Romans Chapter 12

January 19, 2013

This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on Romans. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.

You can listen to the study by clicking here

Romans Chapter 12 begins with familiar and famous words. “I urge you . . . in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—which is your spiritual worship.”

This is important here, launching a section on interpersonal relationships. We can never have a truly Christian relationship with others until we are fully committed to God. With this principle established, however, Paul does call us to look closely at the relationship we have with the brothers and sisters whom God has given us.

Romans 12:1-21 (NIV)
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. 3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. 4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. 9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 12 1-2

Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Rather than be consumed by the fear being spewed by our culture, we need to focus our thoughts on the Kingdom of God and the things of the Lord. Don’t be conformed to the pattern of this world but be changed by the renewing of your mind.

We need to start thinking God’s way

Our mind is renewed by the Word of God, which is the sword of the Spirit

Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)
12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

We need to spend time in His word

Psalm 1:1-3 (NIV)
1 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.

Romans 12:3-8

Romans 12:5 (NIV)
5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

Your gifts, talents, time, prayers, etc. are an important part of the church. You matter, you make a difference. Part of the reason you cannot give up meeting together is that the church needs you. You may not always feel like meeting together for a variety of reasons, but it is not all about me.

However, it is some about me. Sometimes when we don’t feel like hanging out with the church it might mean that we are moving in a direction that is not good for us. Yes, people in the church can be difficult sometimes, just like you, but it is not a reason for not meeting together. Let me make a little illustration using our friends in law enforcement.

When you are in trouble or in need of assistance, or someone is messing with you, and a law enforcement officer arrives on the scene, it is a good thing. You are happy to see them, they are going to help you. They are a hero, yay! But, if you are doing something that maybe you shouldn’t be doing, you may not be excited to see that very same law enforcement officer. They didn’t change, the only thing different is what you are up to. See, when we are trying to live by doing the next right thing, the church is a good thing. It is there to help us, encourage us, pray for us, bless us, etc. But, if we are moving in a direction that is not good for us, suddenly the very same church is critical, mean spirited, judgmental busy body, hypocrities who are just trying to get in my business. Who do they think they are?

Romans 12:9-21

Treat people like they matter because they do!

Romans 12:9-10 (NIV)
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

How do you treat people? Are they simply part of the scenery and machinery of your life or do you see them as people that God loves extravagantly? In your mind, are these people there just to make your life work? If there is a problem, or things seem to take too long, do you take your frustration out on these people? How about the people you work with? Do you take time to get to know them at all? How about the people in your inner circle? Is your relationship with them about you or about them? One of the best ways to answer that question is to take a pulse of your frustration level? If you are frustrated with the people around you, your relationships are more about you than them. When you feel yourself getting frustrated, take a deep breath and refocus. It is not all about you. Let your gentleness be evident to all because the Lord is near.

How about when you have been wronged? Do you forgive?

I’m going to quit trying to get even, and I am going to let God handle the justice.

Romans 12:19 (NIV)
19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

Let me explain what forgiveness is not. Forgiveness does not mean the instant restoration of trust. Forgiveness is instant. Trust must be rebuilt over time. Forgiveness is based on grace. Trust is built on works. Some people withhold forgiveness because they think that to forgive them means that everything just goes back the way it was. That is not forgiveness. Forgiving a person does not mean you have to trust them. That means they have to earn the trust. Forgiveness means I am going to quit holding on to it and I am going to put it in God’s hands.

How about when someone is trying to push your buttons?

Romans 12:21 (NIV)
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Once you start reacting, who’s in control? The person who is trying to push your buttons. So how can you be proactive?

When people put you down, you encourage them. When people hassle you, you just be nice to them. You do not retaliate. The moment you start retaliating, they are in control. I said this just the other week but it is worth repeating. You cannot control the things that happen to you, you cannot control the things that people say about you. You cannot control the events, the persecutions, the hassles you’ll get. But you can control how you choose to react and respond. So, choose to love them and pray for them.

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