Serve God with Spiritual Gifts
What is your gift as a member of the body of Christ?
Published December 19th, 2017; Updated December 19th, 2017
Main point summary
Paul says to each believer of the assembly in Rome to think soberly about themselves individually and to practice the different gifts given by grace to each member, as that is how a functional body works.
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.
For as we have many members in one body,
but all the members do not have the same function,
so we, being many, are one body in Christ,
and individually members of one another.
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us , let us use them:
let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;
let us use it in our ministering;
he who teaches,
he who exhorts,
he who gives,
he who leads,
he who shows mercy,
In verse 3, Paul practices his gift of ministering by warning and encouraging each Roman saint: Not to be puffed up in his own estimate But to think soberly, in acknowledging the grace of God Verse 3 is the ground for verses 1-2 in which the Roman saints are beseeched to present their bodies a living sacrifice to God. Some devoted saints might have looked down on others who were not living as sacrificial, not understanding that their devotion was resting solely on the grace of God. Not all have been dealt with the same measure of faith (3e). Each saint is beseeched to present their bodies in the measure of faith that God gave to them. An account will be held at the judgment seat of Christ in accordance with what was giving to each saint (Romans 14:10-12; 2 Corinthians 5:10). In verses 4-8, Paul explains why each member is not to be puffed up about his gift and how the member is to practice his gift according to the grace given to the body of Christ: First, each member has to understand how a body works. A body consists of organs or members that are connected but have distinct functions. For example, the human mouth cannot hear but speak, likewise is the ear unable to speak but to hear. Yet, the mouth and the ear depend on each other greatly. The function of the body without the connection between these two members would be disabled or complicated for some otherwise fairly simple task. No verbal communication is possible if either of the members fail. Each saint has to understand to have a function in the body of Christ and is expected to practice his individual gift for the benefit of the body of Christ. And those who understand to have a function and practice it should keep in mind that the gift was received and is sustained by grace. Verses 6-8 lists 7 gifts to members for the body of Christ and also explains in what manner they should be practiced. Since Paul wrote this to saints that gathered together in Rome to honor God in their bodies, Christians today also should gather with other saints and practice their gifts, that is to serve and to be edified by the service of other members and altogether build up the body of Christ. God did not intent Christians to be lone rangers.