Rom 12:3 “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 hath 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.”
In verse two of this chapter, Paul admonishes us not to be conformed to this world. Being conformed to the ways of this world (carnal thinking) will cause us to be arrogant and self-serving. Every one of us are to guard against such behavior. Paul recognized that there was a time when he was guilty of this very thing.
For this reason, he is careful to let us know that he is telling us this, not as Saul of Tarsus, but as a man who has been given grace. By the grace of God, we (like Paul) can refrain from yielding to our vain pride. Instead of being haughty and independent, we are able to think right thoughts (soberly) concerning ourselves. When we (by grace) are thinking rightly, we will recognize that we are sinners and our only hope is in Jesus Christ.
Our right thinking is the result of the work of God. We think soberly, according (after the manner) as God has dealt to us the measure of faith. He gives each of us as much faith as we are able to use. As we exercise that faith and grow in grace, He increases our faith.
One of the Strong’s definitions of the Greek word translated as faith is “reliance upon Christ for salvation.” The more we are blessed to consider ourselves in a sober fashion, the deeper our understanding and awe of our Lord Jesus becomes. As our reliance upon Him grows, we realize that He not only saves us eternally, but delivers us daily as we serve Him here. Regardless of our position in this world, we are all reliant upon Jesus Christ.
When we think soberly, we realize that He has drawn us together as His body. We are made up of many members. Some have an outward appearance, and these often get a lot of attention. Eyes, ears, hands, and feet are easily seen and recognized. What is not often considered are all the miraculous things going on that cannot be seen with the naked eye.
Scientifically speaking, recent estimates indicate there are around thirty trillion cells in the human body. The body needs every one of these to function in a proper fashion. Although they do not all do the same job, none one of them is insignificant or unnecessary. It is the correct function of all these members together that allows the body to perform the many tasks we accomplish every day.
We are many members of one body in Christ. If God, by His grace and wisdom, has put a member in the body, that member has a place and a function. One member can never boast of itself over another member. The thumb is not the whole hand, but if the thumb is rendered inoperable the whole hand (and ultimately, the whole body) feels the effect of that.
Notice that we are not just members of Christ’s body. Being members of Christ’s body, we are also (every one of us) members of each other. Do any of you not care about your little toe or think it does not affect the whole body? Would you willing injure or sever it?
By God’s grace, we should think soberly. Instead of being proud and haughty, we should humble ourselves in Christ Jesus according to the measure of faith we have been dealt from God. We have no right to boast of ourselves or over any other member of the body. We are God’s workmanship, fashioned by the hands of the Master Potter.
May our lives reflect the right-thinking that comes from a true understanding of who we are by nature and who we are called to be by the grace of God!