Monday, September 10, 2012

Gifts of Grace

Part of the "Devotional Thoughts" series. Go to the list of Labels in the right sidebar and click "Devotional Thoughts" to browse the entire series. Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version.


Read: Romans 12:3-8

This is one of many Pauline passages that celebrates diversity within the body of Christ. Here, Paul calls his readers to use their gifs, which "differ according to the grace given to us" (v. 6). Does this mean that some believers receive different amounts of grace? I think not. Justification is an all-or-nothing phenomenon, and sanctification is a process, but I think it is clear from Scripture that complete sanctification is promised to all who claim Jesus as Lord and Savior.

But that grace, while given without discrimination, may differ in its manifestation. Paul lists several ways grace may manifest itself in the life of a believer: prophecy, service, teaching, exhortation, generosity, leadership, and mercy. What intrigued me most when I read this passage a few days ago was an ESV footnote to a phrase in verse 8: "[let] the one who leads, [lead] with zeal." The footnote is to "leads," and the alternative translation offered is "gives aid." While of course a true definition of leadership includes a dimension of serving, this alternative translation reinforces the gracious nature of all the actions in Paul's list.

In sum, while grace may manifest itself differently in the life of each believer, each has received grace from God, and it is thus fitting (actually, commanded) that the same grace be shown to others, in whatever way God may empower.

How has God shown you grace, and how might God have empowered you to show grace to others?

No comments: