August 25, 2021 – Romans 12-16
Paul writes: “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (12:1). We are new creatures with a new and holy Lord. Our problem is that, even as children of God, our lives do not always reflect this reality. That’s why it’s such good news that this entreaty is set on the foundation already laid out in the letter, i.e., though we are to live holy lives, we do not always do so; nevertheless, “there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (8:1)! Kind of a must-be-holy-but-we’re-not-holy-but-we-have-the-righteousness-of-another-which-means-no-one-can-make-any-successful-charge-against-us thing.
God has given gifts and, also, one another to help us become more and more like Christ and, especially, we have the example of Christ himself. The gospel, the Savior, the fellowship of the church, spiritual gifts, the Scriptures . . . God has given us all we need in order to grow in the likeness of Christ. And one day, we’ll actually get there! “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified” (8:29,30).
When we walk with the Lord
in the light of his word,
what a glory he sheds on our way!
While we do his good will,
he abides with us still,
and with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there's no other way
to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey. -- John H. Sammis (1887)