WARNING! This is not a means—it is a measure. The behaviors listed below do not represent hurdles to leap in order to enter into God’s good graces. Rather, they are the appropriate behaviors of those who have already tasted God’s grace. Salvation is by faith alone and not through our works of righteousness. Righteousness is a fruit of faith. Those who are saved by the work of Jesus are made able to live lives that are pleasing to their Savior. Holiness, which previously offended the sinner, is now in reach of the saint.
Paul has already made this clear by the time he arrives at chapter twelve of his letter to the Romans. Apart from the work of Jesus, we are incapable of right living. That being settled, he offers Christians a checklist of virtues to guide them in their new lives. He explains that the person who is reborn in Christ lives differently than they did before. This checklist is presented as a measure of progress in Christian living. It is a growth chart for the Christian.
What’s your measure?
- 9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
- 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
- 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
- 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
- 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
- 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
- 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
- 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.
- 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.