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 Romans Chapter 12 – Part One

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Male Number of posts : 252
Age : 68
Location : Northern Arizona
Registration date : 2009-01-12

PostSubject: Romans Chapter 12 – Part One   Thu Jun 19, 2014 5:01 am

Romans 12:1-2

God’s Righteousness Revealed in Transformed Living

Paul divided several of his letters into two major sections, a doctrinal portion and a practical one. He followed that pattern in this epistle too, though the doctrinal part is more than twice as long as the practical. (In both Eph. and Col. the doctrinal and the practical sections are about equal in length.)
The basic consecration
The start of this practical section is indicated by Paul’s exhortation I urge (the first word of Rom_12:1 in the Gr. text). Therefore also shows a transition (cf. “therefore” in Rom_3:20; Rom_5:1; Rom_8:1). The basis of Paul’s exhortation is God’s mercy (oiktirmōn, rendered “compassion” in 2Co_1:3; Php_2:1; Col_3:12, and “mercy” in Heb_10:28). God’s compassion has been described in detail in the first 11 chapters of Romans. The content of Paul’s urging is to offer your bodies (cf. Rom_6:13) as living sacrifices. Beseech is a Greek word which comes from a root meaning to “call alongside to help”.
“Mercies of God”: The gracious, extravagant, divine graces Paul expounded in the first 11 chapters, including God’s love, grace, righteousness and the gift of faith.
“Present your bodies a living sacrifice”: Under the Old Covenant God accepted the sacrifices of dead animals. But because of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice, those are no longer of any effect. For those in Christ, the only acceptable worship is to offer themselves completely to the Lord. Under God’s control, the believer’s yet unredeemed body can and must be yielded to Him as an instrument of righteousness.
“Reasonable service”: Reasonable is from the Greek for “logic.” In light of all the spiritually riches believers enjoy solely as the fruit of God’s mercies, it logically flows that they owe God their highest form of service. Understood here is the idea of priestly, spiritual service, which was such an integral part of Old Testament worship.
I Peter 2:5 "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."
Psalms 19:14 "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer."
We can see from this that God expects our loyalty. We have been bought and paid for with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. The least we can do is live for Him since He ransomed us from death.
A Christian’s body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1Co_6:19-20). In the KJV “offer” is translated “present” (Rom_12:1) and “yield” (Rom_6:13, Rom_6:16, Rom_6:19). The word “bodies,” mindful of the Old Testament sacrifices, represents the totality of one’s life and activities, of which his body is the vehicle of expression. In contrast with Old Testament sacrifices this is a “living” sacrifice. Such an offering is holy (set apart) and pleasing (cf. “pleasing” in Rom_12:2) to God. Furthermore, it is spiritual (logikēn; cf. 1Pe_2:2) worship (latreian.) Latreian refers to any ministry performed for God, such as that of the priests and the Levites. Christians are believer-priests, identified with the great High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Heb_7:23-28; 1Pe_2:5, 1Pe_2:9; Rev_1:6). A believer’s offering of his total life as a sacrifice to God is therefore sacred service. In the light of Paul’s closely reasoned and finely argued exposition of the mercies of God (Rom. 1-11), such an offering is obviously a desirable response for believers.
Paul then stated general implications of a believer’s offering his life to God as a sacrifice. Such an offering represents a complete change in lifestyle, involving both a negative and a positive aspect. First, Paul commanded, Do not conform (lit., “Do not be conformed”; this Gr. word occurs elsewhere in the NT only in 1Pe_1:14) any longer to the pattern of this world (aiōni, “Age”). Living according to the lifestyle of “the present evil Age” (Gal_1:4; cf. Eph_1:21) must now be put aside. Then Paul commanded, But be transformed (pres. passive imper., “keep on being transformed”) by the renewing of your mind. The Greek verb translated “transformed” (metamorphousthe) is seen in the English word “metamorphosis,” a total change from inside out (cf. 2Co_3:18). The key to this change is the “mind” (noos), the control center of one’s attitudes, thoughts, feelings, and actions (cf. Eph_4:22-23). As one’s mind keeps on being made new by the spiritual input of God’s Word, prayer, and Christian fellowship, his lifestyle keeps on being transformed. Paul says, “Stop conforming yourselves”. They are to resist being poured into the mold of the present thinking, value systems, and conduct of this world. This term is used only here and in 1 Peter 1:14.
God’s will refer to His purpose for the life of the believer. It implies His guidance or direction in all of life’s decisions. Dedication is an act of surrender or submission to His will for our lives whereby we become a “Living sacrifice.”
The Greek word, for which the English word “metamorphosis” comes, connotes a change in outward appearance. Matthew uses the same word to describe the Transfiguration. Just as Christ briefly and in a limited way displayed outwardly His inner, divine nature and glory at the Transfiguration, Christians should outwardly manifest their inner, redeemed natures, not once, but daily.
The renewing of your mind is the kind of transformation that occurs only as the Holy Spirit changes our thinking through consistent study and meditation of Scripture. (Psalms 119:11)
“Good, acceptable, and perfect is the Holy living which God approves. These words borrow from the Old Testament sacrificial language and describe a life that is morally and spiritually spotless, just as the sacrificial animas were to be.
The things that displeased God in the Old Testament are still what displease Him today. God wants us to be holy as He is holy. Jesus is coming back for those who are without spot or wrinkle. If, you have sin in your life, repent and ask God to help you live free of sin.
Paul added, Then you will be able to test and approve (dokimazein, “prove by testing” [1Pe_1:7, “proved genuine”], i.e., ascertain) what God’s will is — His good, pleasing (cf. Rom_12:1), and perfect will. These three qualities are not attributes of God’s will as the NIV and some other translations imply. Rather, Paul said that God’s will itself is what is good, well-pleasing (to Him), and perfect. “Good,” for example, is not an adjective (God’s “good” will) but a noun (God’s will is what is good — good, i.e., for each believer).
As a Christian is transformed in his mind and is made more like Christ, he comes to approve and desire God’s will, not his own will for his life. Then he discovers that God’s will is what is good for him, and that it pleases God, and is complete in every way. It is all he needs. But only by being renewed spiritually can a believer ascertain, do, and enjoy the will of God.

