Romans 12:1-2 NASB
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Because of what Jesus Christ did for us in dying on a cross, and taking our sins upon himself, and putting them to death, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness, we ought to live holy lives, pleasing to God.
To live holy lives means we are separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being made to be like Jesus. We are being conformed into his likeness. Therefore, we no longer live like we did before we trusted in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives. We no longer indulge ourselves in what is sinful, wicked, impure and immoral, but our entire lives are given over to God and to his service, to do what he desires.
So many people who profess faith in Jesus Christ today do not have this mindset about their faith in Christ. They have more the mindset that they are to blend in with the world so that the world will not think they are oddballs. They do not want to appear to be peculiar, and so they live not much different from those who make no profession to faith in Christ. And, so many of them use God’s grace as an excuse for continuing to live in sin, and for continuing to indulge in the sinful nature.
But, Jesus died to set us free from our sinful practices so that we might walk with him in his righteousness, and so that we might die daily to the flesh and to sin. And, the closer we are to him, the more we will not conform to the ways of this world, and therefore all the more that the world of sin and even worldly Christians will not like us, and will not want to hang out with us. But, that is ok. Therefore, for us to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Romans 12:3 NASB
For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.
Even though, by faith in Jesus Christ, we are delivered from our slavery to sin, so that we might walk with Christ in his holiness, we still live in flesh bodies. We still have the propensity to sin against God. We still battle the flesh. And, by “battle” I do not mean that we consistently yield to the flesh, but that we consistently put on the armor of God with which to fight off Satan’s evil schemes against us, and we say “No” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts, and we live self-controlled, upright and godly lives, instead.
Jesus said that if we are to come after him, we must deny self and daily take up our cross and follow him. Daily we must die to sin and self. And, Paul said that if we still walk (conduct our lives) according to the flesh that we will die in our sins. But, if by the Spirit we are putting to death (a process) the deeds of the flesh, then with Christ we will live for eternity.
Thus, part of this dying to the flesh each day is us dying to pride and any sense we have of self-importance or superiority. Yet, we are not to self-abase, either. When people continually put themselves down, especially in front of others, oftentimes so that others will build them up, that is still flesh. That is still pride, but it is inverted pride, because it is still focused on self.
So, we need to have realistic views of ourselves, neither to puff up or to put down, but to daily die with Christ to sin and to self, and to live daily to him and to his righteousness.
Romans 12:9-13 NASB
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.
To love as Jesus loves us is to give of ourselves to meet the legitimate needs of others. It is to speak the truth in love to others so that they might delivered from their slavery to sin, too. And, it is to not compromise our faith in order to be liked by others.
Also, it is not to tell people that we love them while we do evil to them, either to their faces or behind their backs. Words can be cheap if they are not followed up with action. For, love does no harm to its neighbors. And, the same goes for our love for God. If we love God, we will not make sin our practice. Instead, we will follow Jesus Christ in his ways and do what he says and what his Word teaches us.
Thus, if we truly love God and other people, we will hate what is evil and we will cling to what is good rather than hating what is good and clinging to what is evil. For, many professing Christians hold on to their fleshly lusts, and they engage themselves in what is evil, and they continually entertain themselves with what is wicked in God’s sight.
If we truly love God and one another, we will be devoted to one another with regard to what is in the best interest of others, i.e. with regard to what is for their good – what is God’s best for them. Thus, we will not pacify or coddle people in their sin, but we will speak the truth in love to one another, and we will encourage one another in what is of God, and in what is holy, righteous, pure, moral, upright and godly, and not in what is worldly.
Romans 12:14-21 NASB
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
If our love is to be without hypocrisy, then to “bless” those who persecute us does not infer that we coddle them in their sin. For the very word “bless” carries with it the notion that we are doing something that is for the good of others, not to harm them. And, in reality, this word means that we speak reason to them which then provides true benefit to them.
We do not give them false compliments to puff them up nor do we say to them or about them or do to them what will cause them harm, i.e. what is mean and hateful. But, we do speak the truth in love to them, and even if it hurts their feelings, if they turn from their sins, then they have benefited.
If we are to rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep, let it be in regard to what is to the honor and praise of God, and not that which gives approval to what is wicked, for we are never to rejoice in evil but in the truth. And, along those same lines, we are not to be like-minded with those who are not like-minded with Christ, including with many who say they believe in Jesus but who are still living to please the flesh.
Basically, we are to treat other people as Jesus treated people when he walked the face of this earth, but according to what God’s Word teaches, not according to many human interpretations of what Jesus did or didn’t do. For, although Jesus did eat with the ungodly, he never sinned, he never compromised his faith, and he didn’t ever blend in to be accepted. Wherever he went he was always teaching people about God, about purity, concerning righteousness, and about God’s love and grace and his salvation.
An Original Work / April 15, 2012
Walking daily with my Savior
brings me joy.
Loving Father; precious Jesus;
He’s my Savior and my Lord.
Gently leads me; follow Him.
I’ve invited Him within.
Now abiding in His presence,
oh, what peace.
From my self-life
He has brought me,
By His mercy, full release.
Hope and comfort,
peace and safety Jesus brings
When I daily bow before Him;
Obey freely; do His will.
Follow Him where’er He leads.
Listen to Him; His words heed.
Now obeying his words fully,
oh, what love
That He gives me
By His Spirit, from above.
Loving Father; precious Jesus,
He’s my friend.
With my Savior, by His Spirit,
I will endure to the end.
Share the gospel, tell what’s true.
Witness daily; His will do.
Tell the world of how their Savior
bled and died.
On a cruel cross He suffered
So that we might be alive.
Monday, October 15, 2018 – Thank You, Jesus, for this teaching from Your Word. May we take Your words seriously and apply them to our lives daily.