Romans 12 is one of my favorite passages. The first two verses encourage us to resist conforming to the world around us and in turn be transformed by God’s Spirit. You have probably heard these verses before
(Romans 12:1–2 NIV) Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform 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.
I have taught youth bible studies from this passage. I have preached this text is worship. It is a powerful and challenging couple of verses.
Most of my lessons stopped at the end of verse 2. However, the next five verses offer practical guidance for how we work out the first two verses. Paul continues to challenge us to live in humility. He describes,
(Romans 12:3 NIV) For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
Paul is careful in his instruction. He doesn’t want to come across arrogant (for by the grace given me), yet he warns us to keep a close eye on our pride. He knows that it is easy to get wrapped up in ourselves. We often take credit for our talents and gifts. However, Paul urges us to recognize God as the giver of all things. Our talents and resources are not ours. Paul continues to explain how we take all that God has given us and use it for the greater good. This is how we live out our being transformed.
Join us on Sunday as we explore Romans 12:1-8. We will kick off Muncie Reach Week together as we learn what it means to offer our lives for God’s work in this world.