A Call to Godly Living
Charles F. Stanley
Scripture: Romans 12:1-2
- Introduction: God desires that every believer lead a righteous life. But our culture places a tremendous amount of pressure on Christians to “fit in.” The doctrines of our faith are often mocked and ridiculed in the public arena. Individual believers sometimes make spiritual or moral compromises in an attempt to be accepted. How can we resist the secular influence of our time? In Romans 12:1-2, the apostle Paul reveals how to pursue holiness and resist compromise.
- God calls us to godly living.
- God’s call to surrender our lives to Him as living sacrifices is reasonable because He redeemed us from spiritual darkness and adopted us as children.
- In Romans 1-11, Paul explains salvation, victorious Christian living, and the Lord’s ultimate plan for Israel. In Romans 12:1-2, he urges believers to give control of their lives to God in light of all He has done for us.
- As God’s people, we no longer have the right to run our own lives, but He still allows us to choose whether or not to surrender. Your entire being—including your mind, will, and emotions—should be yielded to God.
- Becoming a “living sacrifice” means we allow the Holy Spirit to live through us. As we surrender to the Spirit’s guidance and leadership, He empowers us to live a godly life.
- In Greek, this word means “set apart” (as in “for a special purpose”). In one of the paradoxes of our faith, sanctification—or being made holy—happens immediately at salvation, but it is also a lifelong process.
- As believers, we ought to be different from the world. Our goal should be to act as Jesus did: forgiving, loving, and helping others—yet knowing when to speak the truth in love or share our faith. When we sin, we should be quick to confess and repent.
A godly lifestyle will attract some people to you, and it will drive others away. But sometimes the same people who resist the gospel will seek out a believer for help when life gets difficult.
- Pressure from those in the world sometimes causes believers to compromise their convictions.
- As individuals, Christians sometimes justify compromising the truth in this way: they claim they are “being a witness” by spending time with ungodly friends, even when that includes making unrighteous choices. Instead, we should make sure our best friends are believers who take their faith seriously
(2 Cor. 6:14-15, 17; 1 Cor. 15:33). Our highest priority should be to please God rather than to fit in with the world.
world” (Rom. 12:2).
- The media frequently portrays the idea that if we become rich, attractive, influential, or famous, we will be happy and content. But none of things guarantee joy. Don’t let our culture shape your value system and determine your priorities.
- Fill your mind with Scripture. It is through the Bible that we learn God’s perspective.
- Focus on positive, righteous, and holy things (Col. 3:2; Phil. 4:8). This should include choosing friends and entertainment wisely.
- Apply biblical truth to your heart. As you go about your day, ask God to show you how to put into practice the principles of His Word.
- Practice the presence of the Lord. God is always with you. Ask Him to make you more sensitive to His presence. As you allow the Holy Spirit to live through you, He will help you withstand temptation and become more Christlike.