Victorious Living-2 from the book of Romans by Rev. Shine P. Thomas
The Life of a Victorious Believer
The book of Romans talks about salvation, the good news. In the first 11 chapters it says:
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
For the wages of sin is death; the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Then we come to chapter 12 of Romans which begins with the word:
I beseech you therefore, brethren.
This is written to the brethren who are already in the Lord Jesus Christ. The writings from chapter 12 through the end of the book are penned in light of the fact that we have been saved from our sins and are on our way to heaven. So the question is: How then are we supposed to live victorious lives in this world on our way to heaven? We have already seen several things last week.
The Lifestyle of a Victorious Believer- Romans 12
1. Believers Present ourselves to God
This is our daily prayer life.
2. Be transformed, not conformed
This comes through renewing of your mind, which is by reading the word of God. The outgrowth of that transformation (prayer and Bible reading) is what we saw next.
4. Believers Stay Focused
Stay focused on what God called us to do in this world.
5. Have a Cheerful and Generous spirit
6. Be Honest
These are characteristics of a mind which is being transformed because that mind is seeing the Word of God on a daily basis, reading the Bible and letting it sink into our hearts, and then it transforms our mind which changes the outgrowth in our lives.
But in this second section of the book of Romans these last chapters from 12-15, there are several other characteristics of the transformed life in the Lord Jesus Christ.
7. Never payback those who mistreat us
Romans 12:17 (KJV)
Recompense (that is give back/repay) to no man evil for evil.
Somebody does wrong to you, you do not pay them back with wrongdoing.
Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse.
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge (KJV Vengeance is mine), I will repay,” says the Lord.
So God’s people should not pay back to those who mistreat us. There are a lot of reasons why in the Bible, but the reason that is stated in this passage is that vengeance is God’s property. That belongs to Him.
Now the response of the flesh is to pay back, get back at somebody. You can see that in children as they are growing up. One little brother or sister hits another one, so the other hits back immediately. That is vengeance. That is the response of the flesh.
God’s people are not to do that. This means that sometimes there are those who do wrong to God’s people. Sometimes your own family or Christian brothers can do wrong to you. There are those who will cheat God’s people of money or work. Sometimes it hurts financially, emotionally, but God says, “Vengeance is mine. I will repay.” He will take care of it. He knows the ins and outs of things. He knows the motivation, who is motivated in which way. God is the one who knows that. So if we hit back, if we take vengeance, if we pay back, we are stealing from God that which belongs to him. I think we dare not take God’s place and do things that he is supposed to do.
Now as I said the flesh wants to strike back. But the transformed mind will say “I think I cannot do that.”
We also see a couple of instructions for believers having to do with our relationship to our higher ups in life.
8. Be subject unto authority
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.
Now, this does not talk about the nature, quality, goodness or badness of that person above us. The Bible says that every power is established by God. God has allowed that person to be your boss, your prime minister, your chief minister, your manager. This passage simply discusses how a transformed person is supposed to be relating to the authority.
Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgement upon themselves.
Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment (not only just because you will be punished, or demoted or your increment will be cut, or your review will go down) but also as a matter of conscience.
I am not talking about exercising your rights and responsibilities in your work as employees or the lead or manager. You and I are to do that. The Bible teaches us to be good workers. We ought to be involved under the authority and responsible to the authority which God has given us.
Then we see how we are to obey the government.
9. Pay our taxes
6This is why you pay your taxes, (escape punishment and to have a clear conscious) for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; respect, then respect; if honour, then honour.
You are to pay your taxes. This question came up in the life of Jesus. He was asked the question what about paying taxes to Caesar? Caesar was a wicked ruler. Caesar was an evil man. Jesus told Peter to throw his net into the lake. Take the first fish and open its mouth. Peter found a four-drachma coin in there.
Jesus asked, “Whose image was on that coin?” The answer was Caesar. Jesus said:
So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.
You are saying our government is corrupt and spending and looting people’s money. But Jesus said we are to render what is Caesar’s, he has the right to charge taxes, how he spends it he answers to God for that. You and I in our proper relationship to the government with transformed minds are to render to the government taxes which are due. Then the govt. will answer to God on how that money is spent. But we are to pay our taxes.
Let’s move on.
10. Don’t judge fellow believers
We are not to judge or debate with fellow believers in matters of doubtful disputations.
Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? (We are speaking of God’s people, servants). To their own master (God) servants stand or fall. And they will stand for the Lord is able to make them stand.
10Then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. Repeat. 11It is written: “As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’” 12So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.
Now, we are not to judge fellow believers in matters of doubtful matters.
Romans 14:1 NIV
Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarrelling over disputable matters. There will be believers who are weak in faith and they may have different practices, so do not debate with them.
Let me make this very clear. The word of God is not speaking judging brothers in matters of clear doctrine, principles of life or accountability. We are speaking here of applications to life. The Bible gives us 2 examples in this passage.
Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble.
b. Observing days
One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Some people observe certain days and some people do not do. Some people debate if believers should celebrate Christmas on Dec 25 or not. That is a discussion of days. Some people fast on Fridays, Sundays etc. It is them and God. Some judge who do not fast in those days. I am not talking against fasting, no. We are not to give ourselves over to judging our brothers in matters of doubtful disputations like that.
Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. So we should not get into argument with fellow believers for the sake of food and days, we are not to judge them for that.
17For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,18because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval. 19Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
However, we are not to judge fellow believers in these matters but there is a place for judgement for God’s people. We are to judge false prophets.
Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
This is the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is teaching his disciples that they are to judge false prophets.
1 John 4:1
This is a command. Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits (That is judge them) whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
So when you hear preaching, you need to be testing all preaching if it is biblical, scriptural or not. Does it come from the Bible or is it just his opinion, or is he trying to please people, or make fun out of God’s time and pulpit. Or manipulate about God, usually to get their money. We are to judge those false prophets.
Coming back, how to live victorious lives? There is another aspect to this coin:
11. Don’t be a stumbling block
Don’t be a stumbling block to others believers.
Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.
1We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.
12. Have the mind of Christ to fellow believers
5May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 6so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
How did Christ receive us? We were not perfect, we are not perfect now either. But according to
God has made us accepted in the beloved. We have been received by Christ, accepted, loved in spite of our weakness and sins.
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had.
He is the God of patience. God knows that you will need patience with some of your fellow believers. God also knows that some of your fellow believers need patience with you. We do not see that side of ourselves, other people do. I am in the same boat. But I know that you see things that I cannot see. And the same thing is true about you. God knows that we need patience with one another just as Jesus is patient with us.
Aren’t you glad that God did not cut you off last week because of our life? So God knows that we need that patience and also God is the God of consolation. God knows that sometimes in our relationship with each other in these matters we have been talking about, that frustration can come. God is the God of consolation. If we will present our bodies to him, a living sacrifice and if we stay in the Word of God so that we are transformed in our minds, not conformed to this world, God will provide that patience and that consolation that we need.
God has forgiven Us, How then are we to live in this world?
In conclusion, this practical message from this letter to the Romans let’s read together. Follow me as I read.
13Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. (which would be things people would do as they hide in the darkness of night. No we are to walk honestly as in the day) 14Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, (Live like Jesus) and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.
So we have been saved, thank God our sins are forgiven, how then are we to live in this world? We have in these chapters. As we present our bodies daily to Christ – In prayer. As we go to the Word daily and our minds becomes more and more transformed as the days go by, even more and more then in the years to come, we become transformed like Jesus in the days to come and produce the transformed life in us. Amen.