One Chapter From Romans

We have all had those “what…if” conversations. The most common center around money. What would you do if you won the lottery? What would you do if you had a million dollars?

The other day, someone brought up, “If you were going to be stranded ono a deserted island and you could only take one thing with you; what would it be?”

Matches, a gun, a comfortable bed, a knife, and a Bible were some of the answers.

After we discussed for a while, since the group was all Christians, the preacher in me asked another question. If you could only have one chapter of the Bible, which chapter would you choose?

Topping the list was Psalm 23 because of the significant amount of comfort it gives. The group also mentioned John 3 several times because of its words of salvation. One fellow said he would have Genesis 1 because it reminds him of the power of God.

My answer to the question is Romans 12. Romans 12 is the best description of how to live the Christian life in the Bible. The process of the first two verses is something every Christian should follow, but few know it exists.

The best person to judge if a Christian has lived a victorious life is the Judge Himself – Jesus Christ. When the time comes to stand before the Judgement Seat of Christ, it should be a Christian’s heart desire to hear Jesus say, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.”

A faithful servant of Christ must know Christ’s desires. Like in the workplace, it is impossible to please the boss if you have no idea what to do.

Romans 12:1-2 tells us how to know what God wants. In fact, the verses explain how to understand the perfect will of God.

Romans 12:1-2, “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. 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.”

Step one – “Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.”

Our bodies are how we do things in this world. Sex outside of marriage, drugs, and alcohol are only a few ways Christians show they have not completed step one.

Many Christians find their lives messed up in sexual sins. The New Testament repeatedly warns Christians of sexual immorality. In the New Testament, “fornication” is mentioned 32 times, and “adultery” 23 times. Yet, many Christians in these relationships wonder why they do not know God’s will for their lives.

One last point about presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice. The verse says it “is your reasonable service.” Simply put, Christ died for you; it is only reasonable that you live for Him.

Step two – “be not conformed to this world.”

To put it in its simplest form – When the behaviors and words of the world form your opinions and actions, you are conformed to this world.

The sex outside of marriage mentioned above is a good example. The world says having consensual sex is perfectly fine. The Bible tells us any sex outside of marriage is a sin.

The world will believe that a movie or book filled with immorality, filthy language, and nudity, among other things, is good entertainment. Keeping our eyes away from such things falls into the category of presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice. In other words, being conformed to the world often brings acceptance to things God says are unacceptable.

Step three – “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

How do we transform our minds? Study the scripture, believe it, put it in your heart, and act upon it.

In the life of a Christian, Christ is the best influence we can be around. Christ is the Word (John1:1-5, 14). Study the Word, and you study Him. You will learn what God likes, what God hates, what makes Him laugh, what makes Him cry. You will see the person of God; allow Him to rub off on you.

Open your heart and mind to Him, and He will influence your thinking. The transformation of the mind starts taking place.

Once the transformation is in full swing, He will reveal His will to you. You will know your purpose; you will understand why God created you.

One last thing, the three steps outlined in Romans 12:1-2 must be done in order.

*   *   *   *   *

As people continue to seek solid answers in these uncertain times, the editors of the Baltimore Post-Examiner are inviting an array of spiritual teachers to share insights from the ages along with words of comfort and hope. These timely messages are not exclusive to any particular faith walk and will be included in our ongoing Spirituality series.