Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Reading Through Romans 12-13

Reading Through Romans 12-13

There first eight chapters of Romans was a doctrinal dissertation regarding sin, salvation, and sanctification. The teaching, which is simply another word for doctrine, is deep and requires much prayerful meditation. Paul lays the foundation or the groundwork for our “duty.” As with all of Paul’s epistles, Paul lays out our position and then our practice; the truth then the task.

Chapters nine through elven function as a parenthetical interruption to explain how the gospel relates to the Jews. Paul carefully explains that God’s promises to the Jews are still valid and binding. Paul assures the Jews that God is faithful and will one day save His chosen people.

Now comes the practical part. Beginning in chapter twelve and running through chapter fifteen and verse thirteen we discover our responsibility. In this section we see how God’s righteousness which has been imputed to us leads us to a new life and a new way of life. In other words, here is how the gospel is played out in our everyday life. This section carefully lays out the practical implications of God’s saving mercy. Read it well, read it often.

Today we will read further in this practical section by reading chapters fourteen and fifteen.

Chapter Twelve

In verses one and two we find our only response to the truths contained in chapters one through eight – the offering of ourselves to God as a living sacrifice. These two verses are our spell out our response to God’s grace. Do not pass over these two verses quickly – there is probably a good 15-20 weeks of messages or lessons in those two verses.

The Christian life is a battle. The battle rages between the mind and the flesh. In the flesh is no good thing. The flesh wares against the Spirit and can never be subject to God. We are to be transformed in to the image of Christ. How? By the renewing of our mind by feeding on the things of the Holy Spirit. This results in our being able to tell what is God’s will and what is not.

In verses three through eight Paul delineates the various gifts that have been given to believers in the body. These gifts are to be used to develop and mature one another in the body of Christ. Each believer has at least one gift and that gift is to be used on behalf of the other members in the body for their good.

In verses nine through 21 Paul delineates the marks of a true Christian. Do you want to know what a Christian looks like? The new life of believers is described in this section. Here we read of the type of life that pleases God.

Chapter Thirteen

In verses one through seven we see Paul addressing the response and responsibility of believers to governing authorities. Believers are to be subject to our governing authorities. Government has been instituted by God. Resisting or disobeying government brings great consequences. Not merely by the government but by God who is in charge of government.

In verses eight through fourteen Paul addresses the relationship that believers have with the Mosaic Law. The first phrase in verse eight amplifies what is said in verse seven. The rest of verse eight to the end of the chapter shows that the law is summed up on the command to love our neighbor or love one another.  We see Paul reminding his readers how short the time is before Jesus Christ returns for us. Also Paul gives some commands on living properly and how to do so.

5 comments:

arlee bird said...

This is a great study. There is so much of the Bible that can lead to weeks of different studies.
It seems like between all of the amazing prophecies of the Old Testament that have come and are coming to pass and all of the things that are addressed to the Jews in the New Testament that the Jews wouldn't embrace the message of the Gospels.

Lee
Tossing It Out

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Owing to circumstances I am way behind reading, but every now and then I sit down and read a bit more. I will catch up eventually but this week so far I have been out more than in.

Like Lee says it's a great study and what I have read so far I totally agree with him.

Yvonne.

THE OLD GEEZER said...

Romans 12:1&2 - This sentence you wrote jumped out at me! "These two verses spell out our response to God’s grace."

I thought to myself, God could have said, Ron present yourself to Me as a living sacrifice or else and that's the law! But, it is as you said, I present myself to God because of His grace toward me. My response should be to live my life to please God out of a spirit of gratitude.

1 John 4:19
We love Him because He first loved us.

JD Curtis said...

The Christian life is a battle. The battle rages between the mind and the flesh

Sometimes I think I am too blind to this, but youre right of course.

Seams Inspired said...

I came away from reading these chapters filling uplifted and challenged! There were only a couple of verses that gave me pause to question. The rest of the verses were easy to understand and digest. Here's what stood out to me:

12:10 This is easy to say but very hard to do in this age of self-service.

12:17 Won't someone always find fault with what you do? As in, 'please all, please none'? How do you really apply this verse to your life?

13:12 I just like this verse and the thought of 'the armor of light'. The visual very encouraging. :o)

Overall, these chapters are somewhat of a handbook for Christian living. I understand why my grandmother had written this on the pages of Romans:

Basic
Information
Before
Leaving
Earth

Looking forward to reading more! Happy Wednesday and Happy Reading! :o) Larri at Seams Inspired