Summary: Continuation of the expository study of the Book of Romans
Book of Romans Study
Lesson # 32 – Romans 12:9-13
By Rev. James May
As we continue our exposition of the 12th Chapter of Romans, keep in mind that the Apostle Paul is writing this letter to the saints, or Christians, who are in Rome. He has written this letter from Corinth as a powerful teaching tool that the saints in that far away city.
To us, with our modern means of travel, the distance from Corinth to Rome is nothing, but in Paul’s day, the trip either by foot around the entire coastline of both Greece and Italy would have taken months. Even taking the short route would mean sailing on dangerous waters and miles of walking through perilous territory.
Rome was the capitol of the Roman Empire and an extremely pagan city, in a pagan society. The teachings that Paul gives in Romans can be used as the foundation for the establishment of a true church in the midst of idolatry.
The Book of Romans has often been called “The Constitution of Christianity” because it reveals so much truth concerning the freedom we have in Jesus and the life that we should live as Disciples of Christ. Just about every doctrine that should be used to govern our beliefs and actions are found in Romans.
We began studying a few weeks ago about the relationship of the Jew and Gentile; and Law and Grace as they relate to the Body of Christ in the church.
Last week we began to learn about some very practical ways that we are to act as Born Again Christians so that those around us may see Jesus in us.
Paul said that we are all members of one body, and that body of Christ has only one Head; Jesus. We also learned that each of us has our own special gift, or “grace”, something that God has graced us with, and that God expects each of us to fulfill the purpose and mission that he has already established in us.
We have a choice to turn a deaf ear to the voice of the Lord; or we can heed the call of God and do what he has graced us to do. We can refuse and try to make our own way, often stumbling off into the wrong direction and missing the will of God. But we must remember that with each choice we make there is an eternal consequence that must be considered.
If you’re an ear in the Body of Christ, called to be the one who is ever listening to the voice of God to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church, then don’t try to become something else.
If you’re the mouth, called to speak forth the oracles of God and sound the alarm at the approach of the enemy, then don’t compromise the message, but speak forth that which God has given so that the church may be prepared.
If you’re the foot, then walk in the ways of the Lord, and go where he sends you.
If you’re the hand, then reach out and help both the church and your fellowman any way you can.
Whatever the “grace” that God has given to you to be used in His service, do it with all your might, but remember always that Jesus is still the Head and everyone else is a servant.
None of the members of the Body of Christ are more important than another, no matter how much people might think they are. The most famous preacher from the largest church or ministry, and the least known intercessory prayer warrior in the church are on equal ground to the Lord. Since the Lord alone is the One who produces the fruit in our lives, and we can do is faithfully cast the seed, then how can any of us think that we are greater than any one else?
None are to be lifted up, unless the Lord lifts them up. Any man becomes lifted up in the eyes of other men, and placed on a pedestal to say, “Look what I have done”, is a man filled with pride and destined to fall.
None are to usurp the authority of the Head and think to become the head themselves. Follow no man unless that man follows Christ first.
Never allow yourself to be so caught up in the ability of a man that his failure will cause you to fall with him.
Keep Jesus as the center of your life, the Head that directs your path, and the only Lord of your life, and you’ll never be drawn aside. Every member of the Body of Christ is of the same body, and all must be controlled by the Head, or whole Body will suffer.