75 yrs ago, June 4th, thousands of Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy to establish a foothold on a European continent. “I urge you,” Paul said, “by the mercies of God . Just as the people of Israel presented their animal sacrifices to the priests we are to hand over our bodies to God. In the movie, Saving Private Ryan, … That’s more difficult than the dance routine. The tender mercy of God had rescued him and rebirthed him. Let’s be honest. I like the way one translation puts it – ‘Take your everyday, ordinary life, your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life – and place it before God as an offering.’ This is why theology and big thoughts about God really matter. When we recognize what God has done for us through his son Jesus Christ, the only response is to give ourselves completely to him. The answer is to pursue a Christian mindset. That is what is expected of each worshiper. They barely listen on a Sunday to the sermon, and then suddenly when a major decision is upon them, they want to know God’s will. Select an option and chat directly with a member of our support team. We are to be to Christ as an image is to the original. The movie Tender Mercies is about a country-western composer and performer who was an alcoholic. Through our death, we are to reach a new spiritual life in the Lord Jesus. In the midst of hostile culture, there are to be those who are living sacrifices, and they are constantly embracing spiritual change. The world is defined for us in 1 John 2:15-16 as the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. It says, “. But this mindset becomes even more critical when the pace of the escalator feels more like a 6 mph treadmill or when you’re walking upstream in a river only to find the water getting deeper and the current faster. Customer Service Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. CT Monday - Friday Phone: (800) 458-2772. There is a very important “but” in verse two. Us living in devotion to Him by loving and serving one another in His name. They warn us about the real possibility of being pressed into the mold of the world and give us hope of a different way of thinking and living. Believers are called to present themselves as living sacrifices. The paradigm for Christian living requires a very intentional commitment to the life of the mind. Living Sacrifice, Graceful Service Romans 12:1-8 1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of… Do we deserve those on merit alone? And that is achieved, look at it for just a moment. How do you test the things that are a part of the culture to see if they are what God would truly want? And without getting this mindset right, the other statements have no meaning or effect. It is the work of God’s Spirit, through the Word of God, that transforms our minds from futile, debased, and ungodly thinking which leads to all manner of unrighteousness to a mind that has eternal significance, filled with purity and truth, and God-glorifying such that righteousness characterizes God’s people. First, it wakes us up to the fact that the culture around us, while embedded with aspects of God’s goodness, has the potential to shape us and conform us in ways that are dangerous. We as soldiers in the Army of God have a choice to obey God and become a living sacrifice. Additionally, these verses lay before us a Christian mindset or posture as it relates to how we really live. Never forget it. But the real reason is not because of God. What is holy and acceptable to Him? Want to get in touch? In this act of consecration we give not our dead bodies, but rather we make a living sacrifice. The picture here is of a people who are struggling in the midst of a hostile culture and broken humanity who have been rescued by Christ and who are internalizing His words such that His Spirit makes transforms them into miniature and imperfect versions of Him. Change Me. To affirm “I’m Yours” means that God has graced us with His mercy, that we belong to Him, and that every part of me belongs to Him. But that is not always healthy. The fact that you belong to Christ means something very practical. . Lead Me. This is the last week of our stewardship “check-up.” I hope that during the past week you have found quiet times to allow the Lord to search your heart, give you insights into His will, and give you the passion to become a godly steward of all that He has given to you. While the Old Testament worshiper offered an animal, the New Testament worshiper is to offer himself or herself. Neither is it inspiring liturgy or splendid ritual. This text parallels Romans 12 very well in that it shows us not only the priority of transformation but also the means. This is helpful for two reasons. A mindset that begins with “I’m Yours” and cries out “Change Me” is able to test the things of the world and to discern God’s will. As a pastor, this is what I desperately want for you. On Friday night we crossed a major milestone in our lives with the graduation of our twins, Hayden and Joseph. 