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Therefore… August 16, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Quotes, Scripture Meditation.
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From a sermon by Piper on Romans 12:1 —

When Paul says, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers . . .” he is saying: The life I am calling you to live (in Romans 12-16) is built on something. It doesn’t come out of nowhere. It has roots. It has a foundation. Christian living has roots. It has foundation. It has causes and grounds and reasons. And that is no small thing!

For the next five chapters Paul will call us to live a certain way as Christians. And with this word “therefore” he is saying: The foundation we build our lives on is the foundation laid in Romans 1-11. Paul is turning now from doctrine to practice. He is turning from theology to ethics. From what is true about God and Christ and salvation to what we should do—what we therefore should do because of Romans 1-11. Because of all the truth about God and sin and Christ and the cross and the Spirit and faith and justification—because of all that we have seen in Romans 1-11, therefore we are to build our practical lives on this. Paul moves from foundation to application with the word “therefore.” Christian acting and feeling and speaking are not rootless. They have foundation. They are built on something. Paul spent 11 chapters, and we spent six years, laying the foundation for the building of Romans 12-16. If we miss this connection, we miss everything.

The Point of Christianity: To Glorify the Mercy of God in Christ Let me give you one reason for this and an application. The reason Christianity must build our lifestyle on God’s mercy in Jesus Christ is that the whole point of Christianity is to glorify the mercy of God in Christ. We exist to put the glory of God’s mercy in Christ on display. So Paul spends 11 chapters opening the mercy of God in the work of Christ, and then says, “therefore” build your lives on this. Live a life that shows this! That’s why you exist.

So we say, “Because of God’s mercy revealed in Christ, therefore, I do this and not that. Because of God’s mercy revealed in Christ, therefore I speak this way and not that way. Because of God’s mercy revealed in Christ, therefore I cultivate this kind of emotion and put that kind to death. Because I exist to glorify the mercy of God in Christ, I live this way and not that way. Christian living is built on something!

An Application for Parents: Don’t Say “Just Do It”

One application: Parents, teach your children that the behavior and attitudes you expect from them are built on something! Don’t say, “Just do it.” As they get older help them see that the standards of thought and attitude and action and entertainment and ministry and mercy are all built on the mercy of God in Christ. Help them see that Christian living is not a list of do’s and don’ts, it is a way of showing the glory of God and Christ. Help them see that Christian living—for children and teenagers and adults—is built on the gospel—on the beauty of Christ crucified and risen and reigning. The question is not mainly, “What’s wrong with this music or this movie or this party or this dress or these drugs or these friends?” The question is, How can I act and speak and feel so that I help my friends see the worth of Jesus above all music and movies and parties and friends? How can I live to show that Jesus didn’t come into the world to help me party better but to help me love better and die better?

Cultivate in your home the understanding of the word “therefore” in Romans 12:1. Help the children absorb this worldview. The Christian life has roots. It has foundation. It is built on something. Because of the truth of Romans 1-11, therefore live the life of Romans 12-16. That’s Paul’s first message in verse 1.

You can read the rest here.

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