Romans 12:6 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 12:6, NIV: "We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;"

Romans 12:6, ESV: "Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;"

Romans 12:6, KJV: "Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;"

Romans 12:6, NASB: "However, since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to use them properly: if prophecy, in proportion to one’s faith;"

Romans 12:6, NLT: "In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you."

Romans 12:6, CSB: "According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts: If prophecy, use it according to the proportion of one's faith;"

What does Romans 12:6 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul is building a metaphor to describe the first purpose of every Christian. He is showing what it looks like to sacrifice our bodies and minds in service to God as a response to His great mercy to us.

All Christians together are meant to operate as a single human body. Since we are all in Christ, by definition, we are Christ's body on earth. We are to function in the world as a single entity. That does not mean, however, that God intends for each of us to be exactly the same. We are not robotic. We serve wildly different functions just as all the different parts of a human body serve different functions. Our job is to serve our function, in service to each other, in the power of God. Paul describes our differing functions in the body with the word "gifts." In the church, we usually call these the "spiritual gifts." These gifts are given to each believer through the Holy Spirit to use in our specific service to and in the church. We might describe each of these gifts as the supernatural ability to perform or fulfill a specific function that our fellow members in the church truly need.

Spiritual gifts should be understood to be different than talents or abilities, as the list of gifts Paul provides in the following verses will make clear. Three other lists of spiritual gifts are found in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 12:8–10, 28–30; 1 Peter 4:11; Ephesians 4:11).

Paul writes in this verse that God intends for us not just to have these gifts of grace but to actually use them. He begins by saying those with the gift of prophecy should use it in proportion with their faith. In other words, proclaiming a prophecy from God to the other members of the church is an action that requires faith that the message has been given by God.

Beliefs differ about some of the spiritual gifts listed. Prophecy is one of those, sometimes referred to as the "sign gifts." Some believe the gift of receiving and delivering messages from God to the church was intended only for the era before the Bible was completed and available to churches. Others feel prophecy and other sign gifts continue to be given to individuals today.