Let us continue our journey through the book of Romans. I want to thank you for the significant and positive response to our study. I pray that these emails are beneficial to your walk with the Lord and help you on your journey.
Read: Romans 12
Romans 12 is a well-known passage amongst believers. In chapter 12, we see Paul’s appeal for godly living and sacrifice. I pray that you would be encouraged on this Lord’s Day by reading and diving into Romans 12.
1. Living Sacrifice (1-2). Paul begins this section with the word, therefore. As we’ve already discussed in biblical interpretation, you ask the question, what is therefore there for? Often it is merely the previous section. I do not believe this is the case for this section. Instead, I propose that this is a transition in light of chapters 1-11. Taking in all that has been stated so far in Romans, the depravity of humanity, justification through faith, grace, election, etc. All of this concluded with a doxology, and now, how do we live in light of this beautiful information? From now on, our relationship with God is the basis for all other relationships, and our duty to Him is the basis of all other duties. Our lives are not our own; rather, they belong to the creator. Everything that we do flows from our understanding of who we are in Christ. Does your life look sacrificial? Does your life reflect the Christ in you or the world around you?
2. Do not think so highly of yourself (3-5). We often take ourselves too seriously. We believe that we are wiser than we are, more knowledgeable than others, and better intuition. Paul reminds us not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought. You might say, but I never think of myself that way, I’m way to humble for that. False humility is thinking too highly of ourselves as well. Instead, we ought to think of ourselves with sober judgment. The reason being is that God has blessed you with gifting to use for His glory and the good of the church, for we are one body made up of many members. The pastor is not the most important person, the deacons, etc. We are all critical in the body of Christ; we all have a role to play.
3. Use your gifts for God’s glory (6-8). Paul’s list of gifting is not exhaustive here. Yet there are a few that I want to clarify as there is much confusion. When some read the gift of prophecy, they think of telling of the future like the prophets of the Old Testament and Apostles in the New. Let me be clear in saying that, that gifting is not what is being talked about nor still present. There is no more need for this type of prophecy due to the scriptures being closed. The Lord has spoken. Rather, we should be about expositing what God has already said. In our serving, the service, in teaching… The point of the gifts is for the building up of the body of Christ. That hope is to make the church more like Christ. Are you using your gifts for the local body?
4. Marks of a believer (9-13). Friends, if there ever was a text to attempt to live out this is it. Look at what Paul says of what our lives should look like. Let love be genuine. We know what it’s like to have someone say they love you, yet you know that it’s not authentic. Love genuinely and authentically. Abhor what is evil, and hold fast to what is good. Repent of evil in your life and cling to what is good. Love one another with genuine brotherly love and affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. How can we outdo one another in showing honor and love? Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Do not be lazy in your passion for the Lord. Long to serve the Lord! Rejoice in hope! Friends we need this today. Let us rejoice in the hope we have in Christ! Be patient in tribulation, yet another verse we need to live out. I know that I’m ready for it all to be back to normal, let us not be patient in this. Be constant in prayer. One of the things that the Lord is doing in this virus pandemic is bringing a world to its knees. Turn to Him, be constant in prayer. Contributed to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Continue to be faithful in your giving, show hospitality even while quarantined. Get groceries for someone. Write cards, phone calls, etc.
5. Marks of a believer continued (14-21). Paul continues in his marks of a believer. These are responses to others in the life that we are to live. For example, bless those who persecute you; bless them and do not curse them. Live in harmony with one another. As Christians, we do not need to be the people that respond with anger and hostility instead with love and hope.
Friends, does your life reflect the hope that is in you? Are you a blessing to the body? How are you serving? Let our love be genuine.
I love you all.