A Hinge of the Heart
“Therefore I urge you, . . .” Romans 12:1
Every Bible reader knows whenever the word therefore appears in the text one should always stop and ask, “What’s that ‘therefore’ there for?”
The word therefore is one of the most underrated and unnoticed words of scripture. It’s easily dismissed as a comma or a pause in thought. But it’s much more than that. It’s a strategic word.
Therefore is like a hinge on a door that acts as a link between the wall and the door and enables one to relate to the other. It’s the part that serves as a pivot between the two parts. Throughout scripture, therefore allows the verse to reveal the out working of the text beneath.
Therefore holds together the doctrinal principles and practical application. It’s, therefor, vitally important when we consider the dangers of theology unrelated to practice and practice unrelated to theology.
Paul has spent the previous eleven chapters introducing the sinful, lost condition of humanity and God’s righteous plan for redeeming us. Paul unlocks our identification with Christ and the victory which comes through the owner of the Spirit. We gain a working knowledge of the permanent, upright construction of the gospel. A rampart raised for the purposes of securing our life.
The rest of Romans answers the question, “How should we who have been justified by grace respond in our everyday life?” How the message of Jesus moves into our life with a particular rhythm, into our responsibilities, our community and our relationships.
We are called to connect our theology to life. Theology is not meant to exist in a vacuum, it must have faith bolted onto it. Faith swings to and fro on the doorway of theology. The Christian life is not one that flees the problems and responsibilities of life in this world. The scriptures make it unmistakably clear that following Jesus opens and closes freely on the hinges of self-denial, cross-bearing and sacrifice.
When the hinge of the heart shuts tightly into God’s character and swings out into the structures of the world, it’s fully prepared to live differently. For a truly, holy life can only be lived in the world, but not of it.
Does your faith influence your theology?