One body, different grace gifts

October 11, 2015 Speaker: Pastor Gary Smith Series: Romans: The Gospel for God's Glory

Scripture: Romans 12:3–12:8

Romans: The Gospel for God’s glory
Romans 12:3-8
One body, different grace gifts
Think of yourself by God-given faith, since we are one body with different grace gifts

1) Think of yourself in sober judgment, according to your God-assigned measure of faith, 12:3.
How does verse 3 relate to verses 1-2? What does Paul mean by saying we should think of ourselves with sober or sensible judgment? Why do you think God apportions to us different measures of faith?

2) As one body has many diverse parts, so we are one body with many interdependent parts, 12:4-5.
How do verses 4-5 further explain how we are to think about ourselves according to the measure of faith God has apportioned to us?

3) Having different grace-given gifts, let’s use them, 12:6a.
Paul assumes in this verse that we have each received grace-gifts by grace. Christ has given us these gifts for us to use. How do we know what our grace gifts are?

4) If you have a gift of prophecy, use it in proportion to your faith, 12:6b.
The NT gift of prophecy is speaking something spontaneously revealed by God that we would otherwise not know or speak. Some think the gift of prophecy is no longer active today. They believe that NT prophecy involves declaring the very words of God, with authority equal to the OT prophets, and equal to the words of Scripture. If true prophecies are spoken, they should be added to the Bible. A primary text in support of this view is Ephesians 2:20. There Paul says that the church is “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone.”
Others believe that the exercise of the gift of NT prophecy is not inspired in the same way Scripture is. Rather, it is a human explanation of something that God has brought spontaneously to mind that would not otherwise have been known or spoken. In 1 Corinthians 14:1 Paul says to the church, “Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy” and (14:3), “the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation.” It doesn’t seem the gift only applied to a limited group of men who spoke with Scripture-level authority.
But if those with the gift of prophecy are not infallible in communicating or interpreting what God reveals to them, how do we know what to believe? Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:20–21, “Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good.” Discuss these two views. Is there a “middle way” that acknowledges the work of the Spirit’s leading and searching our hearts that upholds the authority and inerrancy of Scripture? What did Paul mean by saying we should use the gift of prophecy in proportion to our faith?

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