How to Become a Romans 12 Christian

5 Mins read

Paul’s letter to the Roman Church is regularly referred to as the Constitution of Christianity. Within it’s 16 chapters, Paul walked a new church full of young believers through the foundational principles of their newfound salvation. In the twelfth chapter of Romans, Paul gets to the relational aspect of our Christianity.

As believers, we are called to constantly examine ourselves to ensure that we are of the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5). The principles that Paul outlines in Romans 12 are cornerstone principles to living out the faith that we have professed. In order to be a Romans 12 Christian, it’s important that we play our part in the relationships that Paul discusses in this letter.

Let’s take a deeper dive into Romans 12 to get a better understanding of what relationships we need to work on in order to be a Romans 12 Christian.

Our Relationship with God

Romans 12:1 (TPT)
Beloved friends, what should be our proper response to God’s marvelous mercies? I encourage you to surrender yourselves to God to be his sacred living sacrifices. And live in holiness, experiencing all that delights his heart. For this becomes your genuine expression of worship.

The most fundamental relationship that plays a role in our Christian faith is our relationship with God. In the opening verse of Romans 12, Paul points to the importance of fully surrendering ourselves to God. When we accept Christ as our Savior, we surrender our will to his. Thankfully, that’s all God wants when we enter into relationship with him.

God is not concerned about what we bring to the table when we commit our lives to him. All He wants is us. When we offer our bodies as a living sacrifice to God, we are telling Him that He can use our lives for His glory. Instead of living our lives in order to fulfill our selfish, fleshly desires, we live our lives submitted to God’s service and the furthering of His kingdom. Our role in this relationship is quite simple: we surrender.

Our Relationship With the World

Romans 12:2 (TPT)
Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the cultures around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.

When we surrender our lives to God, we become separated from the world. In the Bible, the term “world” doesn’t mean the actual globe that we live on. Instead, it means the culture and the societal norms that surround us. If you take a look around at our current culture, the need for separation becomes evident. James, the half brother of Jesus, wrote in his epistle that “the world is at odds with God” (James 4:4).

When we are seeking to live a life that is fully surrendered to God, we must reject the moral compass that society sets for us. In the eyes of society, we are encouraged to seek out our own pleasure. The world tells us that we should do whatever we need to do to “reach the top” and live a prosperous life. Conversely, God’s Word tells us that we need to reject that line of thinking entirely.

In Romans 12:2, Paul says that we are to stop imitating the ideals and opinions of our culture. Yes, we are residents of this planet, and in turn, we are a part of this society. However, Paul wrote in another letter that while our residency is here, our citizenship is in Heaven (Philippians 3:20). In order to fully embrace the life of a Romans 12 Christian, we have to allow ourselves to be separated from the culture that surrounds us and live the life of a “separated and peculiar people” (1 Peter 2:9).

Our Relationship with Ourselves

Romans 12:3 (TPT)
God has given me grace to speak a warning about pride. I would ask each of you to be emptied of self-promotion and not create a false image of your importance. Instead, honestly assess your worth by using your God-given faith as the standard of measurement, and then you will see your true value with an appropriate self-esteem.

Did you know that one of the most important relationships in your life is the one you have with yourself? That may sound like a puzzling concept, but it’s true. We already referenced one verse in which Paul encouraged believers to examine ourselves. In this verse, he does so again, but he goes into a bit more detail about exactly how we are supposed to do that.

The first step is emptying yourself of any sort of self-promotion. As humans, our natural inclination is to promote ourselves. We want to be highly regarded, well thought of and respected. In order to make that happen, we often create a version of ourselves that we project to others around us. While that’s a natural line of thinking, it’s not a spiritual line of thinking.

Instead of measuring our worth by human standards, Paul says that we should use our faith as the standard of measurement. Your success as a Child of God is not contingent on your job title, bank account or membership in an exclusive club. Instead, your worth as God’s child is found in how well your daily life matches your faith. Self-assessment is the most vital part of our ongoing relationship with ourselves.

Our Relationship with Other Believers

Romans 12:9-10 (TPT)
Let the inner movement of your heart always be to love one another, and never play the role of an actor wearing a mask. Despise evil and embrace everything that is good and virtuous. Be devoted to tenderly loving your fellow believers as members of one family. Try to outdo yourselves in respect and honor of one another.

In Mark 12:31, Jesus told His followers that the two most important things we could do was to love God with every part of our existence and to love our brothers and sisters in Christ just as much as we love ourselves. Paul expounds on that principle when addressing our relationship with other Christians.

When the “inner movement of your heart” is always pointed towards loving others, you’re living a Christ-like life. Nothing that Jesus did was for Himself. Instead, He existed to bring glory to the Father and to meet the practical and spiritual needs of others.

Additionally, Paul says that we should “try to outdo ourselves.” We’re not in competition with other believers. The only person who you should try to be better than is the person that you were yesterday.

Our Relationship with Unbelievers

Romans 12:14 (TPT)
Speak blessing, not cursing, over those who reject and persecute you.

Our role in this relationship is one that only comes about with the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit being actively at work in our lives. When someone rejects and persecutes us, our natural instinct is to reject and persecute them in return. We like to “fight fire with fire.” However, this is another example of the reaction of the flesh and the reaction of the spirit not being the same thing.

There will be people who hate you because of your faith. In John 15:18, Jesus said that the world (the culture that is driven by darkness) will hate us because it hated Him first. Our response to this hatred cannot be hatred. Instead, we have to respond with love and compassion. The people who hate us for our faith do not hate us. Instead, they hate the One who lives inside us. They are led by the power of darkness over their lives that used to lead us. However, our response to them should point them towards the grace of God which has saved us.

Being a Romans 12 Christian is all about relationships. That shouldn’t come as a surprise because God’s entire plan for humanity revolved around His relationship with us. Let the Holy Spirit show you what relationships you need to work on and allow Him to help you make the changes you need to make.

A Closing Prayer:
God, help me to be a Romans 12 Christian. I want to actively engage in relationships the way that You want me to. In Christ’s name, Amen!

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