Worship in Romans (26)

God’s mercies, supremely expressed in the saving work of Jesus Christ, the gift of His Spirit, His perseverance with faithless Israel, and His gracious offer of salvation to the Gentiles (Romans 1-11), call forth the response of grateful obedience, with all the implications outlined in Romans 12-16. Paul’s ethic is theologically grounded and theologically motivated. Christian obedience is an expression of gratitude for the blessings received from believing the gospel. ‘God has redeemed us, therefore let us serve [worship] Him!’ (O. O’Donovan)

—David Peterson, “Worship and Ethics in Romans 12,” Tyndale Bulletin 44.2 (1993):280

Advertisements

Worship in Romans (25)

Behind Romans 9-11 stand the first eight chapters, where ‘the reality of the mercy of God is never far from Paul’s thought’. [C.E.B. Cranfield] It is as if all God’s merciful deeds, expounded so far in the letter, make their own appeal in Paul’s exhortation. The invitation to join in the praise of God (11:33-6) leads to the challenge for his readers to respond to the mercies of God with the offering of their ‘bodies’ as a living sacrifice. The ‘therefore’ in Romans 12:1 is to be given its full force.

—David Peterson, “Worship and Ethics in Romans 12,” Tyndale Bulletin 44.2 (1993):280

The True God

The difference between the true God and the gods of the nations is that the true God carries and the other gods must be carried. God serves, they must be served. God glorifies His might by showing mercy. They glorify theirs by gathering slaves. So the vision of God as one whose passion for His glory moves Him to mercy impels missions because He is utterly unique among all the gods.

—John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad: The Supremacy of God in Missions, 56

“For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the LORD made the heavens.” (Psalm 96:5)

God’s Mercy Bestowed

“If you find me short in things, impute that to my love of brevity. If you find me besides the truth in anything, impute that to my infirmity. But if you find anything here that serves to your furtherance and joy of the faith, impute that to the mercy of God bestowed on you and me. Yours to serve you with what little I have.”

–John Bunyan (Works, 1:336)

Amazing Grace 3

In evil long I took delight
Unawed by shame or fear;
Till a new object struck my sight
And stopped my wild career.

I saw one hanging on atree
In agony and blood;
Who fixed his languid eyes on me
As near his cross I stood.

Sure never till my latest breath
Can I forget that look;
It seemed to change me with his death
Though not a word He spoke.

My conscience felt and owned the guilt
And plunged me in despair;
I saw my sins his blood had spilt
And helped to nail Him there.

Alas, I knew not what I did
But now my tears are vain;
Where shall my trembling soul be hid?
For I the Lord have slain.

A second look He gave which said
“I freely all forgive;
This blood is for thy ransom paid
I died that that thou mayest live.”

Thus while His death my sin displays
In all its blackest hue;
Such is the mystery of grace,
It seals my pardon, too.

With pleasing grief and mournful joy
My spirit now is filled;
That I should such a life destroy
yet live by Him I killed.

–John Newton, 1779 (author of the text of “Amazing Grace”)

(See the wonderful musical setting by Bob Kauflin)

Amazing Grace

Epitaph of John Newton (author of the text of “Amazing Grace”):

“John Newton, clerk, once an infidel and libertine,
a seller of slaves in Africa,
was, by the rich mercy of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ,
preserved, restored, pardoned,
and appointed to preach the faith he had long labored to destroy.”