Thursday, October 18, 2012

Romans 12

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  Romans 12:1

Romans 12 is another wonderful chapter in this great book of the Bible. Paul appeals the Roman Christians, and in the grace of God, to Christians today, who read this great presentation of the gospel, that based on everything he has said from Romans 1 through Romans 11 - that based on the truths stated there our response should be to offer ourselves in worship to God.  He is saying that if you are a Christian, you may not have known all that God was doing for you in the life, death, burial, resurrection, ascension of Jesus Christ,but if you have prayerfully read what he has written, the new man in you wants to worship the God that has saved you and placed you on the way to heaven and eternal life.

The first few chapters of Romans displayed the terrible place that sin has placed all of humankind - in spiritual death on the way to eternal separation from God. We read that sin so effected the relationship between God and human beings that the relationship was severed and although humans had sinned against God there was nothing that humans could do to breach that gap that separated them from God. God, however because of His great love, did not want all of human kind to remain in that condition so He elected to save some. To sent His Son to the cross to die for them and ensure that they would live with Him for all eternity. This is what Paul is telling us and He says that our response should be worship.

We should express heart-felt gratitude - that we have been rescued.

Paul also warns us that we still have enemies, that our spiritual life is a new life, we are not the same anymore. He warns us not to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewal of our minds. The world is that attitude that expresses there is no God. The world is an enemy of the Christian, it is an enemy of the way you think. Our minds need to change, the darkness that we were under before we were saved, effected the way we think, the way we reason. Paul is telling us we need to change that, we need to wash our minds with the word of God, we need to experience genuine Christian fellowship and hear the Word preached and read godly books - so that our minds will conform to the mind of Christ and move away from the mind of Satan, which is the god of this world. The Bible tells us that the god of this world blinds the minds of all unsaved people, including us before we were saved. He places strongholds over us, (2 Cor. 5) Christ when He comes in as our Savior breaks not only the power of sin over our lives, but the power of Satan, and the world as well. Paul is telling us that we need to change the way we think, and we do that by thinking after Christ as He is shown in His Word.

Paul tell us that the Body of Christ has many members and we all have different gifts and abilities from God. We should seek to optimize the gifts He has given us, that's why the word of God is so important. That's why worship is so important - worship is presenting ourselves to God Romans 6 spoke about presenting ourselves to God - God is not going to work in a vessel that prefers sin over Him, that does not seek to be holy. You must see the beauty and majesty of Christ that Romans has presented to us. We must present ourselves to Him in prayer, in consecration. God is Holy and Righteous. Don't be tricked by the devil. This is what God requires of us - this is Christ likeness - we must strive to possess them.

 From verse 9 until the end of the chapter, Paul describes what many call the Marks of the True Christian. The Bible is the Christian's source for life, it tells  us the what, how, why of the Christian Life. These verse express how we are be if we are Christian - we are to have genuine love, we are to hate evil - when we see that our sin was taking us to hell, and there was nothing we could do about it, before Christ rescued us, it should not be that hard to hate sin - just remember where it was taking you .  The Body of Christ is a Family, we are to love each other with a familial love. We are to be zealous, fervent in spirit. We are to share joy and pain with each other encouraging those that go through grief. We are to live peacefully with all. Never seeking to avenge ourselves, but trusting that God has all things under His control. Show kindness to those who are your enemies, because it may be through that kindness, that God uses to bring them into the Body of Christ.

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