Romans 12:3-8 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, 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, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teaches, on teaching; Or he that exhorts, on exhortation: he that gives, let him do it with simplicity; he that rules, with diligence; he that shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
‘Unto me’ – this refers to Paul’s apostleship by the grace of God (1:5; Eph. 3:8).
‘Not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith] Not to be conceited and self-important, but to take a sane view of himself.
‘So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another’ Paul here compares the body of Christ to a human body (1Cor. 12:12-28).
‘Gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us’ – this refers to the spiritual gifts of 1Cor. 12:4-11, 27-31. They are given and to be exercised according to grace and the measures of faith (12:3, 6).
‘Whether prophecy’ – this gift is that of speaking to people to edify and exhort them (1Cor. 14:3-6).
‘Ministry’ [Greek: diakonia] service rendered by a diakonos, a deacon, one who executes the command of another. It is used of: Servants of kings (Matt. 22:13); servants at feasts (John 2:5, 9); ministers or officers of civil governments (13:4); men and women servants of congregations (Matt. 23:11; Mark 9:35; Rom. 16:1); deacons or business elders and distinct from bishops or teaching elders (Php. 1:1; 1Tim. 3:10-13; Acts 6:1-7); Jesus Christ as a minister to the Jews in the work of preaching, teaching and healing (15:8; Gal. 2:17; Matt. 4:23-24; 9:35; Acts 10:38); ministers of congregations (Matt. 20:26; Mark 10:43); teachers of the gospel (1Cor. 3:5; 2Cor. 3:6; Eph. 3:7; Col. 1:23, 25; 1Thess. 3:2); ministers of Christ and of God (John 12:26; 2Cor. 6:4-10; 11:23; Eph. 6:21; Col. 1:7; 4:7; 1Tim. 4:6); also used of ministers of satan to counterfeit the work of true ministers and to deceive (2Cor. 11:15)
‘Teaches’ – the teacher [Greek: didaskalos] was an instructor of others (Acts 13:1).
‘Exhorts’ [Greek: parakaleo] to call aside; make an appeal to by way of exhortation, entreaty, comfort, or instruction (Acts 4:36; Heb. 10:25). ‘Gives’ refers to the rich that give help to others (2Cor. 8:2; 9:11-13). ‘Simplicity’ [Greek: haplotes] Do not give with outward show or pride. (2Cor. 1:12; 8:2; 9:11, 13; 11:3; Eph. 6:5; Col. 3:22).
‘Rules’ [Greek: proistemi] to stand before, that is, (in rank) to preside, or (by implication) to practise: – maintain, be over, rule. ‘He that shows mercy, with cheerfulness’ – those who work with the sick and work for charity must be cheerful and sympathetic.