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1. Our study this morning moves into the third and final major section of this wonderful epistle.

2. We have been studying Romans for twenty weeks now. If you remember, Paul began his letter to the Christians there with a blistering indictment of mankind before the face of the Most Holy God, describing in unvarnished detail the arrogant wickedness which permeates all humanity -- Jews and Gentiles alike -- and itemizing the sinful acts which issue forth from them. He brought his argument to its sobering conclusion in 3:10-18 and, with stark finality in Romans 3:23: "...for all have s __ __ __ __ __ and fall short of the g __ __ __ __ of God..."

Even the most "religious" people fail to attain the righteousness of God, Paul insists, and they, too, are included in the list of those who deserve God's judgment.

3. In the midst of his sweeping charges against fallen man, Paul inserts to bold declarations.

a. Because of their sin, the w __ __ __ __ of God has justly and justifiably poured forth upon "all ungodliness and unrighteousness of man," as He "gave them up" to the terrible sinful choices they had made.

b. In spite of their sins, God has extended m __ __ __ __ and g __ __ __ __ to a "remnant" of mankind, those whom He has j __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ and who, in response, live lives of f __ __ __ __.

4. In chapters 5 - 8 Paul leads his readers through the most profound and, in some cases, difficult theology in all the New Testament:

a. the doctrine of j __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ by f __ __ __ __ alone;

b. the doctrine of p __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ and e __ __ __ __ __ __ __;

c. the doctrine of e __ __ __ __ __ __ s __ __ __ __ __ __ __;

d. the doctrine of s __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __.

5. In chapters 9 - 11 Paul considered these great doctrines in specific application to the "People of Promise" (I __ __ __ __ __ and the c __ __ __ __ __ ), unveiling in the process a "great m __ __ __ __ __ __."

6. Beginning in chapter 12 Paul will move from scholarly doctrine to practical application.

a. "Doctrine is never taught in the Bible simply that it may be known; it is taught in order that it may be translated into practice: 'if you know these things, blessed are you if you do them' (John 13:17). Hence Paul repeatedly follows up an exposition of doctrine with an ethical exhortation, the latter being linked to the former, as here, with the particle 'therefore.'" - F.F. Bruce: Romans (Volume 6, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries)

b. "The person who is justified by faith shall live (1:17). That is the theme of the epistle. In chapters 5 - 8 Paul began to discuss the characteristics of the 'new life' (6:4), but not until chapter 12 does he devote himself to the ethical and ecclesiastical shape of it. Justification by faith produces neither moral passivity nor permissiveness. Rather, the indicative of chapters 1 - 11 leads to the imperative of chapters 12 - 16. The faith which saves is a faith which can and must be lived, and only the faith which is lived is a faith which saves. The righteousness which comes to us in Christ must become rooted within us in the Spirit." - James R. Edwards: Romans (Volume 6, New International Biblicacl Commentary )

c. "Here we have Paul following the pattern he always followed when he wrote to his friends. He always ends his letters with practical advice. The sweep of his mind may search through the infinities, but he never gets lost in them; he always finishes with his feet firmly planted upon the earth. He can, and does, wrestle with the deepest problems which theology has to offer, but he always ends with the ethical demands which govern every man." - William Barclay: The Letter to the Romans

B. TEXT: Romans 12:1-8

1. V.1 introduces the third major section of the letter with Paul's familiar "Therefore..."

a. Included here is the basis of that "therefore:" the m __ __ __ __ of God.

b. Included here also is the moral imperative of every Christian: a life offered to God as a "l __ __ __ __ __ s __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __." Paul intentionally uses cultic language of his day, including the term describing the presentation of a sacrifice for consumption on an altar.

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