Paul’s Romans 12:1-2 exhortation is a wonderful portrait of a life fully submitted to Christ. Additionally, Paul described the completely devoted Christian before we created the terms “sold-out” or “fully devoted.”
Here are three characteristics of a committed Christian. Examine yourself as you read along.
- They are not “conformed to this world” (Rom. 12:2). If you follow Jesus with your whole heart, God’s love compels you to love your neighbor. Filthy entertainment makes you uncomfortable because your conscience has been refined by the purifying presence of the Holy Spirit (Rom 12:2). Your mind is “renewed” (Rom. 12:2), and your actions reveal it.
- They use their gifts to demonstrate grace and help the church (Rom. 12:3-8). Christians who follow Christ with their whole heart serve the church as a demonstration of grace, and desire to see the church thrive. Contrarily, they don’t serve to boost their ego or prove their giftedness (Rom. 12:3); rather, they genuinely want to meet needs the same way that God has met their own, either by sharing the gospel or providing physical help.
- Their lives are marked by zealous affection for Christ (Rom. 12:9-21). Romans 12 Christians love both Christians and non-Christians with fervor (Rom. 12:9-10,13,21). They work hard to share Christ’s saving work on the cross with others and don’t shy away in times of tribulation and persecution (Rom. 12:11-12,14). They prayerfully walk through difficult times with others and rejoice with the joyful (Rom. 12:12,15). They are hospitable, humble, and heartening to be around (Rom. 12:13&16). In other words, you know them by their fruit (Matt. 7:16), as it reveals a heart transformed by the Holy Spirit.
Romans 12 is an encouraging, yet convicting passage. As you reflect on this Scripture, ask God to illuminate any areas of your life that could be improved. Prayerfully consider what may need to change, and ask God for the guidance and strength to do it.