Question 11: What are some practical implications for living out our Christian faith?
Main Verse: (Romans 12:1-17)
Key Thought: Life with Jesus does require us to think and grow. But the ultimate goal is not to obtain knowledge but live out our faith daily (John 13:17). And this is the part of Paul’s letter describing what that kind of life entails.
Your treatment of people is one of the strongest indicators of your love and affection for Jesus.
- We are to give our bodies over to God in the act of worship (Romans 12:1-2)
The Worship through Sacrifice in the Ancient World:
- Often included a blood sacrifice (or something of value)
- It was used to communicate to the gods
- The communication was almost always a petition
- The religious act was disconnected from the person’s thoughts, feelings, or disposition.
Paul erases the gap between a religious ceremony and our personal lives.
What do you do with your body?
(That is potentially an act of worship.)
- We are to use our gifting inside the community of faith (Romans 12:3-8)
- Humility is important
- We are different, yet together
- Key point- know your spot
- We are to care for others (Romans 12:9-16)
- PAUSE – let’s remember that conflict and disunity is what has brought about the conditions for this letter. If this is true, then these words are all the more important.
- Here is genuine love for the Church body (each of these are action-oriented)
- Hate evil
- Cling to what is good
- Care for one another like family
- Lead one another on with honor
- Don’t be lazy (be ardent in spirit- serve)
- Rejoice in Hope
- Remain firm in action
- Be stubbornly devoted to prayer
- Share what you have
- Be very open to the stranger
This person loves people and is eager to share what she has to express care.
- We are to try to get along with outsiders (Romans 12:17-21)
- Seek the common good
- Try as best as you can to live at peace with all humans
- Allow room for God’s wrath
- Instead of seeking vengeance- give them a sandwich
This person is not fearful of outsiders but is genuinely concerned about their life. At the same time, this believer wants to seek the common good in their community. And when things don’t go my way, I will allow room for God’s vengeance.
Pick a Neighbor and then do one of the following this week:
- Be Humble
- Seek Peace
- Share food
- Make Room
TALK IT OUT:
- Pastor Rusty points out that our treatment of others is one of the strongest indicators of our love and affection for Jesus. How might this be part of what Paul meant when he wrote that we are to give our bodies over to God as an act of worship?
- We are to use our gifting inside the community of faith. No member is excluded. Each of us is important, but none of us should feel superior because every other member’s gift is also needed. What is your spot in God’s family, and how might He use your spiritual gift to bless our church family?
- Pastor Rusty reminds us that conflict and disunity created the conditions which prompted this letter. Why does Paul emphasize that our love must be sincere in this context?
- In verse 9, we are challenged to “hate what is evil and cling to what is good.” What balance do we show when we both hate evil and cling to good?
- Pastor Rusty points out that we are to “care for one another like family.” In practical terms, how might you live out this command in your life?
- In verse 12, Pastor Rusty observes that we’re to be “stubbornly devoted to prayer.” Does this come easily to you? What steps might you take to become more faithful in prayer if it doesn’t?
- When Paul talks about how we treat those on the outside, he emphasizes that we are to 1) bless others even if they persecute us, 2) show empathy, 3) demonstrate humility, 4) seek the common good, 5) do our best to be at peace with everyone, and 6) allow room for God’s wrath by refusing to seek vengeance. Which of these is easiest for you? Which is hardest?
LIVE IT OUT
- Pick a neighbor and then do at least one of the following for them this week:
- Bless them even if they persecute you and make your life miserable
- Show empathy
- Demonstrate humility
- Seek the common good of your neighbor
- Allow room for God’s wrath if your neighbor responds inappropriately
- Ask God to bless this neighbor through you this week.
- Ask God to help you be a person who demonstrates His grace this week.