In the Book of Romans so far we have talked about justification, sanctification, salvation, reconciliation, redemption, but now Paul begins to bring it home with APPLICATION
How are we to be a Christian? How are we to put God’s law into practice, the ongoing correlation between faith and works?
Chapter 12 shows us how to apply this way of life first toward God and then towards our fellow man
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
One of the most critical scriptures for us in this day and age to fully comprehend and implement.
I beseech you therefore…so this is really his summation and conclusion to all that we have read so far [chapters 1-11 ]
We should therefore sit up and take notice
Present…an obvious reference to the sacrifices of the Old Testament “present before the LORD”
It also goes hand in hand with what he previously covered in the letter
Romans 6:13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
Romans 6:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!
Romans 6:16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?
Romans 6:17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.
Romans 6:18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
Romans 6:19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.
So Paul is saying that we are not to present ourselves in an unclean disobedient and lawless manner, but rather in a righteous way following the example of Christ, we are to be a sacrifice too that is:
acceptable to God…how were sacrifices made or presented in an acceptable manner?
Without spot or blemish, it was to be done in the right way. There is also a right way for us to live
1 Peter 2:4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,
1 Peter 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
This is what Paul is about to expound on in this chapter
living sacrifice… Still sacrifices for today and this is where we come to the critical understanding for us today, especially in this time of the Philadephia/Laodicean era.
Revelation 12:10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.
Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by [these 3] the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. [They were willing to give up their lives.]
Revelation 12:13 Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child.
Revelation 12:14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.
Revelation 12:15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood.
Revelation 12:16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.
Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. [but were not willing to lay down their lives; they did not present their bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God]
They were not willing to make the spiritual sacrifices as the Philadelphians had done, thus allowing the Philadelphians to be spared physically.
So what happens to the Laodiceans and the rest, they then must go through the tribulation and will have to lay down their life physically or perish spiritually.
This is how crucial it is to be a living sacrifice today!
which is your reasonable [logikos log-ik-os’ ; rational (“logical”): – reasonable, of the word.] service….
it is logical if you have God’s spirit – otherwise why would we do this?
We do it because we are servants, servants of God and servants to righteousness
As servants we present our bodies; we give them and sacrifice them as God requests because they are no longer ours to do with as we wish
Romans 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors–not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.
Romans 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
We are not bound by or to the flesh. Jesus Christ paid the penalty and ransom for us. He redeemed us, bought us back!
1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
1 Corinthians 6:20 For you were bought at a price [So now our debt is to Him and what do we owe]; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Service is outward and now this is inward as Paul ties works to faith
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
do not be conformed to this world…
Come out of the world
John 17:16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
2 Corinthians 6:17 Therefore “COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM AND BE SEPARATE, SAYS THE LORD. DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN, AND I WILL RECEIVE YOU.”
Don’t be like the world; don’t let it pull you back into its grasp; don’t become that way again; the world will pressure you to be like it.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”
But be transformed… metamorphoō met-am-or-fo’-o ; to transform (literally or figuratively “metamorphose”): – change, transfigure, transform.
A process of changing from what we were to what we are to become
Notice this conversion
2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed [metamorphoō] into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
It occurs as we renew our mind:
Ephesians 4:20 But you have not so learned Christ,
Ephesians 4:21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus:
Ephesians 4:22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, [and conforming to the world]
Ephesians 4:23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind,
Ephesians 4:24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
This transformation is something that we do, it comes through action
Application of righteousness
Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think…who are we compared to God any way – less than nothing, but a vapor or a shadow (Psalm 39:4-6). We need to keep this in perspective.
Don’t forget who God calls:
1 Corinthians 1:25-29 not many wise are called.
Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
Philippians 2:6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,
Philippians 2:7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
Philippians 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Philippians 2:9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,
Philippians 2:10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,
Philippians 2:11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
measure of faith…. Jesus Christ was without measure; Elisha double portion of what Elijah had; we are given a measure according to the will of God, but not only that but with specific abilities
Romans 12:4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, [purpose or ability]
Romans 12:5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
We are to function in unity
Romans 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith [in proportion to what God has given us];
Romans 12:7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching;
Romans 12:8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
Paul expounds on this a little more in
1 Corinthians 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant:
1 Corinthians 12:4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord.
1 Corinthians 12:6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.
1 Corinthians 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:
1 Corinthians 12:8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit,
1 Corinthians 12:9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit,
1 Corinthians 12:10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
1 Corinthians 12:11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
1 Corinthians 12:12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free–and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.
