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3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, 5so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. 6We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; 7ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; 8the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.


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3. For I say—authoritatively

through the grace given unto me—as an apostle of Jesus Christ; thus exemplifying his own precept by modestly falling back on that office which both warranted and required such plainness towards all classes.

to every man that is among you, not to think, &c.—It is impossible to convey in good English the emphatic play, so to speak, which each word here has upon another: "not to be high-minded above what he ought to be minded, but so to be minded as to be sober-minded" [Calvin, Alford]. This is merely a strong way of characterizing all undue self-elevation.

according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith—Faith is here viewed as the inlet to all the other graces, and so, as the receptive faculty of the renewed soul—that is, "as God hath given to each his particular capacity to take in the gifts and graces which He designs for the general good."

4, 5. For as we have many members, &c.—The same diversity and yet unity obtains in the body of Christ, whereof all believers are the several members, as in the natural body.

6-8. Having then gifts differing according to the grace given to us—Here, let it be observed, all the gifts of believers alike are viewed as communications of mere grace.

whether—we have the gift of

prophecy—that is, of inspired teaching (as in Ac 15:32). Anyone speaking with divine authority—whether with reference to the past, the present, or the future—was termed a prophet (Ex 7:1).

let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith—rather, "of our faith." Many Romish expositors and some Protestant (as Calvin and Bengel, and, though, hesitatingly, Beza and Hodge), render this "the analogy of faith," understanding by it "the general tenor" or "rule of faith," divinely delivered to men for their guidance. But this is against the context, whose object is to show that, as all the gifts of believers are according to their respective capacity for them, they are not to be puffed up on account of them, but to use them purely for their proper ends.

7. Or ministry, let us wait on—"be occupied with."

our ministering—The word here used imports any kind of service, from the dispensing of the word of life (Ac 6:4) to the administering of the temporal affairs of the Church (Ac 6:1-3). The latter seems intended here, being distinguished from "prophesying," "teaching," and "exhorting."

or he that teacheth—Teachers are expressly distinguished from prophets, and put after them, as exercising a lower function (Ac 13:1; 1Co 12:28, 29). Probably it consisted mainly in opening up the evangelical bearings of Old Testament Scripture; and it was in this department apparently that Apollos showed his power and eloquence (Ac 18:24).

8. Or he that exhorteth—Since all preaching, whether by apostles, prophets, or teachers, was followed up by exhortation (Ac 11:23; 14:22; 15:32, &c.), many think that no specific class is here in view. But if liberty was given to others to exercise themselves occasionally in exhorting the brethren, generally, or small parties of the less instructed, the reference may be to them.

he that giveth—in the exercise of private benevolence probably, rather than in the discharge of diaconal duty.

with simplicity—so the word probably means. But as simplicity seems enjoined in the next clause but one of this same verse, perhaps the meaning here is, "with liberality," as the same word is rendered in 2Co 8:2; 9:11.

he that ruleth—whether in the Church or his own household. See 1Ti 3:4, 5, where the same word is applied to both.

with diligence—with earnest purpose.

he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness—not only without grudging either trouble or pecuniary relief, but feeling it to be "more blessed to give than to receive," and to help than be helped.




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