Part 16 – The Practical Duties of the Believers
Series: The Book of Romans
Lesson: Part 16 – The Practical Duties of the Believers
Speaker: Dr. Benny M. Abante, Jr.
Text: Romans 12 (KJV)
Service: New Life Bible Class
Date: August 11, 2016
BOOK OF ROMANS CHAPTER 12
Lesson No. 30 THE PRACTICAL DUTIES OF THE BELIEVERS
12 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. 2 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. —Romans 12:1-2—
Doctrine is not just learned and believed, it must be appreciated (Acts 1:1). To a believer in Christ, doctrine is the basis of his life—his everyday living. This is the main difference between the saved and the unsaved. Look at how the unbelievers live. Where do they get their principles for living, for their relationships, families, businesses, education, finance, conduct and others? World renowned men like Franklin, Webster, Confucius, Plato, Mao Tse-tung, Gandhi, Stephen Covey, Dale Carnegie, and many others have become living principles of millions of people all across nations. But still, their words and principles can never be the basis of our lives as believers of the Lord. To a child of God, the only basis and solid foundation of his life and practice is still the reliable, holy and perfect Word of God that we refer to as doctrine. And so by it we learn how to conduct our lives and perform our practical duties as believers whose main purpose in life is to glorify and please the Lord.
1. The “All-Comprehensive Duty” (Rom. 12:1- 2).
1.1. Giving our lives as living sacrifices (v.1). This is in contrast to the dead sacrifices that the Jews offered to God in the Old Testament. Apostle Paul intimates, gone are those sacrifices the Jews offered since they are but symbols of Christ being offered as the Lamb of God. Since the Lord died, all those sacrifices are no longer needed. What the Lord desires now is that we give totally our lives to Him as living sacrifices— holy, acceptable and our reasonable service.
1.2. Getting out of a worldly life to live a godly life (v.2). This is the renewing work of the Holy Spirit in our minds. A renewed mind will be able to “prove what is that good” and be able to discern the “perfect will of God.” This should be the goal of every believer of the Lord.
2. The Specific Day to Day Duties (vv.3-7).
2.1. Starting right, practice Humility as Bible scholars would say, “the chiefest of all graces.” It must be based on the humility of Christ and not on some human principles.
2.2. Unity among believers particularly in the Body of Christ. A great principle to follow is what another Scripture said, “preferring one another in love.” If we do this, there shall be unity especially in the performance of our spiritual gifts like the gift of prophecy [preaching], ministry [serving as in teaching] and exhortation [encouraging, comforting, also counseling].
3. The Attitudes of Doing Our Ministry (vv.7-21).
3.1. Be occupied with the ministry (v.7). Get busy and productive in serving the Lord. SIPAG lang yan and see how our ministry grows each day.
3.2. Be honest and sincere with our giving (v.8a). “Simplicity” here means without pretense [an act or appearance that looks real but false] and hypocrisy.
3.3. Lead with diligence (v.8b). With earnest purpose. Be passionate, excited and sincere.
3.4. Help with a joyful spirit and countenance— willing to help rather than be helped (v.8c).
3.5. Love without hypocrisy but with all sincerity (v.9a).
3.6. Hate all evil and glue ourselves to everything good (v.9b).
3.7. In “brotherly love, be affectionate to one another.” Among leaders, do not rule in tyranny and cruelty, taking advantage of the weakness of others. Take the lead in showing honor. This can only be seen through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit (v.10).
3.8. Be passionate and zealous in serving the Lord (v.11).
3.9. “In hope, rejoicing; in tribulation, enduring; in prayer, persevering.” These are all connected to each other. Whatever our afflictions and problems might be, we endure because we believe of the blessed hope that is in us and we pray for strength, wisdom and patience (v.12).
3.10. Help the brethren who are in need and be kind to strangers (v.13).
3.11. Pronounce blessings to those who trouble or mistreat you especially if it concerns the Gospel (v.14, compare with Matthew 5:44).
3.12. Rejoice over the success of your brother and sympathize with those who are sorrowing and in difficult situations (v. 15).
3.13. Cherish the common bond (of love, harmony, faith, kindness, blessings, etc.) which binds all believers AND reject high-mindedness. Incline towards those who are lowly and do not enjoy lifting up themselves (v.16).
3.14. Do not pay evil to any man who does you evil but instead think of peace with all men (vv.17-18). Heed to what the Lord says, “Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16).
3.15. Whatever the circumstances might be and however severe and violent they are, do not “pay back” but leave all unto the Lord because He promises that He would take care of them. A child of God is fully protected (v.19). Do good to your enemy (v.20).
3.16. Be a conqueror of evil by doing what is good and godly (v.21).
Praise God for our redeemed life and blessed ministries that we can do for Him and His Gospel! May the Lord give us the grace to perform all our divine and practical duties that we can be a blessing to Him, to His ekklesia and to all our brethren.
—BMA’s Messages, 08.07.16