The Power to Change
For two thousand years, Jesus has been changing the lives of people across every nation. He has transformed the lives of extremely immoral people, poor, rich, the broken, and the lonely, turning them into instruments, heralds of the good news. Everyone is capable of changing their lives for the better. The obstacle lies in how we look at others in comparison to ourselves. Comparably, there is nothing that makes anyone more or less valuable in the eyes of God.
Paul's letter to the Romans is a request for unison to two groups of people who disliked each other. Both Jews and Gentiles believed they were better than the other. The Jews felt as if they had more of a right to be in God's kingdom than the gentiles because they were God's original people. The first three chapters of the book level the plain-field between these two groups. The Gentiles had known about God but refused to acknowledge Him. The Jews had known God but were not practicing what they were preaching to others.
Chapter three deals with both of those groups together. Chapter four shows that all are justified by faith in Jesus. Chapter five discusses the tragedy of the human condition (5). Chapters six through eight deal with the ideal situation (6), the problem of sin (7), and the Spirits solution (8). Paul spends almost the entire book telling them that differences that divide them can just as efficiently unite them.
At the beginning of chapter twelve, Paul dispenses the practical application.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what the will of God is, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2, ESV)
Paul is appealing to the church in Rome to allow the power of the good news to transform them. To see the world from God's point of view rather than how godless people see it. My encouragement to us is to be people who do not see race, politics, or religion as a reason to disassociate. But to view all people as living beings created in the image of God. Beautiful creation deserving of love and the opportunity to receive eternal life.