Sunday, September 18, 2016

Relating to others

Some jottings from a sermon preached by The Revd Vaughan Roberts on Romans 12:3-end at St Ebbe's Church, Oxford.

So often a disjunction between what we believe and how we behave

Living in the light of the gospel, the practical outworking of what we believe

Specific application of the principles

Relational focus

In the light of the gospel, the Christian should be:

(1)   Defined by grace (v3)

What’s your self-image like?

How do you view yourself?

V3, “For by the grace given me…”


V2 – the change of our thinking applied in v3, think of yourself with sober thinking

An example of the renewal of your thinking

Define yourself in accordance with the gospel of grace – no merit involved

Faith is an empty hand held out to receive a gift

You are a sinner saved by grace

It’s grace all the way down

This prevents too high a view of ourselves or too low a view of yourself

(2)   Committed to community (vv4-8)

A profound challenge to our individualism

Think of yourself as member of a body

Church is not just somewhere I go or something I do. It defines who I am.

We belong to one another.


Putting number 1 first.

Me time.

Not me but we.

If I am joined to Jesus, I am joined to all his people down the ages and around the world.

Diversity and unity.

When we freeze water, we make ice cubes – all the same.

When God freezes water he makes snowflakes – each unique.

7 gifts mentioned. Eph 4. 1 Cor 12. All 3 gift lists different so not meant to be exhaustive.

A wide ranging list.

Verbal gifts and non-verbal gifts

Word gifts

1 to 1, small groups, children’s work, whole congregation

In accordance with the faith

Practical service / ministry

Every member ministry


Ministers: The whole church

Get on and do it.

If you’ve got a gift, get on and serve, use it.

Some are particularly gifted at giving.

In charities, often 80% of the giving comes from 20% of the people

Whether or not you are thanked

Not a one-man show

Church not like a concert – interaction, fellowship

Coffee an integral part of church

Remember who you are – not just an isolated individual

Could you aim to be here a little earlier? Conversation before the service


(3)   Marked by love (vv9-16)

Devoted to one another

You are not the audience at church – you are family – blood brothers and sisters

Status at church – classify – pecking order

(4)   Wedded to non-retaliation (vv17-21)

Your enemies?

Not only counter-cultural but counter-intuitive

Very hard to hate those you’re praying for God to bless

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