Introduction: When we come to faith in Christ Jesus, what’s supposed to change about our lives? That’s the subject of Romans 12. Romans 1-11 is that portion of the Bible that sets forth in logical and theological terms the doctrine of being justified by grace through faith. The remainder of Romans—chapters 12-16—explains to us the changes that should occur in our lives once we have accepted the message of the first eleven chapters. Since we have been justified by grace through faith, here is how we should then live. Notice how chapter 12 opens: 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. These are the two verses that link Romans 1-11 with Romans 12-16 and tell us about our changed lives. Romans 12 deals with three of these changes.
- A Life of Giftedness (vv. 3-8) – Our very self-image is now based on the fact that, as new Christians, we have a new reason for living; and we’ve been given a set of gifts with which we can serve God. Paul summarizes the spiritual gifts we have in seven different categories; and he indicates that when our lives are transformed by grace through faith, we become gifted people, called to serve God in humble ways wherever we are, and every moment in life is an opportunity for service.
- A Life of Goodness (vv. 9-13) – In terms of our habits and attitudes, we begin turning from what is evil and clinging to what is good, loving others, being devoted to one another, honoring one another, practicing hospitality, and letting the goodness of our Lord Jesus Christ be a live streaming video feed through us every day.
- A Life of Graciousness (vv. 14-21) – Christians should be easy to get along with, pleasant, gracious, forgiving easily, and personable. There may be some who won’t get along with us, but if we are gracious to people—we don’t get mad and stay mad at others and don’t let a root of bitterness spring up, we’ll have a much easier time in life.
Conclusion: When we receive Jesus as our Savior, He begins unmolding us from the pattern of the world and transforming us into the image of Christ. We become people of giftedness, goodness, and graciousness.
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