Text: Romans 12.1-2
Thesis: To prove that Christians are to influence this world!
(1) To be in Christ is to be a new creature (2 Cor. 5.17).
(a) One dies to the old person in the watery grave of baptism (Rom. 6.3-5).
(b) One then rises up a new creature made for the purpose of glorifying God.
(2) Too often, one obeys the gospel only to live a “checklist religion!”
(3) With this mindset, many fail to have an impact upon the world and in turn allow the world to impact them to the point that an outsider could not truly tell a difference between one who professes Christianity and one who does not.
(4) Christianity is about living for God always (cf. Phil. 1.21).
(5) Let us note 3 points that Paul gives us as to why we are to be transformed:
I. The Reason why we are to be transformed:
“By the Mercies of God”
1. Paul had been discussing this very point in the first eleven chapters.
a. In chapter one, Paul points out that the Gentiles were sinners.
b. In chapter two, he notes that Jews were sinners.
c. In chapter three, he states “all have sinned” (v. 23).
d. In the following chapters, he discusses how God loved us while we were yet sinners and demonstrated his love to us by sending Jesus to die in our stead.
(1) God’s amazing love moved Him to send His only unique son to pay our debt (John 3.16).
(2) He tells us that we accept this gift of grace by submitting to faith, repentance, confession, and baptism.
2. No wonder he elsewhere thanked God for His unspeakable, indescribable gift (cf. 2 Cor. 9.15).
3. Hence, Paul tells us “therefore” or “in view of” is “the basis, or even source, of the exhortation” (Moo 749).
4. Simply, God gave everything to us – What are we giving Him?
II. The Road to being transformed:
A. First, we are to die to the old man so that we may be a new creature.
B. Second, we are to live faithfully even in the face of death (Rev. 2.10).
1. This involves much more than being Sunday-morning only Christians.
2. The word “transformed” comes from a word that denotes a radical change (In English, our word “metamorphosis” comes from this root – Caterpillar)
3. We are to present our bodies a living and holy sacrifice unto God.
a. This is a spiritual sacrifice (cf. 1 Pet. 2.5).
b. This means that we must deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow Him (Luke 9.23-25).
c. This means that we must understand that Christianity is an “all-or-nothing” religion.
d. This means that we love God with all of our being (cf. Matt. 22.37), which is the motivation of our service (cf. John 14.15).
e. This means that we live each moment of our life trying to be pleasing to the Lord in word and in deed (cf. Col. 3.17; 1 John 1.7) in order to cause men to see God in us and glorify Him (cf. Matt. 5.16).
(1) In order to do this, we must be a positive change agent in this world.
(2) Too often, we allow the world to influence us.
(a) This is seen in our manner of life from clothes to music to our speech.
(b) The word “holy” comes from a word in the original which may be understood as being set apart for a Divine purpose.
(c) Song: Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus
III. The Reward of being transformed:
A. By presenting your body as a living and holy sacrifice, you are thus being acceptable to God.
B. God is well-pleased when His children do right.
C. He will one day say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25.21).
(1) If Christianity were to become illegal in the US, then would you be found guilty of being a Christian? Would there be any evidence to convict you? If not, why not?
(2) Will you be transformed for God?