Romans – Life Transformation Journey
Addressing those in the cradle of the number one global power, Paul, in this letter, lays the foundation of key theological concepts.
He answers questions such as:
- Why believe?
- What happens to nice guys who don’t believe?
- What is grace?
- If God has already predestined us, where does the individual’s role come in?
- Why suffering?
- How to discipline our flesh?
Amidst the gold, the guts, and glory, Paul outlines the true journey of transformation.
Slaves to Sin
Everyone, without exception, is caught in the snare of sin (3:10, 23) facing eternal death. Even those who have never heard about Christ will be judged on the basis of their conscience and other available facts in their life (5:15).
In the larger scheme of things, Satan’s destructive designs are countered by God’s triumphant turnarounds. God knows in advance who will be faithful to Him and is transforming them by conforming them into the likeness of Jesus (Rom 8:29).
Saved by Grace
In a world where superheroes are worshiped, the most superhuman feat is still completely incapable of accomplishing salvation. It is a divine gift of divine grace (5:17, 4:4-5, 7:6, 3:23, 6:23). Paul cautions that continuing in sin reduces the level of grace in our lives (6:7-14).
Sacrifice for Perfection
The secret to leveraging this free gift is by sacrificing the cravings of our flesh to achieve transformation of our minds (Rom 12:1-2). Paul elaborates that this true form of perfection is through faith and a transformed mind; through a life constantly aligning to the image of Christ. This, again, is only achieved through the Spirit (8:26-27).
Struggle against Sin
In spite of being bolstered from Christ and the Spirit, the struggle against sin continues. Paul, the great apostle, acknowledges his weaknesses (7:24-25), yet exults in the victory through Christ.
He rejoices in sufferings knowing that it drives us up several notches towards achieving this perfection (5:3-5).
Share the Gift
While we enjoy this new status of freedom in Christ and heirs to the future promises, we are motivated to share this to the best extent possible (10:14) using our gifts (12:6-8); to radiate love (12:9); to allow our lives to speak for us instead of precariously placed judgmental words (14:23). And, at the same time, to be discerning enough to keep us and those with us on the right track (16:17-19).
How much have we REALLY changed after accepting Christ? What steps can we take to effect a bigger transformation?