In this message, Paul instructs us how we are to function as the body of Christ and as a church community. Don’t miss this vitally important and practical message from Romans chapter 12:3-8.
Romans:The Glory of the Gospel Part 30
Body Life – Romans12:3-8
Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – May 6th, 2018
- Last week, we were instructed to give ourselves as living sacrifices and that our whole life would be given over to the Lord for service to Him. It is the logical thing to do based upon the reality of God, the world and eternity.
- We are to resist the pressures we feel of being conformed to the pattern of the world and instead give ourselves to the process of transformation by intentionally renewing and training our minds by the word of God in order to think biblically and act accordingly. In doing this, we will be able to test and discern the good, acceptable and perfect will of God.
- Now that we have individually given ourselves over to God in service to Him and His mission in the world, and are training ourselves to think like Him and know His will, we are now to see ourselves and our role in the proper way. We must use our gifts interconnectedly with the body of Christ for the benefit of all. Next, we must start with a frank evaluation of ourselves.
Rom 12:3 NIV
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
- Paul recognizes that he can say what he can say because of the grace that was given to him by God. He is not saying, “Listen to me, I am an apostle and you must do what I say.” He takes a complexly different approach saying, “Because of the grace given to me I say to every one of you.” He recognizes the only reason he has anything to say or any authority to say it is because of the grace of God. His words and his position are because of the greatness, goodness and grace of God. It is not because of his greatness or his goodness. He addresses us because of grace and in grace having a correct understanding of why he is what he is. It is bygrace, throughgrace and for
- As Paul specifically addresses “every one of you,” he is talking to every single person in the passage. This means all of ushave been gifted and every one of us needs to listen. He speaks to us individually, leaving no one out. This means that each and every one one of us has a gift to use and a role to play. We are without excuse and without exception.
- However, we must think of ourselves and our role in the body of Christ clearly and correctly.We are told “not think of yourself more highly than you ought.” Don’t think of yourself as more important than you really are. Don’t have an overinflated evaluation of yourself and your gifts over the importance and value of others and their gifts. The word “highly” signifies a ranking of one person over another and one gift over another. This puts the focus on us and where we rank in comparison with others, verses putting our focus on God in whom we must give an account of how we use the gifts that He gave to us by His grace. If we put our focus on comparing our importance to those around us, all it does is cause division, which leads to dysfunction, disaster and defeat. If, however, we rightly put our focus on using our gifts to their fullest potential, knowing that we are to give an account to God for what we do with what He has given to us, then we sober our drunken thinking to focus on God’s evaluation of us, verses our evaluation of us compared to others. His judgment of how we live our lives is the only opinion that should matter to us.
- Thinking like this helps us to focus on what really matters by using the grace given to us to best serve the purposes and will of God. We are to do this in the faith that He has given us, by the Spirit He has given us, and = with the time He has given us. We are to do these things in faithful cooperation and interdependency as a part of the body of Christ.
Rom 12:4-5 NIV
Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
- We all have an understanding of how our bodies work. In each of us are all sorts of organs which do the job they were created to do. (Ill. in the body.) All of these parts are necessary and work together in one body. For the body to function optimally, they all contribute, and all do their part.
- The same is true in the body of Christ. Each member does its part and each part contributes to the whole. When one part is missing, sick or not functioning correctly, everything and everyone else is affected as well. We are called to interdependence and to cooperation, working and functioning together as a team. Just as in a team, we all belong to each other, we all need each other, and we all need to be functioning as we are designed to function. If we are not connected, contributing and being contributed to, our heath and life will fail. (Ill. in the church.)
- Knowing this, it is of critical importance for us to be healthy as individuals and to be connected and functioning in conjunction with others. Our healing will come when we are connected to the greater body. Separation does not heal. This is the importance of body life and church involvement. (Unless we become so toxic we need to be removed for the greater benefit of the body.) This is what we are called to, this is how God has put it together. United we stand and make a difference; divided and disconnected we falter and fail. We need faithful cooperation and full participation.
Rom 12:6-8 NIV
We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
- We all have different gifts according to the grace given us. There is no one who is exempt. Everyone has been gifted by God. He gives us these gifts so that they can be used, and in their use, the ministry is built up and magnified with good being done in peoples’ lives, and eternities being affected. Every member is a minister. We have an opportunity and responsibility to identify and engage in our giftings.
- If your gifting is prophesying – then prophesy. If it is serving, then serve. If it is teaching, then teach. If it is encouraging, then encourage. If it is giving, then give. If it is in leading, then lead.
If it is showing mercy, the show mercy. Full¥ engage your giftings. If you hold back, you lose satisfaction and reward, and we lose the benefit of your gifting. Don’t be a “loser” and don’t make us lose as well. Will you love God and love us enough to use your gift so both you and everyone else can win?
- As Christians and those apart of the body of Christ, we are to have a frank evaluation of who we are and our giftedness. We are to faithfully cooperate in the body of Christ, and we are to fully participate with the gifts that we have been given.
- Here are two practical ways I want you to do this. First, understand what your gifts are if you don’t know already. Take this online test spiritualgiftstest.comor www.giftstest.comthen look for ways to develop your gifts.
- Second, we have put together a flyer of all the opportunities at Mosaic to use your gifts. Get active and fully involved. Perhaps your area of gifting is not on this list. If this is case, let us know so we will look to see what we can do and develop. Please take these and think, pray, talk and explore where would be the best fit for you. Then place the completed slip into the offering box and let’s see what God can do with all of us as fully healthy and functioning units in the calling and place God has assigned us. Every member matters, and every member ministers.
- Prayer people and pray.
Questions for the week ahead
- How has God gifted you? f you are not sure, take the test! www.spiritualgiftstest.com or www.giftstest.com
- Where are you going to fully participate with your gifting through ministry of Mosaic? Fill out the form and turn it in!