Reading: Romans 12:1-8
Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. Romans 12:4-5 (NIV)
A. God calls us all to Sacrifice
1. This isn’t about what we’re to give up
a. We use “sacrifice” to mean “give up”
b. The word makes us think of deprivation
2. This is about dedicating ourselves to God
a. To sacrifice is to make holy by giving it over to the Holy One.
b. “Our bodies” Ourselves in this life
c. The point is: be “holy and pleasing”
3. We are to be living sacrifices
a. Lit: as living, holy, pleasing sacrifices
b. We are to be alive with New life
B. God’s call Transforms us
1. It’s not about fitting in with low standards
a. The trouble with normal is it gets worse
b. What standards of non-conformity do you conform to? !
2. God’s call metamorphoses us
a. Transform = metamorphosis
b. Jesus descended to lift us up
c. We were a worm, now a butterfly!
3. Let the change happen!
a. “Be transformed” - God does it!
b. So, let God transform you
C. God’s call Renews us
1. God changes our mind (metanoia)
a. Not just get some new ideas!
b. Get a renewed mind – be born again
c. A new way of thinking and being.
2. Our minds need changing
a. Our minds are corrupt and sinful too
b. Not only our emotions, or wills
c. Our minds need to be renewed
3. In offering ourselves to Him, He changes us
a. God transforms us as we offer ourselves as living sacrifices.
b. This “spiritual act of worship” is a life-changing kind of worship
c. He changes us on the way
A. God gives many Kinds of gifts
1. Spiritual gifts are spiritual in origin
a. They come from God to His people as they are being transformed
b. God’s equipping grace is distributed to us in a rainbow of colors
2. There are no “cookie cutter” Christians
a. Nobody is the “model Christian” that the rest of us should be like.
b. We don’t all have the same gift(s)
c. Complementary, not interchangeable
3. All God’s gifts are good and necessary
a. Nobody has “better” gifts (v.3)
b. The Church needs many kinds gifts
c. God is doing many kinds of things at 1ce
B. God gives All of us spiritual gifts
1. These gifts aren’t (just) for the elite
a. Not just for those who pray 5 hrs/day!
b. Not just for those who get an M.Div.
c. There for all God’s people.
2. Christianity isn’t a spectator sport!
a. The Church isn’t a baseball stadium!
b. We’re all playing on the same team
3. Every body part has a function
a. All the Body’s parts are there by design.
b. Even parts that don’t look like they do much are essential to healthy living.
c. If a body part stops functioning the whole body suffers
A. God’s equips us for our Calling
1. God not only calls us all, He equips us all!
a. We all have a part to play
b. God gives us the abilities we need
2. We can know something of God’s call by looking at the gifts He has given to us
a. God expects us to use His gifts! (6-8)
b. To find your calling look at how God has equipped you!
3. Spiritual gifts are for a spiritual purpose
a. The gifts aren’t to be exploited for someone’s personal power or prestige
b. Our “spiritual act of worship” is in the context of using the gifts He gives.
B. God calls us to serve Each Other
1. Spiritual gifts aren’t for private purposes
a. I’m not to use my gifts only for me
b. I may not use them to promote my personal agenda
c. I may not withhold using them just to prove a point
2. We Belong to each other
a. My gifts are here for the Body
b. We are a part of each other
c. We all have to function together.
3. God gives His gifts “for the common good”
a. My gifts are given for our good
b. My call is to use my gifts for the good of God’s people
c. We are whole when we faithfully exercise the gifts He gives us.
C. God calls us to His Mission
1. We serve His Church as His Church fulfills it’s part in God’s great mission.
a. God is up to something!
b. God wants us to be a part of it!
c. Serving His Church has everything to do with God’s mission.
2. His mission is gathering His people
a. His mission from Genesis to Revelation
b. He gathers us and makes us one.
c. Nothing can stop Him!
3. God’s mission works when we all do what God calls us to do
a. God gathers His people by speaking to them, & serving, teaching, encouraging, providing, leading, being merciful.
b. He does those things through us!
c. You can’t do it all. But you can do all God equips you to do. Use your gifts!
Hymn: R#400 Have Thine Own Way vv 1,4