Romans 12 – Live Out Gospel, the Life on Earth as in Heaven 羅馬書12 – 活出福音, 在地如在天的生命
Friday, 16th June 2023
Sister Emily Huang
Section One V1-8 The True Serving 真正的侍奉
V1-2 ‘I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.’
What can we offer to God? We no longer need to kill an animal to give offering to God because Jesus already died and offered Himself for us. Today, God allows us to become a living sacrifice for Him, this is an offering which He pleases, and this is the life He created us to be. Furthermore, Paul taught us that this is reasonable, this is something we ought to do, this is a life we should live. God does not design this to make us suffer, but we must be willing, then our offering will no longer be a burden. We become a living sacrifice not for our own benefits or anyone’s benefits, but simply a life we are created to live in. We must renew our mind, know that we are loved, and we are chosen by God. We were redeemed by great sacrifice and all our sacrifices are not comparable with it.
V3-5 ‘For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.’
The measure of faith we have is from God, therefore do not be disappointed that we cannot reach God’s standards, on the other hand, do not be proud when we seem to have more faith than others. God is perfect, and we are imperfect, do not see ourselves higher or lower than we ought. Who we are today and what we can achieve today are never about how hard we work but about God’s grace. Every part of our body has its function, and everyone is God’s creation with a purpose. Being the Body of Christ, do we live as one in our church and among the churches? We do not need to compare with one another, Jesus is our Head, He is leading us towards the same direction.
V6-8 ‘Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.’
We all have our gifts, our strength, and what we are good at. No one is the same, and our differences make us important in our church and in the Body of Christ. For example, the gift of prophecy is not only about giving someone a guidance to their future, but also about speaking the Word of God by faith. What God wants us to offer is whatever we have, it doesn’t matter if we have more or if we have less, as long as we give our part, we do our best, then God will reward us and be pleased with us. everything we do is not to please anyone but for the House of God, for His glory, and for fulfilling His Will.
Section Two V9-21 The True Love 真正的愛
V9-13 ‘Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honour giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.’
God encourages us to love wholeheartedly, it’s not an act, but come from the heart. We don’t have to pretend loving others, but we must learn that we dislike sins, not people, because everyone is a sinner. When we dislike someone, we must first think that we are also not perfect. We are not better than anyone else, God loves all of us as the way we are. So, can we also love everyone as how God loves us? We are learning to create a culture of honouring, and it starts with us. When God put us in an imperfect environment, He wants us to be the seed of love, to honour, to respect, to truly love one another, and His great presence will fill our environment through us.
V14-16 ‘Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.’
God sees our hearts, when we are willing to offer and to be hospitable to those He brings to us, then He will bless us more. Moreover, it tells us to bless those persecute us, this is not easy to do, this is not human nature, and it’s easier for us to argue back and fight back.
V17-19 ‘Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.’
The life of vengeance is not for us to live, this is what the people of the world do, but we can do better, know that God can avenge for us, we owing our lives to God, and by His grace we can come before Him boldly. Let us also learn from Jesus, to live out this impossible love, and when we really live it out, then we are on the right path.
V20-21 ‘Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.’
God can help us to do the impossible. When we think that we cannot love anymore, we must pray, and ask God to give us the faith to love. Every day we can come before God, ask for His strength, He loves us and He has given us enough to love others around us. And to live out the life of true Gospel.