I love this picture of the world's second-highest mountain, K2. It simply looks how a mountain is supposed to look, in our minds. When you were a child and drew a picture of a mountain, you were probably drawing K2 and didn't know it!
In Romans 12, Paul draws a picture of what a Christian is supposed to look like: a person detached from worldly influence, but engaged with others to make the world a better place. A person who finds their place in the group of believers known as the body of Christ, and uses their God-given gifts to serve the group and God's kingdom. A person who goes against the grain to love others, even their enemies, even when the person is persecuted.
In my September 2022 podcast, "The Himalayas of the New Testament: Romans 12," I identify this chapter of Romans as the K2 compared to the Mount Everest of Romans 8. To me, Romans 12 is the response we give when we learn in Romans 8 how the Holy Trinity is always straining to reach us with love, mercy, salvation and presence.
I've broken down Paul's discussion in Romans 12 into six great thoughts as I go verse by verse through the chapter. These are:
Worship is what you do every day.
Don’t shape yourself on the outside to fit into the world, but shape yourself on the inside to become brand new in Christ’s ways.
We are joined together as the body of Christ.
Be who you were made to be.
Love, hope, pray, honor, give, do good, suffer patiently and seize your opportunities.
Live in relationship with everyone so you can turn them to good.
We also find one of Paul's most famous sayings in Romans 12, verse 2:
Do not conform 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.
Transformation is a process. Actually, Paul uses the same word that is used to describe Christ's Transfiguration in the Gospels, a moment when His inner ring of disciples could clearly see His divinity and who He really is. Similarly, when we are transformed by the renewal of our minds, we tap into the divine within us and begin to understand who we truly are as children of God and followers of Christ. In that process, we can discern God's will, and we act as God's followers as Paul describes in the remainder of the chapter.
I hope you'll listen to the full podcast to achieve a deeper understanding of our response to God, our transformation by God, and our service to God. The podcast is available on Apple Podcasts and on Spotify by searching for "Cecil Taylor Monthly Podcasts.", as well as on Podbean at https://ceciltaylorministries.podbean.com/e/the-himalayas-of-the-new-testament-romans-12/
Next month's Himalayas podcast is about the Letter to the Ephesians. Look for it during the first week of October by searching any of these podcasting platforms or by starting at https://www.ceciltaylorministries.com/free-content ,