About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
Gospel According To Romans 12:1
The Evangelical gospel I
recall being preached in my youth was to accept Jesus as my Saviour so my
sins could be forgiven and my heavenly home secured.
That was the gospel in the proverbial nutshell, but is this nutshell gospel really the gospel? Is
forgiveness of sins and entrance into heaven the totality of the gospel?
A detailed look at Romans 12:1 answers these questions.
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy,
offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is
your spiritual act of worship (NIV)."
Paul began by saying
implies that the doctrinal issues he set forth in detail in Romans 1
though 11must be understood if we are to implement his following
instructions. Despite the
present disdain for doctrine, doctrine is not only important, it's vital
for spiritual growth.
Paul then said, "I
urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy."
In light of God's mercy, something that is beyond our most creative
imaginations to ponder, Paul urged us with this instruction.
"Offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to
The Greek word
"soma" translated as "bodies" in the NIV means more
than our physical bodies. It
suggests "all of who we are".
Our English word
"offer" is translated from the Greek verb "paristemi",
which means, "to stand by, near, or before".
Paul told us to stand before God.
"Paristemi" is an aorist active infinitive Greek verb.
An aorist verb implies a one time action, not a continuous action.
According to this specific verse, at one time in our lives we are
to stand before God. Active
means that the subject in a sentence is performing the action in the
sentence. This means that we
(the subject) choose to stand (action) before God.
An infinitive verb means that the subject (us) of the sentence
becomes what the action of the sentence intends the subject to become. This
means we (subject) become living sacrifices.
All this verb stuff means
that at least in this specific verse, at one time in our lives we must
stand before God and offer all of who we are to Him.
By so doing we sacrifice all of who we are to God in order to
become all of who He wants us to be. When
we make this holy sacrifice it pleases God more than we will ever know.
Paul went on to say that
the offering of all of who we are to God is our "spiritual act of
worship" (NIV). The Greek
word that's often translated as "worship" in the New Testament
does not appear in the Greek text in Romans 12:1.
Instead, the Greek word "latreia" appears in the text.
"Latreia" means "service", not worship as we
might understand worship today. So,
in light of God's mercy, our only reasonable or logical response is to
offer all of who we are in service to Him.
You may call that worship, and that's fine because in the real
sense of the word that's what worship is.
Worship is more than singing songs in a Sunday meeting.
The gospel according to
Romans 12:1 states that we must at one point in our lives decide to stand
before God and offer all of who we are to Him.
In other words, we sacrifice ourselves to the will of God.
Unless we incorporate this into our gospel preaching, we do not
preach the gospel as we should. Remember,
Jesus is not only our Saviour who has forgiven out sins. He
is our Lord, and as our Lord we sacrifice all of who we are to Him.