Seems like the "how" of serving in an office vs manifestation of gifts vs bearing of fruits is the underlying contention. Romans 12:4-8 reads, "For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness."
One body, many members, and the members do not all have the same function ... having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them ... in proportion to our faith. Faith being measured as God has assigned each individual.
It would be natural to imagine that a regenerated/born again Christian would tell the ones they know about what Christ has done for them (i.e. evangelism). In fact, the entire universe does the exact same thing all the time, i.e. declare the good news of God and His love for His creation (general revelation). This is general, natural, and expected. If you're not excited about salvation then perhaps you need to return to your first love.
But some members have been given gifts to serve in a unique function in proportion to their faith, which has been measured to them by God, and their function might be evangelism. How they do it is different than how all of the rest of us do it, because it's their function, they have a gift, and they have faith measured to that function and gift. This is an office of the church - the evangelist, as the previous verses have said. It is not the same as the function of the pastor/teacher, or any other function.
This passage lists service, teaching, prophecy, exhortation, contribution, leading, acts of mercy as unique functions, not done by every member of the body. We beat people up over evangelism who are exercising their faith in their gift of service by taking care of the widows and the orphans; we make them feel as if their function is less than that of an evangelist, but its equally vital. We beat everybody up that isn't winning someone every week. We make everyone feel like they have to be a teacher, . But that just doesn't reconcile with scripture. Everyone has their own row to hoe, and you should be content with your own. Someone who has the gift, who is in the office, who is serving in the function for which God has measured out faith, will naturally always be "better" at it ... but that's their function. And they are not to think any more highly of themselves than you are, if you are likewise exercising the gift you've been given, in the function that is yours to serve. There is no clergy-laity divide, but there are unique roles in the church, and if its not yours to fill, get out the way and let the right person fill it while you go fill your role.
I think its ironic that everyone wants to teach or prophecy, since those are seen as authoritative, but few seek acts of mercy or contribution as their function in the church.
Last edited by Dee; 01-26-2019 at 07:50 AM.