Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.
The phrase “in Christ” is used eighty-nine times in the New Testament. This great truth to be “in Christ” means that when you trust Jesus as your Lord and Savior a union is established between Christ and you. This union is established between Christ and you in such a way that everything in Christ that can be shared will be shared with you. Only Christ’s deity and it’s unique God-defining attributes like omnipotence and omniscience cannot be shared. But everything else that Christ is and has is yours in Him.
For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. (Romans 12:3)
Paul shows us in Romans 12:3 that you are not to think too highly of yourself. But he also shows us that you are not to think too low of yourself. Godly humility is not thinking too low of yourself, but to think as to have sound judgment. If you are a believer you are a recipient of God’s Grace—not only the grace that saved you, but the grace by which God has gifted you for service. Our spiritual gifts differ according to the grace given to each one of us. But each one of us does have gifts. You are not nothing. You are not someone who can’t do anything or incapable—not at all.
Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; (Romans 12:6)
God’s goal for you as a Christian is for you take the same form as His Son, Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul taught that before time began God chose to save believers so that they might come to have the same form as His Son (Romans 8:29).
This expresses the glorious goal of Christlikeness—of becoming like Jesus in our actions, in our behavior, in our thinking, motivations, compassions, love, and in our service to others. It’s everything that it means to be “transformed by the renewing of our minds” (Romans 12:2). In this we “prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God,
to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice,
acceptable to God,
which is your spiritual service of worship.
As we offer our bodies as living sacrifices on the altar of God, we are dead to sin and alive with Christ. So the living sacrifice of the believer doesn’t demand the destruction of the sacrifice as it did in the Old Testament. But it projects the full energy of life that is in Christ Jesus—the fullness of life, the abundance of life, all that it means to live the positive and dynamic life of Christ.
At the end of Romans chapter 11, the apostle Paul drops to his knees in praise and adoration for God. Before moving on his letter to the practical conclusions which flow from the grand and distinct doctrines of the Gospel, the apostle pauses to marvel at the ground which he had trekked. And looking back on the whole of Romans 1-11, Paul must exalt his Sovereign. God is worthy to be praised for God knows what He’s doing even when we do not. God is control of all of history even when we don’t get it. Therefore, Paul falls down before God and worships by bursting into a marvelous doxology.