Romans 12

Roy Osborne
December 2012


With the 12th chapter, Paul follows his custom of moving from the
fine points of theology to the practical application of these principles to our everyday life.  This is of special interest to me because, in these essays, it is necessary to keep being reminded of God’s eternal purpose for His Creation, and the methods He uses to carry it out.  However, my primary goal is to find concepts which will lead us to apply His will to our lives in every practical way possible.

Paul speaks here to one of the most serious problems that has plagued Christendom from the very beginning.  I am afraid the average “Christian” today is a person who goes to church and carefully observes all the rituals taught and practiced in the group
with which they have chosen to unite.  However, the two most important things missing in their lives are: a constant search for the Truth, and a dedicated application of the principles of Jesus Christ to their daily life.

Paul urges his readers to “present your bodies, a living sacrifice,   holy and acceptable to God” .   He calls this one’s “spiritual worship”.
Most people consider their worship to be something which takes place in church on Sunday.  Paul says that your entire life should be  lived in an attitude of worship.  In other words, whatever you do 
should be done with a consciousness of the presence of God, and in accordance with the principles of His will.  You do not just “get in the Spirit” when you are carrying out the rituals of worship in church.  Your body is the temple of the Spirit of God, and whatever you are doing should be done as His Spirit directs.  At work or at play, the true disciple never acts in a way contrary to the Spirit within.  That makes your life a life of worship, recognizing that it, and any ability you may have, is a gift of God.

Next, Paul warns against the most difficult temptation that man faces.  He says, “…be not conformed to this world”.  Peer pressure is
recognized as one of the most powerful forces in our lives.  To resist this and choose to be “holy” (which means separate) is a very difficult task and must be practiced with faith and persistence if we are to live the life which imitates Jesus Christ.

Paul says if you are to do this it must be by “renewing your mind”.
This means you must be always searching for truth.  Too many
religious people find a faith they are satisfied with and never search any further.  The truth of God is infinite, and we are finite and subject to err.  Consequently, we should be constantly studying and meditating on the Word of God.  It will often require turning away from things we once believed and progressing to greater truth which can be found by humbling ourselves and being willing to let His Word guide us.  Established creeds and acceptance of what others believe or have passed down to us, are some of the greatest hindrances to the truth.  To renew our minds we must be constant truth seekers.

In our next essay or two we will examine further the rich truths Paul includes in this beautiful 12th chapter of Romans.