Ruminating on ROMANS! (Some Thoughts on Paul’s Great Epistle) #36 “Critical Imperatives for the Christ-Follower” (A Study of Romans 12) Part 8
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 by looking at verse 10.
We’ve seen that the believer is to offer his body as a living sacrifice, not to conform to the pattern of this world, to be transformed by the renewing of his mind, to think of himself with sober judgment, to use his gifts to build up the body of Christ, to hate as God hates, and to be devoted to the body in love!
The eighth critical imperative is —8. Believers are TO HONOR ONE ANOTHER ABOVE THEMSELVES! (v. 10)
What does it actually mean to honor someone? We are to show them respect, care about what they care about, give them the benefit of the doubt. It sounds a bit strange to say to someone, “I honor you.” What is involved in honoring someone? Here’s a brief survey of that term in the Scriptures with my summary at the end:
√Ephesians 6:2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—
√Psalm 8:5 You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.
√Psalm 22:23 You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
√Psalm 84:11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.
√√Psalm 91:15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
√Proverbs 14:31 Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.
Proverbs 21:21 Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.
√Matthew 15:8 “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
√Mark 6:4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.”
√John 5:23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.
√Romans 2:7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.
√Romans 13:7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
√1 Corinthians 6:20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
√2 Corinthians 8:23 As for Titus, he is my partner and co-worker among you; as for our brothers, they are representatives of the churches and an honor to Christ.
√Philippians 2:29 So then, welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him,
√1 Timothy 1:17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
√ Fathers and mothers are singled out to be honored. God has crowned the human being with glory and honor in his creation. The Lord gives favor and honor to those whose walk is blameless. God promises to deliver and honor the one who calls on Him. Honor is withheld in a familiar setting like home or country or among one’s relatives. We are to seek glory and honor and immortality. We are to give honor to those who are owed honor. We can be an honor to Christ in the churches. We are to welcome servants of Christ with great joy and to honor such people. Elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor (= financial support?). We are to honor the emperor (= government officials). 1 Timothy 5:17 The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.
Hebrews 2:7 You made them a little lower than the angels; you crowned them with glory and honor
√Hebrews 2:9 But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
1 Peter 2:17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.
√2 Peter 1:17 He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
√Revelation 4:11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”
Revelation 5:12 In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”
What does it mean to honor God? The term “honor” is used interchangeably with the word “praise.” One action which honors God is to be kind to the needy. It is possible to honor God with one’s lips but one’s heart is far away from Him. We are to honor the Son as we honor the Father. Not honoring the Son = not honoring the Father. We are to honor God with our bodies. Our praise should include honor and glory for ever and ever to God. Christ is now crowned with glory and honor because of His sacrificial death. Christ received honor and glory from God the Father at His transfiguration. God is worthy to receive glory and honor and power because of His creation work. It is the Lamb who is worthy to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise.
What does it mean to honorother human beings? Fathers and mothers are singled out to be honored. God has crowned the human being with glory and honor in his creation. The Lord gives favor and honor to those whose walk is blameless. God promises to deliver and honor the one who calls on Him. Honor is withheld in a familiar setting like home or country or among one’s relatives. We are to seek glory and honor and immortality. We are to give honor to those who are owed honor. We can be an honor to Christ in the churches. We are to welcome servants of Christ with great joy and to honor such people. Elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor (= financial support?). We are to honor the emperor (= government officials).
Conclusion: God honors faithful servant-leaders and we are to do the same. We owe honor to those who faithfully serve the Lord. Honor involves praise, recognition, and, perhaps, even monetary support. And Paul tells us to “honor others above ourselves.”
Today’s Challenge: Which servant-leader deserves to be honored by you? And what steps will you take to fulfill that challenge?
Our latest book, Unlike Jesus: Let’s Stop Unfriending the World is a call to becoming a friend of sinners like the Lord Jesus was! You can order this through Amazon or directly from me (send $10 [which includes shipping] to my address).
Dr. Larry Dixon
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Columbia, SC 29229 Cell: 803-201-9745