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So, here we are, finally getting round to adding more to our Romans study after a good long while of selective forgetfulness. For this I apologise, much as been going on, as you will appreciate from toher posts here.

 

However, this apology made, let us get round to reading the scripture and deciphering yet another verse from Romans 12.

 

Rom 12:13      communicating to the necessities of the saints; given to hospitality.

 

Now, this verse is one which I had to read in many different versions in order to attempt to understand its meaning. In the KJV the translation is not particularly useful for a comprehensive understanding, but looking at the Greek words behind this translation helps a little. In simple terms, and from my simple understanding, this verse tells us that in amongst these other attitudes which we should have as a Christian, we should also be seeking to help our brothers and sisters in Christ, those who have faith like us, especially if they have need in their life. In all circumstances we should seek to pursue hospitality. Hospitality being the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.

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Romans twelve (specifically 12:11 today) is one of the few chapters in the bible which deals extensively with the attitudes and characteristics of our Christian life. The idea behind this, and one which I personally strongly adhere to, is that these should be carefully outworked by us in our lives rather than just ‘believed’. Today we will deal with the only one verse in chapter 12 and if you missed the first part on “Worship, Loving and Devotion” then you can check it out here. There will be more to come. Please feel free to share with me what you think on these verses.

Rom 12:11 Don’t be lazy in showing your devotion. Use your energy to serve the Lord.

    The Apostle Paul writes so many times about “Zeal” throughout his many letters, and as the Christian Church (I refer to this without denomination, of course!!) it is important that we begin to take heed of these words. He has spoken about the dangers of Zeal previously, in that we must be careful that our zealousness is for good (Gal 4:18) and that also we must avoid zealous Hypocrites, i.e people who looks only for others to enlarge their own ranks and nor the ranks of Christ. It is in this that this very in the book of Romans tells us its true purpose. Therefore zeal should only be used with the sole perspective of serving Christ the Lord.

    Check out part 1, part 2 and part 3 of this study here, and check back for completion of the series.

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Romans twelve (specifically 12:1 through 10 today) is one of the few chapters in the bible which deals extensively with the attitudes and characteristics of our Christian life. The idea behind this, and one which I personally strongly adhere to, is that these are out-worked too.

Check out part 2, part 3 and part 4 of this study here, and check back for completion of the series.

Rom 12:1 Brothers and sisters, in view of all we have just shared about God’s compassion, I encourage you to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, dedicated to God and pleasing to him. This kind of worship is appropriate for you.

    Worshipping God is not something which is done as a ritual in Christianity. There is so much more to it than that. Everything we do and think should be a dedication to God. The rest of Romans 12 explains the breadth and depth of this act of worshipping.

Rom 12:2 Don’t become like the people of this world. Instead, change the way you think. Then you will always be able to determine what God really wants-what is good, pleasing, and perfect.

    As we walk through life, we are constantly pressured to change our ways, to conform to something other. We are asked to change our values, morals, and our perspective on life. People who don’t conform to this pressure can feel dishonoured, and can be faced with hostility, contempt, loss of relationships and loss of security. The only comfort Christians have on that subject this is that “…they are not of the world…” John 17:16 instead they have “citizenship in heaven” Philippians 3:20.

Rom 12:3 Because of the kindness that God has shown me, I ask you not to think of yourselves more highly than you should. Instead, your thoughts should lead you to use good judgment based on what God has given each of you as believers.
Rom 12:4 Our bodies have many parts, but these parts don’t all do the same thing.
Rom 12:5 In the same way, even though we are many individuals, Christ makes us one body and individuals who are connected to each other.
Rom 12:6 God in his kindness gave each of us different gifts. If your gift is speaking God’s word, make sure what you say agrees with the Christian faith.
Rom 12:7 If your gift is serving, then devote yourself to serving. If it is teaching, devote yourself to teaching.
Rom 12:8 If it is encouraging others, devote yourself to giving encouragement. If it is sharing, be generous. If it is leadership, lead enthusiastically. If it is helping people in need, help them cheerfully.

    This is the almost-cliché that Christians band around without much realisation of the principles behind it. In order for us to truly appreciate the diversity of the body, it involves us almost depreciating ourselves in that when we think too much of ourselves then we think less of others. In particular we think too little of their gifts and perhaps hinder their usage of their gifts. It is also possible to think too little of ourselves and place all responsibilities on others, hence the workload again is unbalanced. Sticking to an even balance helps both ourselves and others around us to serve most efficiently.

Rom 12:9 Love sincerely. Hate evil. Hold on to what is good.

    Love which is not meant or unconditional is not of God. There are those who pretend to love and this can flatter others temporarily or it can further that persons own needs; this type of ‘love’ is not true. Christian love, however, is sincere. It is not a compromise of truth nor does it compromise holiness. Love, to an extent, tolerates sinfulness of others, but at the same time, it despises sin. Love hates what is evil.

Rom 12:10 Be devoted to each other like a loving family. Excel in showing respect for each other.

    Devotion should be representative of our Christian family. We need to meet regularly to edify each other. However, a Christian may be devoted to others, but those others may neither appreciate such devotion nor reciprocate such love. Devotion doesn’t rely on or demand any reciprocal relationship. A Christian who loves is not one who demands to be loved. In this way others are honoured above yourself.

Check out part 2 of this series

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