Romans 12:1-8


Measure of Faith

1. Read Text
o 2  Do not be conformed to this world, [c] but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and
perfect. 3  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. 6  Having gifts that differ
according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our
faith; 7  if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8  the one who
exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, [f]
with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

2. You have faith
o Romans 12 Vs 3 tells us that we have a “measure of faith that God has assigned”
o Do you think of yourself as someone who has FAITH?
o If you have or have not…why? What is it about FAITH that makes it a question in our minds?

3. Science vs faith
o Perhaps one of the reasons for this is the seriously negative connotations that our culture has
given to the word faith.
o Paul Bloom, a Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto, writing for THE ATLANTIC,
said this:
o If you want to annoy a scientist, say that science isn’t so different from religion. Stanley Fish
chastised atheists such as Richard Dawkins, he wrote, “Science requires faith too before it can
have reasons. Scientists are annoyed by these statements because they suggest that science
and religion share a certain epistemological status. But, Science is not just one “faith
community” among many. It has earned its epistemological stripes.
o You see in the thinking of Paul Bloom, and probably in the thinking of many of your professional
colleagues and classmates and neighbors….
o The word FAITH is synonymous with RELIGION and GOD and is likened more to superstition,
fables and folklore than it is to Science. Religion is the a leap of fiath, that you have gullibly
taken sight unseen based only on the word of some other Religious person,
o Whereas SCIENCE lives in completely different epistemological strata.
o With THIS kind of baggage attached to the word Faith, those in the professional community are
saying, please don’t use that word when you talk about us.

4. Faith defined
o I do want to talk in just a minute about faith in a broader sense…
o says faith is defined as confidence or trust in a person or thing
o Heb 11.1 defines faith as the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
o So faith is this future thing that I am believing foro Everyone operates with some amount of faith
o It is like this belief enabling apparatus that we have inside of us

o In the Meyers Briggs personality profile…one of the 4 indicators used in this profile is related to
how great is your level of faith:
o it shows up on your myeres briggs profile as either an S…, or an N…
o how you prefer to gather and evaluate information…
o If you’re an S sensing - you focus on the basic information you have in front of you…that’s very
o Or you’re an N intuition - you prefer to interpret and look beyond the basic information you have

6. Entrepuneur
o This intuitive personality would be like your entrepuneur who sees the future, sees what could
o Like the field of dreams guy – if you build it they will come
o that personality has the kind of faith that is Willing to step out, to make possible the future
because of their faith

7. Supply Chain Manager
o the more concrete thinker…just to give you an example, this would be like a supply chain
manager…they look at inventory levels, they move products around, they look at historical fill
rates…give me historical data…don’t tell me about some big order you know your going to land
next week, I don’t blieve you
o Even if you tend more to the concreate you still have these things you have observed / seen
that inform how you move forward into the future, which is unseen
o Your belief in what the world is going to do, you arrive here in a different way than the
entrepenuer, but still, you use this information to decide and then move into the future, to step
in faith into what the future holds.
o Which is a difference that Romans 12 recognizes when it says the measure of faith God has
assigned will in fact express itself in different ways: as a leader or a techer or a server…
o You have a measure of faith that has been given to you by God
Faith has magnitude

8. Faith Dimension
o But Romans 12 says something else about fiath that is very important to what I want to talk
about today
o That is that our Faith has a dimension to it has magnitude…
o The point made in Vs 3 is that we would think of ourselves in terms of the “Measure of faith”
that we have…as in HOW MUCH faith do you have,
o What is the Magnitude…the greater of lesser “amount” of faith

9. Vs 6 in proportion to your faith
o Romans 12 even says, very specifically for prophecy, if you have this gifting you should use it in
proportion to our faith
o As in, how BIG in magnitude is your faith

10. O you of little faith
o In Matthew 18 Jesus disciples attempt to cast a demon out of a boy, but cant, and so Jesus
does…and they ask, why couldn’t we cast it our?
o “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith
o The magnitude of your faith was too small.

11. Increase our faith
o In Luke 17 the disciples ask jesus straight up increase our faith
o Indicating how VALUABLE faith is to their lives
o And that it can in fact grow…become greater
o And thus have a greater impact in our lives

12. The Question I want to ask you
o Which brings me to the question I want us to consider for our lives today:
o What is the measure of YOUR faith?
o God has given to you faith – he has put in you this belief enabling apparatus
o And that faith could be greater of lesser in its magnitude…
o Is your faith growing? Becoming greater? Or are you losing faith, is it o ye of little faith, and its
getting smaller?


