You Are Not Alone (Romans 12:3-8)

you-are-not-aloneThe phrase "you are not alone" is a very wonderful promise that Jesus gives us in Matthew 28:20. However, that is not the focus today. Instead, it is a challenge to the "Lone Ranger" mentality we sometimes have as Christians. That is an attitude that says "I don't want to be indebted to others. I don't need you. If you don't bother me, I won't bother you." These ideas are foreign to life in Christ. Instead, we are called to life-giving, connected relationships in the kingdom. When we live in this way, it frees us from conformity to the world's thinking (Romans 12:2) and transforms our thoughts about our connection and community with one another.

In Romans 12:3-8 Paul writes about how to live in and live out God's will as living, transformed sacrifices together in community. There are three sections in this passage:

1) Who do you think you are? (Romans 12:3) Paul knows that it is only by God's grace that he has been called to testify to Christ. He knows who he was, how he persecuted the church and for a time was an enemy of Christ. And yet now, he has been given the extraordinary privilege of being able to point others to Christ. This is all grace.

And because of grace, Paul tells the Roman church that they shouldn't think exaggerated, boastful thoughts about themselves. Instead they are to think of themselves properly with sound judgment.

2) Where do you belong? (Romans 12:4-5) Paul puts forward the image of the body to describe the community of Christ. Basically he is saying that we need each other. Also, we don't have the same gifts or functions and one is not better than the other instead all work together.

Because we are not called to be alone, we have a responsibility to each other in the body of Christ. "Together" is how we truly represent Christ. We each have a responsibility to the body of Christ, to be an active part of it.

3) How are we responsible to each other? (Romans 12:6-8) In this passage Paul emphasizes that whatever your gift is, put it to use. One way in which to discover your spiritual gift is to simply ask, "How can I help?" How are you are able and interested to help others may be a good indication of your gift.

In Christ we have a wonderful invitation to a shared life in community with one another. You are not alone.