Romans 12, Walk as Christ Walked (2/3)
Serving God with Your Spiritual Gifts
Romans 12:3-8 (NKJV), 3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
1. Be Humble
12:3, For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
Stay humble and don’t think too highly of yourself. This could be difficult, but we need to remind ourselves that we’re doing God’s work, not our’s. He is our source of power, we’re not out doing amazing things by ourselves. Without God, we cannot do anything.
John 15:4, Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
God is the vine and we are the branches. Likewise, we learn another important lesson. Because we have the power of the Holy Spirit, the doors are wide open.
Phillipians 4:13, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Now let’s examine “To Think Soberly” – The greek words here is “phroneō”, “To have understanding, to be wise.” and “eis”, “into” or “go into”. We all know what being sober is. We all understand the concept of not being sober. Any such wisdom that we might have or use is going to be ignored with an unsober mind.
Sobriety here also doesn’t necessarily mean the influence of alcohol. It could any anger, drugs, or falling victim to your human self. We must remain focused and let God stay in control. We often times ignore the Holy Spirit, who dwells in us and empowers us.
God has given us all a measure of faith. This allotment by God keeps us from thinking more highly of ourselves than we should. Think of it as a check and balance system against your ego.
To learn more about “Measure of Faith”, you can find a great write up here:
What are some examples of thinking too highly of yourself in the context of Romans 12:3?
What are some ways to humble ourselves?
2. Be Your Part of Christ’s Body
12:4-5, 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
We all have our own unique functions in the body of Christ. Even within our church buildings, we some people keep the things working. Others teach our kids. Some are part of the security team. Our Pastor runs the service. All of these people have a different part in God’s plan. We all serve one purpose. If we had a church filled with people only of the Pastor or Teacher gift, we’d never grow because we’d too busy battling for the microphone.
Romans 8:28, teaches us that all things work together for good for His purpose.
Ephesians 4:16 teaches us that as we work together as one body, we will grow.
I Corinthians 12:12-31 reminds us that each part cannot function without the other. This is a terrific passage to read over and over again. It really gives you perspective on how the body of Christ functions.
What purpose does the body of Christ service?
How does this change your view of the church body and your part of it?
3. Different Functions of the Body
12:6-8, 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
“Having then gifts differing” – We all have different gifts. The Holy Spirit grants these gifts when you accept Christ as your personal savior.
After we receive Christ, we should explore what gifts we were given. This part of Romans 12 gives us a look at some of those gifts that are passed out. Listing just a few of them:
There are more spiritual gifts mentioned as you read other parts of the Bible as well.
- Pastors and Teachers (paired in this context)
1 Corinthians 12:8-10
- Speaking Tongues
- Understanding Tongues
There are also other spiritual gifts mentioned here and there in the Bible. Intercession, Hospitality, and others. Some have even argued that “Leading Worship” is a gift. I would encourage you to check out spiritualgiftstest.com for more information on each gift, and to take the test if you’re searching for your’s. It’s a good starting point.
Another method is to right down each of the gifts. Make a grid, with columns “Yes”, “No”, and “Maybe”. Put a check in each box. Start by filtering out the Maybe and No columns. After that, you can work on exploring the “Yes” items.
Chip Ingram has a study called “Your Divine Design” on RightNow Media and his web site.
1 Corinthians 12:11 says “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”
We can’t choose which gifts we receive, nor should we want too. The Holy Spirit gives them out to people as He sees fit. God has a plan, and His plan is perfect. You should never want to claim you have gifts that you don’t, or falsify what certain gifts are. Even so, we are instructed to “earnestly desire the best gifts” in 1 Corinthians 12:31.
I personally believe that when the Holy Spirit gives us our spiritual gifts, we begin to desire to use them, almost naturally. People that are given the gift of teaching will always be uneasy if they’re not teaching. Those who are gifted with evangelism cannot sit idle and watch people go by. Even people with the gift of faith don’t sit there trying not to have any faith.
Why do you think we all have different gifts?
What is one of your spiritual gifts?
What spiritual gift have you noticed about someone else?
About this 3 part study –
I started reading “True Spirituality” by Chip Ingram a few weeks ago. This (so far) amazing book has opened my eyes a little bit wider on Romans 12. I was approached by one of my church’s elders to fill in for him teaching his Sunday school class. I put this together, as I had read Romans 12:1-2 over and over and finished that section of Chip’s book. When I was asked to fill in 3 additional weeks, I thought “Let’s make it all on Romans 12.”
That’s where we’re at today. This is part 2 of 3 that I’ve titled “Walk as Christ Walked”. Part 3 the following Monday (August 26, 2019) at 10 AM. You can read Part 1 right here.