“Measure of Faith” Matches the “Grace Given” for “Different Gifts”
We all can improve our faith and our Christian productivity, but we must beware of those who flaunt their faith and their works as the universal standard of spiritual expectations.
We are told in Romans 12:3 to be reasonable when we evaluate ourselves. This does not mean we do not consider the supernatural element of our position in the body of Christ, but it means we consider our supernatural position in the light of the fact that our sovereign Lord has strategically placed us right where we belong.
Paul begins in Romans 12:3 by referring to his position as an apostle as “the grace given me.” His position and office in the church were given him by the grace of God. It was God’s plan and will for Paul. Paul says “we have different gifts, according to the grace given us.” (12:6) So we, like Paul, have a supernatural basis of operation for our lives. But, unlike Paul, we do not have his “measure of faith,” nor do we have the same “grace given” to him, nor do we have his “gift”.
We are told in Romans 12:3, “Do not think of yourselves more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourselves with sober judgment in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” Each one of us has been given the “measure of faith” needed to perfectly receive the “grace given” us and operate the “different gifts” we were given.
We have not been given the “measure of faith” needed to operate as anyone else or as an apostle in the first century church. Paul’s holy life and obedience to God should be used as a standard, but Paul’s manifestation of his office as an apostle is not to be copied by us. This is also true of me trying to copy you, or you trying to be me.
Paul says “we have different gifts, according to the grace given us. . .let him use it in proportion to his faith.” (12:6) According to the Linguistic and Exegetical Key the Greek word for “proportion” means “proportion, allowance, right relationship.” This clearly means that God has given you a gift based on his grace and given you all the faith you need to fulfill your purpose. Your faith can operate your gift at full capacity.
This also means that if I do not have the gift, I can not manifest it. Neither can it be said that my faith can become great enough to do something I have not been called to do. I would not have the gift nor the faith to begin and finish the work.
Faith is simple. When the disciples tried to complicate it Jesus said, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to the mulberry tree, ’Be uprooted and planted in the sea.’ “ The issue is not to obtain “great faith”, but to recognize what God has called and gifted you to do. Don’t waste your time preparing to cast trees into the sea, simply do what God has given you to do. The results will be just as supernatural.