Gifts of Grace
Rom 12:3 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.
Rom 12:4 For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function,
Rom 12:5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
Rom 12:6 Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith;
Rom 12:7 if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching;
Rom 12:8 or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
v3 – Not to over-estimate himself, or to think more of himself than he ought to. What is the true standard by which we ought to estimate ourselves he immediately adds. This is a caution against pride; and an exhortation not to judge of ourselves by our talents, wealth, or function, but to form another standard of judging of ourselves, by our Christian character.
- The Romans would probably be in much danger from this quarter. The prevailing habit of judging among them was according to rank, or wealth, or eloquence, or function. While this habit of judging prevailed in the world around them, there was danger that it might also prevail in the church. And the exhortation was that they should not judge of their own characters by the usual modes among people, but by their Christian attainments.
- There is no sin to which people are more prone than an inordinate self-valuation and pride. Instead of judging by what constitutes true excellence of character, they pride themselves on that which is of no intrinsic value; on rank, and titles, and external accomplishments; or on talents, learning, or wealth. The only true standard of character pertains to the principles of action, or to that which constitutes the moral nature of the man; and to that the apostle calls the Roman people.
vs4-5 – As the human body consists of many parts, each having its respective office, and all contributing to the perfection and support of the whole; each being indispensably necessary in the place which it occupies, and each equally useful though performing a different function.
- We who are members of the Church of Christ, which is considered the body of which he is the head, have various offices assigned to us, according to the measure of grace, faith and religious knowledge which we possess; and although each has a different office, and qualifications suitable to that office, yet all belong to the same body; and each has as much need of the help of another as that other has of his; therefore, let there be neither pride on the one hand, nor envy on the other.
vs6-8 – Whatever gift we are given in support of the Body of Christ, we are to exercise those gifts. We are not to hold them back simply because it is not like another’s gift.