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Romans 12, 3-8

Romans 12, 3-8

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
REV. RALPH WARDLAW, D.D.



Romans xii. 3 — 8.
REV. RALPH WARDLAW, D.D.



Romans xii. 3 — 8.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jun 25, 2013
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ROMAS 12, 3-8REV. RALPH WARDLAW, D.D.Romans xii. 3 — 8.
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is anionjjyou, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For aswe have many members in one body, and all niembei-s have not the same office ; sowe, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whetherprophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, letus wait on our ministering; or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhoit-eth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth,with diligence: he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulnetis.**
 The duty inculcated in the first verse, of " presenting ourpersons a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God,"includes in it our considering all we are and all we have asbestowed by Him, to be employed in his service and to hisglory. This, moreover, is the very spirit of the discon-formity to the world inculcated in the preceding verse ; theidol of the world — the idol of unregenerate human nature,being Sblf; which, under one or other of its forms andclaims, is worshipped, in opposition to God, by "high andlow, rich and poor together."In order to our serving God aright, in entire self-conse-cration, there is no feature of character so essential q:& humility.Pride and vanity, engendered by the possession of any thingin which we have, in the providence of God, been made todiffer from others, is, in as far as it operates, the very spiritof the world. They lead us to pervert the design of the giftsand talents bestowed on us, — ^to alienate them from the glory...'^mts'mimmmami'
 
ROMAS XII. 3—8. 86of tlie Giver, and to apply them to the acquisition of honourand applause to ourselves.This seems the natural connexion of the third verse : — " For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every manthat is among you, not to think of himself more highly thanhe ought to think ; but to think soberly, according as Godhath dealt to every man the measure of faith."By *H7ie grace given to him" the Apostle seems here tomean, not merely the grace by which he, in common withothers, had been "turned from darkness unto light, andfrom the power of Satan unto God," but the favour whichhad superadded to this the more peculiar honour of " puttinghim into the ministry," as an Apostle or inspired ambassa-dor of Christ.*Here, then, he speaks with apostolic authority. Havingdeclared the doctrines of God by commission from Himself he proceeds, by the same authority, to communicate His wiU. — And while he communicates, he exemplifies. In the veryuse of this phrase, he exhibits a pattern of the humility andself-exclusion he enjoins. He had, as an Apostle, an ex-alted position. But he here shows us the view he evertook of his office; regarding it as a favour conferredupon him for a divine purpose which he was solicitous itshould answer. This is in harmony with his languageelsewhere: — "For I am the least of the Apostles, thatam not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecutedthe church of God. But by the grace of God I am what Iam : and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not invain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all; yetnot I, but the grace of God which was with me."t — ^owthis was the very light in which he wished the believerswhom he addresses to consider their own gifts and privileges : — and he teaches them by both precept and example.
 
Do we desire that our counsel or our command shouldcome home to those whom we address with persuasive in-* In this sense he uses the same phraseology in other places. Rom*XV. 15, 16; Eph. iii. 2, 3; vii. 8.1 1 Cor. XT. 9, 10.86 LECTURE LIV.fluence? then let us see that we ourselves exemplify thatwhich we advise or enjoin. How powerless the admo-nitions of him who inculcates on another that which heneglects himself; who " binds burdens for other shoulders,"which he himself refuses to *Houch with one of his fingers!"How worthless and inefficient the exhortations of a proudman to humility, of a passionate man to meekness, of thehard-hearted to tenderness and sympathy, of the miser toliberality, of the spendthrift to economy! Be yourselves,my brethren, what you exhort others to be; and yourexhortations will have an hundred-fold more power andefficacy.*" I say to every man among you," The command is uni-versal — ^all being in danger of the fault; the tendency topride and the excess of self-estimation being naturally strongin every bosom ; prone to catch at every thing by which itcan obtain any gratification to itself; magnifying any goodqualities the subject of it may actually possess, and imagin-ing others of which he \a destitute.When an admonition against any particular fault is pub-licly delivered, nothing is more common than for persons tohear for others. They think immediately of some one whomthey conceive to stand in special need of the admonition;they wish he may be present ; they hope he is ; they look aboutand they stretch their necks to see. The feeling from whichthis arises may at times be good. But it is very dangerous ;

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