Romans 12:4-5

Romans 12:4-5 reads:

For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995),

As always we need to read the broader context which is Romans 12:1-8.  Also read cross-reference passages such as 1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 20, 27 and Ephesians 4:12, 15, 25. When one looks at the book of Romans as a whole we see how these two verses fit in the literary structure.

Discussion on Romans 12:4-5

The human body often is a metaphor used in Scripture to illustrate spiritual concepts.  Even God who is a spirit being is commonly described using the human body as an illustration.  In this case, we call them “anthropomorphisms.” In this case, the spiritual assembly of believers in Jesus is like a human body. Each member of that Christian meeting has different vital things to do.


In our one-on-one ministry, we must realize that the other person has a different role in the Church, the Body of Christ. Having different functions means we will not see things exactly alike. We will have various functions. (Note I said “various functions” not “different roles to play.” To me, a role is an acted part in a play not what the person is in real life.) What is highly relevant to me may seem less critical for my friend or brother. We each need to accept these differences.

For example one of us may be focused on spreading the Good News about Jesus. The other may focus on clearly understanding difficult scriptures. Another brother maybe concerned with caring for the daily physical needs of those who can not help themselves.

So when you meet with someone this week realize these differences and lovingly accept one another. Doing this is practicing Romans 12:4-5

About Frank

I am a Bible teacher with a passion for men's ministry. I prefer teaching through dialog. I believe any biblical discussion should reflect the context not only of the passage but also historical, geographical, and cultural backgrounds. I prefer interaction, as opposed to lectures. Along with incarnational (in person) teaching, I also post material to my web site blog, Edify Men (
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