The reality behind sanctification is that those truly in Christ have been transformed through the Holy Spirit. While believing certainly leads people to Christ, acceptance and repentance are at the root of salvation.
Either Jew or Gentile, Paul calls on believers to walk in Jesus’ footsteps as we continuously offer ourselves as living sacrifices, holy and glorifying to God almighty.
As disciples and servants of the Lord, through the pen of the apostle Paul believers are given a list of commands.
“9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” (Romans 12:9)
Here Paul uses “agape” meaning “affection or benevolence” to define the type of love we are to spread. Equally important the apostle calls on Christians to distance ourselves from evil instead we are to seek the presence of what is good and acceptable and pleasing to God.
“10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” (Romans 12:10)
From the Greek “philadelphia” meaning “brotherly love” Paul calls on believers to rely on each other as we constantly put other saints above ourselves in an effort to glorify our father in heaven.
“11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” (Romans 12:11)
The apostle encourages Christians to be passionate about our serving each other and God as we do so earnestly. To serve the Lord should be regarded as a privilege therefore it should be done eagerly, zealously.
“12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)
Filled with the Holy Spirit, blessed with the grace and mercy of God Christians should rejoice in our faith in Jesus Christ. We are called to also show patience when we face challenges or find ourselves persecuted. Believers should also rely on prayer to strengthen our faith as well as give praise to God.
“13 Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” (Romans 12:13)
God’s word commands us to share with those in need in spite of situations or man made concepts involving enabling the poor. Christians who recognize a need should do all they can to fill this need understanding our mission is one based on Christ like love. Those who give will be rewarded according to God’s will.
“14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” (Romans 12:14)
In contradiction with human nature Paul calls on believers to bless, or “speak well of” those who persecute us leaving judgment to God. Christians should not curse those who wrong us instead we should be thankful for God’s mercy on us and also for His divine power which includes wrath that awaits those who persecute us.
“15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” (Romans 12:15)
Paul invites us to share in the joy of others Christians as well as their sorrow, since we are all part of one body we should be in harmony with those who make up the church of Christ.
“16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.” (Romans 12:16)
By eliminating pride from our lives we are able to serve each other with Christ like love and affection. Paul calls on us to willingly align ourselves with people of all ranks and position as we walk the narrow path that leads to eternal life thereby fulfilling our mission according to God’s will.
“17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.” (Romans 12:17-19)
Believers should always refrain from vengeance and, when possible, Christians are called to avoid violence, leaving room for God’s mighty, powerful wrath. Not to be confused with self-defense which is absolutely and entirely acceptable to God, “living in peace” involves an assessment of a situation by which we must abide by God’s word.
“20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” (Romans 12:20)
By avoiding revenge instead treating our enemies with Christ like love and affection we glorify God and allow Him to impose punishment on those who persecute and wrong us.
“21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21)
Through faith in Jesus Christ and the strength of the Holy Spirit believers are empowered to resist evil using agape, Christ like love as a weapon to destroy evil.
A daily sacrifice, the Christian walk involves a series of decisions and challenges that should be influenced by the word of God. Guided by each command delivered to us by the apostle Paul, believers are strengthened and empowered to win the battle against evil using love, patience and trust in God’s wrath. Let us pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre