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The Living Body Essay

1322 words - 5 pages

Emperor Claudius expelled the Jews from in the 40’s A.D., allowing the Churches from

both cultures to develop separately for some time. With the advent of Claudius’ death, the two

groups encountered each other, creating cultural tension regarding expression of faith (Keener

412). Paul addresses many of their differential issues in the letter to the Romans with the

dissolution of cultural barriers as the overarching theme. The excerpt covered in this paper is

directly involved with this theme, and reads as follows:

1Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your

bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper

worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by

the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what

God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. 3 For by the grace given me I

say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but

rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God

has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many

members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5

we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

so in Christ

1Therefore, I cordially command you, brothers and sisters, by all of God’s mercy, to

devote your lives to God as a sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. This is the logical way to

worship. 2Do not be like the rest of the world, but let your heart and mind be renewed in the

spirit, and you will know and do God’s will – his good, pleasing and perfect will. 3By the grace

given to me I say to each of you: Do not be preoccupied with superfluous analysis of yourself,

but be disciplined and rational, knowing and using the gifts God has given each you. 4

same way we have bodies with parts that function differently for different purposes, 5

of us in Christ, though many, form a single body, and each one of us shares another.

In the

so each

Paul addresses the Roman church as siblings, pleading in the name of God – a strong

opening. They are to sacrifice their bodies to God, living, and in a state that is “pleasing and

holy,” hearkening to a Jewish interpretation of sacrifice. Paul states that this is the correct way

to worship (12:1). Paul states that the individuals in the church need to change, and that this

change is transforming, coming through an altered way of thinking. When this happens they

will be able to test their thoughts, knowing God’s will (12:2). He proclaims his position as a

servant of God before he tells the Church’s members to “Not think too highly of themselves,”

instead to be rational. Faith is given by God, and they are told to work with it (12:3). Paul draws

a parallel between an individual’s function in the church, and a living body, stating that the

individuals are like...

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