Thursday, March 01, 2018

2018.03.01 Hopewell @Home ▫ Romans 11:33-12:2

Read Romans 11:33-12:2
Questions for Littles: Whose wisdom is deeply rich (v33)? Whose knowledge is deeply rich? Whose judgments are unsearchable? Whose ways are past finding out? What has no one known (v34)? What has no one become? What has no one done first (v35) so that the Lord has never “repaid” anyone? Of whom are all things (v36)? Through whom are all things? To whom are all things? What is to be given unto God forever? What are we to do by the mercies of God (12:1)? What are we to present to Him? As what kind of sacrifice? What kind of service is this? To what are we not to be conformed (v2)? By what are we to be transformed? When we live this way, what do we prove about God’s will?
In this week’s Epistle reading, we come to a transition point in the entire book of Romans. It had taken almost six chapters to get to the first command in the entire book. And there have not been many between then and her. But now, they are going to come fast and furious.

Why wait this long to start telling us what to do? So that it will come as a worshiping response to the mercy of God! So that it will come as that “reasonable service,” that “logical worship,” the necessary outcome of realizing that God owed us nothing but has given us everything.

From Him are all things. He has made it all. And through Him are all things. We can do nothing, except by His grace. So it makes all the sense in the world that to Him would also be all things.

The question, “Do I actually realize all that God has done for me?” Can be answered by reference to the necessary response, “Am I offering body as a living sacrifice to Him?” When we realize who He is and what He has done, alongside who we are and what we have done, we will immediately renounce any claim to be our own selves.

It’s not just that we have no better gift to give Him, or that we have no other gift to give Him. The fact is, that when we realize that we have received everything from God, we will want to give everything to God and for God!

12:2 reminds us that this is exactly opposite the way of the world. After all, this is a world of those who refuse to acknowledge Him as God or give thanks (cf. 1:21). They pushed down on the knowledge of God, and He gave them over to that depraved mind of theirs.

So, we are not surprised that the first step to responding rightly to the Lord is to have our mind renewed. To have our mind renewed to acknowledge God. To have our mind renewed so that we will live our entire lives as acts of thanksgiving to God.

Of course, it is not much of a “sacrifice” on our parts to sacrifice everything for God. Why? Because His will is good and acceptable and perfect. The word translated “prove” in v2 means to discover the truth of something by the experience of it.

And that’s exactly what we discover, when we live according to God’s Word. His way is always good (the very best thing for us), and acceptable (pleasant), and perfect (effective and complete). Are you finding this out by living a life of thanks for the gospel?
In what exercises do you “renew your mind” by learning God’s Word?
Suggested songs: ARP189 “Universal Praise” or HB310 “Take My Life, and Let It Be”

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