Monday, February 24, 2020

The Transition: "Therefore"

Romans - "transitional verse" = Rom. 12:1

From ... "here's the information..."  ie:  what God has done  (Chap. 1-11)
to .... "here's instruction"  ie:  what you should do!!  (Chap. 12-16)

This is common to Paul - example:  Eph. 4:1

Illustration:  think of a house.  First you lay the foundation, then you build the house!
The foundation = information - this is what you build on
The house = application - things you should do

Most look at Christianity and see the house.  (what we should do)
Few recognize the foundation beneath   (why we should do it.)

Another way to view this:  1 Cor. 6:9-11
Romans Chapters 1 - 11 - Positional Righteousness  (mentioned 41 times)
Romans Chapters 12-16 - Practical Righteousness (mentioned once.

So, the text;  the transitional verse - Rom. 12:1


(1)  "therefore" - because of what's been said in prev. 11 chapters
(2)  "in view (light) of God's mercy" - (in light of God's pity, compassion, favor
this mercy ... (1) Revealed in the gospel:  ie:  bad news, good news
                    (2) Received by you  (the reader)

NOTE:  Pagans in Paul's time - sacrificed to obtain mercy of their gods
             Christians sacrifice in response to God's mercy
(the secularist sees no need!  for sacrifice OR Mercy!!)   "I'm OK, you're OK!"

(3)  "I urge you" = halfway between commanding (command) and begging (plea)
ie:  (a)  God does not demand/command (salvation/service)
     (b)  neither does He beg you!!!   (plead)

Rather He calls, woos, invites, urges  ("beseech!)
(this = God's way, Paul's way ... "should be our way also!!)

(4)  "brothers" - (includes ladies!)  "desires all men to be saved
Point:  this word/passage = for Christians!!
On one hand it is good for any/all people
However, can't expect them to live by our instructions!

(5)  "your body"  (text = plural/my challenge=singular ... ie You)
This (body) = literal traslation
However, often used figuratively (as it is here)
Point/Idea = "offer your whole self" - head, heart, hands

(6)  "a sacrifice" - (ie:  an offering to God)
that is... (a)  holy   (set apart for Him alone)
             (b)  pleasing/acceptable   contrast, Cain, Isa. Chapter 1, Malachi
             (c)  Living!!  .... Application is obvious!!

Note:  this sacrifice is not a 1 time event!!
Because we tend to forget  (our vows)  Illustration:  when
                              neglect (our vows)  fire in altar
                              revoke (our vows)  gets hot!!
Living sacrifices have free will!!!

Which is your??
(7) Spiritual Worship??   or
     Reasonable Service?
Problem = can be correctly translated either way!!  (literal or metaphorical)

So.. could be ... "your spiritual act or worship" because we Sacrifice, but it's not literal (animal on an altar)
As the Jews sacrificed literally to Worship, so we offer symbolic offerings in Worship!

OR:  could be ... "your reasonable service" because this = intelligent, rational, logical commitment!!
And it goes beyond head and heart ... to HANDS!!
So... Both translations fit!!  compare:  Deut. 10:12  (emotion) fear and walk - (action)
                                                                             (heart)  love and serve  (hands)

(8)  "offer/present" - because Sacrifice is something You Bring, you offer, you present!!
For the Christian, "offer self" = (1) a Spiritual act of worship
            and                             (2)  a very reasonable service

Summary:  What God (Paul) is calling you to is...
                 (1) Radical  (sacrifice of self??)  (submission to Unseen Lord?)
but            (2)  Reasonable  (in light of His Mercy) (your Redemption)
and           (3)  Effectual  (ie:  it Makes A Difference (M.A.D.) / Makes An Eternal Difference (M.A.E.D.)  (it works!!)

Closing Scripture:  Heb. 12:1

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