BOOK BY BOOK BIBLE STUDY
BIBLE STUDY LESSON
DOES YOUR LIFE PLEASE GOD?
(We are to live so that our behavior pleases GOD)
Romans chapter 12 (along with 1 Corinthians 12), presents to us the Christian image of what the Holy Body of CHRIST (the Church) should look like. Paul has already shown us in previous chapters of this letter just how GOD has moved to provide and impart righteousness to those who believe in CHRIST JESUS (Romans chapters 6-8). Now, he moves on to some more practical issues that go to the heart of Christian theology, and what the attitude of the true Christian should be like.
JESUS does not ask that we die for HIM, but rather, HE asks that we live for HIS FATHER GOD. Paul too, says that we should strive to be a living, acceptable, Holy sacrifice to GOD, not allowing ourselves to be conformed to the world, but instead, to be transformed from it (Romans 12:1-2). As GOD’s messenger, Paul warns us to be honest in our estimation of ourselves, measuring our value by how much faith GOD has given us. In doing that, we will be able to function better as members in the body of CHRIST. And just as our bodies have many parts that must work together in unison, so it is within the body of CHRIST (Romans 12:3-4).
As Christians, we’ve all become a part of CHRIST’s body, and, we each have different tasks to perform within that body, however, at one and the same time, we still all belong to each other, and need each other to be successful in our shared duties. GOD has given each of us certain gifts, and we are obligated to GOD to use those gifts in service of HIM, and, in service of each other. We are to genuinely love and honor each other, love what is right, and enthusiastically serve GOD in the Church, in our homes, and, in every other area of our lives. We must continue to work hard at what GOD has charged us to do and be glad for HIS plans for our life. We must also show patience in times of trouble, always pray, and never give in to the weight of the task (Romans 12:5-12).
Paul says that we should not curse those who trouble us, but rather, we should pray for them that GOD might bless them. When others are happy, be glad that they are happy, not envious because you’re not. And, when they are sad, we should share with them, in their sorrow. Live in harmony with others as best you can. Never see yourself as being too important to enjoy the company of ordinary people. Do your part to contribute to peace and don’t try to repay people for their evil deeds toward you, for that is a matter for GOD to handle. Don’t let evil conquer you, but rather, access the power of the HOLY SPIRIT in you, that you may be able to conquer evil (Romans 12:13-21).
GOD’s righteousness is revealed through the transformed lives of men and women, who strive to reflect HIS image to others through their own behavior. As a person is transformed in their mind, and is, as a result, made more like CHRIST, they begin to, not only approve, but also desire GOD’s will. Doing GOD’s will becomes paramount to those who begin to grow, discover, and understand that which pleases GOD. What pleases GOD, and what is good for mankind, are in fact, one in the same thing. In that biblical sense, which is the spiritual sense, a person becomes complete in every way, and, is then able to walk in the newness of life, that is, CHRIST JESUS, and enjoy GOD’s will, full time.
The commands of Scripture are as real today, as they where in the beginning. GOD’s, expectations of us, has not changed over time. HE still expects us to do things that the world cannot do, or understand. Things like, serving, instead of wanting to be served all the time, sharing, instead of keeping things to ourselves, blessing people, instead of cursing them, loving, instead of hating. All of these actions are conditions of the heart that are expressed in our lives on a daily basis. They really do identify, just whose side we are really on. It is always a sad commentary to hear a non-believer make this comment about a Christian, “You know, I didn’t really notice anything different about that person. What makes being a Christian so different, or special?”
(1). The first thing we must be willing to do to come to CHRIST is to leave the
world. It is a requirement for the person who wishes to transform their life
to look more like the SAVIOR.
(2). GOD does not desire change that comes through human self-sacrifice. HE
desires a transformation, or metamorphosis that can only come through the
empowerment of the HOLY SPIRIT.
(3). Write down a list of changes you already know you need to make, and then, set
about putting those changes into effect using what you’ve learned about GOD’s
holy standards as your guide.
(4). When you encounter people, habits, or patterns of behavior that are contrary to
your new commitment to CHRIST, have the courage to quickly disassociate
yourself from them.
Pray to GOD for the courage to no longer be fascinated with the idea, or desire to blend in with the world. Pray that you can be a better witness for Christianity to the world, through your daily behavior. Pray for the courage you need to reach out to the world in an effort to “feed JESUS’ sheep” with the powerful, life-changing news of GOD’s Holy Word.
KEY VERSE: Romans 12:2
DEVOTIONAL PASSAGES: James 1:19-27, James 2:1-13, James 3:1-12
A Book by Book Bible Study lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander