Living the Christian Life
Augustine, Luther, Calvin, and Edwards were theological giants in their time. Great men like Wesley and Wilberforce were esteemed for their practical application of Christian truth. However, none of them compare to the Apostle Paul. He is the greatest theologian and the greatest teacher of application of Christian truth. He towers above them all, in both his teaching and its application to daily living.
In view of God’s plan of redemption (highlighted in the last few verses of Chapter 11), Paul urges us to offer our bodies, “as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God” (Romans 12:1). The Old Testament forms of sacrifice were shadows that pointed to the ultimate sacrifice that would be made by Jesus Christ. Sheep, goats, bullocks and cereal offerings are no longer offered before the Lord. The life the believer lives now is that living sacrifice of the New Testament. It is a life of sacrifice to the Lord, a life set apart and consecrated for His glory. The past shadows of sacrifice are no longer acceptable or pleasing to God, He wants the real thing, you the believer.
The believer will always feel the peer pressure and the struggle of living in this world. The fact is that everyone (believers and non-believers) live together in this world. However, the believer should be strongly influenced by God’s standard, as opposed to the world’s standard. This does not mean being irrelevant, insignificant or weird. It also does not mean being self-righteous or outwardly appearing to be more pious than others. It is about refusing to conform to the sinful patterns this world, not conforming to its patterns of disobedience.
To be transformed is a good thing in every respect. There is nothing bad or restrictive about a renewed mind. A renewed mind no longer finds the ways of the world appealing. A renewed mind has new perspectives and new values. Paul wants every believer to be the light of the world, the salt of the earth and show a more excellent way…
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