Summary: Are you using your talents and gifts as God intends... for His glory? Your position in Christ is ALL because of His Grace and not because of anything we have done.
Date Written: October 1, 2012
Date Preached: September 30, 2012
Church: Oak Park BC (AM)
Series: A Series In Romans
Title: Many Parts – One Body
Text: Romans 12:3-8
ETS: Paul knew unity was crucial and all believers have a part to play.
ESS: Unity is crucial for the church and all of our members have a part to play.
3For 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. 4Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, 5in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. 6According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts: If prophecy, use it according to the standard of one’s faith; 7if service, in service; if teaching, in teaching; 8if exhorting, in exhortation; giving, with generosity; leading, with diligence; showing mercy, with cheerfulness.
This chapter begins the transition within this letter and v.1 of this chapter is THE actual point of transition from the doctrines of grace and faith being explained to the practical teaching of how those things are to be lived out…
Last week we saw how Paul had called believers to living a TRANSFORMED life, and we discovered what that TRANSFORMED life should look like…
To be transformed by Christ we must:
Not allow the world to influence or shape us…
Allow God to transform us:
In our physical being
In our emotional station
In our spiritual condition
Shunning the world and allowing God’s transformation leads to the 3rd item and that is ‘peace with God’ in knowing His will
This week we move forward in Paul’s teaching and Paul begins to flesh out the transformation he calls for in v2…
However, before moving into full blown training here Paul wants to make sure these believers understand who they are in Christ Jesus…
Paul has already spoken to them about their position in Christ…and although they were justified before God and had a place in heaven, Paul did not want any of these believers to think too much of themselves. Instead Paul challenges them to focus on and use the gift God had given them… for God’s glory!
By the GRACE of God…v3, 6
3For 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... 6According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts…
In these 2 verses we find Paul strongly emphasizing the Grace of God…why do you think he is doing this?
The short answer is that it is only by God’s grace that we be saved and because of that NONE of us really has any room to brag, boast or claim ourselves better than ANYONE else…
You know in the founding years of our nation was how are nation was formed… Do you realize who came to this land?
It was those who society had rejected in Europe… It was those who were deemed as undesirable! But it was NOT because these people were not valuable!
Quickly those who came here learned that with these people much was possible because they were willing to work hard and do what was needed to succeed!
It was not long before our nation was born and we began to grow based on that very principle! It is actually engraved on the monument that so many immigrants passed through on their way into this country… The Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island…
The Statue of Liberty has this saying engraved on it… Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…
In other words, America was built and became the great nation it is now on the backs of those the ‘civilized’ world deemed useless and outcast… Our shores took them in and they submitted to the culture here and a great nation was born!
What these people did NOT have in Europe, they rec’d here… FREEDOM to pursue their happiness and dreams… freedom from oppressive tyranny and because of them this country blossomed into a great nation!
Now here in these verses Paul is pointing this out… BUT from a spiritual perspective! Paul is telling those within the church in Rome that God’s grace is something offered from the One who HAS everything to those who HAVE NOTHING!
God offers eternal security and we are ETERNALLY lost on our own! So when Paul writes about the grace of God he is pointing out that it is GOD who has bestowed His love and grace on us and that without God we would be NOTHING.