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Bags of Gold: God's Wealth (Romans 12)



The Apostle Paul begins Romans 12 by urging the church to present their bodies as living sacrifices unto God. In the Old Testament, making sacrifices was a normal custom. It was part of the Law to make all sorts of sacrifices including sin offerings, peace offerings, and drink offerings.


These offerings were sacrificed by God's chosen people as acts of worship. Their sacrifices reflected that they were holy and set apart. Today, we recognize Jesus as being our sacrifice for redemption. The blood of animals is no longer needed for the atonement of our sins. We are made clean through the blood of Jesus.


However, even under the blood of Christ, the people of God are still expected to make sacrifices. Presenting our bodies as living sacrifices should be our custom just as the Israelites had their customs. Whereas before God’s people were required to sacrifice animals, unleavened bread, or several other things to acknowledge and worship God, now God requires God’s people to sacrifice their entire being as our form of worship.


We are to surrender our mind, body, and soul over to God. We are to give ourselves away to God, and in doing so, we upkeep God’s commands similar to how God's original chosen people kept the Old Law. This bodily sacrifice sets us apart from the world and makes us holy. Becoming a living sacrifice means giving ourselves away in totality, which includes our desires, our speech, and our behavior.


Becoming living sacrifices will mean becoming like Jesus. Just as Christ submitted his body over to the will of God, we are called to sacrifice our bodies as well, even when it is incredibly hard to do so. By becoming these living sacrifices, we can avoid conforming to this world and we can be transformed by the renewing of our mind as Paul states in verse two. After wholly sacrificing ourselves into God, we can then know his perfect will and follow it. Our bodily sacrifice will surely be a pleasing aroma to God—a sacrifice that God would honor.



 


If we were to submit ourselves humbly into the service of God, then every believer would correctly work within their God-given function in the Body of Christ. Paul states that because everyone within the body has their own gift, no one should think more highly of themselves than they ought to. If the body is to operate properly, all members are needed to operate within their function correctly.


Paul listed some of the gifts allocated within the Body of Christ which include prophesying, serving, teaching, encouraging, giving, leading, and showing mercy. God, in his perfect wisdom, knew what gifts to give to each one of us. It is up to us to work the gift he has given. While we are aware of how using the gift can edify and build up the body, we need to also understand the ramifications of not using the gifts given to us.


Matthew 25 details the account of three servants who were given bags of gold by their master according to their abilities. The master went away on a journey for some time, but he trusted his servants with his wealth. He trusted that they would properly manage what he had given them.


Two of the servants were excellent stewards of the gifts given to them. They multiplied what their master gave them. But one of the servants horribly managed his gift. He did absolutely nothing with the gift his master gave him, and as a result of his negligence, the master became angry with the servant. The master called the neglectful servant “wicked and lazy” and ordered him to be thrown into the darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 25:26,30).


This parable isn’t meant to frighten us, but it is meant to teach us. It was written to communicate to us just how serious our Master is about what he has given us. God has trusted us with his wealth. Gifts given to us by our Lord are likened to bags of gold and it is our responsibility to be excellent stewards of what he has given us. So, whatever gift God has given you within the Body of Christ, I encourage you to operate in it with a cheerful spirit that is pleasing to our King.


Paul continued and admonished us to not only function within our gift but to be devoted to one another in brotherly love. We are to be fervent in spirit in serving the Lord. We are to rejoice in hope, persevere in tribulation, be devoted to prayer, contribute to the needs of the saints, and practice hospitality.


We are to never pay back evil for evil, but rather we are to bless those who persecute us. This, of course, is not an easy command to follow, but if we submit our body as living sacrifices unto God as Paul mentioned in the beginning of this chapter, God will transform our minds to operate in the way that is pleasing to him. We are also to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who are faced with hardships.


Romans 12 is a wonderful synopsis of how Christians should operate within the world today. It teaches us how to submit ourselves wholly into God as living sacrifices, it teaches us how to operate within our God-given gift, and it teaches us how to treat others. It is a brilliant, God-breathed text that should aid in changing our lives for the better if we apply what we have read to our daily lives.


This entire chapter—in fact the entire Word of God—is just another bag of gold given to us by our Master. What we do with God’s wealth is entirely up to us. May this message bless you. Until next time, take care and God bless.


 

Quin Arrington is a Christian wife, mother, and author with fiction and nonfiction books available at www.amazon.com/author/quinarrington

Thank you for your time and attention. God bless!


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