La vida en la comunidad de los creyentes

Life in the community of believers

Romans 11:33–12:8:

33 How deep are the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How indecipherable are your judgements and how inscrutable your roads! 34 "Who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?" 35 "Who gave first to God, so that God would repay him?" 36 For all things come from him, and exist through him and for him. To him be the glory forever! Amen.

1 Therefore, brothers, considering the mercy of God, I beseech you, each of you, in spiritual worship, offer your body as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. 2 Do not be conformed to the present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Thus you will be able to verify what is the will of God, good, acceptable and perfect 3 By the grace that has been given to me, I say to all of you: Let no one think more highly of himself than he ought to have, but rather think himself in moderation, according to the measure of faith that God has given him. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and not all of these members have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and each member is united to all the others. . 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace we have been given. If someone's gift is prophecy, let him use it in proportion to his faith; 7 if it is to provide a service, let him provide it; If it is to teach, let him teach; 8 if it is to encourage others, let him encourage them; If it is to help those in need, let him give generously; If it is to direct, let him direct with care; If it is to show compassion, let him do it with joy.

In this passage it is evident that Paul assumed his readers were part of a “body,” which is one of the common ways the New Testament describes the church. There is no idea on the part of Jesus, Paul, or any of the other biblical authors that teaches that we can be disciples on our own. We carry out our calling by being members of a community of believers.

Romans 12 begins with the command to all brothers to offer their bodies to God as living sacrifices. This dedication of our entire being is pleasing to God, and He receives it as an act of worship. I have heard a lot of preaching on this text, and it is often joked that the problem with living sacrifices is that they are always trying to get off the altar. Very sure!

Offering ourselves to God in this way means that:

  • We stop conforming to the standards of this world (habits, actions and attitudes that reflect a life spent without Christ). Another translation says: “ not adopt the customs of this world…” (NKJV).
  • We begin to be transformed (this is the word metamorphosis we use to describe the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly) by the renewal of our minds. This will be achieved as we learn to fix our minds on Christ and let the Word of God shape our thinking.
  • When we serve in Jesus' church we do so with humility, not arrogance.


“There is no idea on the part of Jesus, Paul, or any of the other biblical authors that teaches that we can be disciples on our own.”

Paul then presents the important truth that if the church is the body of Christ, we are all one. However, just like the parts of the human body, each member has a different task to perform for the body to be healthy. To perform these tasks, “gifts” have been given to the members of the body. There are several lists of these gifts in the different letters to the churches. (1 Corinthians 12 is another example.) Note that Paul lists seven basic gifts in this passage:

  • Prophecy (preaching or proclaiming the Word of God)
  • Service
  • Teaching
  • encourage others
  • Contribute money
  • Leadership (management)
  • Show mercy

Do you think you can contribute any of these gifts to your church? This list is not intended to propose the only gifts we can offer to the church, but it does challenge us to prayerfully consider what we could do for the health of the church. Many times you will discover your gift or gifts as you become involved in the ministries of your congregation.

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