Showing posts from October, 2018

The Christian's Relationship to Government

Romans 13:1-7 Everyone has a rebellious streak. We do not like being told what to do and how to do it. Do you remember the days before seat belt laws and child safety seats? Laws vary by state, but in 1984, New York was the first state to make wearing seat belts mandatory. [1] This means that when I was growing up, seat belts were not required. From 1968, seat belts were required equipment on all cars in the United States, [2] and I remember being fascinated with the sturdy nylon straps. However, we did not use them. I remember one day mom was driving us home from school. This was an unusual treat because we usually rode the school bus. At the time, the freeway was being built along the route between our home and the school. So, the unbelievable happened in our little rural community, a traffic tie-up. Usually, traffic delays were only in spring and fall when the sheep were moved between the river valley and their summer grazing in the mountains. Anyway, on t

Service in a Fallen World

Romans 12:9-21 Romans 12 appeals to us by the mercies of God to offer up ourselves as living sacrifices. Then it tells us that God has gifted each of us for service. By the grace of God, we are individually members one of another, forming a body, the Body of Christ. And, each of us has an important role to fill in the body. This synopsis takes us through the first eight verses of Romans 12. Verses 9 through 21 show us what our service looks like in a fallen, hostile world. Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation,” (John 16:33) and Romans 12:9-21 shows us our response to the world’s hostility. As Christians living in a fallen world, our faith should show three things to the world. Verses 9-13 show us how our faith should show our solidarity to the world. Verses 14-16 show us how our faith should show our meekness to the world. And, verses 17-21 show us how our faith should show our strength to the world. The first issue addressed is that of our sol

Measure of Faith

Romans 12:3-8 Romans 12:1-2 teaches us that all of our service for the Lord begins with offering up ourselves as living sacrifices. The remainder of the book of Romans shows us the many practical aspects of living as a sacrifice. The first thing we learn is that God has given each of us a measure of faith. Our service for the Lord is motivated by the mercies of God which have been mapped out for us in the preceding chapters of Romans. Now, as we come to the mapping out of our service, the author, Paul, first establishes his authority or right to speak to us concerning our service for the Lord. He says, "For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you..." ( Romans 12:3 ESV ) His instruction is based on the "grace given" to him and his instruction is for "everyone among" us. In Romans 15:15-16, Paul describes the grace given to him. But on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace g

Reasonable Service

Romans 12:1-2 The great Apostle Paul begins Romans 12 with an appeal. He urges us to take action. He pleads with us. He urges us to do two things. First, He urges us to present our bodies as living sacrifices, and, second, he urges us to not be conformed but rather, to be transformed. We are going to focus on these two things, but before we do that we must consider the mercies of God. Paul’s plea or urging is based upon these mercies. He says, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God...” (Romans 12:1, ESV) “Therefore” in this sentence refers back to what has just been said. In chapter 11, concerning the mercy of God, Paul has just said, “For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.” ( Romans 11:32 ESV ) God worked in such a way as to have mercy on us all. As Jesus hung suffering on the cross, those who had put Him there stood by mocking. They were saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King