The Lord wants to use you for His glory. At this point you may think, “I know that”, but in this article I want to press home the point that God desires to use you for His glory in spite of yourself. Many Christians never get into witnessing to the message of the Gospel because they think they first need to clean themselves up or they need to have a Bible College or seminary degree. Other Christians think they need to be “super saints” before they can be used by God. Not only do I disagree with those ideas, I want to do permanent injury to them and by the grace of God see those lies from the enemy expelled into the abyss forever.
Unfortunately, many Christians place ministry or church involvement on the back burner under the guise that there is a difference between their secular vocation and those in an official ministry capacity. Those who are in ministry are the “holy ones” and those who work 9-5 jobs are in the minds of some believers, somehow “lesser” than those who minister day in and day out as their vocation. Not only is that the wrong idea, it also is not found anywhere in the Bible.
It seems to me at the heart of why far too many Christians aren’t involved in reaching the lost and building up one another is a laundry list of excuses. Many people think we need to be “radical” for Jesus and to “risk all” and “abandon” ourselves in the life of God. I appreciate those calls because many are infatuated with what they want to do such as their accomplishments, achievements, and so on rather than being God-centered and seeking to bring glory to God in and through their lives. Yet I fear what resides at the heart of the idea that “I need to clean myself up” and “I need to be a super saint” or “I need a Bible college or seminary degree”, is ignorance or apathy to the Gospel.
Recent years have seen a huge surge in conversation about the Gospel and this is a good thing. While understanding and being able to answer the question, “What is the Gospel?” and “What does the Gospel demand?” are essential elements to being a Christian and growing in the Christian life, so is having those truths massaged deep into our hearts and lives. While conversation about the Gospel is fantastic, if we are not careful we will treat the Gospel as just another thing to discuss rather than as the central message that defines and gives shape to biblical orthodoxy.
The reality is that the Gospel defines and gives shape to biblical orthodoxy, a point Paul communicates in 1 Corinthians 15:1-10. The Gospel that Paul received and proclaimed is the same one that has been passed on to the Church and Christians today. As Dr. Timothy Keller has said, the Gospel is the A to Z of Christianity. We never outgrow our need for the Gospel as we continually must see our need and find the cure for our need in the finished and sufficient work of Jesus Christ. Jesus saves His people for the explicit purpose of using them for His glory (Eph. 2:10). Good works do not save us; rather our works demonstrate that the grace of God has saved us. This distinction provides the reason for why James said that faith without works is dead (James 2). A faith that is dead, never manifests itself in good works. Conversely, saving faith demonstrates itself in the manifestation of good works because of the work of grace present in the Christian’s life. This also provides the reason why God wants to use you for His glory. After all, He has saved you, is sanctifying you, and will one day glorify you. He has empowered you with His Holy Spirit to make much of Jesus. Since all of those statements are true, the real question is do you still believe that you need to be a “super saint”, super knowledgeable, or that you must clean yourself up before God can use you for His glory?
To suggest as some have that you need to clean yourself up before God can use you is to undermine the power of the Gospel. We were not saved by our own power and we will not be sanctified by our own power. Rather, we are saved by the power of God who raises the dead to new life. Furthermore, we are sanctified by the Holy Spirit who convicts His people of their sin and leads them to repentance which in turn, causes them to grow in the grace of God. This is why the idea that we need to clean ourselves up before God can use us undermines the Gospel.
The other idea that we need a Bible College or seminary degree also undermines the Gospel because if even a child can understand the faith once and for all delivered to the saints, then a child can be used by God. This doesn’t mean knowledge is unimportant or that education when it is used in service to the Gospel is not a blessing. What it does mean is that knowledge for knowledge sake as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13 puffs people up. Lastly, the idea that you need to be a “super saint” also undermines the Gospel because the Gospel that saves you calls you to be humble as noted in 1 Peter 5:5, namely the need to “clothe yourselves all of you in humility”.
The truth is God has saved you and now wants to use you for His glory. Those twin truths provide the impetus and give energy to the Christian life and ministry.
Go therefore, and do battle against the idea that God can’t use you or your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ for His glory. Go out and proclaim that the grace that has saved you, now calls God’s people to serve King Jesus. No matter your platform, no matter your influence, serve Jesus because of His great grace by using your gifts, talents, and abilities as a testimony of the grace you’ve received from your heavenly Father.
Dave Jenkins is happily married to his wife, Sarah. He is a writer, editor, and speaker living in beautiful Southern Oregon. Dave is a lover of Christ, His people, the Church, and sound theology. He serves as the Executive Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, the Executive Editor of Theology for Life Magazine, the Host and Producer of Equipping You in Grace Podcast, and is a contributor to and producer of Contending for the Word. He is the author of The Word Explored: The Problem of Biblical Illiteracy and What To Do About It (House to House, 2021), The Word Matters: Defending Biblical Authority Against the Spirit of the Age (G3 Press, 2022), and Contentment: The Journey of a Lifetime (Theology for Life, 2024). You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, or read his newsletter. Dave loves to spend time with his wife, going to movies, eating at a nice restaurant, or going out for a round of golf with a good friend. He is also a voracious reader, in particular of Reformed theology, and the Puritans. You will often find him when he’s not busy with ministry reading a pile of the latest books from a wide variety of Christian publishers. Dave received his M.A.R. and M.Div through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.