We All Have a Part

Romans  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  48:22
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Romans 12:3-8
A few weeks ago we looked at the first 2 verses of Romans 12.
We talked about the fact that Paul has shifted from Theological to a little more practical teaching from this point forward.
He starts his practical teaching by saying that we need to present our bodies a living Sacrifice.
It is reasonable expectation for the Christian to present ourselves and our lives to Christ after all He has done for us.
He tells us that we need to not be conformed [molded] to this world, but be transformed [metamorpho, changed from the inside out] by renewing our mind.
Now in verse number three, Paul tells us to be careful not to think of ourselves too highly.
Paul knows the natural tendency of the Christian, once some growth is seen, we look at that growth and think of ourselves as better than others.
So He starts, in this passage, by saying:

I. We Need to Think Soberly

3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
To think soberly means “to use sound judgment and moderation, to be self–disciplined”
To think seriously about our state.
We do this first of all...

A. Through Grace

“through the grace given unto me
Grace is unmerited favor - but it is also that unmerited help that we need to do the things that we ought to do.
Grace has been defined as, “God giving me the desire and the power to do His will.”
If we are to think correctly, we must do it through the grace of God.
How do we do the Will of God (the good, acceptable and perfect will of God that he just spoke of)?
We do it by the Grace of God!
Hebrews 4:16 KJV
16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
We come to His throne and he gives us grace to help us in our need.
We go to His throne, we ask for His help by grace, we open his Word and we become transformed in the renewing of our mind.
this prepares us to do His Will.
Not only do we do His will through Grace, but we also see in this verse that there is something else involved.

B. By Faith

3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
This verse tells us that we take this task on, thinking soberly, according to the faith that God has given us.
We step out in faith to do what God has called us to do -
Present our bodies a living sacrifice
be transformed by the renewing of our minds in God’s Word
Not become prideful
but think soberly
And do what he is about to tell us...
This is all done by the faith that God gives to us.
We do not need to muster up the faith
We do not need to fake it til we make it.
No God deals to every man a measure of faith that is required to do what he is asking you to do.
For what purpose?
It is because

II. We Are Members in One Body

4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
The word for at the beginning of verse 4 tells us that he is connecting the previous thought to this one.
Why do we need to think soberly, and not think of yourself more highly than others?
Because we are all members of one body.
Not everyone has the same function, not everyone has the same office.
But yet we all have a part to play.
But Paul brings our attention around to the real truth…we are many members, but one body...

A. In Christ

5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
It is easy to think of only the human aspect of the church.
The Pastor as the leader, the deacons and trustees as the board, the congregation as the arms and legs of the church.
But let’s not forget the most important aspect of this truth...
We are all many members in one body in Christ
Christ is the head of the church
Ephesians 1:22 KJV
22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
Ephesians 5:23 KJV
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
Colossians 1:18 KJV
18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
He is the shepherd, the pastor is just the under-shepherd.
The Board is servants that help the fulfilling of God’s plans.
The congregation are the sheep that move where the Shepherd leads them.
It is so important never to lose sight of this truth.
Pray for your pastor, that he is lead by the Shepherd.
That He will listen to the Shepherds leading.
Pray for the board and the pastor that they will not yield to the fleshly desires to as they want, but will listen to the direction of the Shepherd and help mobilize the flock.
We are led by Christ, the head of the Church...
but we also must never forget that we are...

