• Christ and Church Life and Building Spirit and Bride


    As a lover of Christ and a pursuer of truth, I write down my joys, memories and reflections.

    May God lead us all into the secret of His presence, and build us into the oneness of His body in love.
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My reflections on Romans 12

The following paragraphs are just what I touched or enjoyed through my recent pursuits, and are by no means a comprehensive review.

Compared with Romans 8, Romans 12 apears to be a lot easier and more down-to-earrth, especailly when we read it for the first time.

Romans 8 talks about

  • The Law of the Spirit of life
  • Walking according to the spirit
  • Mind the things of the Spirit
  • Setting mind on the spirit
  • The Spirit giving life to our mortal bodies through the indwelling
  • The Spirit putting to death the practice of the body
  • The Spirit leading and witnessing us as the children of God
  • so on and so forth.

But Romans 12 talks about many practical things, such as

  • loving one another
  • showing honor one to another
  • pursue hospitality
  • live in peace with all men
  • so on and so forth.

But we need to see that Romans 8 is for Romans 12. Romans 8 emphasizes more on individual experience of a Christian life while Romans 12, corporate living in the church life. Romans 8 is prior than and prerequsitie of Romans 12. In other words, Romans 12 is the purpose than Romans 8. Although the matters mentioned in Romans 12 seem easy and earthly, it is actually quite divine and heavenly.  In fact, the matters in Romans are humanly impossible without the deep experiences in Romans 8.

12:1 I exhort you therefore, brothers, through the compassions of God to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service.
In the first verse, Paul exhorted us to present our bodies to God. Body is very practical. Paul didn’t exhort us to present our souls or spirits but bodies.

12:2 And do not be fashioned according to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and well pleasing and perfect.
Our mind needs to be transformed and renewed so we may understand God’s perfect and pure will.

12:3-4 For I say, through the grace given to me, to every one who is among you, not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think, but to think so as to be sober-minded, as God has apportioned to each a measure of faith. For just as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function,

12:4-5 For just as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function, So we who are many are one Body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
We are all members of the body of Christ, having different functions and portions. We cannot judge who are more important than the others. We need to care and love one another like members of our own

12:9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.
Love without hypocrisy!

12:10 Love one another warmly in brotherly love; take the lead in showing honor one to another.
To others, we need to love with brotherly love and show honor.

12:11 Do not be slothful in zeal, but be burning in spirit, serving the Lord.
To the Lord, we need to diligent, burning, and serving.

12:12 Rejoice in hope; endure in tribulation; persevere in prayer.
To ourselves, we need to rejoice, endure and persevere.

12:13 Contribute to the needs of the saints; pursue hospitality.
To saints in need, we need to be in the fellowship of their needs.
To the traveling saints, we need to not only wait for hospitality assignmenst but also seek opportunities.

12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
To our persecutors, we need to bless them.

12:15  Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep.
This is one of the most touching verse to me. This requires deep transformation of the soul, particularly the emotion.
Although we may not admit it, we naturally feel happy about others’ misfortune, and jealous about their fortune. Our emotion needs to be transformed.
Sometimes we may be too spiritual, telling people to be strong or exercise their spirits when they are in difficult times or tough trials. But that is not what the scripture says either.
The scripture tells us to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with thos who weep. This means that our soul and emotion are transformed to a degree that we may be one with others emotionally.
Deeper things can be said about this point, but I think my writing should not precede my experience. I would just stop here.

12:16 Be of the same mind toward one another, not setting your mind on the high things but going along with the lowly; do not be wise in yourselves.
Verse 15 is about one in the emotion, while verse 16 is about one in the minds.
Naturally we tend to tihnk differently. If one brother propose something, we naturally tend to propose differently.
It is extremely hard and humanly impossible to have the same mind toward one antoher.
It requires much and deep transformation and renewal work of the Spirit upon us.
May the Lord have mercy on us.

12:17 Repay no one evil for evil; take forethought for things honorable in the sight of all men.
12:18 If possible, as far as it depends on you, live in peace with all men.

12:19-20 Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, but give place to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” But “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in doing this you will heap coals of fire upon his head.”
12:21 Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.
We need to learn to love our enemy and adversary, conquering evil by good and love.

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