Talking Through Romans 12:3, pt. 2


A Humble Position – A Response


Ryan,


It can be difficult at times distinguishing right from wrong. You mentioned it’s “interesting and complicated because so often right now the darkness and the light are coming from unexpected places, or even from the same places!” We need to remember 2 Corinthians 6:14, which says,

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”

Furthermore, in 2 Corinthians 11:14, it says,

“For even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”

We often look at our actions and the actions of others, and the results of those actions, using our own understanding and through a worldly lens. We all want justice, but we all have our own idea and sense of what justice is. That’s just another way we conform to this world. We each think our idea of justice is correct, we think how we see things is right, because that’s how we feel. That’s just our sense of justice, though, and it is often coming from our flesh. That’s why we’ll learn in a few weeks to “never take your own revenge” (Romans 12:19).


Thinking that what we feel is automatically right or thinking someone else is automatically wrong because we disagree is not having “sober judgment,” it is what Paul is talking about when he says that no one should think “more highly of himself than he ought to think” (Romans 12:3).


If you read Romans 7, you’ll see that Paul didn’t trust his own flesh, and I’m willing to admit the apostle probably had a little more self control than me. If he struggled with his flesh (2 Corinthians 12), then I can accept that I’m flat out delusional at times. That’s why we need that sober judgment. That’s why we “don’t lean on our own understanding” but instead “in all your ways acknowledge HIM” (Proverbs 3:5-6). How did you put it? God remains a “sturdy and unmovable foundation.”


But, I digress. Back to the question at hand, “how do we coordinate effectively so that, in our individual capacities, we are still serving the singular goal of advancing the kingdom of God and His children?”


Well, the very next verses we’ll be looking at in Romans 12 are, “For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another” (Romans 12:4-5). We’ll get more into Spiritual gifts next week, but to answer your question, our individual capacities are for the purpose of building up the Body of Christ; “But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:7).


We so frequently think in terms of this world, and we see things so often from the perspective of the flesh and get caught in the patterns of this world. We forget we have a supernatural obligation to one serve another (Ephesians 4:12). Our purpose isn’t in the world, it’s His kingdom, and we fulfill that purpose by encouraging, edifying and exhorting other believers in Jesus.


In Ephesians 4 we read that the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers are given to the church for the purpose of equipping the church to fulfill their purpose, which is building one another up.


So, what’s your purpose?


-Josh-



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