Romans Podcast Expository Files 2018 Berkley - Page 39



Romans ~ Marks of a Christian
Rom. 12:9-21
In Romans, all the argumentation, responses to error, explanations and answers
lead to one thing: How people should respond to Jesus Christ, not just
initially in baptism but after that, walking in newness of life. Here, in Rom.
12:9-21, Paul highlights some of the simple practical marks of being a Christian.
Think of these as sermons you preach every day, by the way you live. You are
able (by God’s grace) to communicate what it means for love to be genuine while
abhorring what is evil. People can see you holding fast to what is good. Your
brotherly affection will be visible.
Paul is addressing Christians, cleansed by the blood of Christ, and he adds: “Do
not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be
patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
Stop there a moment. And, notice how these phrases are connected in practice.
In order to rejoice in hope, you must be patient in tribulation and constant in
prayer.
13
Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
14
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.15 Rejoice with those who rejoice,
weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but
associate with the lowly.[a] Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil,
but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends
on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of
God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the
contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for
by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but
overcome evil with good.
It will be useful for me, periodically, to read passages like this in front of a mirror,
so to speak. Looking at yourself to insure – these marks of a true Christian are
in my heart and life, visible to others and all, to the praise and glory of God,
thankful for Christ, who died – so we could live this way.
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