8), and the Mystery of Righteousness (Rom. To renew the mind is to participate in the reversal of the tragedy of Romans 1. All rights reserved. Paul knows that a great amount of wisdom is needed when living as a Christian in a world that is not only fallen but that is also always changing. He offered Himself as the Perfect Lamb on the Altar for our sins. Think of your life as a living sacrifice in light of chapter 6 verse 16 of this book, “ Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?” Why would Paul say that? There are some times – more often than we’d care to admit – where we wonder, “Is this really doing anything?” You might wonder that when you have your kids worship with you and you wonder, “Is this really worth it?” What you need to know is that in very real ways the Holy Spirit, through the Word of God, is building a mindset in you. “What does it mean to be a living sacrifice?” asked a woman to her pastor. If you loved Romans 1-11, then lean in and listen to what is going to follow. Do they apply to us as a church? We're sorry, an error occurred. We brought burdens that need lifted and anxieties that need to be dispelled—and frustrations and depression and boredom and preoccupations, all kinds of distractions. Now, there is a new kind of sacrifice in the new covenant, in the New Testament economy, and that is a living sacrifice. I love the fact that this text ends like this. A living sacrifice means something to us. She becomes a new person; her mind is different, for the mind of Christ is in her. They had forgotten a lad who had not only been saved but had given himself in full consecration to God. Who wants to listen to a pastor talk about interesting ideas out of the Bible that have no tangible results? | 6,632 views. Paul tells the Romans here that their bodies are to be presented to God—this is what He requires of believers in our worship. LIFE ON THE ALTAR: The word translated as service here is worship, which is not a problem because service is what worship is. These verses show us the connection between theology, ethics, and the life of the mind. He willingly put himself on the altar and would have died in obedience to God’s will, but the Lord sent a ram to take his place. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. Ordering Christmas Gifts? The primary goal of worship is transformation. Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: by Mark Vroegop. There is no middle ground; we are either being conformed to the world or are being transformed into the image of Christ. Paul is telling them to “Present your body to God as a living sacrifice.” To the Greeks, this was a strange idea because the spirit was the highest form, not the body. Mindsets produce lifestyles. Paul’s pattern in most of his pastoral letters is to begin with theology and then apply it to very specific areas of life. Cited in The Treasury of Religious and Spiritual Quotations: Words to Live By, Rebecca Davis and Susan Mesner, Eds., Pleasantville: Reader’s Digest, 1994, p. 638). There is no forgiveness, no atonement, and no eternal life apart from His mercy. The offering of sacrifices was central to Israel’s relationship with God and to their obedience to Him. Consider our family, our friends, our job, and our church. It is a tall order -- live a life worthy of Christ. You and the world fit nicely together in your thinking and in your actions. And why some of you should consider volunteering to serve in Next Generations. I think he makes this statement because he knows how difficult and complex living in a fallen world really is. But that is not mainly what Paul has in mind here. Have you become complacent or too cozy with “worldly thinking?”. That is why verse one ends the way it does: “as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God which is your spiritual worship” (Rom. The power of sacrifice comes from self-emptying and self-giving. . His band members left him drunk in a motel in east Texas. But dare I say that we have not worshiped until we have given ourselves to God. The world, the flesh, and the devil are always colluding to conform us into an anti-God mindset. It is truth to be lived. As a result, only one other life was lost to the potential epidemic. Worshiping people are changed people. Against the dark backdrop of our sinfulness, we have seen the stunning radiance of a righteousness that a sovereign God gives to those who are “in Christ.” We’ve been to the summit, and we’ve heard “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. How do you know what is good, acceptable, and perfect? … 1-2), the Gift of Righteousness (Rom. Becoming a Christian means that you belong to God and you are so captivated by His grace that you love His thinking over your own. And when that happens, every moment, every activity of life, we are like Jesus. I’m Yours. This sermon will remind the hearers that God expects unconditional surrender. They named the movie right, Tender Mercies. It’s you, and it’s me. Jesus modeled the perfect sacrificial life by giving His very life