Summary: Continuation of the expository study of the Book of Romans
Book of Romans Lesson #31
Romans 12:3 – 12:8
January 28, 2015
By Rev. James May
The Apostle Paul, in Chapter 12, has begun a series of very practical teachings on how we should live our lives daily in order to please the Lord. In the first two verses that we covered last week, we discovered that God has only one demand, and the demand he makes upon us as Christians is something that God considers to be a very reasonable demand. Of course, what God demands is that we give all that we are in service to him and that we give our own bodies as living sacrifices to be used for the work of God and give him glory.
Thus we are all called to be servants to the Lord in this life. Though we may establish a sort of chain of command in the church for the sake of governing the church administratively and spiritually; there truly is no difference in our position in the Lord. All are servants and there is only One Master and One Head of the Church; and that is the Lord Jesus Christ alone.
Paul recognizes the fact that he too is only a servant. When it comes to being a Born Again Child of God, we are all on a level playing field. There is not one above another; no one more important than another; and certainly, no one loved more than another.
But even though Paul knows that we are all servants, he knows too that in the church there will be offices and positions that will be necessary to keep the church operating in an orderly fashion. Paul also knows that he has been given the great blessing of being in a position of authority within the church. Paul has been called to be an Apostle, a position that required him to teach, to lead, to establish and, at times, to discipline other Christians who were weaker in the faith than he was.
Romans 12:3 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.
What does Paul mean when uses the word “grace” in this verse? Grace, as Paul used it here, means that he has been given an apostleship, and with that position in the church, he is also given the authority and power to be an apostle. Because of this “grace” given to him, Paul knew that he was to command, give orders and give instructions to other leaders in the church.
The thing that we see in the church is that there are a lot of people who choose to take over a position and then use that position to usurp authority, and then use that authority to act more like a slave driver, or taskmaster. God called no one to be the leader. He is alone is the Head of the church. No matter what your abilities, or how strong they are seen In the church, You are still a servant, no higher or lower than anyone else.
The special gifts to lead and teach are not there for you to use as tools to gain power and rule with legalism. Those special gifts, given by God, are there to help you be a better servant to the people.
No matter what our position or authority in the church, no one has the right to think of himself/herself as someone more important than anyone else. You didn’t earn the right to have that grace that God has given; and none of us are lift ourselves so high on a pedestal that men look to us more than God for their answers.
A true servant of God will just be satisfied that a great work is being done. They won’t demand recognition. They won’t try to take over everything and rule as though they alone know what should be done.
Greater ability does not translate into a greater class of Christian. A pastor, a teacher, a prophet, an evangelist, or even an Apostle has no reason to think too highly of himself and demand the obedience and service of his peers. We are all servants together, working together as best we can to accomplish a work for the Lord.
One thing that I think we should all remember is that no matter how much we would want to, or how hard we try, we can never reach an equal position with Christ in the Church.
Jesus is the Head, the ministry of the church is only the neck, and the Body of Christ is only controlled by the Head, not the neck. Without the Head, the rest is Dead! Without the mind, the Body doesn’t function correctly. Without the Head, the neck won’t turn, bend or bow. Without the Head, all functions of the body cease. Not one of us is the Head! We are all servants of the Head, doing our work only as the Head directs.