Section 5: Day to day Christian life—things to do, Romans 12-16
Romans 12. A new kind of priesthood. Based upon what Paul has written to this point, he instructs the Roman believers, who like us and all church age believers are priests, to give themselves to God and for his service. This includes not being conformed to the world's thinking, but being transformed to God's thinking. This priesthood and spiritual transformation by taking on biblical thinking puts believers in position to serve God and the church with humility and with their spiritual gifts coupled with faith. Since Christians live around other Christians and serve God together, they are to exemplify godly love, biblical attitudes, and biblical relationships with each other. Furthermore, they have a responsibility to all people, even nonbelievers, to not take revenge, to respect what is right, to be at peace with people if at all possible, and to do God’s good, instead of the world’s evil.
- Romans 12.1-2. God makes all church believers into priests and as priests we believers no longer sacrifice animals to Him, but instead we give ourselves to God for priestly service while at the same time we are progressively being changed inside by a biblical renewal of our thinking instead of being molded in the pattern of the present evil worldview. The sacrifice is alive, holy, and pleasing (predicate adjectives). These words emphatically describe the sacrifice of our bodies to God. Our body is the house in which we live and through which we serve God.
- Romans 12:3-8. Believers are individual members of the body of Christ and each has been given a spiritual gift, and so each has the privilege and responsibility to serve God and other believers according to that particular spiritual gift and with the faith that God gives each to serve. Paul then adds a qualifying statement to each gift to encourage and guide the believer in his Christian ministry.
- Romans 12:9-16. Once the foundation has been put down—presenting ourselves to God, be transformed by renewing our minds, humility, and serving through spiritual gifts and faith in God for that service—Paul adds 20 items that our attitudes and relationships with other believers should include.
- Romans 12.17-21. Paul now broadens his instructions by listing eight ways we ought to think toward and treat all people, believers and non-believers. This includes a responsibility to all people, even nonbelievers, to not take revenge, to respect what is right, to be at peace with people if at all possible, and to do God’s good, instead of the world’s evil.
Select Doctrines in Romans 12
- Priesthood of every believer
- Spiritual growth
- The body of Christ, the church
- Spiritual gifts
- Godly love
- Relationships among believers
- Testing and suffering
- Biblical and non-biblical world views
- The faith life