Last Sunday we looked at Romans 12:3-8 together. We’re right in the middle of a 3 week series on Gospel Renewal from Romans chapter 12. This sermon was on the topic of service. We are family, we are learners, and we are servant-missionaries. One of our core identities as disciples of Jesus and members of the local church is that we serve one another.
It’s all by grace!
Paul begins this passage by acknowledging that any gift that’s given in the body is given by the grace of God. This grace gives us what we don’t deserve and what we could never earn. There is no Christian ministry that’s done outside the umbrella of God’s free grace. In addition to giving gifts of grace, God also assigns a measure of faith to each member to exercise that gift. We understood measure of faith in reference to stewardship or a trusteeship. This is the idea – God has great wealth, a great trust, and from it he shares with his body appropriately the measure of that trust that is required to use their gift(s). So God both gives the gift and the ability to use that gift for His glory and for the good of the body. It’s all from Him, through Him, and for Him. Therefore, to Him be all the glory!
There were two main points to the sermon. First, the grace and mercy of the gospel renews the way we view ourselves. Paul instructs us not to think too highly of ourselves, but rather to think of ourselves with sober judgment. We should not be puffed up with pride, but instead we should be reasonable, honest, and humble in our self-perspective. In order for us to have any prayer of serving others well, we can not have an inflated view of ourselves. We must repent of pride, be reasonable as we view ourselves, and then we can begin to consider serving others.
Second, the gospel renews how we view others. When we forget about grace, we tend to view others as a threat or obstacle. An inflated view of self leads us to be selfish, and overly possessive of our things and time. Grace on the other hand leads us to serve others sacrificially. All that we have comes from God, therefore we are free to share. God has given every member of the body gifts to share. He hasn’t just gifted a select few, he has gifted all! Young or old, male or female, young or experienced Christian, all are gifted for service in the body. The conclusion is simple, if all are given gifts – Let us use them!