The Introduction

The Text

Romans 12:3-8 (CSB) For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one. Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts: If prophecy, use it according to the proportion of one’s faith; if service, use it in service; if teaching, in teaching; if exhorting, in exhortation; giving, with generosity; leading, with diligence; showing mercy, with cheerfulness.

The Support

Hebrews 12:1-2 (CSB) Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Ephesians 4:7-16 (CSB) Now grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. For it says:

When he ascended on high,
he took the captives captive;
he gave gifts to people.

But what does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower parts of the earth? The one who descended is also the one who ascended far above all the heavens, to fill all things. And he himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into maturity with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness. Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit. But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into him who is the head—Christ. From him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building itself up in love by the proper working of each individual part.

Ephesians 2:8-10 (CSB) For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.

1 Corinthians 12:1-12 (CSB) Now concerning spiritual gifts: brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be unaware. You know that when you were pagans, you used to be enticed and led astray by mute idols. Therefore I want you to know that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different ministries, but the same Lord. And there are different activities, but the same God works all of them in each person. A manifestation of the Spirit is given to each person for the common good: to one is given a message of wisdom through the Spirit, to another, a message of knowledge by the same Spirit, to another, faith by the same Spirit, to another, gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another, the performing of miracles, to another, prophecy, to another, distinguishing between spirits, to another, different kinds of tongues, to another, interpretation of tongues. One and the same Spirit is active in all these, distributing to each person as he wills.

For just as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body—so also is Christ.

Where do you see God in the text? What does the text say about God?

God

Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one

John 3:31-36 (CSB) The one who comes from above is above all. The one who is from the earth is earthly and speaks in earthly terms. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, and yet no one accepts his testimony. The one who has accepted his testimony has affirmed that God is true. For the one whom God sent speaks God’s words, since he gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hands. The one who believes in the Son has eternal life, but the one who rejects the Son will not see life; instead, the wrath of God remains on him.

God has saved His people, yes, to Himself. But one of the key teachings of the Bible is that God has saved His people to each other. We are saved and redeemed to each other.

God has given gifts–just like grace, mercy, love, salvation–to each other so that we can minister to one another. All of the blessings of God are never intended to terminate and stop on ourselves or even the ones closest to us. We are called to love one another–and Christ took it to the extreme and called us to love our enemies.

Now, why is that? Why would God give us gifts and ask us to use them on other people.

Romans 5:6-11 (CSB) For while we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. For rarely will someone die for a just person—though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. How much more then, since we have now been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from wrath. For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. And not only that, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received this reconciliation.

God came to us. God made it right for us. God did all the work so that we now get to worship and love Him forever. We are then to put on display the sheer grace and kindness of God towards us.

Romans 2:4 says his kindness was meant for our repentance. How do you think one of the ways that God demonstrates his kindness to the world? Sending his Son, yes, and also through our good works–which are now actually good because we have been made righteous by Christ.

The Gospel

Here is the gospel: nothing of our ourselves but from Him and to Him belongs all the glory. The glory is on him, not us. We were born with natural talents and who gave that? God. We were born in sin and who gives us salvation? God. We repent and turn from sin and back to God. And who gives that gift of repentance? God. And with our hearts, we worship God. But who filled the infinite whole within our hearts? (Ecclesiastes 3:11) That’s right, you’ve guessed it. God and God out of the sovereign grace of the Father, by the resurrecting power of the Holy Spirit, through the perfect life and bloodshed body of the Jesus Christ His Son.

Our Responsibility

Romans 12:3-8 is typically listed as one of the lists of the gifts of the Spirit (along with 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4). Never meant to be a definite list for the gifts that the Spirit can give to the church are unlimited in kind and scope.

But as we are studying Romans, and descending into the 12th chapter, the point that Paul is making in this passage is not “here is a list of the gifts of the Spirit” but rather these things:

Therefore, because these things are true, worship and love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, and mind (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37)

This is the exhortation of Romans 12:1-2.

We know the why–because God has saved His people from their sins. But how do we do this?

For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think

All of these are gifts, talents, and provision that you did not earn. Therefore, just as Christ humbled himself to the point of death on a cross, so as well we are stay humble and walk in the strength of the Almighty God. (Ephesians 6:10)

According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts: If prophecy, use it according to the proportion of one’s faith; if service, use it in service; if teaching, in teaching; if exhorting, in exhortation; giving, with generosity; leading, with diligence; showing mercy, with cheerfulness

If God gave you a gift, use that gift for others.

That’s it.

Pray

Our All-in-all
 

You have given us sweetest gifts.

Help us see where we can use these gifts to bless and lift up others.

Amen.