B. Members One of Another

5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
The word Members - literally is talking about body parts.
1 Corinthians 12:12 KJV
12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
We are all members - parts of the body.
then he says the phrase “one of another.”
Why are the members being one of another important
In other words he is saying we are all a part of each other.
Why is it so important that one member not single itself out?
Imagine if you walk through woods and stumble upon a human arm - just a human arm — out in the middle of the woods.
Something is seriously wrong with that situation, isn’t there?
That arm has no life of itself, it is dependent on all the other parts of the body to pump the blood in and out.
It is dependent on the heart to do the pumping.
It is dependent on the brain to tell the heart to function, as well as the arm’s muscles to do it’s job.
In and of itself - is worthless — useless.
But when all together in working order — much can be done!
No we are not solitary members
We are not out here alone - no by the grace of God and through the measure of faith that God gives us we work together to accomplish what He wants us to accomplish.
We cannot be successful in this life if we go off on our own.
We have to remain with the body.
I have seen many church members leave, they don’t become a transplant in another body, but just leave all together.
So often we see death and decay in their life, their family.
Everything that God had for them is gone.
It’s not too late!
It may not be the same as it could have been, but even if a dead and decaying member is reconnected to a body God does the supernatural work of giving it life again.
We are in the Body of Christ — members one of another.

III. We Are Here for a Purpose

6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
We have all been given gifts different from one another, because we are different members of the body…and thereby have different functions.
Again the gifts have been given to us according to God’s Grace!
It is nothing that we achieved or earned on our own — but God through His grace has decided to use us, and has decided how to use us.
We went through an entire series a couple of years back that detailed each of these gifts, but let’s go through a review of them as listed here.
There are ministry Gifts found in Eph 4:11 - Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers…these gifts are the churches responsibility to bestow.
The church hires a pastor, sends an evangelist, chooses a teacher.
Then there are the Manifestation gifts, which I believe are now dead now that which is perfect is come, but these are found in 1 Corinthians 12.10: Working of Miracles, prophesying (here the word speaks of predicting something), discerning of spirits, speaking in divers kinds of tongues, interpreting tongues.
These were manifestations that showed that God was with the early church.
Then here in this passage in Romans we see our Motivational Gifts.
The Gifts of the Spirit that Motivate us or lead us to do the things that God wants us to do within the church.
To help the health of the church and the ministry of the church.
By the way, these statements about these gifts are based upon observations from many Bible teachers and pastors through the years, rather than on straight Biblical explanation.
So as such this should not be taken as gospel, inspired truth, but just as it is…an observation.
The first is:

A. The Prophet

The word here speaks of foretelling, but it speaks of speaking forth the revelation of God.
We have the complete revelation of God that He is wanting to reveal to us through the Bible.
So the Prophet in the church speaks forth that which has been revealed.
Some have called this gift the proclaimer.
The perceiver/prophet has the intuitive sense that enables them to discern the inner motives, the secrets of peoples hearts and view them in light of God’s Word.
They have the ability to connect God’s Word with life’s situation and people’s actions.
There is an innate drive for them to speak about what they see.
The prophet has a real need to speak what they see.
When not yielded to the Holy Spirit for the right timing, the prophet can really get into a mess!
The prophet has a real alertness to dishonesty, and sin.
They grieve deeply over the sins of others.
Justice is very important to the prophet.
They are typically all in when it comes to involvement and they recognize the importance of obedience, so they go all in.
The Prophet is more loyal to truth rather than people.
They are willing to suffer for right.
But there are some dangers that you have to be careful of if you are a prophet...
It’s easy to be too quick and making an impression of people.
They will have a tendency to expose sin, without being as worried about restoring the sinner.
They can jump to the wrong conclusion when they have limited information.
And a prophet acting in the flesh rather than yielded to the spirit can be very harsh and unforgiving, including about themselves.
If someone spilled a plate of food on the carpet, a Prophet might say something like, “That’s what happens when you’re not careful!”
By the way I have a great handout for each of these Motivational gifts, if you take a spiritual gifts test and discover which one (or ones) you have I would be happy to give you that handout (or handouts)

