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Romans 12:7-8


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Heavenly Father,


I really missed doing the study yesterday...it was on my mind all day. I had things going on here that prevented me from doing it first thing in the morning, and once I got caught up in the day, it became very difficult to find time to sit down and do another study.


Starting my days out with You, here, works best for a variety of reasons. I haven't yet gotten caught up in the needs that unfold as the day progresses but more importantly, I want and need to start my day with You, in Your Word. When I do, as I go throughout my day, the things I've read will reverberate in my heart and mind and it's comforting in a way that's hard to explain.


So...today will be a jam packed day but here I am Father, wanting You, needing You to be with me as this day begins. There is so much that is going on Father spiritually...so many things that I sense are coming down the pike, and I just need to 'armor up'. We all need to be doing that Father because how can we expect to go into the spiritual battle that lies ahead for each of us without the armor that You've laid out in Ephesians 6? So Father, I pray that Your Spirit would move in the hearts and minds of each of Your children, burdening them with the unique battle plans that You have laid out for each of us individually. You are a protective Father, Your eye is jealously upon each of Your children, watching over them, ultimately orchestrating the circumstances in each of our lives, so I know that I can trust You.


This is all about to get very serious Father. Things we never imagined lie await in our futures. May Your mercy and grace flow in abundance, and may Your Spirit break through any walls that we might have erected before You.


I pray spiritual peace and spiritual blessings on all who read this study this day.


In Jesus Name I pray,



7. Or ministry, let us give ourselves to our ministry: or he that teacheth, to his teaching;


8. Or he that exhorteth, to his exhorting: he that giveth, let him do it with liberality; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness.


In verse 7, the rvbv writes, "Or [personal] ministry, let us occupy ourselves in our ministering [to the needs of the saints] - God graciously places this word "ministering" [diakonia] between prophesying and teaching. In Acts Six we have the word twice, applied first to physical things: "the daily ministration" (of food to the widows); and second to spiritual things: "We will continue...in the ministry of the Word." But here in Romans Twelve, its being placed as it is, indicates that those who, like the house of Stephanas, in I Corinthians 16:15, minister to the saints' material needs, should set themselves to such ministering. It is the whole-hearted exercise of this gift, when it is given, that is urged by the apostle. Perhaps there is no gift so liable to lapse into haphazard exercise, as this Christ-like gift!


Or he that teacheth, to his teaching - Proper Christian teaching is not mere "Bible study"; but, first of all, clear explanation direct to believers' hearts, of Christ's work for us, and of the Pauline Epistles that directly concern the Church of God as the Body of Christ, indwelt by the Spirit, one with Him. Proper teaching would see that the saints become familiar with the wonders of the Old Testament, and love it. The prophecies, both of the Old Testament and of the book of The Revelation should also be taught, remembering that "the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy"; and that every true Christian teacher should be able to say: "It was the good pleasure of God to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him" (Gal. 1:16); "that in all things Christ might have the reeminence"; "that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus." This is the kind of work that was done by Priscilla and Aquila, when they had heard Apollos in the Ephesian synagogue: "The took him unto them, and expounded unto him the Way of God more accurately." It is being done whenever one who knows the truth really brings another into it. Oh, for more such teaching! We leave so much unapplied, - so much that the dear saints never really enter into! (Many years ago, at the Keswick Convention, in England, I was returning about seven o'clock, from an early morning walk. I passed the "Drill Hall," and down came MacGregor (G.H.C.) and greeted me. I said, "Your face looks pale; are you not well?" "Oh yes, - only a bit weary," said he. Then, by questioning further, I found he had just then finished with the last case left from the previous night's meeting! That was teaching indeed. He had patiently labored all night long to expound to one after another "the Way of God more perfectly!"


It is our privilege just now to have beneath our roof a beloved sister in her eighty-fourth year whose energies for over forty years have been constantly used in teaching others. Although having to support herself by public school teaching, yet with a steadfastness that is deeply touching, one thing she does with every one with whom she comes in contact: she teaches each the gospel. Many people, and even preachers, have come to her for instruction, even when she was confined to her bed in sickness or infirmity. There they sat patiently listening to her words concerning Christ. Her great passion is to "make all men see" Paul's wonderful explanation of our identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection.


[Later: Alas for us, - not for her! our beloved MrsS - has gone triumphantly Home!])"


In verse 8, Watchman Nee comments on a few words:


"he that giveth": "Denoting those who give to supply the needy ones in the church and to take care of the church's practical needs."


"he that ruleth (leads)": "Referring to the leading brothers in the church. In taking the lead the first quality needed is diligence."


