Here are a couple places where they are found in close proximity:
- 1 Cor 13.13
- Heb 10.22-24
- Gal 5.5-6
- 1 Ths 1.3
- Rom 5.1-5
Rom 12.1-2 might be two of the most pregnant verses in the Bible. They hinge on the previous eleven chapters of grueling and articulate theology. Paul’s plea with those in
In 12.2, we finally have a direct command, two imperative verbs actually. What is strange though is that both of them are passive imperatives [“don’t be conformed” but “be transformed”]. I don’t want to over-theologize a verb tense, but how should we take these? Is their passive nature simply because of the essence of the command? Or is it due to their relation to God’s mercy in 12.1? Is it that these are heart and mind commands and they can only be accomplished by the Holy Spirit? However these are taken, their end is to know God’s good and pleasing will. This is the goal of Paul’s exhortation.
I kind of like the NIV’s “in view of God’s mercy” in 12.1. But what “mercy” does Paul have in mind here? I think he is generally referring to all of chapters 1-11, more narrowly referring to chapters 9-11, and most specifically to the mentions of “mercy” in 9.15-16, 9.23, and 11.30-32.
There can be no thought of moving forward in sacrificial and unconforming transformation unless one’s grip is tightly on the mercy of God in Jesus.
No, the Bible isn't a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story. It's an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his treasure. It's a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne - everything - to rescue the ones he loves. It's like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life.... There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story. The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them. It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story. And at the centre of the Story there is a baby. Every Story in the Bible whispers his name. He is like the missing piece in a puzzle - the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together, and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture.
I am going to
because I believe in a God of scandalous grace. If I believed terrorists were beyond redemption, I would need to rip out half of my New Testament Scriptures, for they were written by a converted terrorist. I have pledged Allegiance to a King that loved evildoers so much He died for them [and of course the people of Iraq are no more evil or more holy than the people of the US], teaching us that there is something worth dying for but nothing worth killing for... We are all wretched, and we are all beautiful. No one is beyond redemption. May we see in the hands of the oppressors our own hands, and in the faces of the oppressed our own faces. We are made of the same dust, and we cry the same salty tears. Iraq
Romans 11 is just as tough as Romans 9 or any other text in Paul. Along with slowly trudging through Romans, I’ve also been reading a little Cambridge Greek commentary on Romans from 1912. It’s so refreshing because much of it is removed from modern debate and discussion. It offers some excellent summary statements. On 11.23,
As the Gentiles came to share in the hope of
The argument is summed up in a picture of the wide and patient purpose of God… to bring both Jew and Gentile under His mercy.
Another helpful thing to remember while reading Romans 11 is that chapters 9-11 are a single unit. Many say that these chapters must be read with the covenant in view. I tend to agree with this. The word “covenant” is only used twice in Romans – 9.4 and 11.27, as bookends for the whole section [and only 9x in Paul total].
The phrase “according to election” is repeated in 9.5, 11.5, and 11.28 so as to give further pointers to his purpose.
Lastly, when reading 11, it is important to note which uses of “
9.14-23 is a tough pill to swallow; 10.8-17 shows the simplicity of the response to mercy; and 11 is unique about God’s plans for Jew, Gentile, and “
If your heart were right, then every created thing would be a mirror of life for you and a book of holy teaching, for there is no creature so small and worthless that it does not show forth t he goodness of God.
In music, there are only 12 notes. And within these 12, there are technically only 7 notes that help to define the remainder of the 12 [the notes A, B, C, D, E, F, and G are what we use to label the notes A#, G#, Eb, Bb, etc]. So, I really don’t know the huge significance of the 12 and 7, but let's just say that they indicate wholeness. For example, you can spell every word in Webster with 26 letters. In the same way, every song ever written is really just 12 notes intentionally rearranged. But here’s where it gets good.
I was giving a guy guitar lessons the other day and was trying to explain to him how every major chord has only 3 notes. I kept reminding him though, that each note in that chord can be played by itself. See, each note is one and each chord is one, but the chord is also three.
Best of all, music exists totally apart from what you think about it. Music is. It doesn’t have to have your stamp of approval. You can’t say that an E major chord is not an E major chord. It just is. However, your experience, involvement, and dedication to the external reality known as music can help other people cherish its beauty even if they can’t explain how they delight in it.
How much more does it have to be spelled out for us? He is there. He is here. He is near. And we are in need of a participation with something that can unplug our deaf ears to hear Music.
How are people not compelled to study Jesus and what he taught. Chronological history is understood by the time of his birth. Secular history asserts that he rose from the dead. He never wrote a book, but more books and songs have been written about him over anyone else. His wisdom transcended modern philosophy; his love crossed the boundaries of culture, family, race, and socio-economic class; his authority frightened dynasties and demons; his teaching perplexed the religious; his pervasive awareness numbs psychology; and his humility is an example to the truly pious.
He is the Lion and the Lamb.
He is the master and the servant.
He is full of grace and truth.