Verses teaching "Christian Life & Worship"
Part 64- PAUL'S LETTER to the ROMANS
Romans 12:1-2 - With eyes wide open to the mercies of God, I (Paul) beg you, my brothers, as an act of intelligent worship, to give him your bodies, as a living sacrifice, consecrated to him and acceptable by him. Don't let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity.
64.2 the BODY OF CHRIST - THE CHURCH
Romans 12:3-8 - As your spiritual teacher I (Paul) give this piece of advice to each one of you. Don't cherish exaggerated ideas of yourself or your importance, but try to have a sane estimate of your capabilities by the light of the faith that God had given to you all. For just as you have many members in one physical body and those members differ in their functions, so we, though many in number, compose one body in Christ and are all members of one another. Through the grace of God we have different gifts. If our gift is preaching, let us preach to the limit of our vision. If it is serving others let us concentrate on our service; if it is teaching let us give all we have to our teaching; and if our gift be the stimulating of the faith of others let us set ourselves to it. Let the man who is called to give, give freely; let the man who wields authority think of his responsibility; and let the man who feels sympathy for his fellows act cheerfully.
64.3 LOVE - ITS PREEMINENCE, also INSINCERITY
Romans 12:9a - Let us have no imitation Christian love.
64.4 CHRISTIAN CONDUCT
Romans 12:9b - Let us have a genuine break with evil and a real devotion to good.
64.5 CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP
Romans 12:10 - Let us have real warm affection for one another as between brothers, and a willingness to let the other man have the credit.
Romans 12:11 - Let us not allow slackness to spoil our work and let us keep the fires of the spirit burning, as we do our work for God.
64.7 the HAPPY
Romans 12:12a - Base your happiness on your hope in Christ.
64.8 TRIALS OF LIFE
Romans 12:12b - When trials come endure them patiently ....
Romans 12:12c - .... steadfastly maintain the habit of prayer.
64.10 CHARITABLE GIVING, also HOSPITALITY
Romans 12:13 - Give freely to fellow-Christians in want, never grudging a meal or a bed to those who need them.
Romans 12:14 - ... as for those who try to make your life a misery, bless them. Don't curse, bless.
64.12 the HAPPY
Romans 12:15a - Share the happiness of those who are happy,
64.13 the SORROWING
Romans 12:15b - Share .... the sorrow of those who are sad.
64.14 CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP
Romans 12:16a - Live in harmony with each other.
Romans 12:16b - Don't become snobbish but take a real interest in ordinary people.
Romans 12:16c - Don't become set in your own opinions (... don't become conceited).
Romans 12:17a - Don't pay back a bad turn by a bad turn, to anyone. ....
64.18 WITNESSES TO CHRIST
Romans 12:17b - Don't say "it doesn't matter what people think", but see that your public behaviour is above criticism.
Romans 12:18 - As far as your responsibility goes, live at peace with everyone.
Romans 12:19 - Never take vengeance into your own hands, my dear friends: stand back and let God punish if he will. For it is written: 'Vengeance is mine. I will repay'.
Romans 12:20-21 - ... these are God's word: 'Therefore if your enemy hungers, feed him; if he thirsts, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head'. Don't allow yourself to be overpowered with evil. Take the offensive - overpower evil by good!
Romans 13:1-7 - Every Christian ought to obey the civil authorities, for all legitimate authority is derived from God's authority, and the existing authority is appointed under God. To oppose authority then is to oppose God, and such opposition is bound to be punished.
The honest citizen has no need to fear the keepers of law and order, but the dishonest man will always be nervous of them. If you want to avoid this anxiety just lead a law-abiding life, and all that can come your way is a word of approval. The officer is God's servant for your protection. But if you are leading a wicked life you have reason to be alarmed. The "power of the law" which is vested in every legitimate officer, is no empty phrase. He is, in fact, divinely appointed to inflict God's punishment upon evil-doers.
You should, therefore, obey the authorities, not simply because it is the safest, but because it is the right thing to do. It is right, too, for you to pay taxes for the civil authorities are appointed by God for the good purposes of public order and well-being. Give everyone his legitimate due, whether it be rates, or taxes, or reverence, or respect!
