STUDYGUIDE-5-131114 - length: 60:00 - taught on Nov, 14 2013
Reminder that our mind set for these informal Bible studies in EPH 4:11-16.
Last week’s Homework: Pick a fellow believer in the congregation and describe how they have contributed to your life and the life of the church by using their spiritual gift.
ROM 12:1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
ROM 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
So let’s continue along here in Romans 12, remembering as we do those 3 basic questions we have:
What would we look like coming under this command and being obedient to it now as best as we can?
The first two verses of Romans 12 describe what our attitude towards God is supposed to be in light of the mercies of God described in the first 11 chapters of Romans.
We are to be living and holy sacrifices. This involves presenting our bodies to God.
We are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds so we learn to discern what God’s will is.
Offer your bodies to God in all that you do.
Work each day at cooperating with the Holy Spirit in having your mind transformed.
Last week we saw a little bit about those two Greek words that are translated here “conformed” and “transformed”.
If we are not being transformed by the renewing of our minds, we will be conformed to this world.
Now both these verbs are in the passive voice. These are things that are done to us with our cooperation.
We cannot change ourselves.
We are either cooperating with those forces that would mold us according to the pattern of the world
We are cooperating with the Holy Spirit in His work of changing us into another form - the image and likeness of our Lord Jesus Christ!
What are we putting our mind towards? And we were encouraged by the exhortation in Phil 4:8-9 to dwell on things that are true, honorable, right, pure lovely, of good repute, any excellence and anything worthy of praise.
So again, the first two verses of Romans 12 tell us about what our attitude towards God is to be.
Now the second section of Romans 12, verses 3-13, tell us what our attitude is to be toward other saints, other believers.
And the third section of Romans 12 is verses 14-21, and that deals with what our attitude is to be toward our enemies. Our enemies.
We continued in Romans 12 with verse 3.
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.
So verse 3 is a first of a series of exhortations describing how we are to carry out the goals in verses 1 and 2.
Notice where God starts.
He starts with what you think about yourself, what I think about myself.
What is the temptation here?
To have a higher opinion of myself than I ought to have.
God has given to each of His saints a certain allotment or measure of faith - the ability to lay hold on the mighty operations of the Spirit of grace.
Notice that God does not say knowledge here , but rather faith.
This important verse is followed up by its explanation.
We are not to think we are better than anyone else.
We are all part of one body.
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.
Paul likens the church to a body with hands and feet and moving parts and vital organs.
The church has different functions that it performs. Hands have a different function than feet do.
When was the last time you brushed your teeth with your feet?
Or walked a mile on your hands?
In the same way, each part of the body of Christ has its own gift.
That gift has been given by the Body-maker..God the Holy Spirit…for the building up and encouragement of the church.
Our gifts differ according to the grace given to us.
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;
What new and vital specific is added here? GIFTS!
When we were studying spiritual gifts, we discovered that each epistle that talks about spiritual gifts presents us with a unique list of gifts.
What are two ways to make sense of that? Chronology of when the books were written, and the main purpose of each book.<The Chronological Order of the Epistles by Paul, plus Hebrews and Peter>
Given that, how are we to approach the list of gifts that are here in the book of Romans?
Recall that there are foundation gifts, speaking gifts, and serving gifts.
Foundation gifts were especially given to the apostles in the beginning to validate their authority so the brand new church would grow quickly and function effectively to get off to a good start.
Speaking and serving gifts are given to build up the church and to encourage the saints.
Your attitude toward other Christians should never be to look down on them for any reason.
Instead, exercise your spiritual gifts to build other believers up.
The gift of prophecy here refers to preaching the word of God. It is a speaking gift.
The word literally means “to speak before”. To speak before people. To speak before a group of believers.
The special gift of prophecy that was operating in the early church has now ceased with the completion of the written New Testament.
But of course we still have speaking gifts in the church today.
Next, Paul lists a serving gift.
ROM 12:7 if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching;