The response to mercy
Beginning with chapter 12 of the Romans, Paul defines how the yielded believers should experience what God accomplished for the humankind, in the body of Jesus Christ, on the cross at Golgotha. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual worship.” Romans 12:1, NIV. The “Therefore” refers to what Paul presented in chapters 1 through 8 of the Romans. What did Paul present there? In the first eight chapters of the Romans, Paul introduced in detail, the doctrine of the condemnation, justification, sanctification, and glorification, in Jesus Christ our Lord. What did God accomplish on behalf of humankind, in Jesus Christ?
Paul, in Romans 1:18 – 3:20, explains the sin problem. Because the first Adam, the representative of the old humankind, sinned in the garden of Eden, the entire humanity became a sinner by nature; condemned by the law to eternal death, no way out. Then, in the Romans 3:21 – 8:39, Paul presents the gospel, the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ our Lord. By its sin in the garden of Eden, the humankind placed itself under the eternal condemnation to which, the humanity had no possible solution.
However, God, because He so loved the humankind, took upon Himself the helpless humanity, in the body of Jesus Christ and thus He, for all eternity, accomplished that what was impossible for the sinful humankind to do. In the desert, Jesus defeated Satan, conquered the temptation and thus, rescued (redeemed) the helpless humankind from the slavery in the kingdom of sin and darkness. Then, on the cross at Golgotha, God made Jesus the Savior of the world by putting into His body sin and our sinful life. Then, by abandoning Jesus on the cross, God forever destroyed our sinful life, and made us His children again. By offering His body for the wonderful exchange on the cross, Jesus Christ forever satisfied the righteous demand of the law, and thus, He freed the humankind from the condemnation by the law. God, in Jesus Christ on the cross at Golgotha, forgave us all our past, present, and future sins against the law, and gave us new history, the holy history of Jesus Christ.
How should we respond to such grace and mercy? Read the next blog.