Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Using Priestly Gifts for the Good of the Body

We’ve previously seen that Paul calls upon all of us in the church to live as the priests we already are. In doing this, the apostle tells us that we can actually know the will of God.

Paul continues in Romans 12 with the exhortation that we priests must all use our gifts for the good of the body. Paul informs us in verses 3-8, “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. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.”

The body needs all its members. All the priests need each other.

Keeping an accurate and humble view of self, we are to all serve the body with whatever gifts God has given us. This is critical because, as Paul writes, “…the members do not all have the same function.” This is why all are necessary. If all don’t function, then the body will have significant weaknesses.

In God’s kingdom we are not individuals, at least not in the ultra-individualistic, modern, Western sense. Instead, we are all parts of one functioning body. Every part is necessary. Paul says we are, “individually members one of another.” I’m part of you and you are part of me. It may at first sound odd to us, but if we are part of the same body this must be the case.

In the midst of body life we must not be passive. Rather, let us all use our gifts to serve in the family in whatever manner we can. When all parts function, then the body becomes vibrant. All needs are met and the body is healthy.

We priests offer acceptable sacrifices to God when we actively serve the body using the gifts he has granted us. God desires and commands this, and we all benefit from it.

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