B. The Servant

7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering...
The Servant or the gift of Ministry is the practical service agent of the church.
They are the ones who get things done.
They see the practical needs of others, and work to fulfill those needs.
The servant wants to free others of the menial tasks to free them to be able to achieve their own motivational gift.
They typically completely disregard their own weariness, but just keep working.
They have a difficult time saying “No.”
But they are very alert to the likes and dislikes of the people whom they serve.
But there comes with this a real need for approval.
The servant feels more fulfilled with a lot of short range projects rather than one long range project.
But they are typically not observant of details of the job.
Some dangers of a Servant is they will at times give unrequested help and cause hard feelings.
They can sometimes work beyond their own physical limits just see the job get done.
The service sometimes can become more important than other God-given priorities in their life (their husband, or family,etc.)
When they feel unappreciated, they can become very resentful.
Sometimes they can step in to help too soon, and interfere with God’s discipline on someone.
In regard to the plate of food being spilled, the servant would say something like, “Oh, let me help you clean that up!”

C. The Teacher

This one may be deceptive.
We think of the teacher as one who is gifted at standing before the crowd to teach.
But this is a motivational gift, and so this is speaking of under the surface.
Those with the motivational gift of teaching can make great teachers, but sometimes they are so bogged down with the overabundance of information about a topic that it can go over the pupils heads.
This Motivational gift is the ability to understand the principles and teachings of God’s Word and to clarify it for others.
When they hear facts they want to validate the information and research it.
A Teacher has a real gift of discernment of other teachers, they will check teh sources and information about what the other teacher taught.
They tend to teach systematically, in a way that is laid out in an orderly sequence, because they don’t wnat anyone to miss something.
They will gather many facts, sometimes too many to be able to be used.
But they are very thorough.
When the teacher learns about something they really learn about it!
Some dangers of the gift of teaching are:
They can become proud of their knowledge.
They can overemphasize any credentials they have in order to get approval of others.
They can, if using the flesh, over depend on Human Reasoning rather than faith in God’s Word.
They can overemphasize the mind over the Holy Spirit.
They can desire cold hard facts over Scriptural Presuppositions.
God has gifted various people in the church with this gift, so that we can have the most accurate truth taught, but as any gift, when not yielded to the Holy Spirit it can become out of balance.
The teacher when they see someone spill a plate of food on the carpet may something like, “The reason that it fell is that it was too heavy on one side.”

D. The Exhorter

8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: ...
The word exhortation is from the word parakaleo, meaning to be called to another’s side (by the way similar to a name given to the Holy Spirit).
An Exhorter is an encourager.
By the way, this is my primary gift.
The Exhorter has been said to be the “mouth” of the body.
He will accept people as they are without judging them.
The Prophet will see someone as either “in” or “out” of God’s Will and there is no in between.
The Exhorter doesn’t see extremes.
No one has arrived yet, but encourages people to get closer!
The Exhorter needs a sounding board to bounce off ideas.
I often need to hear my ideas out loud as I talk to the Board, or the teacher’s at teacher’s meeting.
Then get feedback, then make a decision.
An Exhorter is committed to the spiritual growth of others, and goes out of his/her way to help people grow, step by step.
An exhorter makes decisions quickly and easily, but sometimes can be a danger because they may not have all the facts.
He wants to clear up problems as quickly as possible, so that we can get back to our growth.
The Exhorter has high expectations of himself and of others around him.
This too can become a problem.
The Exhorter can see the root problem, and clear steps of actions to take to fix the problem.
He desires to be transparent.
He learns from doing - gains insight through his experiences.
When something is decided he is urgent to get going on the steps of action.
An exhorter prefers to share face to face, rather than in writing or by phone…he learns from facial expression and reactions.
The dangers can be he looks to himself to solve problems rather than delegating.
the Exhorter can be cut and dry in prescribing steps of action.
He can become proud of accomplishments or results.
He can fall into the trap of treating people like projects.
The Exhorter can be guilty of interrupting others in an eagerness to give opinions or advice.
He can be quick to give up on uncooperative people.
“Well if you aren’t going to listen and do what I see needs to be done…I’ll move on to someone who will listen!”
The Exhorter may see someone spill a plate of food and say, “Next time let’s serve the food from the left side and pass it clock-wise, so everything will flow in the same direction so there is less likelihood of something spilling.”