Romans 12:3-5

In Christian ministry

A believer’s consecration to God and his transformed lifestyle is demonstrated in his exercising his spiritual gifts in the body of Christ. As an apostle of Christ (by the grace given me; cf. Rom_1:5; Rom_15:15-16) he warned his readers individually (every one of you), Do not think of yourself more highly (hyperphronein, “think higher”) than you ought. An inflated view of oneself is out of place in the Christian life. The righteousness of God will cause the believer to conduct himself in humility in the local church. Paul meets two dangers that the individual faced in the exercise of his spiritual gifts. He might overestimate himself and try to exercise a gift God never gave him. Or he might underestimate himself and fail to exercise the gift God has given to him. Paul shows that God has given each believer specific gifts to enable him to do what God wants him to do. No one is excluded.
The grace, the divine, undeserved favor that called Paul to be an apostle and gave him spiritual authority, also gave him sincere humility.
To think soberly is the exercise of sound judgment, which will lead believers to recognize that in themselves they are nothing and will yield the fruit of humility.
The “measure” of faith is the correct proportion of the spiritual gift or supernatural endowment and ability the Holy Spirit gives each believer so he may fulfill his role in the body of Christ. “Faith” is not saving faith, but rather faithful stewardship, the kind and quantity required to use one’s own particular gift. Every believer receives the exact gift and resources he needs to fulfill his role in the body of Christ.
It seems so strange to some people how one person seems to have more faith than the other, if we have all received our measure of faith. The truth is that our faith grows as we use it and as we read the word of God.
I Corinthians 12:7-9 "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal." I "For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;" "To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;"
We can see from these Scriptures that there is a gift of faith that we can pray and receive. This is not a normal amount of faith, but a supernatural faith; which is actually a gift of the Spirit.
In verses 4-8 lists the general categories of spiritual gifts. The emphasis in each list is not on believers’ identifying their gift perfectly, but on faithfully using the unique enablement God has given each. The fact that the two lists differ clearly implies the gifts are like a palette of basis colors, from which God selects to blend a unique hue for each disciple’s life.
Then Paul encouraged them, But rather think (phronein) of yourself with sober judgment (sōphronein, “sound thinking”), in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. God has given each believer some faith by which to serve Him. By his involved word play on various forms of the verb phroneō, “to think,” Paul emphasized that human pride is wrong (cf. Rom_3:27; Rom_11:18, Rom_11:20) partly because all natural abilities and spiritual gifts are from God. As a result every Christian should have a proper sense of humility and an awareness of his need to be involved with other members of Christ’s body. As Paul explained, a parallelism exists between a believer’s physical body which has parts with differing functions and the community of believers in Christ as a spiritual body (cf. 1Co_12:12-27; Eph_4:11-12, Eph_4:15-16).
I Corinthians 12:12-14 "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also [is] Christ." "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit." "For the body is not one member, but many."
A TRUE CHURCH IS MANY MEMBERS MAKING UP ONE BODY. We see in that body that there are many different offices. I Corinthians 12:28 "And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues."
Just as in the natural body, God has sovereignty given the body of Christ a unified diversity.
The point is that each member functions to serve the body, not the body to serve the members. Ephesians 5:30: "For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones."
We can see how important it is for us to be in one accord in the church. If we are one body as the Scripture says, then when we tear at someone else in the church we are tearing up the body.
The diversity of the many accompanies the unity of the body. Therefore it is important to think soundly about oneself and to evaluate properly God’s gifts and their uses.

