This is Episode #331 and today we’ll read Romans chapters 11-13 together. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #331 and today we’ll read Romans chapters 11-13 together. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Season 2! I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me – from the beginning – simply reading God’s word together. We built some spiritual muscles in 2020 with just the New Testament. But this year we’re going all out, cover-to-cover, Old Testament and New. So, whether with your first cup in the morning, your commute to work, or as the last thing on your mind before sleep, God’s Word will equip you for every good work. I’m really glad you’re here!
Romans Chapter 11
Israel’s Rejection Not Total
I ask, then, has God rejected his people? Absolutely not! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Or don’t you know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah — how he pleads with God against Israel? Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars. I am the only one left, and they are trying to take my life! But what was God’s answer to him? I have left seven thousand for myself who have not bowed down to Baal. In the same way, then, there is also at the present time a remnant chosen by grace. Now if by grace, then it is not by works; otherwise grace ceases to be grace.
What then? Israel did not find what it was looking for, but the elect did find it. The rest were hardened, as it is written,
God gave them a spirit of stupor,
eyes that cannot see
and ears that cannot hear,
to this day.
And David says,
Let their table become a snare and a trap,
a pitfall and a retribution to them.
Let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see,
and their backs be bent continually.
Israel’s Rejection Not Final
I ask, then, have they stumbled so as to fall? Absolutely not! On the contrary, by their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel jealous. Now if their transgression brings riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fullness bring!
Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Insofar as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if I might somehow make my own people jealous and save some of them. For if their rejection brings reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? Now if the firstfruits are holy, so is the whole batch. And if the root is holy, so are the branches.
Now if some of the branches were broken off, and you, though a wild olive branch, were grafted in among them and have come to share in the rich root of the cultivated olive tree, do not boast that you are better than those branches. But if you do boast — you do not sustain the root, but the root sustains you. Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” True enough; they were broken off because of unbelief, but you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but beware, because if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
A Partial Hardening
Therefore, consider God’s kindness and severity: severity toward those who have fallen but God’s kindness toward you — if you remain in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. And even they, if they do not remain in unbelief, will be grafted in, because God has the power to graft them in again. For if you were cut off from your native wild olive tree and against nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these — the natural branches — be grafted into their own olive tree?
I don’t want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you will not be conceited: A partial hardening has come upon Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,
The Deliverer will come from Zion;
he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.
And this will be my covenant with them
when I take away their sins.
Regarding the gospel, they are enemies for your advantage, but regarding election, they are loved because of the patriarchs, since God’s gracious gifts and calling are irrevocable. As you once disobeyed God but now have received mercy through their disobedience, so they too have now disobeyed, resulting in mercy to you, so that they also may now receive mercy. For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may have mercy on all.
A Hymn of Praise
Oh, the depth of the riches
and the wisdom and the knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments
and untraceable his ways!
For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?
And who has ever given to God,
that he should be repaid?
For from him and through him
and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever. Amen.
Romans Chapter 12:
A Living Sacrifice
Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
Many Gifts but One Body
For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one. Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts: If prophecy, use it according to the proportion of one’s faith; if service, use it in service; if teaching, in teaching; if exhorting, in exhortation; giving, with generosity; leading, with diligence; showing mercy, with cheerfulness.
Let love be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good. Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Take the lead in honoring one another. Do not lack diligence in zeal; be fervent in the Spirit; serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud; instead, associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Give careful thought to do what is honorable in everyone’s eyes. If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for God’s wrath, because it is written, Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, says the Lord. But
If your enemy is hungry, feed him.
If he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
For in so doing
you will be heaping fiery coals on his head.
Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.
Romans Chapter 13
A Christian’s Duties to the State
Let everyone submit to the governing authorities, since there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are instituted by God. So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command, and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you want to be unafraid of the one in authority? Do what is good, and you will have its approval. For it is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, because it does not carry the sword for no reason. For it is God’s servant, an avenger that brings wrath on the one who does wrong.
Therefore, you must submit, not only because of wrath but also because of your conscience. And for this reason you pay taxes, since the authorities are God’s servants, continually attending to these tasks. Pay your obligations to everyone: taxes to those you owe taxes, tolls to those you owe tolls, respect to those you owe respect, and honor to those you owe honor.
Love, Our Primary Duty
Do not owe anyone anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, Do not commit adultery; do not murder; do not steal; do not covet; and any other commandment, are summed up by this commandment: Love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Love, therefore, is the fulfillment of the law.
Put On Christ
Besides this, since you know the time, it is already the hour for you to wake up from sleep, because now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is nearly over, and the day is near; so let us discard the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk with decency, as in the daytime: not in carousing and drunkenness; not in sexual impurity and promiscuity; not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to gratify its desires.
As Gentiles, I think it’s important for us to remember Paul’s admonition stated in Romans 11:21. Yes, because of Israel’s stubbornness, we were able to become children of God, and that’s a wonderful thing. God accomplishes much good even in negative circumstances, just like when the Gospel was spread thru the persecution back Acts 8. But we must be careful not to become stiff-necked ourselves. Because if God created the graft, He can certainly reverse it. Moving on.
Now, I know that our salvation is a matter of the heart. But once the heart is right, Romans 12 is the ultimate check-off list for perfect Christian living. Paul admonishes his readers from the very beginning to present their bodies as living sacrifices. A sacrifice is poured out, spent. The sole intent of a sacrifice is destruction or surrender for the sake of something else; it will be given up or lost. Difficult to even muster the desire to do that…until we remember that Christ did it for us first. Of course, the only way we can accomplish this is by daily going to our Fountain of strength. We must daily resist the temptation to be conformed to this world. And only then, step by step as our minds are renewed, will we be transformed.
Let’s pray. Jesus, help me to be that Christian who is described in Romans 12. Remind me to be humble and not to think to highly of myself. Prompt me to use the gifts that you’ve given me for Your glory and for the good of others. Help me to love without hypocrisy, detest evil, and rejoice in hope. Help us daily, as we are transformed, to discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. In Your Holy Name, Amen.
So, I’m thinking I ought to commit this chapter to memory. What do you think? Let me know at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray that by spending time in His Word every day, you will be changed. Visit me at Lifting Her Voice.com with your comments and questions. And don’t forget to visit the Blog page while you’re there. If you like the podcast, it would be great if you’d give it a five-star review and share it with everyone you know. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you tomorrow!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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