Wednesday 26 February 2014

Bible Book:

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (v. 2)

Romans 12:1-8 Wednesday 26 February 2014


Today's passage begins a larger section of the letter thatfocuses explicitly on the ethical implications of Paul's message.Such implications flow from Paul's description of God's work inChrist, as the little word "therefore" indicates (v. 1). We arecalled to a new kind of life because we know who - and whose - weare. Knowing the "mercies of God" (v. 1) can shape our lives.

The well-known opening two verses apply the language of liturgyand worship to everyday life. Believers are to present themselvesas 'holy sacrifices', set apart for God (verse 1). They are also toavoid conformity to the ways of this world, and instead seekrenewal for their minds (verse 2). In a culture in which personalautonomy is sometimes raised to the status of an idol, the call togive ourselves to God as a sacrifice can be difficult. We do so,however, knowing that that the God who calls us is the one who cameto us in Jesus. This God can be trusted to show us the 'good', the'acceptable', and the 'perfect'.

Paul also instructs believers to avoid self-promotion within theChurch, and - instead - to modestly take their place within acommunity in which God has spread grace widely (verses 3-8). Justlike "members" (v. 4) of the body, the members of the Church allhave different functions and gifts. We are one in Christ, but bringdifferences to the table. The list of gifts that Paul includes areillustrative of the range of graces God grants, and include thosethat are more widely known - such as ministry and teaching - andthose that often go on in the background - such as giving andcompassion. All are gifts, and all are important.

To Ponder

  • Are you attracted or alienated by the idea of being a'sacrifice'? Why or why not?
  • In what ways do you seek to 'renew your minds'?
  • What gifts do you bring to the Church? 
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