Literally, the Greek reads, “And having gifts, different according to the grace that was given to us; whether prophecy—‘According to the proportion of faith!’” (Rom 12:6, Young’s Literal Translation) The words in the ESV, “let us use them,” are not in the original. Thus, Paul is not exhorting his readers to use their gifts. Instead, he is painting a picture of the church functioning as the one body of Christ. (Dunn) He is describing how the body of Christ functions.
Note the words “gifts” and “grace.” The word “gifts” is from the Greek charismata, where we get our English word “charismatic.” The “gifts” are the “concrete manifestation of grace in the form of extraordinary powers given to individuals . . . special abilities (RO 12.6).” (Friberg) The word “grace” is from the Greek charis. It refers to “God’s favor ability, power, enabling (RO 12.6; 1C 15.10).” (Friberg)
You may ask, “Are we a charismatic church?” My answer is yes and no. Yes, we are charismatic because we have received the charismata, the gifts of the Spirit to the church. But no, we are not charismatic because we don’t emphasize only a few gifts—speaking in tongues, healing, and miracles. Rather, we stress the use of all gifts to build up the body.
Love is greater than all the gifts. Thus, we stress love for one another more than our abilities.
What would people say when they hear about God of Grace Christian Fellowship? Whenever people talk about a church, they would go, “Oh, they have a great preacher there.” “They have great worship music there.” “They are very evangelistic.” “They speak in tongues there.”
But when people talk about our church, God of Grace, what would they say? I’d rather hear them say, “Oh, how they love one another!” Jesus said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). People will know about Jesus by the love of Jesus’ followers for each other. Paul said, there are tongues, knowledge, and prophecy. There is faith, hope, and love. “But the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor. 13:13). I’d rather that we will stress loving each other more than our abilities. Your ability to love is more important than all your other abilities.