Romans 12:6-8

Paul then applied what he had just said (Rom_12:3-5) to the exercise of God-given abilities for spiritual service (Rom_12:6-Cool. He built on the principle, We have different gifts (cf. Rom_12:4, “not all have the same function”; cf. 1Co_12:4). The grace-gifts (charismata) are according to God’s grace (charis). He listed seven gifts, none of which — with the possible exception of prophesying — is a sign gift. The Greek text is much more abrupt than any English translation; let him is supplied for smoother English. One’s “prophesying” is to be done in proportion to his faith; a better translation would be “in agreement to the (not ‘his’) faith.” These gifts and undeserved and unmerited; and the gift itself, the specific way in which it is used, and the spiritual result are all sovereignty chosen by the Spirit completely apart from personal merit.
This “prophesy”, means speaking forth and does not necessarily include prediction of the future or any other mystical or supernatural aspects.
“According to the proportion of faith”; Literal “the faith,” or the full revealed message or body of Christian faith. The preacher must be careful to preach the same message the apostles delivered.
Or, it could also refer to the believer’s personal understanding and insight regarding the gospel.
So what exactly is this proportion of faith? DISCUSSION
“Ministry” is from the same Greek word as “deacon,” “deaconess”, come from, it refers to those who serve. This gift, similar to the gift of helps, has broad application to include every kind of practical help.
“Teaching” is the ability to interpret, clarify, systematize, and explain God’s truth clearly. Pastors must have the gift of teaching, but many mature, qualified laymen also have this gift. This differs from preaching (prophecy), not in content, but in the unique skill for public proclamation.

