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Pastor Brant Seacrist

October 14, 2018

"THE GIFTS OF GRACE"

TEXT: ROMANS 12: 3-8
READING:  PSALM 146 & 150

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SUBJ: The marvel of spiritual gifts and the encouragement to their proper uses. This to be in recognition of the fact that we are members of one body.

AIM: That we might recognize giftedness we have and be humbly obedient in the exercise of them.

INTR: These verses flow directly from the two preceding and they render further explanation as to the meaning of being a living sacrifice.
1. Our believing life is revealed and proven in this present world.
2. The matter of being gifted is attributed to all and it behooves all to seek avenues of discovery and application.
3. The things which follow define both the manner of approach to these things as well what these things might be.

THESIS: It is in the display of His attributes that we learn of the extent of His care for us; in the exercise of the gifts we possess from Him we lovingly respond to His power in us.

I. The measure of faith (v. 3)
1. The continued humility of Paul is in evidence (appealing to grace), but he does not abdicate his Apostolic authority and his inspired ability to guide them in right ways.
1) It is very personal and individual
2) The danger of feeling superior or privileged above another is anticipated.
3) Any feeling of arrogance or pride that would detract from grace is unacceptable
4) There can be no party spirit or competition.
2. The thought is that one is to think soberly
1) Consider the seriousness of the trust and
2) The potential outcomes or effects on others.
3) The thought is of personal discipline in the matter of responsibilities given.
3. A key thought here is to think of the measure of faith given so as
1) See that these things are from God including the faith to act on them
2) Any ability to perform and become God-honoring will come from Him as well.

II. The makeup of the body (vv. 4-5)
1. Even as God expresses Himself in terms of human features (hands, Mighty arm, etc.) so the human body lends itself to spiritual illustration.
2. Paul draws heavily on such descriptions: Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 1 Corinthians 12:27.
3. Christ is referred to as the head elsewhere.
4. We continue to be amazed at the intricacies of the human body: I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. Psalms 139:14.
1) How much more so the spiritual body of Christ (Whether in aggregate or local).
2) And should not one aspect of creation be used to illustrate the divine point.
5. It is given us to see ourselves as members one of another – the wisdom of God has taken us far beyond mere human organization and rather describes a matter of eternal design.
6. Consider His view: A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. Song of Songs 4:12.

III. The manifestation of the gifts of grace (vv. 6-8)
1. It is important that we note that there were gifts pertaining to the Apostolic era which were not continues afterward. (My disclaimer on this).
2. The issue here is not so much the gifts as it is the manner in which they were exercised.
1) It seems that some were temporary while
2) The things here are permanent things given to individuals.
3. There is greater stress laid on prophesying in that is mentioned first and characterized as in proportion to the faith given.
1) There were those in that era that could tell the future
2) But, there is forth-telling that is also described in that way much in the manner of Elijah.
4. There are several things here that could be in reference to one person while others may reference an identifying characteristic of one person.
5. And so, prophesying, ministry, exhortation, ruling, and teaching may all be the gifts of either one person or and individual gift of one person.
6. Of giving, it would seem that some might be inclined to go far beyond the normal.
7. The essential issue here is the connection to the first two verses and whatever gift is to be pursued with the force of returning to God who gave it along with salvation.
8. Some might endeavor to excuse themselves from any form of serving others to whom I would say you need to make you case with the Lord.