I enjoy studying the Word of God with you! Let’s consider an important topic.
There are two primary places in the Bible which speak of the gifting of the Holy Spirit in the life of a Christian.
This knowledge of spiritual gifts is actually critically important for a believer to understand. To know (and exercise properly) one’s spiritual gifting provides a special sense of peace, belonging, drive, and purpose. If God has gifted you in a certain way, then to live in that gifting provides so much value to your own life as well as to the lives of those which God has placed around you.
The passage I want to consider with you today is Romans 12:6-8.
I want us to think for a moment about the gifting as listed in Romans 12. Read that chapter now.
The first question is, why mention spiritual gifts here? From chapter one to chapter eleven of the book of Romans Paul has been developing certain doctrinal matters (beliefs and teachings). Beginning in chapter twelve, he begins to apply these teaching to our lives, in a very practical manner. In fact, chapter 12-15:13 deals primarily with the one Spirit filled community and the unity that is to exist among them in various aspects of their relationships. He is, in reality, dealing with how Gospel righteousness manifests itself:
1. Among Believers (12:1–21)
2. In the World (13:1–14)
3. Among the Weak and the Strong Brethren (14:1–15:13)
In the context of our Christian lives and the unity which we are to experience.....our spiritual gifting, properly used by a Spirit-Filled believer, can be a great blessing. However, those same gifts, engaged by a carnal / flesh driven believer, can actually be a source of division among us.....think Corinth!
Now remember, each believer is a member of the body of Christ (epitomized in the local congregation / the church). Each member of Christ’s body has its own purpose / function. Here, in Romans 12:6-8, God has blessed each member with a purpose....That purpose should be utilized to its fullness!
Notice “So we” in verse 5. This verse is teaching that, in the same way the body is understood, in the same way the local church can to be understood. Paul is speaking here about the unified functioning of the individual members of the body (human body and church). Each member belongs to all others and works for the successful functioning of the whole…. v. 5 - “Every one members one of another.” - There is a foundational organic spiritual connection between believers (in general and in the individual local church / assembly)
Paul states in verse 6 that individual Christians have differing gifts. How these gifts are utilized makes a profound difference in the unity of the church (or lack thereof).
Paul here (vv. 6-8) mentions seven gifts.
As God’s children, connected to a local church, we are to seek unity in the diversity of gifting. The emphasis here is on unity....unity of Spirit....unity of purpose…unity of function.
Look at Ephesians 4:3
Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Look at the amazing unity and oneness which is suggested in the following verses of Ephesians 4 (4-8)
If we are unified by the Spirit of God, and operating from a Spirit-filled life, the gifting He has given us brings harmony and unity!
One in heart. One in Doctrine. One in mind. One in rule. One in purpose! See also I Corinthians 1:10; II Corinthians 13:11; I Thessalonians 5:13; James 3:17-18.
Notice, in these passages, that closely aligned with the unity and the oneness is peace. Peace is the identifying mark of real unity.
Do you have peace? Are you at peace with God? Are you at peace with yourself? Are you at peace with your brothers and sisters in Christ?