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Romans 12:7 – BibleTools.info

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Romans 12:7

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Or ministry - Διακονια simply means the office of a deacon; and what this office was, see in the note on Acts 6:4; (note), where the subject is largely discussed.

Or he that teacheth - The teacher, διδασκαλος, was a person whose office it was to instruct others, who thereby catechizing, or simply explaining the grand truths of Christianity.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Or ministry - διακονίαν diakonianThis word properly means service of any kind; Luke 10:40. It is used in religion to denote the service which is rendered to Christ as the Master. It is applied to all classes of ministers in the New Testament, as denoting their being the servants of Christ; and it is used particularly to denote that class who from this word were called deacons, that is, those who had the care of the poor, who provided for the sick, and who watched over the external matters of the church. In the following places it is used to denote the ministry, or service, which Paul and the other apostles rendered in their public work; Acts 1:17, Acts 1:25; Acts 6:4; Acts 12:25; Acts 20:24; Acts 21:19; Romans 11:13; Romans 15:31; 2 Corinthians 5:18; 2 Corinthians 6:3; Ephesians 4:12; 1 Timothy 1:12. In a few places this word is used to denote the function which the deacons fulfilled; Acts 6:1; Acts 11:29; 1 Corinthians 16:15; 2 Corinthians 11:8. In this sense the word “deacon” διάκονος diakonosis most commonly used, as denoting the function which was performed in providing for the poor and administering the alms of the church. It is not easy to say in what sense it is used here. I am inclined to the opinion that he did not refer to those who were appropriately called deacons, but to those engaged in the function of the ministry of the word; whose business it was to preach, and thus to serve the churches. In this sense the word is often used in the New Testament, and the connection seems to demand the same interpretation here.

On our ministering - Let us be wholly and diligently occupied in this. Let this be our great business, and let us give entire attention to it. Particularly the connection requires us to understand this as directing those who ministered not to aspire to the office and honors of those who prophesied. Let them not think of themselves more highly than they ought, but be engaged entirely in their own appropriate work.

He that teacheth - This word denotes those who instruct, or communicate knowledge. It is clear that it is used to denote a class of persons different, in some respects, from those who prophesied and from those who exhorted. But in what this difference consisted, is not clear. Teachers are mentioned in the New Testament in the grade next to the prophets; Acts 13:1; 1 Corinthians 12:28-29; Ephesians 4:11. Perhaps the difference between the prophets, the ministers, the teachers, and the exhorters was this, that the first spake by inspiration; the second engaged in all the functions of the ministry properly so called, including the administration of the sacraments; the teachers were employed in communicating instruction simply, teaching the doctrines of religion, but without assuming the function of ministers; and the fourth exhorted, or entreated Christians to lead a holy life, without making it a particular subject to teach, and without pretending to administer the ordinances of religion.

The fact that teachers are so often mentioned in the New Testament, shows that they were a class by themselves. It may be worthy of remark that the churches in New England had, at first, a class of people who were called teachers. One was appointed to this office in every church, distinct from the pastor, whose proper business it was to instruct the congregation in the doctrines of religion. The same thing exists substantially now in most churches, in the appointment of Sunday school teachers, whose main business it is to instruct the children in the doctrines of the Christian religion. It is an office of great importance to the church; and the exhortation of the apostle may be applied to them: that they should be assiduous, constant, diligent their teaching; that they should confine themselves to their appropriate place; and should feel that their office is of great importance in the church of God; and remember that this is his arrangement, designed to promote the edification of his people.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Pride is a sin in us by nature; we need to be cautioned and armed against it. All the saints make up one body in Christ, who is the Head of the body, and the common Centre of their unity. In the spiritual body, some are fitted for and called to one sort of work; others for another sort of work. We are to do all the good we can, one to another, and for the common benefit. If we duly thought about the powers we have, and how far we fail properly to improve them, it would humble us. But as we must not be proud of our talents, so we must take heed lest, under a pretence of humility and self-denial, we are slothful in laying out ourselves for the good of others. We must not say, I am nothing, therefore I will sit still, and do nothing; but, I am nothing in myself, and therefore I will lay out myself to the utmost, in the strength of the grace of Christ. Whatever our gifts or situations may be, let us try to employ ourselves humbly, diligently, cheerfully, and in simplicity; not seeking our own credit or profit, but the good of many, for this world and that which is to come.
Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, 239

It is true there are tares among the wheat; in the body of Sabbathkeepers evils are seen; but because of this shall we disparage the church? Shall not the managers of every institution, the leaders of every church, take up the work of purification in such a way that the transformation in the church shall make it a bright light in a dark place? 6T 239.1

What may not even one believer do in the exercise of pure, heavenly principles if he refuses to be contaminated, if he will stand as firm as a rock to a “Thus saith the Lord”? Angels of God will come to his help, preparing the way before him. 6T 239.2

Paul wrote to the Romans: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:1, 2. This entire chapter is a lesson which I entreat all who claim to be members of the body of Christ to study. Again Paul wrote: “If the first fruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded, but fear: for if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest He also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in His goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.” Romans 11:16-22. Very plainly these words show that there is to be no disparaging of the agencies which God has placed in the church. 6T 239.3

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