Romans 12

Saturday, September 23, 2006


God reminded me of his grace through Romans 12 a few days ago and I mentioned it to Julia. She uses The Message and suggested that I read Romans 12 in that translation.

So here goes:

Romans 12:1-2, 11-12 (The Message)
1 So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life--your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life--and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.
2 Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
11 Don't burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master,
12 cheerfully expectant. Don't quit in hard times; pray all the harder.

Romans 12:1-2, 11-12 (ESV)
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Although I agree with the message in its own right, I can't say that I agree with the translation. But it presents somehow a perspective to the Word and to life in Christ. I especially like verse 11 and 12: Don't burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don't quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Indeed.

Maeghan
Picture by Hilary Quinn

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4 comment(s)

  1. It's a good message, a great reminder of how to be every day

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  2. It does seem like sometimes statements in The Message are in there that go along with the message of the text yet seem pulled from thin air. But you're right, it does bring a fresh perspective to the Word and our life in Christ. One of the pastors in our old church said he thinks Peterson is the closest thing we have to a modern day prophet.

    In “Eat this Book”, Peterson talks about why he did this translation. He says in part that literalism encourages USING the Bible, making us in charge instead of God. But putting the Bible in the same language as our day-to-day lives encourages LIVING the Bible, in which case God's in charge, not us. He asks if we are reading the Bible for information about God and salvation or to listen to God and respond in prayer and obedience.

    I will say that this:
    "Take your everyday, ordinary life--your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life--and place it before God as an offering." means so much more to me in practice than this: "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship." Maybe because I'm kind of simple.

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  3. I like the idea of USING and LIVING, though "using" should lead to "living".

    About the "living sacrifice", we would need to understand its implication from the OT practice. Only then will we understand why Paul asked the Ephesians to be "living sacrifices".

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  4. Oh yes, I realize that, but it's not the language I speak every day. The NT was written in every day Greek, and the Message was translated in to "American." I think your English may be more classical than mine :) Anyway, there are many layers of complexity to translating the Bible and I think they all add depth to our understanding.

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