Romans 12:3-8

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, October 12, 2015 2 comments

by Katie Erickson

“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 faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” (Romans 12:3-8)

I’ve been a part of a small group through my local church for a number of years now, and one leader we had for most of those years stressed one thing above all else: community. What is community? It’s living our lives together, encouraging each other, helping each other, and correcting each other as needed, all done in Christ like love. We are all different, but we are all unified through Jesus Christ. That is exactly what Paul is talking about in this week’s passage from Romans.

Previously in verses 1-2, Paul gave us the high level overview of how to live out our faith: be a living sacrifice, don’t be conformed to the ways of this world, and be transformed to be like Christ. Now, we see that this is accomplished through a community of Christ followers. But what does that look like?

In verse 3, we see that we can’t be a part of community if we think more highly of ourselves than others. It’s important to have an objective view of yourself, not too proud but not too lowly. Don’t be self-centered, or you’ll never be able to put others’ needs above your own.

In verses 4-6, we see that we are all part of the same body, even though we are all very different. We all have different skills and purposes, and that’s what is needed to make up a body. Each part needs to accomplish a different function. We can’t separate ourselves from one another if we are all a part of the body or the community. There is unity at the same time that there is diversity, and that’s how we work together best.

The church is the body of Jesus Christ. It is because of the death of Jesus’s body that we can be a part of this community. Everyone who has faith and believes in Jesus Christ is part of this community, this body, regardless of age, ethnicity, geographic location, economic status, or whatever. We are all in community together!

Paul realizes that we are still humans, and it’s part of human nature to compare ourselves to others. He is urging against that here, especially comparisons such as who’s better or worse, stronger or weaker, etc. We all have gifts that are unique, and all gifts are important. We are all called to use our gifts, and to use them well for the benefit of the community and the Kingdom of God.

For more on the body of Christ and the gifts that each of us is given, I would encourage you to check out 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4:1-16.

What role do you play in the body of Christ, whether locally or on a larger scale? Find out today and be sure you are living out what it is you’re called to do in your community.

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Unknown said...

I encourage you to do a study on where the word "church" actually came from and whether it properly describes how the original Christians interacted with each other. Start by looking at the word "ekklesia".

Katie said...

Thanks for the suggestion! Check out this blog post to see some of our study on "ekklesia" that we've already done.