Unfolding the Renewed Life
This is the final section of Paul’s foundational call to a life transformed by renewing the mind, before he begins applying it to problems in the community in Rome. He began by calling them to give themselves – “bodies as a living sacrifice” – not formed by this age but thinking soberly and with faith. Each person is different – parts of one body in Christ. Each has distinct gifts of grace to be used diligently: prophecy, encouraging, mercy...
He unfolds the character of a community shaped by Jesus’ teaching: a peaceable kingdom. Genuine love, honoring others, celebrating in hope, persevering in suffering, serving. Blessing even persecutors. Focusing on the event of Jesus, his humility, self-giving love. Never taking revenge. Living with beauty, excellence, peace. Conquering evil with good. They live under overarching authorities, seeing them as servants responsible to God. Expect them to do their job. Act for the good of others. Deal honestly with imposed obligations.