Tag Archives: Romans 12

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 64/260: Read Romans 12

In Romans 12, Paul offers a number of short exhortations to his readers. The King James Version translates the first part of verse 11, “Not slothful in business.” The Christian should be diligent for his employer, but the context this verse has more to do with the business of the church.

We sing a song, “I want to be a worker for the Lord.” Do we mean those words when we sing them? Do we truly want to “be busy every day in the vineyard of the Lord,” or are we just giving lip service?

All disciples are to be actively engaged in the work of the Lord’s church. We should be busy making disciples (Matthew 28:19), encouraging each other (Hebrews 10:24-25), and helping the needy (Galatians 6:10; James 1:27).

We do not always see the fruit of our labors, but we must not give up. If we are mocked or rejected or persecuted by those around us, we keep obeying God (1 Peter 2:19-20). The things we do in the name of the Lord are not done in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58). May we never lag in diligence when it comes to the Lord’s work.

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

Romans 10:10. For with the heart one believes ___________ righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made ___________ salvation.

Pray

Pray for laborers to join you in the vineyard, and pray for the energy to do the Lord’s work in that vineyard.

Fervent in Spirit, Serving the Lord

          No matter what one’s role is in the church, he is expected to be zealous in performing the will of God in that role. In the words of James Burton Coffman, “A lazy Christian is a contradiction of terms. Having been saved from the guilt and ravages of sin, the Christian is man at the zenith of his best powers.”
          It is not possible for one who truly understands what God has done to be apathetic. Christianity is not a hobby; it is a way of life. The church is not a social club; it is a spiritual family.
          The elders are not overlords; they are shepherds who care for your soul. The deacons are not junior elders; they are servants who carry out specific works in the church. The preacher is not a performer; he is a student and messenger of God’s Word.
          Members are not spectators; they are essential parts of the body, and if the church is going to be healthy, every member must be just as fervent in spirit as the elders, deacons, and preacher as they serve the Lord!

Not Lagging in Diligence

          In Romans 12, Paul offers a number of short exhortations to his readers. The King James Version translates the first part of verse 11, “Not slothful in business.” The Christian should be diligent for his employer, but the context this verse has more to do with the business of the church.
          We sing a song, “I want to be a worker for the Lord.” Do we mean those words when we sing them? Do we truly want to “be busy every day in the vineyard of the Lord,” or are we just giving lip service?
          All disciples are to be actively engaged in the work of the Lord’s church. We should be busy making disciples (Matthew 28:19), encouraging each other (Hebrews 10:24-25), and helping the needy (Galatians 6:10; James 1:27).
          We do not always see the fruit of our labors, but we must not give up. If we are mocked or rejected or persecuted by those around us, we keep obeying God (1 Peter 2:19-20). The things we do in the name of the Lord are not done in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58). May we never lag in diligence when it comes to the Lord’s work.

Giving Preference To One Another

          Paul wrote to the church at Rome, “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another” (Romans 12:10). This passages speaks to how we treat each other in the church. Paul had just written, “Let love be without hypocrisy,” in verse 9; our actions must match our words!
          In another place, the apostle wrote, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).
          Do you see a brother or sister in need? Whether it is a spiritual, emotional, or physical need, it is our duty (and should be our delight!) to fulfill that need. Listen to each other and offer whatever assistance you can.
          Our primary goal is to get to heaven, and secondary is to take as many with us as possible. This congregation is full of Barnabas-type encouragers, saints who want to see each other in glory. Keep lifting each other up and looking out for the eternal interests of your brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Cling To What Is Good

          “Cling” is defined: “hold on tightly to; adhere or stick firmly or closely to; be hard to part or remove from.” Paul says that we are to “cling to what is good” (Romans 12:9). How do we do that?
          First, we must know what good is. It is said that Jesus “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38), so we can start by looking at His actions and imitating Him. We are also told that the will of God is “good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2), so we can study what He reveals to us (James 1:21-25).
          Second, once we know what it is, we need to think about it and apply it. Paul writes that we should meditate on noble, just, pure, lovely, virtuous things (Philippians 4:8). What is the result of such meditation? Jesus tells us, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things” (Matthew 12:35).
          Are you clinging to what is good? Studying it and meditating on it? Are you bringing forth good things to encourage those around you?

Abhor What Is Evil

          To “abhor” is to “regard with disgust and hatred.” This is how God sees sin, and it must be how we see sin as well.
          Christians have long opposed the action of abortion, seeing it as the murder of an innocent, defenseless human being. The New York state legislature recently passed a law that allows abortions after 24 weeks if the mother’s health is at risk. Certainly there are difficult decisions that need to be made by some in such cases, but there is a fear that the law can be manipulated and interpreted too broadly. One does not have to scroll through their Facebook feed very long to see several posts, editorial cartoons, and links to articles about the evils of abortion.
          There is no doubt, per Romans 12:9, that we are to “abhor what is evil,” and that certainly includes abortion. Yet, how do we approach this and other subjects in our interactions with others? Do our words, either online or in person, do more harm than good? There are many in the world that have been deceived by people they trust, taught to accept things that Christians find unconscionable. If we verbally attack them, more times than not they will simply dig in and defend their position regardless of any argument presented.
          Consider the approach God commands in Galatians 6:1 – “in a spirit of gentleness.” Think about the Facebook posts and interactions you have witnessed over the past week concerning abortion. How many times would you say the godly position was presented “in a spirit of gentleness”?
          What we say absolutely matters, make no mistake about it! Should we oppose the evil of abortion? Of course we should! However, we need to be certain how we say it does not hinder our neighbor’s acceptance of the truth. Be gentle and patient and kind while being steadfast and uncompromising in God’s Word.
          May we always be those who “abhor what is evil” while we seek to guide the erring toward God’s truth in gentleness. We must abhor the sin, but see the soul as precious to and wanted by the Almighty.

Let love be without hypocrisy

          “Let love be without hypocrisy” (Romans 12:9). Brother Don DeWelt paraphrased these words, “Let your professions of love be real” (Romans Realized, page 197). Inspiration teaches us that love is the foundation for all of God’s commands: “Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:8-10). If we say we love, but do not allow it to influence our actions, that is the height of hypocrisy.
          Christ warned against hypocritical behavior in Matthew 6. He said the hypocrites said and did things to “have glory from men” and to “be seen by men” (6:2,5). The love and honor professed by hypocrites is betrayed by their hearts, resulting in vain worship (Matthew 15:7-9). Hypocritical judgments hinder our influence for Christ among seekers of truth and guidance (Matthew 7:1-5).
          Many opponents Christianity will use the word “hypocrite” as if they make a dollar every time it is said, but we need to be careful that we do not dismiss such accusations without self-examination. That is Christ’s point in Matthew 7. We cannot effectively teach the world about sin and redemption if we have not corrected the sin and sought redemption in our own lives.
          Once we determine to work out our own salvation (Philippians 2:12), we can get to the business of leading others to their salvation. Continually examining ourselves, spending time in the Word, living it and teaching it. “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (1 Timothy 4:16).
          Looking to the Word as the standard, ask yourself, “Does the love I profess for God and man match the life I live?” Be honest with yourself and make the changes necessary so that you can, as Paul wrote, “let love be without hypocrisy.”