Wednesday, June 22, 2016

among and not above

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
Romans 12:3

This verse is a bridge. There are 1) the opening verses of Romans 12, with the call to live a life of sacrifice to the Lord so that we are not conformed to the world but transformed in renewed thinking, and then there is 2) the very important discussion on how individual believers are gifted with spiritual gifts in the church that is taught in verses four through eight. The transformed thinking of verse three is a gracious humility. We need it to understand God's design for us. Gracious humility leads us to think rightly about our position among other believers in the church and not above them.

Christians need to be in community with other believers. Christ's church is one body with many working parts, and we need each other. My gifts are no more important than your gifts. In fact, my gifts without other people complimenting them are incomplete and ineffective.

If I glory solely in my gifts rather than participating in my part in the whole of the church, I have just disobeyed this scriptural command to graciously and humbly consider my place in the bigger work of the church... the body of Christ. And that is a very real and often displayed sin in contemporary, consumeristic, evangelical Christianity. Should I really come to church JUST to get what I want or JUST to do what I like? According to this passage of scripture, the answer is "No". We should thank God that He made us to need one another. I am still broken without being in Christ's church. I am whole when I am one part of the bigger work of the Church.

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