As a church we’ve just reviewed our memorisation of Romans 12:6-8. Memorisation is always easier when the flow of thought in the text is clear. Romans 12:6-8 is about enablement given to believers to use in their service to one another. They are called “gifts”, for they are given freely to us by God, but they come with an obligation to “use them”. From v.6 we already know that there is probably going to come a list, for there is not only one gift that we all receive, but rather, there are “gifts that differ”.

Then the list is given, and seven gifts are mentioned. What makes this list different to the other lists (1 Corinthians 12:7-11; 1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11), is the additional phrase appended to each gift. Because the gifts differ, the usage of each will be different too.

Prophecy is to be done in agreement with the truth of the Christian Faith.

The gift of service is to be used to serve; so also the gift of teaching should be used for teaching, and the gift of exhortation for exhortation. In a church where all serve as God enabled them, there is no need for the one who serves to get his teaching slot, nor for the one who teaches to get his serving slot. The exhorter needs to be freed from both serving and teaching slots to be among the congregation to perceive their need for encouragement and upliftment. “Let us use them” as the Holy Spirit distributed them.

The gift of contributing to needs is to be used with a glowing gesture of generosity uninhibited by the restrictions of others. Those who lead need to be able to do so with clear direction, passion, and joy. Dampening the zeal of those gifted to lead will be detrimental – let those with the gift of leading, do so zealously. So also with the gift of mercy. Those so gifted ought to do so with great cheerfulness knowing that there are instruments of mercy to the undeserving as God is to us.

In all these these is a level of excessive excellence. The gifts are wonderful, the way of using them is appropriately excellent.

Memorisation without application is not edifying, so, how will you use the gifts God has given you? With excellence matching the gift, or will you go around stifling the service of others?