Discovering the Giver in Your Spiritual Gifts

Discussion Guide for Romans 12:3-8

Every Christian is gifted in some skillful way that he or she can use to serve the Church. But, we misuse our spiritual gifts when our focus is on the gift instead of the grace that gives it.

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.

Outline of Romans 12:3-8

  1. Don’t think too highly of yourself (3).
  2. Don’t think that you can thrive independently from the Church (4-5).
  3. God proves points I and II in the way that he graciously gives his kids their ability to serve (6-8).

Passages like these are difficult for Americans because we live in a culture that prizes individualism. Many American Christians falsely believe either 1) the church would fail if it weren’t for me or 2) I don’t need the church to faithfully live out the Christian life.

Paul proves that we need the church with examples of how spiritual gifts are given to different members of the church. There is an element of individualism in the way that God uniquely gifts each person in the way that he gifts nobody else. But those gifts are useless unless they are diligently developed inside the authority that God has delegated to the church body.

There are seven general areas of spiritual gifts listed in Romans 12:6-8. These are not the only spiritual gifts listed in the Bible, but they are given as examples of ways Christians function with unity in diversity.

  • Prophecy– Speak truth boldly when it needs to be spoken.
  • Service– See something that needs to done and do it.
  • Teaching– Help people understand the Word of God.
  • Exhortation– Fan the flames of faith.
  • Generosity– See a need and quietly meet it.
  • Leadership– Organize and motivate people to accomplish something.
  • Mercy– See when people are “down and out” and be present with them.

Discussion Questions

  • How are you tempted to think of yourself more highly than you ought?
  • Are you tempted to withdraw from being a part of the church?
  • How do people sometimes emphasize their gifts over the grace that gives?
  • Do you think Christians possess more than one area of gifting?
  • Which combination of the seven areas of gifting in Romans 12 do you see in yourself?
  • Do you think you possess gifts that are not mentioned in this passage?
  • How do you think the other people in your group are gifted?
  • How do your gifts complement one another?
Jonathan Pugh
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