by Erin Bird
Wow! I'm still rejoicing from last Sunday's Worship Gathering! Not only was it awesome having Redeeming Rebels lead us in worship through song, but hearing the personal stories of those who chose to go public with their faith was amazing!
We started Riverwood to invite the spiritually disconnected to find and follow Jesus. And to hear that vision in the very words of those who were baptized was humbling and overwhelming.
But what's next for these five individuals (and you)? When a person gives his or her life to follow Jesus, or they choose to go public with their faith - what then?
The book of Romans is like a master's thesis on the gospel. For eleven chapters, Paul, like a skilled lawyer, lays out an amazing theological treatise for the gospel. But the letter is sixteen chapters long. You see, what happens is that beginning in chapter 12, Paul makes a shift. He goes from sharing the theological understanding of the gospel to the practical implications of the gospel. The story of Jesus isn't just something to entertain us or add to our internal encyclopedia. It should change how we think, act, and breathe.
Here is what Paul writes in the first two verses of the chapter:
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2)
Basically Paul says, "Because of this gospel we have just looked at in the previous eleven chapters, you should be changed and transformed - which is an act of worship to Jesus. If you have surrendered your life to God because of Jesus's work on the cross, then your your relationship with your Creator is restored and you are to no longer live like those who are dead in their sin. Rather, you should begin to become like Jesus, allowing God to transform your thinking, which transforms your living."
So I hope you'll join me for a walk through Romans 12 here in on the blog. Together, we'll see what the transformation of a Jesus-follower should look like. And I hope along the way, it will encourage you to live like Jesus.
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