Paul’s Practical Preaching
Paul had begun this last bit of Romans, not with more doctrine, but with the practical.
How we are to live in this world, as Christians; belonging to Christ.
In Romans 12:1-2, Paul shows that presenting your bodies to God, and refusing to be conformed to the world, will strengthen you to find and do the will of God in your life.
Romans 12:3 “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”
Paul was saying that God has given every man, by His Holy Spirit, a “measure” of faith and grace.
(We can, as Peter said in 2 Peter 1:5 “…add to your faith…”. This will increase our measure, so we “grow in grace”. We learn to use what we have, by the Holy Spirit’s instruction, and are given more.)
Our “measure” is given to us; so we should not be proud that we know something, but instead, we should use that measure of faith to:
Romans 12:6-18: “…according to the grace that is given…” we are to do the work God has given us to do.
Let love be true, and not phony:….turn away from evil……love the good.
Be kind to one another,…..preferring the fellowship of believers.
Working hard to do our job, because we serve the Lord in it.
Yield to the joy of the Spirit, and be steadfast in the trials of the day.
Minister to the needs of others, as you are told: both spiritual and temporal.
Bless those who seek our hurt. Do not seek revenge.
Be honest. And try and live at peace with all men.
How can we do these things?
They seem impossible!
And in our own strength, they are.
But God has given, with the measure of our faith….a Leader to show us how and when to do….but also to give us the grace and inclination to do….He has given us His Holy Spirit.
We must go back to:
Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, wholly, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.”
You see, it all starts with giving ourselves to God. It says “bodies”, here; to illustrate how we need to yield to the Holy Spirit, completely.
The Lord Jesus was given a body to come to earth and suffer and die, and be raised again…..in His body.
But the Holy Ghost, the Comforter,…..has come to earth, without a body….but instead to indwell and empower our bodies (which include our spirit, soul, and body).
Paul is saying here, that we are to “present”…..which in the Greek means to “stand by, to be at hand, to offer something intangible (our friendship, ourselves)” to God the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit will then take our offering, and work with us to perform the will of God, and to mold us into the likeness of Christ’s character.
Our hands need to be His; not doing things which they should not.
Our feet need to be His; not going places we should stay out of.
Our mouths need to be His; not saying unkind things or lying.
We could go on,……but you see the reason Paul said this.
We need to give ourselves, inside and out, to the Holy Spirit; so we are no longer under our own management….but fully yielded to Him.
But thankfully when we do: we are “transformed” (changed) in motive ,…..in the inner most thoughts and attitudes of my being.
And then given power to “prove” His Will…..by doing it, in the circumstances of my life, day by day.
How good and acceptable it is in our lives!
He wants us to get “our measure” of all we need,…..to live the life He has for us.
A life of goodness and power.
Will we present our bodies to Him?