Summary: Message 28 in our exposition of Romans focusing on the response to salvation outlined in chapter 12.
Chico Alliance Church
February 3, 2002
Pastor David Welch
“God Wants Your Body and Soul”
I. Receive the gift of righteousness
• Everyone desperately needs the righteousness of God because everyone has utterly failed to conform to God’s standard of righteousness. (1-3)
• The substitutionary death and resurrection of Christ freed God to offer the perfect righteousness of Christ to all who believe (justification). (3-4)
II. Apply the Gift of Righteousness
• As a result of justification, God lovingly extends every spiritual benefit and blessing necessary for victorious kingdom living. (5-8)
III. Place of Israel in the God’s Plan of Salvation
• God is not finished dealing with Israel (9-11)
God did not choose all Jews and all Jews did not choose Christ. (9)
Salvation for both Jews and Gentiles comes by genuine faith and open confession of Christ as Lord. (10)
God rejected Jews who rebelled and disbelieved and received all Gentiles who trusted Christ and will one day will restore all Jews who believe. (11)
Do you struggle with doing what God asks you to do? Do God’s commands sometimes seem like a burden and hard to do? Do you find that the things of the world promise more pleasure than God’s ways? How can we learn to embrace God’s will as not only as best practically but also beneficial personally? Paul offers us the keys to embracing God’s will as something personally beneficial, soul satisfying and pleasing, and adequate to address anything I may face in this life.
IV. Live the Gift of Righteousness
• God invites all those justified by faith to live transformed lives. (12-16)
Paul duplicates a common pattern in his writings. Doctrine that motivates Duty Belief that inspires behavior. Teaching that leads to living. Exposition followed by exhortation. Chapters 1-11 have been expositional or doctrinal concerning the work of God for us – justification. The final chapters shift to exhortational concerning the walk of the justified for Him. Paul however does not leave the doctrinal behind but rather continually reminds us of the principles intended to motivate the practice. The righteousness of Christ pored into our regenerated spirit spreads to the renewal of the interactions in our soul, which affect the actions of our body.
Paul takes the final chapters to touch on what a righteous life dedicated to live according the Spirit and put to death the deeds of the flesh might look like.
A. Dedicate your body and soul to God’s service
“Therefore” I would tie this therefore to the immediate context as well as the context of the whole book. The immediate context is the powerful doxology just offered at the end of chapter eleven. Since all things are from Him, through Him and to Him whose is the glory forever, Paul strongly urges an appropriate response. He is the Almighty God, the King of kings, and the all-powerful, all-knowing, all deserving Creator. Everything belongs to Him. Everything came through Him. Everything exists for His glory and pleasure. All credit for whatever is good in the universe rightly goes to God. Because of that, Paul urged an appropriate response to God. Paul also bases his passionate appeal on the fact that this Almighty God has graciously demonstrated marvelous mercy to undeserving sinners.
Mercy is a deep emotional response of pity or compassion triggered by the suffering of others.
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for "WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED." Romans 10:12-13
Paul refers to God as the “Father of mercies” in 2Cor 1:3. Here Paul uses the plural probably to draw our attention to the many demonstrations of mercy already mentioned in his letter. Paul painted two contrasting images of God. He challenged us to carefully observe both the severity and the kindness of God.
For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all. Romans 11:32
Paul urged the Romans to respond to God on the basis of two great attributes of God. Since we serve a God of majesty… We serve a God who has clearly demonstrated his mercy in a multitude of ways… Therefore I urge you to aptly respond.
Paul urges respond because of what God has done for us but also because of the particular benefic of responding in this way. You will find the desired outcome of our response to Him in the latter part of verse two.
so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
The outcome of these responses is the continual personal validation of the wonder of God’s will.
“Prove” = “To test for the purpose of approving.”