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Ruminating on ROMANS! (Some Thoughts on Paul’s Great Epistle) #30 “Critical Imperatives for the Christ-Follower” (A Study of Romans 12) Part 2

07 Feb

Many of you know that my New Jersey friend Frank and I are reading through God’s Word together (described here). We’re now in the book of Romans and are reading chapter 12 each day this week.

I count 24 injunctions or commands or imperatives for the believer here in Romans 12. I’m aware that the expression “critical imperative” is redundant, but I think it’s useful for what we see here in this great chapter. Let’s continue our multipart study with verses 1-2.

The first critical imperative that I suggested was —

1. The believer is to OFFER HIS BODY AS A LIVING SACRIFICE! (v. 1).

The second critical imperative that I see is —

2. The believer is NOT TO CONFORM TO THE PATTERN OF THIS WORLD (v. 1)

“World” can mean the planet, the people of the planet, or the pagan system opposing God and the things of God. We are not to adopt the pattern of the pagan system opposing God and the things of God. That means we have to recognize the lies of this world and of the Evil One — and turn away from them!

We choose not to conform. We recognize the sinful thoughts and actions and attitudes of this world and we make choices. I have found much help in the following C.S. Lewis quote:

“Every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different than it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing into a heavenly creature or a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow creatures, and with itself. To be the one kind of creature is heaven: that is, it is joy and peace and knowledge and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state of the other.” (C.S. Lewis)

Today’s Challenge: What choice will you make today NOT to conform to the pattern of this world?

 

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2021 in Romans 12

 

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