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Ruminating on ROMANS! (Some Thoughts on Paul’s Great Epistle) #46 “Critical Imperatives for the Christ-Follower” (A Study of Romans 12) Part 18

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, and to live in harmony with one another!

Let’s continue our multipart study by looking again at verse 16.The eighteenth critical imperative is —

18. Believers are to REACH OUT TO OTHERS REGARDLESS OF THEIR STATUS (v. 16)!

How we relate to other believers is really important! And the Apostle Paul gets at our heart attitude which underlies the way we associate or don’t associate with others.

Pride often keeps us from connecting with those who would value our friendship and encouragement. If we are trapped in what one writer calls “the terrible squirrel cage of self,” we will miss opportunities to show Christ’s love, especially to those of a different economic or educational or racial background.

Conceit frequently lies at the heart of the problem. If I find my deepest significance in myself and my talents and my background, I am forgetting my new life in Christ! My pride is to be in the Lord and in what He is doing in my life. Sinful, self-serving, self-focused conceit ruins relationships. And that’s not what the Lord wants from us!

Today’s Challenge: Think of a specific person as you meditate on verse 16. How does your pride or conceit inhibit you from reaching out to them?

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2021 in Romans 12

 

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Ruminating on ROMANS! (Some Thoughts on Paul’s Great Epistle) #45 “Critical Imperatives for the Christ-Follower” (A Study of Romans 12) Part 17

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, and to use our emotions for the Lord and for each other.

Let’s continue our multipart study by looking at verse 16.

The seventeenth critical imperative is —

17. Believers are to LIVE IN HARMONY WITH ONE ANOTHER (v. 16)!

How critical is it that believers get along with one another? Well, critical enough that the Apostle Paul, led by the Spirit of God, included this charge in this list of imperatives. The world is, indeed, watching Jesus-followers and when they see needless disputes and quarrels and bitterness and unforgiveness and unresolved issues, they stop watching and look elsewhere for spiritual truth.

We are to live in harmony with one another. We don’t have to agree with each other on all issues, but we do have to get along. This means we keep accounts short with one another. We apologize quickly when we’ve wronged another believer. We are fast to forgive when we’ve been wronged. And if the conflict keeps paralyzing the friendship, the spiritual leaders might need to intervene.

Today’s Challenge: Any grudges between you and another believer? Matthew 5 and Matthew 18 speak to both you as an offender and you as the offendee. Pursue harmony today!

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2021 in Romans 12

 

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