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GRACE – MOTIVATION FOR WORSHIP AND GODLINESS

Having spent the first eleven chapters of Romans teaching us about the necessity for grace, the results and impact of grace, the permanence and pervasiveness of grace, and the offensiveness of grace, Paul then, on this basis, confronts us with the implications this grace should have for our daily lives.

In Romans 12:1 he says: ‘Therefore, I urge you, in view of God’s mercy …’

In view of God’s mercy … in view of this amazing and incredible grace-based salvation that I have been explaining to you … because of this grace … because of all that it is and all that it means and all that it has achieved for you without any cost or charge to you …

‘… to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.’

How can we best thank God for his amazing grace?

How can we best praise God for sending his Son to die as our substitute?

How can we best express our abounding joy in all that he has freely given us in Christ?

By living our lives for him. This is the only logical and reasonable response. Not as a matter of duty. Not in anticipation of any physical or eternal reward. But simply because of the immensity and intensity of God’s love for us. Simply because of his indescribable and immeasurable grace active on our behalf.

This, says Paul, this dedication of our whole physical lives to him, is the act of spiritual worship appropriate for the recipients of God’s mercy.

Anything less is utterly inappropriate. Any reservation of some part of our physical existence to serve our own ends and our own agenda, and any perceived personal right to do anything contrary to God’s purpose and perspective, is improper for those whom God, by sheer grace, has declared his holy people. 

In this commitment and dedication of our lives to God his grace will seriously alter the alignment of our lives, impacting:

• the way we view the priorities, paradigms and patterns of the world [Romans 12:2]
• the way we view ourselves in relation to other believers [Romans 12:3-5]
• the way we view our abilities, talents and gifting, and those of others [Romans 12:6-8]
• our emotional and mental attitudes [Romans 12:9-13]
• our reactions under the pressure of negativity and rejection [Romans 12:13-24]
• our relationship to and response to existing authority structures [Romans 13:1-7]
• our attitudes to God’s moral laws [Romans 13:8-14]
• our concern for the well-being of our fellow-believers [Romans 14:1-15:13]

Grace commands us, grace challenges us, grace calls us, grace cajoles us, grace caresses us into a life of worship and godliness, in which our only thought, our only objective, in all of our actions, should be to bring joy and glory to the One who has showered this grace upon us.

 © Rosemary Bardsley 2010