Practising God’s Will

31 July 2022 AM – Romans 12:3-8 – Rom2022 – Scott Childs
Introduction: Beginning this chapter, Paul urged his readers to present their bodies as living sacrifices to God. Then, he commanded them not to allow themselves to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by allowing God to renew their minds. This will enable them to know and follow God’s good, well-pleasing and perfect will. He proceeds to tell us about God’s will for Christians.
Transition: In our text this morning, God gives three instructions to help you properly practise His will.
The first instruction to help you properly practise God’s will is to…
1.        Note that no Christian has a Right to Brag
a.         We often think too highly of ourselves (v.3)
1)         Paul addressed this to every man among them. He knew that pride was a common fault of our sinful flesh.
2)         We must not think highly of ourselves beyond what is necessary to think. God hates pride! (Proverbs 16:5) “Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.” (Galatians 6:3) “For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
3)         We are valuable to God (Matthew 10:29-31), but we must not become proud of our abilities.
b.         We ought to think soberly (v.3)
1)         In other words, we need to have a moderate estimate of ourselves (cf., Jeremiah 9:23-24). Let not the wise man glory…
2)         All we have is according as God has dealt to every man a measure of faith. This “faith” is not saving faith, but it refers to spiritual gifts and grace given by God. Poole
3)         God measured out with His wisdom the perfect gifts and graces He wants you to have.
  • We have no reason or right to brag about our spiritual gift because it is not our ability, but God’s ability in us.
The second instruction to help you properly practise God’s will is to…
2.        Become a Church Member and Do Your Part
a.         Our physical bodies have many members (v.4)
1)         We learned back in Romans 6 that our members are our body parts like hands, feet, eyes, ears, mouth and so on. Paul uses that same illustration here.
2)         Obviously, each member of our body has a different function. Our hands grip, touch, and carry. Our eyes see. Our nose smells. Our ears hear.
b.         A local church has members like our bodies (v.5)
1)         A church has many church members, but they all form just one church body.
a)         God wrote a vast part of the NT to local churches. God is doing His work through local churches.
b)         Every Christian ought to be a member of a biblical local church. God wants you to do more than just attend church. He wants you to become a member and get involved.
  • Briefly, here is what you must do to become a member of our church: (1) Display a clear testimony that you are truly saved. (2) Complete a brief Bible study that covers Christian life and membership issues. (3) Be biblically baptised by immersion after your salvation. (4) Agree to abide by our church’s doctrinal statement and constitution. (5) Share your testimony with the church and be voted in as a member.
2)         All of our church members make up our church body. As each church member works in harmony with the others, the church body will function like a healthy body.
The third instruction to help you properly practise God’s will is to…
3.        Accept that God’s Gifts Differ by Design
a.         God gives gifts according to His grace (v.6)
1)         Grace is a divine enablement of the Holy Spirit to serve God.
2)         The Holy Spirit gives His choice of gift to each church member, so he can be a blessing and help to the local church. Working in harmony, we function as a body.
3)         Here in Romans 12:6-8, God gives a brief list of some grace-empowered gifts. We find other partial lists in, 1Co 12:8-10, 28, Eph 4:11, 1Pe 4:9-11. It is very likely that many others exist that the Bible does not list.
b.         Each gift has a specific work (v.6-8)
Note that every Christian can and should do many of the things included in this list. However, the Holy Spirit gives special power to some to do the tasks more effectively.
1)         Prophecy
a)         Prophecy is either revealing something that has not yet happened or preaching what God has already said. The first type of prophecy ended when the Bible was complete (1Co 13:8-10). Today we only have preaching type prophecy.
b)         Those with this gift must use it according to the measure of ability God has given.
  • I cannot preach like the apostle Paul. I must preach according to the ability God gave me.
2)         Ministry
a)         The word translated “ministry” refers to service. Every church member should serve in the local church, but God has given some members a special heart to serve more effectively. Manual jobs, caring, helping, fixing, serving, and cleaning are ministries.
b)         Those with the gift of service ought to focus their attention on being an excellent servant.
3)         Teaching
a)         God has given some church members the gift to teach the Scriptures. Teaching is informing and explaining Bible truths. God uses teachers one-on-one, in Sunday school, youth activities, Bible studies, etc.
b)         Those with a teaching gift ought to use their God-given ability to edify others.
4)         Exhorting
a)         To exhort is to call someone near, so you can give them help by way of encouragement, counsel, warning or comfort. This is a gift of encouragement.
b)         Those with the gift of exhorting should humbly and lovingly seek opportunities to do this.
5)         Giving
a)         The word translated “giving” is not referring to giving your tithe and offering to God. Every Christian ought to do that. This word means to impart or to share with those in need.
b)         Every church member ought to share, but God gives some a special ability to sense the needs of others and to share with them. Their sharing must be with simplicity or sincerity. It must be from the heart with no self-seeking motive.
6)         Ruling
a)         To rule is to preside over or lead other. This is the duty of a pastor, deacon or administrator.
b)         Those with a presiding gift must do it with diligence (i.e., that is, with haste, speed, zeal or commitment). Leaders must go before and lead the way.
7)         Showing mercy
a)         This is the grace-empowered gift to help those who are in need.
b)         Those with this gift are to do it cheerfully. Helping the needy is not always pleasant, but those who receive this gift must do it with a cheerful heart.
Conclusion: We have looked at three instructions to help us practise God’s will. 1) We must not brag about our abilities, as they are given to us by God and by His measure. 2) God’s will is that we all become church members and work in harmony with the body. 3) He wants us to accept that our gifts differ by God’s design. The Holy Spirit gives to each church member the abilities that He wants him to use. He wants each to use his gift to his fullest ability and with a godly attitude and motive.
            Part of finding God’s will for your life is identifying the gift He has for you to use in our local church. If you are not yet a member of our church, I encourage you seriously to consider joining, so you can get more involved.
Song: Have Thine Own Way – 388