1 Corinthians 12:15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body?
1 Corinthians 12:16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body?
1 Corinthians 12:17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling?
1 Corinthians 12:18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.
Each of us serve the function that god would have us to; no need to be jealous and thereby question where God has put us;
1 Corinthians 12:19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be?
1 Corinthians 12:20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body.
1 Corinthians 12:21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”
1 Corinthians 12:22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary.
1 Corinthians 12:23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty,
1 Corinthians 12:24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it,
1 Corinthians 12:25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.
1 Corinthians 12:26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
1 Corinthians 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
are we content with the one that God deemed for us
We function properly when done so humbly and in unity where God has placed us and with what He has given us
Makes sense, if we had a business. Isn’t this the way we would operate?
This is how God does it, it is how He wills it, and we honor and serve Him by using the gifts He gave us in humility, one with another in unity.
This is our reasonable service towards God.
Application of righteousness
Romans 12:9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.
Hypocrisy = sincere, unfeigned, undisguised
So don’t disguise your feelings in this way. If it is evil, then we are to utterly detest it.
If it is good, then we are to stick to it like glue, which is the intimation of the word translated “cling”
Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
Let’s see this in:
Philippians 2:1 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy,
Philippians 2:2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
Philippians 2:4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
This is the service and sacrifice we are to be giving.
It is what God wants
Let’s look at Christ’s words in:
Matthew 20:25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them.
Matthew 20:26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.
Matthew 20:27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—
Matthew 20:28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
James 4:6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “GOD RESISTS THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.”
Psalm 51:16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering.
Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise.
This is who god looks to: [humble and repentant person] Isaiah 66:2
Romans 12:11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
What ever your hand finds to do;
serving the Lord…[what is this doing in the section about serving man]
Matthew 25:34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
Matthew 25:35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;
Matthew 25:36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
Matthew 25:37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?
Matthew 25:38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?
Matthew 25:39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’
Matthew 25:40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
What is our attitude and approach?
Romans 12:12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;
Philippians 4:11 … whatever state I am, to be content:
Romans 12:13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
Giving and serving – being a living sacrifice
Sacrifice costs something … but it is for the greater gain
Now Paul steps it up a notch
Romans 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
Paul now begins to talk about the opposite of sacrifice;
Matthew 5:38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘AN EYE FOR AN EYE AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.’
Matthew 5:39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.
Matthew 5:40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.
Matthew 5:41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.
Matthew 5:42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.
Matthew 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’
Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
Matthew 5:45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
Matthew 5:46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
Matthew 5:47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?
Matthew 5:48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Retaliation only perpetuates the cycle of animosity
Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”
Galatians 5:15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!
1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous;
1 Peter 3:9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.
1 Peter 3:10 For “HE WHO WOULD LOVE LIFE AND SEE GOOD DAYS, LET HIM REFRAIN HIS TONGUE FROM EVIL, AND HIS LIPS FROM SPEAKING DECEIT.
1 Peter 3:11 LET HIM TURN AWAY FROM EVIL AND DO GOOD; LET HIM SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT.
1 Peter 3:12 FOR THE EYES OF THE LORD ARE ON THE RIGHTEOUS, AND HIS EARS ARE OPEN TO THEIR PRAYERS; BUT THE FACE OF THE LORD IS AGAINST THOSE WHO DO EVIL.”
1 Peter 3:13 And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good?
1 Peter 3:14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “AND DO NOT BE AFRAID OF THEIR THREATS, NOR BE TROUBLED.”
Romans 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
Romans 12:16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
Romans 12:17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.
1 Peter 2:19 For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully.
1 Peter 2:20 For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.
1 Peter 2:21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:
1 Peter 2:22 “WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH”;
1 Peter 2:23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;
What was Jesus Christ’s example when He was hit and spat upon and when He was accused, lied about and unfairly tried in court?
Acts 8:32 The place in the Scripture which he read was this: “HE WAS LED AS A SHEEP TO THE SLAUGHTER; AND AS A LAMB BEFORE ITS SHEARER IS SILENT, SO HE OPENED NOT HIS MOUTH.
Acts 8:33 IN HIS HUMILIATION HIS JUSTICE WAS TAKEN AWAY, AND WHO WILL DECLARE HIS GENERATION? FOR HIS LIFE IS TAKEN FROM THE EARTH.”
This is weakness in the eyes of man, but strength in the eyes of God
What is the example that we are setting for what we believe and how we represent the word of God?
Romans 12:18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
All things are possible with God
Romans 12:19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord.
God will do it when He sees fit.
We do not know how to justly do this within the plan of God any way and it is the opposite of what we are supposed to be doing.
Self-control over selfishness
Romans 12:20 Therefore “IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM; IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP COALS OF FIRE ON HIS HEAD.”
Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.