Viewing this list as a Greek-thinker (linear) we get a great list of attributes; however, if viewed from a Hebraic viewpoint (more oriental and multi-layered) we get the list PLUS the purpose of the gifts to the Body.
The Menorah Lamp as a pattern for understanding Scripture (see the previous blog) can direct us to the central point of a passage. So, in this instance, if we contrast the first item in the Romans list with the last item in the list, and continue with this pattern throughout, the central point is discovered.
Below, I have done it for you, given each a number corresponding to its order in the list.
1. Prophesying according to one’s faith (Those who know what is right according to the letter of God’s law.)
7. Mercy with cheerfulness (those who know what is right according to the Spirit of the God’s law.).
2. Serving (Those who servants who entrust their hearts to spiritual leaders)
6. Leadership (Those servant hearted leaders who lead spiritually.)
3. Teaching (Those who instruct by teaching the will of God)
5. Giving (Those who instruct by doing the will of God)
4. Encouragement-encouragement (This is the goal of the gifts individually and corporately for the Church.)
Notice that the first branch in each pair is connected with the spiritual or inner things, and the second in each pair is more tangible, or visible—more like the practical application of its counterpart.
Therefore we each teaching is shown in both it's theoretical or spiritual format, and in it's practical application in life. Prophets received the Holy Word. The highest rendering of God’s Word (as we saw in the before this one) is the demonstration of mercy. Service should be the unseen motive behind the person who leads. The will of God came from above and those who teach it speak as those sent from God, but those who practice it, who selflessly give themselves and their things are the living embodiment of those high and holy instructions. With the light of these insights, the central point stands-- encouragement. Those who have the gifts are to use them to build up the members of the Body of Christ. In chapter 14, Paul reiterates this point saying, “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification (encouragement/building up).” Any usage to the contrary is off center.
The Menorah Pattern is extremely helpful in the study of God’s Word. Care must always be exercised, along with prayer, as one attempts to discover passages where the Menorah Pattern is in play. Where it can be employed, however, the insights realized will bring the light of understanding to the student and practitioner of God’s Word.