Year of the Bible – Romans 12

Epiphany - Romans 12
 
 
 
 
In view of God’s mercy . . . offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. – Romans 12:1

Romans 12:1-15:4 (13:8-14)

The apostle Paul takes advantage of a beautiful metaphor to describe what the Christian life is like: It is like sacrificing ourselves to God. To sacrifice something means that you give the whole thing up – that it no longer belongs to you and that you no longer have any claim upon it. When people in the Old Testament era offered sacrifice to God, they were saying that they were dedicating themselves to God LIKE the animal sacrifice that they offered—with a total dedication of mind, body and soul. Of course, no one would ever be able to make that kind of commitment to God unless they were deeply moved by God’s sacrifice that a new kind of love emerged within them and they did the impossible! That, of course, is what happens to us. By seeing and grasping the greatness of the love of God, that God would give His only Son, that He would sacrifice Jesus for us, we discover a power of love arises within us, the love of God that enables us to dedicate our whole lives, our whole hearts, our whole being, TO HIM. Paul then takes us to the next logical thought – we ought not be proud about this kind of sacrifice, or judge others by the level or amount of sacrifice that we make. God will judge men at the end of time. We should not think to try and do it for Him. We should instead follow the path of humility and regard our differences of personality and talents and spiritual ability as different gifts from God. Out of love, Christians can and should treat their enemies in much the same way as Christ. Love is a powerful force and it always triumphs over evil. Love also submits to authority (13:1-7) and grants honor to those appointed to offices of authority. Love is the summation of the whole law. (13:9) It bends for the weak in faith and holds back judgment, but always for the sake of the “faith” which love serves. In this respect, Christ is an example to us, as are all the saints of the Bible, for all things written in the Scriptures were written to strengthen our faith and sustain us as we patiently wait for God to bring time to an end.

Questions – Romans 12

  1. What do Christians do with their lives as they seek to worship God?
  2. What does this mean?
  3. What moves our hearts to love God in this way?
  4. If we are humble about our gifts and talents, how will we treat others who do not have the same gifts and talents?
  5. What kinds of things does Paul tell us love will automatically do in us and through us?
Year of the Bible – Epiphany Week Three | Saturday | Romans 12 – © John W. Fiene