9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be 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. 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.
After 11 chapters of theological beauty, the apostle Paul changes gears from orthodoxy to orthopraxy: from right believing to right living.
For those who spent the first 11 chapters shifting in their seats wanting more application, Paul explodes with practical here in Romans 12. It reminds me a little bit of Israel’s boredom with divine bread in lieu of their cravings for meat. God’s response was to give them a heaping helping of meat. More than they could handle.
Romans 12, in some ways, reminds me of this phenomenon. Anyone who begins their investigation into the Christian walk by beginning in Romans 12 should be discouraged.
Yes, it’s practical.
But man is it impossible to pull off perfectly without exception.
Without the foundation of Romans 1-11, there is no hope in being confronted by a list like the one fired at us in Romans 12.
Saturate yourself in the Gospel and His commands are not burdensome.
Belief necessarily comes before behavior.Behavior necessarily follows belief.
Yes, there are imperatives in the book of Romans.
Yes, Paul expected people to apply these standards to their actual walks.
But we do not live my imperatives.
We live by the indicatives of what God has done for us in Christ.
Do not breeze past the Gospel in search of a new law.
But you live by manna.