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How to shun worldly traps – Part 1

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Pastor W. F. Kumuyi

It is unusual for the scriptures to open with an appeal to believers. What is common is a command to obey, a precept to follow, or an imperative to heed. This is what makes Romans chapter 12 a remarkable text because it sets out by making an appeal to believers, and underscores the centrality and importance of the message it seeks to convey.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service”. God requires holiness in the believer’s life, service and worship. This message on how to shun all allurements of this world is only for believers who are justified. Generally, the epistle to the Romans talks about the believer’s justification by faith. It reveals our salvation and reconciliation with God through His grace.

In the build-up to the discourse on consecration required of believers if they are not to conform to the world, chapters 1, 2 and 3 of Romans discuss the guilt and condemnation of both the Jews and Gentiles; chapters 4 and 5 reveal the redemption of both Jews and Gentiles only by faith in Christ. Chapter 6 talks about our sanctification: the crucifixion and removal of the adamic nature of sin from the believer’s heart. While chapter 7 highlights the wretched and helpless state of sinners, chapter 8 shows the provision of forgiveness through Christ’s death and the possibility of a new life in the Spirit. Chapters 9, 10 and 11, reveal how the Jews who are children of the covenant are at present under dispensational blindness.

While the Jews are blind to the light of the gospel now, the Gentiles have freely received the light of the gospel and enjoy all the privileges of redemption through Jesus Christ. This redemption puts on us, as beneficiaries, the responsibility to consecrate our lives to God and refuse any tendency to conform to the world.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a LIVING SACRIFICE, HOLY, ACCEPTABLE UNTO GOD…” Apostle Paul addresses “brethren”, people who are already saved from their sins. Called out of the world, they are now reconciled to God. Thus, their ambition and desire are in contrast with the world; their goal in life is to obey and please the Lord. The “mercies” that brings salvation, sanctification, healing, deliverance and makes us sons and daughters in the Kingdom should make us to be consecrated to the Lord.

Some professing Christians in our society erroneously believe that God has nothing to do with their bodies, and that He is only concerned about their soul and spirit. Thus, they do all sorts of abominable things with their bodies contrary to the admonition for us to present our bodies as blameless and acceptable sacrifice to the Lord. But the Lord will not accept any sacrifice that is contaminated with disobedience.

Why do we need to present our bodies as a living sacrifice to the Lord? “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s”. Christ, having paid the ultimate price for our redemption, the believer no longer has power over his body. Bought and brought into the Kingdom by Christ’s Blood, he must “glorify God”, not self, man or the world, in his body. The body he offers to the Lord to reside in, as His temple must be pure.
Further Reading (King James Version): Romans 12:1, 2; 1 Corinthians 6:19,20; 3:16,17; Psalm 50:5; 1 Timothy 5:1,2,22.


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