READ : Romans 11-13
Paul ends the second section of Romans, dealing with salvation by grace, with concluding thoughts on his disappointment that more of his own people are not being saved (chap. 11).
He then begins the final section of the letter dealing with a life of service as the way to show gratitude for salvation by grace. He begins chapter 12 with “therefore,” because of all he has said about salvation by grace. “Therefore” we should respond with total surrender to God. “Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (12:1). The sacrifice is not the offering of dead animals as in the past, but giving our living bodies to God’s service. Spiritual worship is expressed by what we do with our physical bodies!
One version translates Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world,” by saying “Do not let the world squeeze you into its mold” (Phillips). We are to dare to live differently than the sinful world around us. God has given each of us different abilities; we are to use them. We must never seek vengeance but seek to live in peace. We must realize we have responsibilities to the government. Good Christians are good citizens.
Love has a prominent role in this life of gratitude. Such love must be genuine and is our obligation toward others.
Father, we have been saved by grace. Help us to show our love for you and our gratitude for all you have done for us by our service toward people. In Jesus’ name. Amen.