Job 8 & Romans 12

Job 8

    Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:

    “How long will you say these things,
        and the words of your mouth be a great wind?
    Does God pervert justice?
        Or does the Almighty pervert the right?
    If your children have sinned against him,
        he has delivered them into the hand of their transgression.
    If you will seek God
        and plead with the Almighty for mercy,
    if you are pure and upright,
        surely then he will rouse himself for you
        and restore your rightful habitation.
    And though your beginning was small,
        your latter days will be very great.
    “For inquire, please, of bygone ages,
        and consider what the fathers have searched out.
    For we are but of yesterday and know nothing,
        for our days on earth are a shadow.
    Will they not teach you and tell you
        and utter words out of their understanding?
    “Can papyrus grow where there is no marsh?
        Can reeds flourish where there is no water?
    While yet in flower and not cut down,
        they wither before any other plant.
    Such are the paths of all who forget God;
        the hope of the godless shall perish.
    His confidence is severed,
        and his trust is a spider's web.
    He leans against his house, but it does not stand;
        he lays hold of it, but it does not endure.
    He is a lush plant before the sun,
        and his shoots spread over his garden.
    His roots entwine the stone heap;
        he looks upon a house of stones.
    If he is destroyed from his place,
        then it will deny him, saying, ‘I have never seen you.’
    Behold, this is the joy of his way,
        and out of the soil others will spring.
    “Behold, God will not reject a blameless man,
        nor take the hand of evildoers.
    He will yet fill your mouth with laughter,
        and your lips with shouting.
    Those who hate you will be clothed with shame,
        and the tent of the wicked will be no more.”

(Job 8 ESV)

Romans 12

    I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

    For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

    Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

    Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

(Romans 12 ESV)

Romans 12: Our new relationship to God, as defined by the apostle Paul, carries with it the sacrificial imagery of the Old Testament. In light of God’s great sacrifice for us, we are to offer ourselves back to Him as “living sacrifices”. True godliness is giving your entire self as your humble gift to God. However, our sacrifice isn’t to be made in the temple or at a church. Our sacrifice is to be offered in our own homes and in our neighborhoods. We are to present ourselves to God as “instruments for righteousness” (Romans 6). 

Unlike Old Testament animal sacrifices, this is a living and active sacrifice to the wholehearted service of God and others. The Christian life is not simply a life of dying to sin and trying to avoid what is restricted. The Christian life is a life of living for God and trying to act out what is righteous. When we are truly transformed by our knowledge and understanding of the gospel, we will then be able to discover the value and richness of God’s will by actually putting it into practice.

Therefore, we can rightly conclude, Christianity is not simply a set of beliefs about God; it is a transformative response to the revelation of God and His gospel. 

Christianity is not simply a teaching to be accepted and agreed with; it is a particular way of life to be embraced and applied. The first Christians were regarded as people of ‘the Way’ on account of their unique way of living their lives in service to their God and one another (Acts 22). There was something very different and distinct about them that was plainly seen by those around them. Can we rightly call ourselves people of ‘the Way’? Is our way of life different and distinct from the lives of those around us? We would be wise to examine our own lives and whether or not we are appropriately putting our theology into practice.