How did you do with your reconciled relationships this week?
How did you share that with someone this week?
The theme of Paul's letter to the Romans is “justified by grace through faith”; in other words, Paul lays out the plan of salvation. In chapters 1-8 Paul presents the doctrine, in chapters 9-11 he deals with the special case of Israel, then in chapters 12-16 Paul looks at the practical application of salvation.
Theme verses: 1:16-17
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
See also Philippians 3:8-9
What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ -the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.
Righteousness is used often in the New Testament - with three Biblical uses of the word:
…of God. This refers to the characteristic of God Himself. God does not live up to a standard, rather whatever God does is right.
…of the demand for us to live up to the righteous standards of God. (Romans 3:10, 23)
…of the gift that is accounted to the person who believes in Jesus Christ. (Romans 3:21-22)
Where do I see myself relative to these?
Why does it matter?
What does Romans 8:1 say to me?
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God -this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -his good, pleasing and perfect will.
“Therefore” is the transition from doctrine to practice. It means “In light of everything that I have written.”
2 Peter 3:18
According to Romans 12:1 what are Christians to do?
What is the basis of that urging?
How does that relate to my worship life (in actual practice)?
Conforming: What are some examples of conforming to the world?
Some misunderstand Paul, that he is advocating “removing” the mind. But Paul writes that the transformation occurs by renewing the mind. How do I renew my mind?
What does Paul tell us in Titus 3:5-6 about this process?
A book was written about 40 years ago, entitled The Half-Known God referring to the Holy Spirit. Is that still true for me?
When Paul says that “you will be able to test and approve what God's will is,” the Christian discovers the truth of God's promises and purposes. What does that say to me about living out the renewal of my life in Christ?
Conclusion: Let's R.A.P. Up!
Renewal is the living out and growth that God works in the life of the Christian. It can be painful as old habits, conforming patterns are hard to break. Why is renewal an ongoing process?
Do I look for “renewal fixes”? What is my attitude about renewal personally and in worship? (See John 4:24)
“Therefore” I have read what God desires: to offer my body as a living sacrifice.
What can I do this week in the renewal process?
Have I done that?
How can I pursue this with others at my church home?