Reference: Romans 12:1
From last week’s post: You belong to Christ, and you are to live for Him.
It is a living sacrifice because it entails a life of service. The rest of Romans 12 goes on to speak of the various ways in which God equips His people to serve Him.
Of this sacrifice, Paul says, “I beseech you” or “urge you.” This is strong language. This is not just an invitation: “If you could, it would be nice…”
The word reasonable can be used in two ways. A reasonable thing is something that makes sense. If Christ paid the price of your ransom from the kingdom of Satan so you can be in His kingdom, why, then, would you not live as a member of His kingdom? That makes sense. Secondly, such service is reasonable because, as someone who has Christ by means of the Holy Spirit within you, it is now possible for you to serve Him.
This is how we understand Scripture’s call to live for Christ, and that call is all-encompassing. The life of the believer must be guided by the law of God. There are serious consequences for failing to obey, as well as strong exhortation to practice more and more to live obediently.
The possibility of service
When you do all that Christ has asked of you, you have only done what Christ actually accomplished in and through you. Once again I refer you to Ephesians 2:10 (ESV): “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Paul writes that it is His work, previously prepared by God.
Christ can do all things. Remember, the gates of Hell cannot prevail or stand against what He purposes to do. He does that through you.
Perhaps you say, “Well, I am just a sinner. Who am I to think I can do anything for Christ?” That is denying what Christ has said He will do in building His Kingdom. Similarly, saying, “Well, it would be arrogant and self righteous to think my life can meet His standard” is saying Christ cannot work through you. That is limiting what Christ can do.
This concluding statement in the catechism points to our ability to serve Him, by means of Christ, and to our deep desire to do so: we become “heartily willing.”
The reality of service
I mentioned earlier to notice what the catechism does not say, but here let us notice what it does say. “(He) makes me heartily willing and ready to live unto Him.” He makes me. This is the work of Christ. If it is truly Christ accomplishing this through you and me, then it is certainly reasonable we would be willing, even excited, to live as His servants.
Thus, seeking God’s direction in life, to be a faithful father and husband, mother and wife, obedient child, a loving neighbor, a faithful employer or employee, church member — all the aspects of life — all are living the comforted life. This only makes sense. It is reasonable, and it is the life of knowing and enjoying being in that covenant relationship with God.
We have seen in Heidelberg Q&A #1 that we belong to the Savior Jesus Christ, He has fully satisfied the requirements, and He will keep us in that relationship. That is great news. My exhortation to you is this: do not miss the importance of this. You now have been enabled to enjoy life before God.
Blog post content taken from a sermon series delivered by Dr. Maynard Koerner, President and Professor of Ministerial Studies at Heidelberg Theological Seminary.