~ Is It Gifts … Or Graces? ~


Romans 12:6-8 ~ 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

I have always been taught that Romans 12:6-8 was talking about ministry gifts and that they were an extension or elaboration, if you will, of the five fold ministry gifts listed in Ephesians 4:11. Something inside me was never comfortable with that explanation so I began to study and seek the Lord concerning that passage of scripture.

I did not see it at first, but after looking at it some months now, as well as discussing it with others, I believe I have found the right interpretation of that scripture and I believe it to be a sound doctrine.

  In Romans 12. I believe that Paul is NOT talking about gifts at all. I think he is talking about “graces”. Look at the passage again.

Romans 12:6-8 ~ 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

The understood topic here is GRACES not gifts. What I believe Paul is talking about here is the differences in our gifts produced by the graces that are on our life. In other words, our giftings look different because the divine influence (grace) in our heart is different. Look again at the text, and pay close attention to the wording.

OK, try to follow me. There are 7 GRACES mentioned here:

1) Prophecy

2) Servant (ministry)

3) Teacher

4) Exhorter

5) Giver

6) Leader

7) Mercy giver

The word “grace” is not just defined as “God’s unmerited favor”. If you look it up, you will see that it is defined as: “The divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life.”

 

To understand what a GRACE is and how it affects us, let us view them as glasses with colored lenses. When you are looking at life through those glasses, everything you see will be tinted with that color, and your actions and responses will be influenced by it. Your GRACE affects how you see things, how you deal with problems, and how you express yourself in your gifting.

For instance, if you have the GRACE of SERVANT, you see the world through that “colored lens” (GRACE). Maybe your gifting is an Evangelist. So it would be natural for you to engage in “Servant Evangelism.”

Your Grace determines how you think about things, how you approach things. For example: If your GRACE is a GIVER, and you are ministering to someone who needs healing, you automatically think of what you can GIVE to help them. Like buying them some books on divine healing, or sending them to a healing crusade and paying for the whole thing.

If your GRACE is EXHORTER, you may encourage them in faith, read some healing promises from the bible, tell them “this is nothing for God, you can beat this thing easy.” You see the answer as just needing to be encouraged in the Lord.

If your GRACE is TEACHER, you think that all they need is to understand and learn more about divine healing and faith principles.

Look at the rest of that passage in Romans and notice how Paul starts the dialogue.

Romans 12:3-8 ~ 3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 4 For as
we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same
function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry (servant), let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

When Paul says that he speaks “through the GRACE that is given him,” he is talking about the divine influence upon his heart. When he teaches, that influence is reflected in the life.

Pay attention when you see the word GRACE used from now on. I think you will see that this may be a key to understanding why we do what we do.

I don’t expect everyone to grasp this right off. I am really wondering if anyone else has seen this and looking for more input. Discovering who we are in Christ is a powerful thing.

JC

3 responses to “~ Is It Gifts … Or Graces? ~

  1. Well said, I could not have organized it out that way. There is more I want to understand about this teaching as well. It has given me deeper insights in understanding certain people and their gifts/graces. Good job on spelling it out! =)

  2. very interesting subject

    I personally believe, the grace Paul mentioned here is not the Grace opposite of works towards salvation.

    The grace Paul is describing here is the 7 gifts. Gifts I say, because there is no English word to describe what it is. But I honestly believe, It is Grace driven

    1. Prophecy – representing the Love and Grace of God. not the wrath or Law of God.
    2. Servant – effortless service, grace driven service
    3. Teacher – grace and love oriented subjects, corrections and teaching
    4. Exhorter – ……………………
    5. Giver – giving not as commanded, but freed to give freely. giving cheerfully
    6. Leader – grace directed followers, rather than merit or fear driven leadership
    7. Mercy giver – ……………………

    wow. I have to see which gifts do i actually have.. thanks for this post bro.

    grace and peace to you

  3. Heckuva good job. I sure apprieacte it.

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