the personal direction of the Spirit (John 16:7-11).
Copied for www.WholesomeWords.org from Believer's First Bible Course by William W. Orr. Wheaton, Ill.: Scripture Press, 1956.