The Point of Romans 12-16

Romans 12 begins beautifully:

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Since we are alive to Christ and dead to sin, since we have the Spirit and we are the sons of God, since we are currently mortifying, killing off, the deeds of the flesh, see yourself as a living sacrifice.

We are not living for our fleshly desires, no, we are living for our Savior Jesus Christ. We owe the flesh nothing. The Gospel doesn’t just remove sin, it replaces sin with righteousness and holiness.

Romans 12-16 is Paul’s practical advice for what to do with the power of the Gospel that has made you new. This is what salvation-life looks like. This is what the life of Christ in you does.

We know what the world does, it’s all around us, fashioning and shaping us. We need our minds retaught and renewed. Doing what God wants is not natural; therefore, we must be retaught.

Paul gives great advice including a signoff that mentions a number of people who are doing what God wants.

In the end, Paul wraps up Romans where he started—the purpose of his ministry—to make the Gospel known for the obedience of faith among all nations.

Faith always results in obedience. The only way to obey in true righteousness is to by faith die with Christ and be raised up to new life in the Spirit. It’s the message of Romans–the righteousness of God is all yours by faith.

9 thoughts on “The Point of Romans 12-16”

  1. Jeff,

    Is faith something we do, or something given to us?

    Is righteousness something we earn, or is it a gift?

  2. I do not see any verse that states that faith is a gift from God. There is a spiritual gift of faith (1 cor. 12:9), which is faithfulness, not saving faith. Ephesians 2:8 is often used but there’s enough debate over the “it” in “It is a gift of God” to make me not be dogmatic about it.

    ROmans 5:17,18 state that righteousness is a gift.

  3. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” -Eph. 2:8
    The “it” in verse 8 would have to apply to either faith or salvation, since Paul tells us that we have been saved by grace, but since the “it” follows directly behind the mention of faith one would have to assume he is talking about faith.

    “Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God,”
    – 2 Cor. 3:5

    “who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
    1 Peter 1:5

    I believe God’s word shows us that both of these attributes, faith and righteousness are given to us by grace.

  4. Paul
    I like your conclusion that faith comes from God and I agree. God draws us. I don’t think anyone would disagree with that. Certainly my old nature did not decide to get some faith, then God saved me. Help me in my unbelief it says. I like the fact that when it comes to Christianity, God works His divine nature in me and through me. I have spent too much time trying to work it myself in the past, now I’m free. Get to know God. Pray always, Read the word often. Think on it as everything is from God, and He will do what you thought was impossible. When God”s word says something reckon it true, a done deal, then it will take effect, nay it has already taken effect ! Then God draws, we respond, God gives faith, we respond, etc, it a snowball effect.

  5. “I don’t think anyone would disagree”
    Oh Chip, you would very surprised by how many Christians would disagree with saving faith coming from God!
    Because that puts God in total control, even to the point of, who is saved and who is not.

  6. Paul
    I am more referring to the drawing part not the saving part. I guess your right thou. Some think he does not draw at all. Then self does a good thing and props itself up. Sounds like the opposite of Christianity.
    Works two ways. One way, God draws, we respond, that leads to something more, the snowball effect. The other way God draws, we don’t respond and that leads to something more, hardening, hell.

  7. “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
    – 2 Peter 3: 9
    God extends His invitation to salvation to all, so why do some come to salvation, and some don’t?
    Are we who have saving faith, do we have a softer (better) heart than the ones who reject God’s offer.
    Romans answers that for us.

    What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written:

    “None is righteous, no, not one;
    no one understands;
    no one seeks for God.
    All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
    no one does good,
    not even one.”
    “Their throat is an open grave;
    they use their tongues to deceive.”
    “The venom of asps is under their lips.”
    “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
    “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
    in their paths are ruin and misery,
    and the way of peace they have not known.”
    “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

    God chooses to whom He will show mercy!

  8. Paul
    Even thou I agree with you. Going back to the verse you used Eph. 2:8. I think the gift the verse is referring to is Grace. Chip

  9. Chip,
    Grace is certainly a gift, it could be that Paul is saying that grace, faith and salvation are all gifts from God. In verse 9 Paul says that these gifts are not a result of works, so that no one may boast. He uses the plural form of works, which inplies he is talking about just more than grace alone.

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