13. God wants to grow you in faith
o But God is not just leaving us in this place we find ourselves…in Romans 12
o he is showing us the battle we face in our pursuit of growing our faith, and
o he is pouring out grace, working in us to increase our faith

14. Blueprinted
o Lets begin by looking at the battle
o Look at vs. 2: “do not be conformed to this world…”
o Conformed…The word conformed is the Greek word syschematizo…which is where we get our
English word schematic, which is like a drawing or a blueprint of a building. 
o Which represents how things are supposed to be
o So put yourself in this imagery that we have here
o I am going to take you…this creative, entepenueral, faith having, future looking person, who
has been given by God this incredible faith
o And I am going syschematizo…I am going to blueprint you…
o I am going to press you into this shape, this design that I want you to fit into to conform to
o That is what romans 12 says
o Don’t live with these big ideas about god
o Because its such a wildcard

15. Adjustment Bureau
o I saw a representation of this that was so graphic…it was a movie called “the adjustment
o In it, Matt damon plays a politician who is running for senate (David Norris)
o He gets blueprinted!

o You must fill the role we have made for you, if you want to come up with a few catchy one
liners for your speech, fine, but don’t stray to far from the plan!

16. Communism
o This was the motive of communism…
o Which said: we are going to create a utopia, where all of us share everything together.
o There is no private property, the state owns everything, and the state is going to provide
everything for you…yeah right
o The state took everything all right
o Wheather you got anything in return, not so fast
o But here is what is interesting about communism
o Not only do we not want you to have chritian faith.
o Is illegal to have faith
o The intentionally wanted to eliminate religious faith
o It said: you cant have Christian faith
o This is a competeing ideology…
o The faith for what the future will be is what we TELL YOU it will be and that is communism
o Communism is a blueprint that was the design required of its citizens

17. Apply
o Are you getting blueprinted? Are you being pressed into the design of life that is being
required of you?
o I feel it in being force to conform to just the cultural acceptability of whatever the path for my
family, my career, my social life is supposed to be
o I for sure feel it here
o But by far, without a doubt, I feel it when it comes to my Faith in God
o Ok…you want to be a person of faith? As in faith in Christ…fine, but it must be practiced in
private, behind closed doors, it cannot affect your thinking of how to run a business or a
o You cant even allow your Christianity to teach you have to raise your own kids
o We are celebrating back to school…the new season we are entering…
o How have you already felt your faith in God being form fit into this bite sized piece of God that
fits in the little box you have been given
o As a student in your school, as a family
o As you give up on or scale back that new thing you feel like God might have


18. Transition
o But look at what God is doing for us in christ
o The second thing I want you to see in vs. 2 is the work of grace shown here..
o Look at vs. 2 again: Do not be conformed to this world,
o this is what we are not going to do…but, instead…be transformed by the renewal
of your mind.

19. Transformed
o There is this transformational work…
o This is the Greek word: Metamorphoo

o Which is where we get our English word metamorphosis…the process that we see when a
caterpillar goes into its Coccon and changes into a butterfly
o There is new life that is happening

20. 2 Cor 3
o Paul uses this word Metamorphoo in 2 cor 3:
o we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being Metamorphoo
transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.
o God says we get to see the unseen the glory of christ…
o And in seeing that glory we are transformed, from glory to golory

21. Veil removed
o This is what christ has done for us…
o At the cross, He took the wrath of God that we could enter into the presence of God, that we
could have that viel removed that we could behold the glory of the Lord
o So that we could taste and see the lord is good

22. Heb 11
o Heb 11 Says: faith is the conviction of things not seen.
o This is what we can now see…glory of god in face of christ
o This is the object of our faith, this is who we put our faith in,

