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Looking Back, "Therefore"

(Romans 12:1,2)

When I was in Bible College, many, many years ago, I was taught that whenever you see a “Therefore” in the Bible you should ask, “What is that there for?”

In Romans 12:1, Paul starts a new section, and he starts it with the word, “Therefore.”

He wrote, "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer 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" (Romans 12:1–2).

Before / Therefore (a linking word) / After

Romans 1 -11 /Therefore, I urge you . . . /

Romans 12 ff. Paul wants us to look back. What is it that he wants us to see or view? Paul says, “In view of God’s mercies . . .” Thus, Romans chapters 1–11 tell us about God’s mercies. What did we just cover in Romans 1–11? God’s mercies!

Today we are going to look back. We are going to revisit the places that we have already preached through in the book of Romans and see if we can get our hand around them and ask ourselves, just what is it that Paul was seeking to get across to us in this letter? Sometimes, it is good to do a fly-over and see the whole and to really get a feel for the book. We already know what to look for – the mercies of God. What are the mercies? I am going to spill the beans – the mercies are – the Gospel, the “good news” about Christ.

Outline

  • (Romans 1–3) Why do we need good news?
  • (Romans 4–5) What is the good news and how can it be ours?
  • (Romans 6–7) What will happen if we embrace the good news?
  • (Romans 8–11) The good news is good news because it makes known God’s love for us.
God has chosen to love us, now that is good news.

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The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches. (Matthew 13:31-32)

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