Romans 12: What Marks the Life of a True Christian?
Are you ready to get a dose of conviction? Well, you've come to the right place. Romans 12 meets us where we are, right in the middle of our pride and Pharisaical facade. We may read our Bible every day and go to church often, but as we'll see, the outflow of new life in Christ should also include many other things.
A Transformed Mind
"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2
A mind that has been transformed by God shows itself in the fruit-bearing disciple. In verse one, Paul calls us to worship God by "presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God." We're called to be holy because He is holy, and we best glorify Him by living out the truth that He has transformed our lives. The Spirit accomplishes this as we strive to daily renew our minds with the Word of God.
Using Our Gifts
The Body of Christ is a gifted one. God has given each of us gifts designed to be used to love and serve the other members.
"For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness." Romans 12:4-8
Believers must be eager to use their gifts to build up and encourage the Church no matter what their gift may be. We're reminded "not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought", which leaves no room for envying the gifts of others or wanting to trade ours in. The gift-Giver knows how to best build his Church. He's orchestrated our lives so perfectly that we end up in the local body of believers that will best sharpen us and we them.
Living out the Gospel
The true mark of a Christian is their desire to live out the Gospel before a dying world. In verses 9-21, we see practical examples of what that looks like.
We find a call to love what is good and abhor evil, outdo one another in honor, be patient in tribulation, rejoice with the rejoicing, and weep with the weeping, to name a few. There are 25 imperatives listed in these 13 verses. Many of them leave me feeling as though I have a long way to go as a follower of Christ.
One overarching truth is this: a true believer should be growing in humility and preferring others over self. Isn't that the most Christlike thing we can do?
"Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." Philippians 2:3-8
Surely, Jesus is our example. May we grow in humility daily as we seek His face and serve Him through our service to others.
About the Author
Brittany Allen is a follower of Christ, wife to James, and momma to two in Heaven. She exists to bring God glory and prays her writing is an avenue for that. She longs to encourage women to think and live biblically and thrives on seeing women open up their hearts to the Savior and to other women around them.