Psalms 81—83, Romans 11:19—36 • Key Verses: Romans 11:33—36
The first verse of Romans 12 says, “Therefore.” What Paul says next flows out of the first 11 chapters. You cannot rightly understand and practice Romans 12:1 if you do not consider Romans 1-11. The first chapters teach us about God; the concluding ones about serving Him. When we look not just for chapter divisions but flow of thought, we find that the bridge between the doctrinal and practical parts of the book is a doxology.
The opening chapters of Romans are theology, explaining our belief about God. The concluding verses of chapter 11 are doxology, our praise of God that leads up to the great “therefore” of chapter 12. The concluding chapters focus on our devotion to God, our serving Him.
What can we learn from this bridge? First, consider that there can be no doxology without theology. If we do not know God and know about Him, then we cannot rightly praise Him. We cannot worship an unknown god—and knowing God brings worship.
Second, consider that devotion to God and serving Him flow out of theology and doxology. If we know God and praise Him, we will serve Him. God does not want devotion without theology or without doxology. To serve not knowing and not praising is not acceptable.
Third, realize that all three are equally important. We must know, praise and serve God.
The real conclusion to the first 11 chapters is not 11:33-36. It is 12:1, a truth obscured by what is possibly the worst chapter break in the Bible; because we too easily separate theology from life.
What we know affects how we live. We need to read and learn the Word and then live it. Don’t be content with either an undevotional theology or an untheological devotion. Read the Word and live it.
Woodrow Kroll & Tony Beckett