Applying Paul’s Theological and Ethical Teachings in Romans 12:1 to an African Context
Keywords:Africa, bodies, living sacrifice, Paul, transformed life
One of the key challenges facing Christianity in contemporary Africa is ineffective discipleship. The African church has won many converts in recent times and yet, the continent is among the least performing continents in terms of socio-economic development. The reason for this observation is that many African Christians consider Christianity as a religion of the heart and consequently, do not care so much about what they do in the public arena. In a context like this, Paul’s concept of the transformed life (explained in Romans 12:1) has the potential of correcting misconceptions about Christianity and empowering African Christians to engage the public sphere with their faith. The purpose of this paper is to conduct a textual analysis of Romans 12:1 to develop Christian ethics for (Africa) believers. The paper used a literature-based research approach and collected data from such sources as commentaries, articles and dissertations. The main thesis is that living a sacrificial life involves a total dedication to God in response to his gracious mercies manifested toward the believer. The paper contributes to Christian ethics, Pauline studies and African Christianity.
Aune, David E. Westminster Dictionary of New Testament and Early Christian Literature and Rhetoric. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2003.
Awoniyi, Sunday. “Ethical Guidelines for Sacrifice in African Traditional Religion: A Social Cultural Approach.” Global Journal of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, 3(11) (2015):63-72.
Barrett, C. K. The Epistle to the Romans. London: Continuum, 1991.
Dodd, C. H. The Letter of Paul to the Romans. New York: Harper and Brothers Publishers, 1932.
Dunn, James D. G. The Theology of Paul the Apostle. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2006.
Dunn, James D.G. World Biblical Commentary: Romans 9–16 edited by B. M. Metzger et. al. Texas: Word books publishers, 1988.
Edwards, James R. “Romans.” In Understanding the Bible Commentary Series. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1992.
Fee, Gordon D. God's Empowering Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2011.
Fitzmyer, Joseph A. “The Letter to the Romans,” In Raymond E. Brown, Joseph A. Fitzmyer and Roland E. Murphy (eds.). The New Jerome Biblical Commentary, pp. 830-868. Ibadan: Society of St. Paul, 2011.
Gruenler, Royce G. “Romans.” In Baker Commentary on the Bible. Edited by Walter A. Ewell, pp. 923-957. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2008.
Gundry, Robert H. A Survey of the New Testament 5th ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2012.
Harrison, Everett F. “Romans.” In Frank E. Gaebelein (ed.). The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, vol. 10, pp. 1-172. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1976.
Keener, Criag S. The mind of the Spirit: Paul’s Approach to Transformed Thinking. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2016.
Matera, Frank J. “Romans” In Paideia Commentaries on the New Testament. Edited by Mikeal C. Parsons and Charles H. Talbert. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2010.
Morris, Leon. “The Epistle to the Romans.” In The Pillar New Testament Commentary. Edited by D. A. Carson. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1988.
Newman, Barclay M. and Eugene A. Nida, A Handbook on Paul's Letter to the Romans: UBS Handbook Series. New York: United Bible Societies, 1973.
Ngewa, Samuel. “Colossians.” In Tokunboh Adeyemo (ed.). African Bible Commentary, pp. 1475-1484. Nairobi: WolrdAlive, 2006.
Powell, Mark A. Introduction to the New Testament: A Historical, Literary, and Theological Survey. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. 2009.
Schreiner, Thomas R. Paul, Apostle of God’s glory in Christ: A Pauline Theology. Downers Grove: InterVasity Press, 2001.
Uzodimma, Geraldine C. An Exegetical and Theological Study of Paul’s Concept of Reconciliation in Romans 5:1-11: Envisioning A Transformative Human Relationship. Licentiate of Sacred Theology Degree Thesis: Boston College University, 2018.
Wiafe, Frimpong, Benjamin Anson and Deborah Sogbey Enam. “The Biblical Concept of Sacrifice and the Ghanaian Worldview: Relevance for the Modern Ghanaian Christianity.” The International Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities Invention, 3(8) (2016):2519-2526.
Witmer, John A. “Romans.” In John F. Walvood and Roy B. Zuck (eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: New Testament, pp. 435-504. Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 1983.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2023 Isaac Boaheng
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).