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Ruminating on ROMANS! (Some Thoughts on Paul’s Great Epistle) #47 “Critical Imperatives for the Christ-Follower” (A Study of Romans 12) Part 19

13 Mar

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.

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, to be devoted to the body in love, to honor one another beyond yourselves, to keep one’s spiritual fervor, to be joyful in hope, to be patient in affliction, to be faithful in prayer, to share with the Lord’s people who are in need, to practice hospitality, to bless those who persecute them, to use our emotions for the Lord and for each other, to live in harmony with one another, and to reach out to others regardless of their status!

Let’s continue our multipart study by looking at verse 17.The nineteenth critical imperative is pretty straightforward —

19. Believers are NOT TO REPAY EVIL FOR EVIL (v. 17)!

My default setting — and I’ll bet yours as well — is to remember every offense done to me. And not just remember them, but to at least think about retaliation!

Okay, don’t look so spiritual. You probably don’t suffer wrong any better than I do! One of my biggest challenges is driving. I drive just fine. It’s other people that have lost their minds. And they cut me off, ride on my bumper, don’t signal when they pull in front of me, drive 100 in a 70 mph zone. Basically irritate the living daylights out of me. I sometimes flash my headlights at those who commit these egregious vehicular offenses, occasionally give them a glare of profound religious indignation, and then begin scheming. Yes, I scheme.

I think about following them to their place of business and keying their car. That’s when you take your key and scratch the side of their car with it. I’ve never keyed anyone’s car. Even when they deserved it. But I’ve thought about it.

And then . . . I repented. It’s not mine to bring down God’s hammer of judgment on wayward sinners. And it would be EVIL for me to do so.

How about you? Don’t you long for judgment — perhaps immediate wrath — to be dispensed on the malefactors that have committed evil on you? on the world? But we are to leave judgment in GOD’s hands.

Today’s Challenge: What offense against you causes you to plot retaliation? There are none? Then I guess Paul’s admonition to not repay evil for evil doesn’t apply to you. Or does it?

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2021 in Romans 12

 

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One response to “Ruminating on ROMANS! (Some Thoughts on Paul’s Great Epistle) #47 “Critical Imperatives for the Christ-Follower” (A Study of Romans 12) Part 19

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