by Duane Maust
August 21, 2005
Romans 12: 1-8
One of Paul’s favorite thoughts is of the Christian Church as a body. Paul talks about it in our text today. He also mentions it in several other of his writings. 1 Cor 12: 3-31 is the most extensive explanation. Other passages are Eph 4:11-12 and 1 Peter 4:10-11.
Romans 12:6 in the Amplified Bible says, “having gifts (faculties, talents, qualities) that differ according to the grace given us, let us use them.”
The New Living Translation says, “God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well.”
The Kings James version says, “having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given us.”
The New International Version says, “We have different gifts.”
1 Peter 4:10 says, “each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others.” And the Message Bible says, “Be generous with the different things God gave you…”
We are being told that we are all parts of his body, and each of us has different work to do. The foot’s job is different than the hand’s, the hand’s role is different than the ear, and the ear’s role is different than the eye, yet all are part of one body. Each of us is a part of the body of Christ and each of us has a different work to do.
Some are leaders, some are teachers, some do administration work, and some are good at serving. The only way a church can be healthy, thriving and spiritually growing is when each of us accept that we all have different work to do for Christ. But let me make sure we all understand; these different roles do not imply any sort of ranking or importance. There is no hierarchy. The foot is not ranked higher than the ear. Each part is of equal importance. I, as pastor, am not more important then the song leader. The song leader is not more important then the Sunday school teachers.
Thomas Ehrich says, “we would all find more serenity in life if we could… be done with comparisons and envy. God made us diverse, and in God’s eyes at least, our diversity lacks hierarchy. As in a symphony, each instrument matters. But only if it’s played according to it’s calling and isn’t fighting another part for control. We in the church make better music when we treasure our diversity, rather than stifle it.”
Each part of the body is important. We had a congregational meeting this past Wednesday and we appointed people to the different tasks that are needed for the church. We have all kind of responsibilities. Yes, we have some that are more visible than others. Then we have so many things that are not even written on this list. We talked about what we should be including on our list. Because so many of you are helping with tasks connected to the church’s life.
Who knows that Bob Coblentz has replaced most of the toilets or parts to the toilets around this church? This past week one was leaking and John Opel was here in 5 minutes to stop it. That is important to this church. We don’t need water just running and we need the toilets to work. God has given these men the ability to fix. We have a lot of different gifts that make this church work. We have a church treasurer and the list could go on.
Read verse 3 and 4.
We are not to think of ourselves too highly. When we realize that our talents come from God, it helps keep things in perspective. We are each important here. We are only important because of the grace God has given us.
It makes me sober when I think about the responsibly that God has given me to bring this message. I pray that God will give me the words and strength to the help this body function well. God gives us gifts.
Read vs 5-8.
I thought we could learn from football. Ben Schiedel plays for the Meridian Wildcats. I want him to come and answer a few simple questions.
What happens when the quarterback is not protected?
Can one person win the game by himself?
Why do you practice?
Can you play football by yourself?
What kind of season are you going to have?
They are a team. They plan to pull together. They are planning to have a team effort.
That is what church is about. We are a team working together to build the kingdom for God. We need each other gift’s to get it done.
Our gifts are not meant to stay in these four walls of this church. God intends us to take our gifts to the streets, to our work places, to our homes.
Ed Wood said it this way: “This is about real ministry. The greatness of a church is not measured in how many come into church but how many go out in ministry. The church gathers; then the church scatters. The church must go outside its walls to reach people who need the Lord. The effectiveness of our churches depends on the number of people who are involved in meaningful ministry.”
Pray that we are a team that is building the kingdom.