The Book of Romans Bible Study Chapter 12 Part 1

Romans 12:1-5

Those who have accepted Messiah (i.e. every believer) will be in the Kingdom of G-d. G-d does not judge believers as to which of them will go to heaven or which to hell. When we believe, we can have an assurance of our salvation and can know with certainty that we will be with G-d in His Kingdom. However, what G-d does judge a believer for is for what type of experience they are going to have in the Kingdom of G-d (Once we have been declared ‘righteous’ – because of what Messiah has done and not because of what we have done – it is necessary for us to behave righteously). The Bible makes it very clear that not every believer is going to have the same type of Kingdom experience. Being ‘great’ in this Kingdom comes from serving G-d (Matt 20:26, Matt 18:4, 1 Cor 3:12-15) – by faithfully doing what G-d has called us to do. 

v1: I beseech (exhort) you: This is a strong word of encouragement. This word lets us know that this is an important issue that Paul is writing about.

  • Therefore: This is a word that demands that we remember what Paul has just revealed. In Roms 11:36 Paul concluded by reminding us that all the glory needs to go to G-d. We, therefore, need to live lives that glorify G-d so that we can be well pleasing to Him. 
  • Brethren: Paul is exhorting believers (brothers and sisters in the faith) to do this. By addressing them as ‘brethren’ Paul reveals to us that they have already been saved. This is how believers need to live post salvation (we do not live like this to obtain salvation – we are already saved). 
  • The mercies (compassion) of G-d: G-d looks on us and has compassion on us. ‘Compassion’ is a word of action. It causes the One who is compassionate to do something. G-d looked at our spiritual condition and saw that we were lost and separated from Him, so He made a plan to change our eternity. Every time that Yeshua was moved by compassion, He usually did something (healed someone, fed them, He moved to alleviate their pain or suffering etc – Matt 14:14, Matt 15:32 etc). The outcome of compassion is that people are moved to praise and glorify G-d. 
  • Present your bodies: This is a word of sacrifice or of offering. We need to present our lives to G-d. Our lives need to be lived in a sacrificial way. 
  • Holy: Holiness is always connected to the purposes of G-d. We need to live in such a way that we are moved to do the purposes of G-d. 
  • Acceptable: Well pleasingWe need to live lives that G-d is exceedingly pleased with.
  • Reasonable service: To live in this way should be logical (reasonable) to us. 

v2: Do not be: Paul has told us how we are to live and now he tells us how we are not to live. 

  • This world: We are not to live or be influenced by those who live in the world (or the culture of the world). 
  • Transformed: This word in Greek is where we get the English word ‘metamorphosis’ from. When we are saved, we undergo a change. 
  • (Renewed): This same word is found in Titus 3:5. We are told in this verse in Titus that this renewing doesn’t happen because of our works of righteousness (we cannot renew our own minds), but this renewal (new identity) comes through Messiah’s righteous work on the cross – according to His work of mercy/compassion. When we are saved, in Messiah, we receive the Holy Spirit and He is the One who brings about regeneration and renewal in our lives. We cannot do this for ourselves. Our minds are not improved when we come to Messiah, but the Holy Spirit alters them, He completely changes them (a metamorphosis takes place – we become a new creation). It is only with this new mind that transformation can occur in a believer’s life. 
  • You may prove (document): This is why we need a new mind. This is the purpose. We are given evidence or proof that we are new creations. 
  • Perfect will: When our minds are changed, we persevere until the complete and perfect will of G-d is fulfilled in our lives. This is what we are interested in. 

v3: Do not think …more highly than he ought to think: With the new minds that we have been given in Messiah we ought not to think beyond what is necessary (eg emphasising dreams we have had etc)

  • Think soberly: According to the measure of faith that we have been given, we need to think appropriately and according to the truth/revelation of G-d so that we are able to complete the call that we’ve received from Him.

v4: Note: We need to find out what G-d has called us, individually, to do, as we are not all called to do the exact same thing. That call, and its fulfilment, will be related to or based upon the faith that G-d has given to us. 

v5: Being many: There are many people, many parts, in the body of Messiah. 

  • One body: Referring to the congregation of the redeemed, the church.
  • Individually members of one another: In the body of Messiah (in the church) there are many members. We do not all have the same function. G-d has not given us all the same call, and nor has He given us each the same measure of faith. However, we do have something in common. We are all called to serve each other for the betterment of the entire body. We are all called to be a blessing to each other, assisting one another. 

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