Paul Urges All to Serve God with their Spiritual Gift given by the Holy Spirit
Romans 12:3-5 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. NKJV
Paul has exhorted us and even given us God’s command that our minds be renewed in His Word and now that we have a renewed mind that even still must be continually renewed, Paul now wants us to move out and use the grace gift that we received on the day of our new birth for God’s Glory and Christ Body. Paul first warns each one of us to not be huperphroneo which means to be vain or arrogant and esteem ourselves more highly than we should. Paul warns us in this manner because even though we have been made new creations in our Lord Jesus Christ, we still have our flesh or old man constantly pulling at us trying to get us to thrust ourselves out front or above others which only serves to cause friction and confusion as Paul encountered with some of the Corinthian believers as documented by his words in 1 Corinthians 3, read this whole Chapter. As the writer of Proverbs declares in these words, Proverbs 25:27 It is not good to eat much honey, Nor is it glory to search out one’s own glory. NKJV
Paul says instead we are to think soberly of ourselves. The Greek word that is translated for think is phroneo which means to exercise the mind or entertain the mind to have an opinion or to be mentally disposed earnestly in a certain direction. Paul is carefully warning us not to allow our thoughts the be focused too much on our abilities forgetting that what we have is because God the Holy Spirit has Sovereignly endowed us with our spiritual gift which lends no place for boasting or arrogance or holding one’s own gift up in higher regard to another member of our Lord’s Mystical Body. Paul expressed this sentiment or view beautifully with these words to the Corinthian believers here, 1 Corinthians 4:5-7 Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God. Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to exceed what is written, so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other. For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? NKJV
The Greek word translated for the English word soberly that Paul uses is sophroneo which means to be of sound mind, to be in one’s right mind, to exercise self-control, to put a moderate estimate upon one’s self, think of one’s self soberly to curb one’s passions. In other words, Paul wants each of us to think or exercise our minds to look upon ourselves and our abilities in moderation, not denying the spiritual gift we have received from God the Holy Spirit, but using it not to exalt ourselves or make a name for ourselves, but for the building up of the individual brothers and sisters that make up Christ Mystical Body and for Christ Jesus our Lord’s Glory. Paul again said these words to some of the Corinthian believers making this very same point with these words spoken to them, 1 Corinthians 4:18-21 Now some have become arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant but their power. For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power. What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness? NKJV Paul had become exasperated with some of these believers in Corinth and no doubt was drawing on that current or past experience with them when he penned these words to the believers in Rome.
Paul goes on to say that we are to be faithful in exercising our grace gift in the manner we have received from God the Holy Spirit because each one of us has been given the measure of faith. The Greek word Paul uses for the English phrase “the measure” is metron which means a measure and by implication it means a limited portion or degree. Paul is concluding here in Romans 12:3 that every regenerated born again son or daughter of God the Father has as their new birthday gift from God the Holy Spirit only a portion or degree of faith and this is why not one of us can ever hold ourselves above another because we are all only pieces of a huge puzzle that fits only in his or her on section of our Lord’s Mystical Body (Ephesians 4:7).
Paul now uses the example of our physical bodies with our eyes, fingers, toes, nose, feet, liver, kidney, etc. comparing each believer to them in Christ Mystical Body and shining the light on the different role or work or function each one of us performs just as our individual members in our physical bodies perform different functions all for the same purpose or goal and that is the operation of the body (1 Corinthians 12:12-14). Likewise we as individual members in Christ Mystical Body all have different spiritual gifts, but each one exercises his or her spiritual gift mutually or in a shared manner that the whole Mystical Body of our Lord’s would be manifested or made visible in Glory here upon the earth as Paul says it here, 2 Corinthians 2:14-17 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things? For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God. NKJV
“The whole nature of a Christian should be ennobled, elevated, made more delicate and intense, when the ‘Spirit of life that is in Christ Jesus’ abides in and inspires it. Just as a sunless landscape is smitten into sudden beauty by a burst of sunshine which heightens the colouring of the flowers on the river’s bank, and is flashed back from every silvery ripple on the stream, so the faith which brings the life of Christ into the life of the Christian makes him more of a man than he was before.” “Every devout heart has a consciousness that the faith which knits it to God is God’s work in it, and that left to itself it would have remained alienated and faithless.” Alexander MacLaren
“Grace is the gift we receive from our Lord Jesus Christ that saves us from our sin and makes us new creations in Him, and charis is also the grace gift we receive from the Holy Spirit (Galatians 2:9) the moment we are born again to be used for the sole purpose of building up the Mystical Body of our Lord Jesus Christ here on the earth.” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…