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"Play Your Position! "
Romans 12:3-8

Wednesday Evening Home Bible Study
October 6 , 2004

In this passage, God tells us, through His faithful servant Paul, that we are to have both an attitude of dependency on one another's spiritual gifts, and an active dependability in putting our spiritual gifts to use for the benefit of one another. (Contrast Diotrephus of 3 John 9-11 with Timothy of 2 Tim. 1:6-7).

A. The word "For" points us back to verse 1-2. Because God has shown us mercy in Christ, we're to present ourselves fully to Him as living sacrifices. In so doing, we end up proving that God's will is something that's good, acceptable and perfect. And one aspect of God's good, acceptable and perfect will is the unity and inter-dependence we share with one another in Christ.

B. In telling us this, Paul exercises his role as 'apostle'. That God-given "gift" of leadership in the church gives him the right to command that each of us depend on each other's spiritual gift.

C. He commands "everyone who is among you". He here hints toward the fact that every believer in the Body of Christ has been uniquely gifted by the Holy Spirit to play a significant role in the ministry. There's no such thing as an ungifted believer.

D. He commands that we're not to think that we don't need anyone else's spiritual gift. Specifically, we're told not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think, but to think so as to have sound judgement, "as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith". We're no longer to see urselves or each other in the same way we used to. We're now to see each other under the implications of the Cross of Jesus Christ, and the faith in that Cross that saves us (2 Corinthians 5:14-17)?that is, we're to see each other as new creations.

E. Paul illustrates our wonderful inter-dependence by the body.

1. A body is made up of parts. And each of the parts have different functions (v. 4).

2. But though made of different parts with different functions, they're all connected (v. 5).

3. May God help us never to think that we don't need what God, in His great wisdom, has designed for us to contribute to each other's Christian growth and maturity.


A. There are a diversity of gifts (see also 1 Cor. 12:1-11; 27-31; Eph. 4:11-12; 1 Peter 4:10-11):
1. Prophecy.

2. Ministry.

3. Teaching.

4. Exhortation.

5. Giving.

6. Leadership.

7. Mercy.

B. To some degree, we're all to do some of these things. But God uniquely gifts some individuals among us to fulfill those roles in unique ways and with unique efficiency. And when they do, the whole Body of Christ is nourished (Ephesians 4:12-16).

* * * * * * * * * *

A closing thought from Aesop's "The Fable of The Belly and The Members":

It seems that one day, the members of the body rebelled against the belly. "Just who does this belly think it is?" they asked. "He just sits there resting, and enjoying a life of luxury and self-indulgence all the time, while the rest of us have to spend all our time filling it!"

Talking among themselves, all the other body parts had about as much of this lazy belly as they . . . well, as they could stomach! So, they went on strike. They didn't do anything for this belly that they perceived to be so lazy and self-indulgent. Big mistake! As Aesop teaches, "the whole body quickly became debilitated, and the hands, feet, mouth, and eyes, when too late, repented of their folly."

Christian: play your position!

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