23. Test!
o But there is more God has for us in verse 2, lets continue reading
o but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what
is the will of God
o what does Paul mean hear by the word Testing? The way that this testing works is that
because we have this relationship with God…we can now trust him. and as we do we “test” him
we test that God in fact is trust worthy that I can step out and believe him that I can have faith
in him
o In the instruction Paul’s giving here is that this is how we increase our faith this is how we grow
in our faith is that we actually test God experiment in this way of saying I’m gonna trust you in
this new way that maybe I’ve never trusted you before
24. Malicahi 3

o Listen to this description of how this kind of TESTing works from Malichi ch. 3
o Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your
tithes and offerings. 10  Bring the full tithe into the storehouse…And thereby put me to the test,
says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a
blessing until there is no more need.
o Sounds like a pretty Good time to take up an offering…Are you robbing god? haha!
o how does this process of testing work? God says: put me to the test
o you bring the full tithe, your full financial gift to me…not this little baby amount you’ve been
doing the last 5 years…
o TEST me, live your life in this way that you have not lived before and you will see what I will do

o I will take that step, even though it might be risky, because I know God is going to provide for
my every need

25. Noah
o Noah did exactly what Romans 12 type of testing…to step out in faith
o Noah was a godly man, he knew God, and God called Noah to…build a boat.
o An Ark. Essentially in the middle of the desert.
o Noah is not on the banks of the mediterann sea or something, he is somewhere in what we
know of today the area of the arabian dessert
o This is a dude and his family in the desert building a giant boat.
o But he did it.
o Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent
fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household.
o He believed what God said
o Imagine…How many times before did he trust god…”test” god before he got to this incredible
call? How many times?
o Such that when God says to Noah buid an ark, that he would step out in faith.
o Noah had done what Romans 12.2 is asking of us….he had tested god and believed god and
lived life with his faith IN GOD.
o He grew the magnitude of his faith.

26. The temptation
o But the temptation is, as a believer…you’ve seen the glory of God
o You have put faith in christ
o You still have the pressure weve been talking about…to conform to this world. Your getting
o Its as if your helpless in the face of this pressure. Pressed back into the shape they want you to
look like
o They say to you: you can believe in God if you want, but you have to
o When you emerge in public, at school, on your job…you need to look and act and think just like
everyone else
o Instead…what God is teaching us here is that we would TEST and disciern…
o Which means, I am going to trust more and more, lean into more of what Jesus has promised
he will do
o And this testing is a form of experimentation. Your entering new ground with your faith. Your
testing this new ground. Can I step out here? Ive never stepped here before…will God be there
for me if I take this step?

27. This is what I want for you.
o This is what I want for you.
o that we, like the disciples, are asking God: increase our faith
o I am going to believe
o I believe in this word of god who said: I know the plans I have for you declares the lord
o That if god who did not spare
o Test him, trust him,
o Build the ark in your life
Experience more of his grace

Relational Diagnostic

28. Relational Diagnostic
o The question we started with was this: What is the measure of YOUR faith?
o The reason I think this question is helpful for us, is because it serves as a diagnostic…faith is a
relational diagnostic
o It is a reflection of our relationship with God, our experience of God
o Faith is the expression of how much of this new life showing itself in us
o Think about faith in any relationship…I get to know someone, I see they are trustworthy, theyre
safe…they are someone I can be vulnerable with and share personal things, embaressing things,
hurtful things…and know this is a safe place.
o If I believe this about someone…I don’t just ponder these truths and consider these truths as
facts and carry on like nothing happened…I engage!
o I take the relationship to the next level!
o I tried this once in 4 th grade, and it didn’t go so well
o Which is why God says, instead of being pushed back into this shape being required of
you…step out! Test me. Trust me. That that new life in this growing relationship would be
shown in your life
o This is what Jesus is doing in us: Jesus is the author and perfector of our faith
o – he is the one who began this good work in us is breing it to completion, He is the one growing
our faith
o We are seeing his glory, and being transformed from glory to glory, he is increasing our faith,
that we could in the face of the pressure to conform, we could walk with him, trust him more

29. God is doing this
o This is what God is doing…
o Listen to where we started…GOD gave to us a measure of faith…this is the grace of God for
o Faith is a gift of god to us. \\
o This is what Jesus is doing in us: Jesus is the author and perfector of our faith
o – he is the one who began this good work in us is breing it to completion, He is the one growing
our faith
o Jesus says I want to go deeper with you… test me, see that I am here for you, that you can trust
me, that our relationship with him would grow deeper and deeper
o That we would be transformed from glory to glory