E. The Giver

he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity
The giver sees resources and are gifted in compiling and using those resources to get a job done.
They give freely of money, possessions, time and energy.
He wants to feel a part of the ministry to which he gives.
He is concerned with what he gives is high quality.
He desires most of the time to give secretly.
Some dangers is that a giver will sometimes give to get out of other responsibilities.
I’ll give to missions so that I don't have to witness or go myself.
If not yielded to the Holy Spirit the Giver can tend to want to use his gift to control people.
They can tend to give more sparingly to family than they do to others.
And if not careful they can cause people to look to them rather than to God for their needs.
The Giver sees the plate of food that was spilled and may say, “I’ll be happy to buy a new dish for that one that was broken and I’ll pay for the food that was spilled.”

F. The Organizer

(sometimes labeled the gift of administration or ruling).
8 ...he that ruleth, with diligence; ...
This is someone who is highly gifted in organizing the resources that are available.
He enjoys working with and around people.
They are highly motivated to organize the people and resources that are available.
They can see the final result and work to get there.
They prefer more to be under authority, but still have authority to move the people and resources around.
They will assume responsibility if there is a leadership vacuum.
They like long term goals, rather than short term (the opposite and balance of the Servant.)
Can delegate responsibility well.
Willing to let others get the credit so long as the job gets done!
Some dangers are, they can get easily upset if their vision isn’t with the others they are working with.
They can be driven, but neglectful of personal or family needs.
They can tend to view people as resources and can cause hurt.
They can tend to build loyalty through favoritism.
They can tend to delegate to avoid work.
They can put projects before people.
The Organizer who sees the plate of food spilt may say, “Jim, would you get the vacuum, Sue, help me pick up these big pieces, and Mary can you fix another plate of food?”

G. The Mercy

8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
This is a person gifted with the gift of compassion.
They have a tremendous capacity to show love.
They are typically cheerful and joyful.
They are motivated to help people have right relationships, and repair relationships.
They are careful with words spoken to not cause an offense.
They are deeply loyal to friends.
Tends to look for the good in people.
They are ruled by the heart rather than the head.
They empathize well with the hurting.
they attract people that are in distress.
They tend to balance out the prophet in the church well.
Some dangers are they can tend to be indecisive.
They can take up offenses for others.
They can tolerate evil, rather than deal with it.
They can lean more on emotions vs. Reason or knowledge.
They can be more willing to cut people off if they are insensitive or hurt others around them.
The Mercy when a plate of food is spilled may say something like, “Don’t feel bad, it could have happened to anyone!”
God has gifted each of us differently, but purposefully.
We cannot covet someone elses gift, or else we are telling God he didn’t know what He was doing!
God has fit us all together so that we can do the job that He wants Mills Memorial Baptist Church to do in this community and the world around us.
The question is, Are you willing to use the Motivational Gift that God has given you to do the work that He wants His church body to do?
Are you willing to help?!!!
We all react differently to the same situation, but we are all needed to get the complete job done.
I used this illustration back when I was teaching on spiritual gifts: But if seven different people each having a differnt motivational gift came to visit someone that was sick in the hospital, this is what it might look like:
Each Motivational Gift at a Hospital Visit
Prophet:“What is God trying to say to you through this illness? Is there some sin you haven’t confessed yet?”
Server: “Here’s a little gift! Now, I brought your mail in, fed your dog, watered your plants, and washed your dishes.”
Teacher: “I did some research on your illness and I believe I can explain what’s happening.”
Exhorter: “How can we use what you’re learning here to help others in the future.”
Giver: “Do you have insurance to cover this kind of illness?”
Organizer: “Don’t worry about a thing. I’ve assigned your job to four others in the office.”
Mercy: “I can’t begin to tell you how I felt when I learned you were so sick. How do you feel now?”
We are all needed! Let’s be busy doing our part!
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