Paul calls the Roman church to His side in this passage, exhorting them to actively, daily, and deliberately present their whole selves to God.
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“I Beseech You”
- Paul has some important things to say to the Roman church our passage of the day
- He calls them to His side, exhorting them
- To actively, daily, and deliberately present their whole selves to God
- To be set apart in position and in practice
- To avoid conformity to this world
- To think soberly, as a unified body
- Using their gifts to minister one to another
- Growing in their hatred (or abhorrence) for evil
- Cleaving to that which is good
- Familiar ideas from a familiar passage
- Romans 12:1-9 “I Beseech You,” today
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
- Beseeching comes before important things
- Paul says, listen and bear these words of exhortation
- He had a respected position from which to beseech
- And he often did
- Later in Romans 16, I beseech you, brethren…
“mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. “
- In I Corinthians 1, I beseech you, brethren…
“that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment”
- When he uses this term to plead with his audience
- He does so when it is vital
- And what could be more vital than, in this case, an exhortation to total commitment?
- He says, please make a decision to put yourself fully in the hands of God
- Not just figuratively, literally – our entire selves
- In life or in death
- Am I a potential missionary? yes
- In Africa? yes
- In somewhere more dangerous? yes
- The answer is yes
- Whatever the Lord asks – yes!
- This is only reasonable
- For anyone who has been forgiven of sin and transformed by Christ
- In addition to that…
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
- The world seeks, always, to press us into its mold
- But we are to avoid this by allowing God to renew our minds
- This renewing will be transformative
- The Easy to Read Version says it this way…
“Don’t change yourselves to be like the people of this world, but let God change you inside with a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to understand and accept what God wants for you. You will be able to know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect.”
- We need to know what is worldly and to avoid it
- To know what is Godly (righteous) and to embrace it
- We can only know this through God’s word
- Read, study, hear teaching from, and memorize it
- The Holy Spirit will teach and guide us
- There are other things to think about…
3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
- There is a chance that our view of self will be too high
- This will impact our relationships in the body of Christ
- We may look down upon others, not recognizing every individual has a unique role
- And that we should see ourselves as unified with them
- Not comparing ourselves amongst ourselves
- Acknowledging that we have a mission to accomplish together
- And we will need each other
- We are unified and must go forth as though this is the case
- God has given differing gifts…
6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
- Gifts ought to be used
- They are given by God for a purpose
- We must use His gifts in His way
- According to the mandates of His word
- And according to His individual leading in our lives
- There are lists of gifts
- Details about gifts
- And instructions on how to use those gifts throughout the New Testament
- We should familiarize ourselves with them
- And work without delay
- One more thing from our passage of the day…
9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
- While we are actively, daily, and deliberately presenting our whole selves to God
- While we are setting oursleves apart in position and in practice
- While we are avoiding conformity to this world
- Thinking soberly, in a unified body, using our gifts to minister
- Our love for others (within the body) should be genuine
- We should be growing in our hatred for evil
- Joining ourselves, consistently, to that which is good
- A passage in Proverbs 4:14-19 might help…
14 Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.
15 Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.
16 For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.
18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
19 The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.
- Paul has something important to beseech, to exhort us about
- How is our commitment level?
- Is it total, without reserve?
- Are we worldly?
- Or are we thinking soberly and working in a unified way within our local church?
- Do we abhor evil?
- Are we clinging to that which is good?