Romans 12 (part 1)
Practical Christian Living
, by Emmanuel Higgins
Romans 12 is a fascinating chapter with much practical advise on Christian living. Remember always pray for guidance before beginning any Bible study.
If we followed the principles from Romans chapter 12 there would be much more peace and unity among God's people.
Let's take a look at this chapter and break it down verse by verse.
12:1 "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."
Paul (who wrote this book) says I beseech (or entreat) you to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. In this verse, the Greek meaning for "holy" is "physically pure". So if we are to be acceptable to God, then we must keep our bodies physically pure. How should we do that? By keeping ourselves healthy and not practising any habit that would defile us. Remember, If God created and redeemed us on the cross of Calvary, so the very least we can do is to keep ourselves in the best possible state of health for Him.
Notice that we of ourselves cannot do this, it is only by the mercies of God that we are able to fit our bodies as acceptable unto Him. It is only after we see our own deficiencies and cry out to God for help, that He will, by His mercy, provide us with the power to overcome. This does not mean we have nothing to do, No, but we are to strive with God's help.
12:2 "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
We must not conform (or comply) ourselves to the world but we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Our old minds that may have been conformed to the world are to be changed so we can be living examples of the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Again, this is a work where we need divine help to accomplish, we can't renew our own minds, but if we cooperate with God, surrender our thoughts to Him and ask for help, He will change our life and do what's impossible for us to do for ourselves.
12:3 "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith."
We should not think that we are so high and mighty or better than anyone else. Instead we are to think soberly (or solemnly) because we are all different according to the measure of faith God has given us. Just because we're different doesn't mean we're better than others.
Doesn't pride so often break people apart? Conflict often arises when one person thinks they are better than someone else. Let's remember to think soberly of ourselves and remember, God has given us all different talents.
12:4 "For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another."
This is the key to being able to think soberly, by recognising that all of God's people have different talents, the minister in the pulpit is as important as the worker out in the field or the missionary in some foreign land. Everyone has an important work to do, nobody is more/less important than another. All of us have God given talents and, when used in accordance with the will of God, will produce a harmony that rivals the most intricate clockwork.
12:6 "Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
12:7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
12:8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness."
We all have different gifts or talents according to the grace that God has given to us. Whether we have the faith to prophesy, or the gift of ministry, or exhortation (entreating or encouraging). Whatever abilities God has given us, let's make sure we don't sit on them, but use them to the glory of God.
"He that giveth let him do it with simplicity" without any outward show, Even though we may never get rewarded openly on this earth, God will bring into light every secret thing whether it be good or evil (Ecclesiastes 12:14) "He that rules let him rule diligently." If God has given you a responsibility of overseeing a work or being in charge of something, then do it diligently, with all your strength! "He that shows mercy with cheerfulness or happiness." When you are kind and merciful to a friend or family member do it with big smile on your face and love in your voice, show them how much God loves you by showing them mercy with cheerfulness.
12:9 "Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good."
Let love be without dissimulation or deceit. Love must be pure without any hidden motives. Love with a hidden motive isn't real love at all but it's just a front. The true Christian, will, from Christ dwelling within, be able to love with a genuine, pure love, without expecting any benefit in return.
Abhor (or dislike strongly) that which is evil, and instead, cling to that which is good.
12:10 "Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;"
This verse has some powerful instructions! If we followed this, so much strife could be avoided.
Be kind and loving towards each other with the kind of love that a brother has to a fellow brother. "In honour preferring one another" means to show preference to others above ourselves. In all our associations we're to always be willing to let others go first, let others have their own opinion, let others show you a better way, to let others correct you. To show preference to others about ourselves is one of the great principles that Jesus desires us to learn.
We will look at the rest of this chapter next week.
In summary we've learnt:
- God expects us to keep our bodies fit and healthy
- We must not conform to the world, but must be changed to be like Jesus
- We should not think we are better than anyone else, but should think soberly of ourselves
- All of us have different talents, all have an important work to do
- Be humble in our giving, diligent in our ruling and cheerful when we show mercy
- Show genuine brotherly love to all men, not love that has a hidden motive
- Show preference to others above ourselves
James 12 years ago - November 1, 2010 at 3:31 pm
Thanks, this is just what I needed to read