Romans 1:8 - A labor of love, it is trying to understand something and then work with that understanding. Love, the behavioral glue that binds together the believer to other members of the Body of Christ, that is how God designed the new creation in Christ to operate. Love is the attitudinal adhesive God intends to keep the Body of Christ functionally smoothly and operating efficiently and effectively. Love is the bond that both unifies and edifies the members of the Body of Christ.
Maturity is all about the degree to which you participate in the increase of the Body of Christ unto the deifying of its self in love. The degree to which you participate in that which brings unity to the Body of Christ and edifies the believer to that degree you can consider yourself to be mature. We serve others today motivated by appreciation in the fact that God loves them, we are intricately joined to them, just as we are joined to Christ.
The law had apprehension as a motivation factor. Our labor of love under the Age of Grace has had the apprehension aspect removed entirely. We are to serve others today based on how God expressed his love to others through Christ and what he accomplished for them, who he made them and us to be in our savior by joining us to our savior.
Christian living is not about doing, it is about believing something, and when we believe something and we continue to take in God’s Word, it should change who we are, not change what we are trying to do and trying to become. Every believer has a part to play when it comes to that which edifies and unifies the Body of Christ, but attitude is that which instigates action. Faith does not come in gallons and tons, faith is not something “do I have enough faith, have I believed firmly enough?” Faith is simply taking your stand where God takes his stand.
Romans 1:9-10 - When we think of pouring a foundation for a building, we might think of something like concrete being use as the foundation material. We can relate that to Paul’s job, when it came to dispensing the doctrinal truth.
It was committed to the apostle Paul to dispense the doctrinal concrete which would become that firm foundation upon which a believer’s growth might take place. Since growth is an important issue, it was essential that the doctrinal concrete Paul would begin to pour would contain the appropriate ingredients and that those ingredients would be in the correct proportions.
What happens if concrete’s too thin or too thick, doesn’t have sufficient water or moist with it. So we see these concrete doctrines would have to be prepared properly. They’d have to be spread adequately and smoothly to the point that our minds become set with the truths Paul was commissioned to establish. We can not pour a foundation properly, even if we have the proper ingredients for the foundation material apart from preparing the soil properly on which those ingredients are to be poured. We would want the foundation of the structure to be poured in an appropriate manner. If the soil of a person’s mind is not prepared by that which God has revealed about himself, then foundational truths holds no meaning.
Romans 1:11 - Dealing with Satan and his forces is not a power encounter; it is a truth encounter. You can not expect God to protect you from Satan and his forces influences if you do not take an active part in his prepared strategy. The armor that we must take up to protect ourselves from Satan and his forces attack, the first three are established because of our identity in Christ, the last three help us continue to win the battle. It is critical that when we put on the armor of God, we start with the belt of truth. If Satan and his forces can deceive us into believing a lie, they can control our life in that area.
It is absolutely vital that we put on the breastplate of righteousness, so that we can resist the persistent accusations of Satan and his forces, they never give up trying to get us down and keep us down by hurling one false accusation after another. We put on the shoes of peace, because we are to forgive as we have been forgiven, and we must base our relationships with others on the same criteria. If we fail to speak the truth in love and manage our emotions, anger which turns to bitterness and unforgiveness is an open invitation to Satan and his forces.
The important process of renewing our mind includes managing our emotions by managing our thoughts and perceptions. Satan and his forces are always hurling their fiery darts of fear, doubt and worry in our direction, but the only time they can hit us is when we let our shield of faith down. The fact that the helmet is related to salvation indicates that their blows are directed at the believer’s security and assurance of being placed into Christ. This helmet covers our mind, intellect or reasoning. The two dangerous edges of Satan and his forces broadsword are discouragement and doubt.
In addition to believing it and thinking it, the Word of God is the only offensive weapon mentioned in the list of armor. If you are going to resist Satan and his forces, you must do so outwardly so they can understand you and be put to flight. That is why Paul insists that we be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Satan and his forces have no power over us except what we give them by failing to take every thought captive and thus being deceived into believing their lies.