How Are We to Live?

Key Verse: “Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
—Romans 12:2

Selected Scripture:
Romans 12:1-3,

IN THIS LESSON THE Apostle Paul addresses Roman Christians who had not yet fully committed themselves to God. The Christian way is described by Paul as “baptized into his [Christ’s] death.” (Rom. 6:3) Our relationship to the world is described by Jesus, “In the world ye shall have tribulation,” (John 16:33) and by James, “Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4) In making a complete commitment to God, what should our conduct be like? Paul continues and says, “Don’t cherish exaggerated ideas of yourself or your importance, but try to have a sane estimate of your capabilities by the light of the faith that God has given to you.”—Rom. 12:3, Phillips Translation

Humility is important to the Christian. The Apostle Peter says, “Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.”—I Pet. 5:5,6

In describing the transforming work in our lives, the apostle outlines a list of character traits in verses 9 to 21 that must adorn the Christian. It is by these we are to live. Love is first on the list. Love must be without dissimulation. This word means unfeigned, no pretense. (vs. 9, Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott) Love must be completely sincere. “Be tenderly affectionate.” “In honor preferring one another.” (vs. 10, WED) To be able to put others before ourselves shows a loving character. Be “not slothful,” (vs. 11) be not slow to do the Lord’s business, rather be zealous, fervent.

“Rejoicing in hope.” (vs. 12) This is the hope of living and reigning with Christ. (I Pet. 1:3,4) “Patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.” (vs. 12) Trials call for prayer, for the succor from our Heavenly Father. Prayer is defined as the lifeline of the Christian. When in trial we have these words of comfort, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”—I Cor. 10:13, Revised Standard Version

“Distributing to the necessity of saints.” (vs. 13) Those who have given themselves to Christ are not without need, and the needs vary. A comforting word may help. Others may need something of a material way. The apostle said to Timothy, “Be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation.”—I Tim. 6:18,19

“Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.” (vs. 14) Through any trial one is to overcome the tendencies of the old nature, that of retaliation. “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.” (vs. 15) Here are two characteristics of a rounded character.

Try always, to “Be of the same mind,” (vs. 16) “Live peaceably with all.”(vs. 18) When the apostle ends his study, he emphasizes the need to love our enemies.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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