I’m reading Romans and am continually blown away by it. What an amazing book. I’ve read Romans before, but something is clearer this time. Its teachings are profound and challenging, and so relevant to all believers.
Romans 12:3-8 is important as we consider how Christians should engage in fellowship with one another and serve one another.
Let’s hear from Romans 12:3-8,
“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.”
“Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought” is about being humble, but it’s not just about being humble. In context with the rest of the passage, this verse is saying: look you are a part of a bigger whole called the body of Christ.
Together, when we are doing the work of our Lord to love and serve one another, we can do amazing things.
Verse 5 is equally profound:
“so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others”. We BELONG to one another. This suggests an interdependent relationship where we are to both give and receive from the body of Christ; one another.
Some people think it’s ok to be a lone-ranger Christian; a Christian who avoids fellowship with other believers or avoids going to church and being a part of a local body of believers. Many reasons are expressed, but the reality is that the body of Christ is weaker when Christians live in isolation.
The lone-ranger Christian is weaker because he/she doesn’t have the support of fellow believers, and the body of Christ is weaker because we can’t receive what you have to offer. Lone-ranger Christians don’t serve the body, and also prevent fellow believers the opportunity to serve them.
The rest of the passage is simple. Use your gifts to serve the body. Go to church (and fellowship with other believers) not solely based on what you receive, but for what you are uniquely gifted to give. If you are an encourager, and you don’t encourage the body, then there is a disease within the church. If you are a teacher and you don’t teach, there is a disease within the church.
The cure for the disease is to engage in fellowship and service within a local body of believers (aka “the church”). Pour out your life in humble, loving service to one another.