"According to the proportion of faith." The meaning is, that the utterances of the "prophet" were not to fluctuate according to his own impulses or independent thoughts, but were to be adjusted to the truth revealed to him as a believer, i.e., were to be accordance with it. In post-Reformation times this phrase was used as meaning that all Scripture was to be interpreted with reference to all other Scripture, i.e., that no words or expressions were to be isolated or interpreted in a way contrary to its general teaching. This was also called the "analogy of faith."
That is, prophesying — communicating God’s message, to strengthen, encourage, and comfort (1Co_14:3) — is to be in right relationship to the body of truth already revealed (cf. “faith” as doctrine in Gal_1:23; Jud_1:3, Jud_1:20). The other six gifts mentioned here are serving… teaching… encouraging… contributing… leadership, and showing mercy. Contributing to people’s needs is to be done with generosity (en haplotēti), not skimpily (cf. 2Co_8:2; 2Co_9:11, 2Co_9:13). Managing, leading, or administering (proistamenos, lit., “standing before”; cf. proistamenous, “who are over,” 1Th_5:12) is to be done diligently (en spoudē, “in eagerness, earnestness”), not lazily or halfheartedly. And bestowing mercy is to be done cheerfully (en hilarotēti, “in gladness”), not with sadness. Three of these seven gifts are mentioned in 1Co_12:28 (prophets, teachers, administration); two (prophets and pastor-teachers) are included in Eph_4:11; and two (administering and serving) are listed in 1Pe_4:10-11. Whatever one’s gift, he should exercise it faithfully as a stewardship from God. Exhortation is the gift which enables a believer to effectively call others to obey and follow God’s truth. It may be used negatively to admonish and correct regarding sin, or positively to encourage, comfort and strengthen struggling believers.
Giveth or Give denotes the sacrificial sharing and giving of one’s resources and self to meet the needs of others.
Simplicity means liberality. Simplicity, single-mindedness and openhearted generosity. The believer who gives with a proper attitude, does not do so for thanks and personal recognition, but to glorify God.
He that ruleth or leads is a gift Paul calls “administrations, a word that means “to guide” and is used of the person who steers a ship. In the New Testament, this word is used to describe only leadership in the home and the church. Again, the church’s leaders must exercise this gift, but it is certainly not limited to them.
Shows mercy is one who actively shows sympathy and sensitivity to those in suffering and sorrow, and who has both the willingness and the resources to help lessen their affliction. Frequently, this gift accompanies the gift of exhortation.
“Cheerfulness” is an attitude crucial to ensure that the gift of mercy becomes a genuine help, not a discouraging commiseration with those who are suffering.
We see in all of this that God calls each of us to do a specific job. Whether God has called you to be pastor of a church or a teacher in a Christian school, God will not call you to do a job that He will not equip you to do. What the Scriptures above are saying is that any job God calls you to do; you should do it through the power of the Holy Spirit and not in your own strength.
Ephesians 4:11 "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;"
The passage from verses 9-21 provide a comprehensive and mandatory list of traits that characterize the Spirit filled life. Paul presents these characteristics under 4 categories: (1) Personal duties, v.9; (2) Family duties, v.10-13; (3) Duties to others, v.14-16; (4) Duties to those who consider us enemies, v.17-21.

Romans 12:9-10

In social relationships

This section consists of a lengthy series of short exhortations or commands. The statements relate to a Christian’s relationships to other people, both saved and unsaved.
Paul began these specific exhortations with the key ingredient for success: Love must be sincere. This is God’s love, which has been ministered to believers by the Holy Spirit (Rom_5:5) and must be ministered by them to others in the Holy Spirit’s power. “Sincere” translates anypokritos (lit., “without hypocrisy”), also used of love (2Co_6:6; 1Pe_1:22), of faith (1Ti_1:5; 2Ti_1:5), and of wisdom (Jas_3:17).
This first command is followed by a pair of related basic commands — Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. “Without dissimulation” means to be sincere or to not be a hypocrite. Christian love is to be shown purely and sincerely, without self centeredness or guile.
The Christian’s conduct in the local church toward fellow believers is to be a volitional caring for others, loving faithfully in spite of the response received. The love is to be genuine and unfeigned.
We see from this then, that it is very important for our love to be sincere. Abhor means to detest or hate. This would be an extreme dislike for something or someone.
The supreme New Testament virtue, which centers completely on the needs and welfare of the one loved and does whatever necessary to meet those needs.
We can see from the following Scripture just how important it is to God for us to love our brothers and sisters in Christ and to love Him.
Hebrews 1:9 "Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, [even] thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows."
Many Bible students consider these two clauses as explanatory of the sincerity of love, translating the verse, “Let love be unfeigned, abhorring the evil and cleaving to the good.” Hating various forms of sin is frequently mentioned in Scripture (Psa_97:10; Psa_119:104, Psa_119:128, Psa_119:163; Pro_8:13; Pro_13:5; Pro_28:16; Heb_1:9; Rev_2:6). Turning from evil is to accompany adhering to the good (cf. 1Pe_3:11).
Divine love is to be exercised with other believers. The Greek adjective philostorgoi, translated devoted, suggests family affection. As in Rom_12:9, the second clause in Rom_12:10 can be understood as explaining the first command. Rom_12:10 may be translated, “With brotherly love have family affection for one another, in honor giving place to one another” (cf. Php_2:3, “consider others better than yourselves”).
Meaning: to be devoted to others Christians with a family sort of love, not based on personal attraction or desirability. This quality is the primary way the world can recognize us as followers of Christ.
“Preferring one another” is to show genuine appreciation and admiration for fellow believers by putting them first.
John 13:34-35 "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." "By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
All Christians are brothers and sisters in Christ.
I Thessalonians 4:9 "But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another."
You see, regardless where the Scripture is, we are taught the same thing; to love as we would want to be loved.
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Romans Chapter 12 – Part One
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