64.23 LOVE - ITS PREEMINENCE
Romans 13:8-10 - Keep out of debt altogether, except the perpetual debt of love which we owe to one another. The man who loves his neighbour has obeyed the whole Law in regard to his neighbour. For the commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, You shall not covet' and all other commandments are summed up in this one saying: 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself'. Love hurts nobody: therefore love is the answer to the Law's commands.
64.24 CHRISTIAN CONDUCT
Romans 13:11-14 - Why all this stress on behaviour? Because, as I think you have realised, the present time is of the highest importance - it is time to wake up to reality. Every day brings God's salvation nearer. The night is nearly over, the day has almost dawned. Let us therefore fling away the things that men do in the dark, let us arm ourselves for the fight of the day! Let us live cleanly, as in the daylight, not in the "delights" of getting drunk or playing with sex, nor yet in quarrelling or jealousies. Let us be Christ's men from head to foot, and give no chances to the flesh to have its fling.
64.25 DIFFERENCES OF OPINION
Romans 14:1-23 - Welcome a man whose faith is weak, but not with the idea of arguing over his scruples. One man believes that he may eat anything, another man, without this strong conviction, is a vegetarian. The meat-eater should not despise the vegetarian, nor should the vegetarian condemn the meat-eater - they should reflect that God has accepted them both. After all, who are you to criticise the servant of somebody else, especially when that somebody else is God? It is to his own master that he gives, or fails to give, satisfactory service. And don't doubt that satisfaction, for God is well able to transform men into servants who are satisfactory.
People are different - make allowances
Again, one man thinks some days of more importance than others. Another man considers them all alike. Let every one be definite in his own convictions. If a man specially observes one particular day, he does so "to God". The man who eats, eats "to God", for he thanks God for the food. The man who fasts also does it "to God", for he thanks God for the benefits of fasting. The truth is that we neither live nor die as self-contained units. At every turn life links us to God, and when we die we come face to face with him. In life or death we are in the hands of God. Christ lived and died that he might be the Lord in both life and death.
Why, then, criticise your brother's actions, why try to make him look small? We shall all be judged one day, not by each other's standards or even our own, but by the standard of Christ. It is written: 'As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God'. It is to God alone that we have to answer for our actions.
This should be our attitude
Let us therefore stop turning critical eyes on one another. If we must be critical, let us be critical of our own conduct and see that we do nothing to make a brother stumble or fall.
I am convinced, and I say this as in the presence of Christ himself, that nothing is intrinsically unholy. But none the less it is unholy to the man who thinks it is. If your habit of unrestricted diet seriously upsets your brother, you are no longer living in love towards him. And surely you wouldn't let food mean ruin to a man for whom Christ died. You mustnt let something that is all right for you look like an evil practice to somebody else. After all, the kingdom of Heaven is not a matter of whether you get what you like to eat and drink, but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you put these things first in serving Christ you will please God and are not likely to offend men. So let us concentrate on the things which make for harmony, and on the growth of one another's character. Surely we shouldn't wish to undo God's work for the sake of a plate of meat!
I freely admit that all food is, in itself. harmless, but it can be harmful to the man who eats it with a guilty conscience. We should be willing to be both vegetarians and teetotallers if by doing otherwise we should impede a brother's progress in faith. Your personal convictions are a matter of faith between yourself and God, and you are happy if you have no qualms about what you allow yourself to eat. Yet if a man eats meat with an uneasy conscience about it, you may be sure he is wrong to do so. For his action does not spring from his faith, and when we act apart from our faith we sin.
64.26 CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP
Romans 15:1-3 - We who have strong faith ought to shoulder the burden of the doubts and qualms of others and not just to go our own sweet way. Our actions should mean the good of others - should help them to build up their characters. For even Christ did not choose his own pleasure, but as it is written: "The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me."
64.27 the HOLY BIBLE
Romans 15:4 - ... all those words which were written long ago (in the Old Testament) are meant to teach us today; that when we read in the scriptures of the endurance of men and of all the help that God gave them in those days, we may be encouraged to go on hoping in our own time.
64.28 CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP
Romans 15: 5-7 - May the God who inspires men to endure, and gives them a Father's care, give you a mind united towards one another because of your common loyalty to Jesus Christ. And then, as one man, you will sing from the heart the praises of God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. So open your hearts to one another as Christ has opened his heart to you, and God will be glorified.
to Contents List
continuing verses on "Christian Life and Worship", on to Part 65, Colossians OR back to Harmony of Jesus & Early Church