"he that showeth": "This refers to those who show mercy by sympathizing and rendering help. The showing of mercy is not a natural generosity but a quality formed by transformation."


The rvbv writes in regard to the 8th verse: "Or he that exhorteth, to his exhortation - The gift of exhortation is distinct from that of teaching (though both may be found in the same person). Exhortation is an appeal to the will; teaching, to the mind. Exhortation is a precious gift - invaluable! whereby the Holy Spirit directly persuades the hearing heart into obedience to the truth which it has heard. A true exhorter, also, must be walking the path he calls others to follow!


He that giveth, with singleness [of heart toward God] - The literal meaning of giving here is that of imparting, of sharing our substance with others: and the manner of such giving is to be without secret reluctance, for "God loveth a cheerful giver" (II Cor. 9:7); also without false pretense, such as Ananias and Sapphira had; finally, with an eye single to God. In fact, in Ephesians 6:5 this same word "singleness" is used in the phrase "in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ."


He that ruleth, with diligence - Ruling is first a gift, then an office, like those of elders and deacons (I Tim. 3:4, 12), who must, of course, first "rule well their own house." Just as prophesying, teaching, and exhorting were gifts by the Spirit; and as giving is a grace given of God (II Cor. 8:1,4,7); so the work of elders and deacons were offices: "If a man seek the office of a bishop" - or overseer: called also "elder," as see Acts 20:17,28; - as being more matured in Christian faith and experience; while the term "bishop" or "overseer" designates the duties of the office - to oversee). Dean Alford objects to interpreting "ruleth" here (Rom. 12:8) of rulership in the Church, saying, (as a true churchman would), "It is hardly likely that the rulers of the Church, as such, would be introduced so low down in the list, or by so general a term, as this!" But in the enumeration of the gifts in I Corinthians 12:28, we have this order: "Apostles, prophets, teachers, miracles, healings, helps"; and then, "governments," next to the last term in the list! Of coruse man, who glories in office, would want this order changed.


Gifts were a direct bestowment (charisma) of the Spirit; moreover, they were general, while the "rulers" were confined to their own assemblies. Prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (Eph. 4:11) were that wherever they were; but an elder or deacon held his own office in his own assembly only.


The ruler was to attend, with constant diligence, to his work; not, indeed, "lording it over" the Lord's heritage, but according to Peter's direction: "The elders among you I exhort...tend the flock of God which is among you? (that was their business - to take care of the Lord's sheep in the assembly where they were), "exercising the oversight, not of constraint, but willingly." They were to watch; to be ready at any sacrifice of personal comfort to look after needy sheep: "nor yet for filthy lucre." (They were not to have money in mind, although elders that "ruled well" were to be "counted worthy of double honor," especially if they were able to instruct in the Word; God would look after their financial needs): "neither as lording it over the charge allotted to you, but making yourselves examples to the flock."


Truth to tell, Christ's sheep are ill-tended these days! they are "scattered upon the mountains." Elders that "rule well," with humble diligence, day and night, are desperately needed. Every believer has a right to the consciousness of being personally shepherded by Divinely raised-up elders; and cared for even in material things by faithful deacons. "And when the Chief Shepherd shall be manifested," the rulers who have ruled with godly diligence shall receive a crown of glory! (I Peter 5:1-4). Concerning false shepherds, see the awful words of Jeremiah 23:1-4, Ezekiel 34 - the whole chapter! and Isaiah 56:10 to 12. (These chapters make us tremble!)


he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness - Showing mercy is of course the bounden duty of those to whom God has shown mercy. But mercy toward others may be shown with the long, sombre face of one driven by a duty in which he is not happy. Yet the joyfulness of spirit in which one helps another is often of more real blessing than the help itself. Godet well remarks, with many others, that the words "he that showeth mercy" denote the believer who feels called to devote himself to the visiting of the sick and afflicted. There is a gift of sympathy which particularly fits for this sort of work, and which is, as it were, the key to open the heart of the sufferer. The phrase "with cheerfulness" literally reads in hilarity!"



Heavenly Father,


My heart just really doesn't have anything to say but it's important to me to close the reading and studying of Your Word with a prayer...starting with a prayer and ending with a prayer, thereby covering the time inbetween with Your hand of protection and blessing.


Where would I, and we, be without Your Word?


In Jesus Name I pray,


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"with cheerfulness" = hilarity??????? :laughkick:






"he that ruleth (leads)": "Referring to the leading brothers in the church. In taking the lead the first quality needed is diligence."


So noted!





Interesting stuff.







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