1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual[a] act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.– Romans 12:1-7
3For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. 4Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his[b]faith. 7If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
συσχηματίζεσθε - I am never certain of how to pronounce this word. I believe its’ root is pronounced as ‘su-ska-ma-tede-zo’.
My reason for wanting to share the pronunciation, other than to validate the word for you, is, suskamatidzo is the ancient Koinean Greek word from which we get our word, schematic from.
"figure of speech," from M.L. schema "shape, figure, form, figure of speech," from Gk. skhema (gen. skhematos) "figure, appearance, the nature of a thing," related to skhein "to get,"
The Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament by William D. Mounce, Zondervan, 1993; number 5372, says of suskamatidzo
-to fasion in accordance with; to conform or assimilate one’s self to.
Paul is suggesting these people to be a part of a schematic diagram . The imagery is as if one were a part of an electrical wiring diagram (modern analogy, of course). The diagram would illustrate how the components of a machine are wired into the power source and are able to function. If a switch is turned on, then power travels from that switch to a component that performs a specific task as a part of one machine.
Now, incase I have misrepresented my intentions, please understand, I am not suggesting that Paul knew anything of electricity or technology.
By using an illustration involving a diagram, we see Paul use this idea of a practical member of the body, assisting in the entire, healthy functionality of the body. And then Paul goes on to discuss the gifts a person has as being important to the body of Christ. And, that these gifts should not be stifled, but encouraged for use as the body of Christ works among the people of the world.
What is very unfortunate is many ministers who have developed their gifts in seminary do not believe there is any value in a person’s gifts if they have not also invested in study at an institution. A very hard pill for these men and woman to swallow is the truth that the church was not born nor raised in seminary. In fact, there are few ministers for whom I have respect concerning their diplomas. Many of these institutions will not allow any deviation from the institution’s syllabus or curriculum. I know this from experience. Having a note written on the work I turned in saying, “I agree”, with a piece of paper, cut from the syllabus and pasted below the handwritten acknowledgment, containing the answer I was expected to give, I found that I was not permitted to freely think and attempt to understand aside from someone’s opinion.
If I sound like ‘bitter apples’, well, maybe most of us should adopt the part. Because, the gifts that God have given are being shelved without cultivation and mentoring. And, we need to begin getting back to the basics of Christianity.
Many of us will never teach or be ordained. We have not spent countless hours of condensed discipline to labor over what someone else has stated. That does not make us wrong, just wrong according to the criteria that has become the status quo.
How many of us feel we even have a spiritual gift? Many of us do not consider it because we are taught by the status quo that we have not developed them. But what does the scripture say?
If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his[b]faith. 7If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
We may not gain exposure to many people whom we will be able to share the results of our studies with. If you are like me, we can say, ‘ I am happy to have spent the last twenty years, slowly digesting the word of God in order that I have found confidence in my salvation, know who I am and what God’s entire effort has been from Genesis to Revelation'.