The main thrust of Romans – that there is a righteousness revealed from faith – has finally been completed! Jews and Gentiles are dirty rotten stinking sinners, in need of the grace of God. When we respond to Jesus, believing God raised Him from the dead and confessing with our mouths that Jesus is Lord, we are saved, transformed, transferred from being under the law’s demands to being under grace, enjoying God’s favour and adoption as sons and filled with the Spirit. As Paul finished writing yesterday’s piece, I can imagine him stopping to lie face down on the ground to worship His Father!
Oh the depths of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! Worship Him! He is a good, good Father. If the theology in the last few days has wound you up, you have missed the point. God is good! He’s large and in charge. Worship Him!
Now act like who you already are. In chapter 12, Paul appeals for us to be holy. We are holy, declared righteous, saints even. Live in the good of it. Don’t live the way the world wants you to live. Change your thinking to conform to the Lord.
I think of us as tripartite beings – body, soul and spirit. The soul is your mind, will and emotions. Your spirit was dead because of sin, but is alive now if you are born again. It’s a new nature, the old dead one is gone. Our soul needs to line up with our spirit – hence the need to renew our minds, so our wills make the right decisions and then our emotions line up too. Then our minds will stop leading our bodies into doing sinful things!
One way our minds need renewing is in what we think of ourselves, 12:3 –
Not too high – I’m indispensable;
Not too low – I’m useless and have nothing to offer;
God has assigned you a measure of faith – use it and grow it;
God has given you gifts to use, that with others’ gifts in the church make up a functioning body. Use them! Don’t try to be someone else, be what God has wired you to be.
The last section is a list of marks of true Christianity – what a checklist! How are you doing?
Love one another,
Be zealous in service,
Rejoice in hope,
Patient in tribulation,
Constant in prayer,
Bless your enemies,
Rejoice and weep with people,
Feed hungry enemies,
Overcome evil with good.