S230-071308 Ro 12a
Alêtheia Christian Fellowship ~ 061308 ~ Romans 12a
Romans 12:1&2 ~ 1Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Brethren = Christians – if you’re not a Christian you can go to sleep right now because this is not a message for you.
Therefore = the totality of the previous 11 chapters. Doctrine has been established, but it is not for information sake; it is for a divine purpose.
Chapters 1-11 call for this application here, but they also provide the means whereby the actions can be carried out and also provide the motivation for doing so.
Because of these two words (Brethren & Therefore) we know that the Bible is speaking to those who have received God’s mercy and are twice-born, spirit-filled eternally-secure children of God.
I urge you = parakale>w, I beseech you, I implore you, I beg you, friends, I’m on my hands and knees, PLEASE! It is an exhortation instead of a command because it’s too important to be ignored. The proof of Christ in you is found here.
By the mercies of God = dia> meaning through and here causally so it is “on the basis of…”
Mercies of God are all those things discussed in the doctrine section of 11 chapters, but culminating in our unmerited, unearned position.
The causal nature of the phrase means more than merely because of God’s mercies it also means those mercies enable the exhortation.
To present your bodies = present is pari>sthmi, to stand alongside and means to make available to the other person’s use, i.e. offer up.
A living and holy sacrifice = living involves death to self and death to this world system in order to live to God and holy is exactly that – to be separated for a different purpose. Sacrifice implies sacrifice, not fun and games with Dick and Jane.
Acceptable to God = holy and the noun saint, does not mean purity or freedom from sin, it means separated, but since it is separation to God for His use we are pure and free from sin, i.e. acceptable. It is about the heart surrendering to His perfect will.
Which is your spiritual service of worship = you want to worship God? This is it – fully yield to Him without murmur, complaint or fear.
Spiritual is logiko>v and means rational and reasonable in the sense that one has reasoned it out and it is correct, proper and rational – to do otherwise would be irrational and actually insane! It’s spiritual because our rationality is our spirit.
Verse 1) Christians, because of everything I’ve presented, especially the fact that you are Spirit-filled children of the Living God, I implore you on my knees as your brother. Hand over your entire being to God’s use and purposes by way of the understanding of what He’s done and enabled by the power of that gift; because, total trusting surrender is acceptable to God and is the only rational behavior as His child and constitutes true worship of Him.
And do not be conformed = “and.” ties this to verse 1 -Conformed is suschmati>zw, which means to take on an exterior expression that is not reflective of whom you really are – it is to go along with what you know to be wrong.
To this world = World is not ko>smov, but is aijw>n, usually translated as age and, in context, here means the ungodly philosophies and practices of carnal man.
Trench says: “It is the atmosphere which at every moment of our lives we inhale, again inevitably to exhale.”
German philosophers call it, the zeitgeist - the spirit of the age.
Instead of continuing (present verb) in this way Paul exhorts us to be…
But be transformed = metamorfo>w, to allow the inner person to be made manifest, literally to be, “morphed after” who we really are deep inside; a new creation born of God’s Spirit.
Matthew 17:2 where it is translated “transfigured.”
Only God’s power can produce the new inner-man; the genuinely twice-born person and this is really the concept of regeneration. Sanctification is therefore more about living in conformity to our regenerated self.
By the renewing of your mind = literally a new way of thinking.
1) Is not our work, but the work of the Holy Spirit.
2) We must be actively engaged in allowing our mind to be altered
3) This thinking derives from faith – the more faith the more the thinking is correct.
What is this new thinking?
So that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect =
What does this last phrase mean?
Think about it for a minute…
Most people immediately make this about them – once again proving our own self-love.
The mind renewed by God’s Spirit is a mind that more and more recognizes God’s will as not just good and acceptable, which it is, but also perfect in every way.
This verse has nothing to do with you finding God’s will for your life!
Except of course as you genuinely submit to Him your life and trust Him to do what is best from His perspective – not yours.
It is about conformity to God by surrendering to His will completely and it requires both God’s Spirit and your cooperation.
The Holy Spirit is a gentleman!
Let us therefore actively yield so as not to be false
Wuest says: “The modernism of your appearance nullifies the fundamentalism of your doctrine.”
The actual Greek means that as a direct result of the renewing of your mind you will be able to approve of God’s Will because you’ve tested that will (for the purposes of approving not disproving) and found it to be GOOD, ACCEPTABLE and…
Perfect is te>leiov, and means completed, finished and so perfect in the sense that God knows what He’s doing and you know that completely.
Romans 12:3-5 ~ 3For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. 4For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 5so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
What’s the first thing he says after exhorting us to total surrender?
Don’t be arrogant – sure but this is thinking about/of yourself too much
Paul starts by humbling himself – it is God’s grace through him – not his own self-importance.
So we surrender to God and His will for us as we cooperate with His work in our life and Paul says watch how you think about yourself – ???
Because Christianity is about the Body of Christ and we must be Christians within a corporate body never as the lone ranger, rugged individualist.
Think, but don’t focus on you because God’s trying to make you better than that!
If I’m on a mountain all by myself, I don’t need to worry too much about being self-centered – there is no one else!
We are repeatedly called to live out Christianity in community.
Jesus saved you, God forgave you, the Holy Spirit moved you, some person taught you and many others affected you – true Christianity knows this and is humble.
Dependence on others is who we are and what we do and yet we loathe admitting it! We detest the idea that we are taking from another so when we do take we rationalize it.
You belong to God, not you and…
We all belong to each other, not ourselves.
This is the Body of Christ and it is true there is a much larger Body out there, but if you cannot function here and get along with us you are lying to yourself if you think you can truly do better in the greater Body
Church hoppers are as bad as grasshoppers
It is a rationalization to fail to commit and ultimately is a failure to surrender to God.
You are upset that you’re a toe – you don’t need more self-esteem… You need LESS!
Function, function, function – you can embrace your current function and do your very best or you can chafe and although you may get a better function it will not be from God.
We are like immature children who get grumpy that we have restrictions.
God is protecting you and the body; do you know better than He? Do you trust God?
You may say yes I trust God – I just don’t trust you!
Yet church is the vehicle by which God interacts with Christians
Yes, individual, but we dismiss corporate! Postmodernity militates against the Bible.
Gal 6:2Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ… 6The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him. 7Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.
Hebrews 10:19-27 ~19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus,
20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh,
21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God,
22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;
24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
26 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
27 but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.
1) Present yourselves as a living sacrifice
2) Do not be conformed to this world
3) Be transformed by the renewing of your mind
4) Do not be puffed up - you are part of a body
5) Think so as to have sound judgment