for the sins of mankind. Amen.” (Rom. A person may say, “I am going to church to worship God,” but he or she should also be able to say, “I am going to the office, the school, the garage, the garden, the field, to worship God.” To truly know who and how you worship, let me see you in your office, let me hear you speak in your business affairs, let me know how you treat your neighbors, let me know how you earn your money, how you save it, and how you spend it. Rick is a consultant, conference leader, communicator, and coach. Our bodies are living sacrifices, meaning that the sacrifice is on-going and doesn’t stop. A few months ago I described the Christian life like walking up a down escalator. The body was the vessel that held the spirit. You did not come to church today, regardless of whether or not you are a Christian, to hear a sermon that has no effect on your life. to present your bodies” (Rom. To belong to God as the people of God meant offering sacrifices to God. It reflects an important combination of a believer’s spiritual position in Christ and a personal acknowledgment of that reality. Thinking creates actions. Dead sacrifices cost nothing. It represents an acknowledgement of God’s blessings in our lives; it represents our commitment to the ministry of the congregation; it is a part of our worship; it’s a way in which we open up the windows of heaven so God can bless us even further; it represents for many an antidote to materialism. It changes who we are, how we think, and how we live. A living sacrifice is a sacrifice that is alive and continuous in action. Blood to be used in such a noble adventure must meet all the requirements of medical science. People who are distinct, separated from the ways and the wiles of this world. Living implies life. He will not accept a partial commitment. Life is an everyday experience. The one who saves us. 3:10) God’s good, acceptable, well-pleasing, and perfect will. That is what Paul had in mind when he instructed the Roman church “to offer your bodies as living sacrifices.” That is what Robert Moffatt did. When we give ourselves to God it is reflected in how we live. It is the first step in embracing a Christian mindset. This means worship occurs not just in the sanctuary but in our whole world. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. This one is from the apostle Paul, he writes: “Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship” (Rom. 3:12-13) in order to renew our thinking and transform it into thoughts that fit with the glory of Jesus Christ. Out of celebration for what God has done for us through his Son, Jesus Christ, we give ourselves to him. 8:1). 11:36). 9-11), we now come to how all of this actually works. The apostle Paul provides a theological framework for what it means to follow Christ totally and the consequential changes it makes in a person’s life. The starting point of “I’m Yours” is first and foremost something that God has done to us. Living a Life of Sacrifice #1 Sacrifice means, “to give something up for the sake of something of higher value.” Sacrificial living is to give up our own lives for the purpose of following Christ. I find it fascinating that even though the book of Romans was written sometime in the first century, the truth and the applicability of it is as important today as was when Paul wrote to the church in Rome. The people of God join together to offer up one living sacrifice to God. They exercise their spiritual gifts in … The problem may be that you are still listening to yourself. But all of us without exception need some help with the idea of offering ourselves to God, to put our whole self in. Jesus has always demanded one’s all in following him. Sermons by College Park Church. Are you ready to commit your all to Jesus? True worship is offering God one’s self, and all that one does every day with it, wherever we might be. How would it impact your level of interest and the way you listened? Are you ready to put your whole self into the arms of God? Worship - A Living Sacrifice Lenny Ports Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.? Paul intends for believers to live out their “in Christ” position in the real world. I should have died happy, knowing my death might mean life for some boy somewhere far from home." Too often we have sought to protect our spirituality by developing a ghetto mentality and a greenhouse environment. It is to embrace a continual process of transformation which was begun by God and which continues by various means of grace. 3-4), the Hope of Righteousness (Rom. CSB Holy Land Illustrated Bible (Hardcover), by Rick Ezell on Wednesday, January 01, 2014 at 7:00 AM. From this Sunday to the end of the year, we’ll be looking at some very practical passages. It is reflected in their walk, their talk, and their personality. What we are going to discover is how the beautiful theology of Romans applies to differing spiritual gifts, godly relationships inside the church, godly response to persecutors, how to live as a good citizen and think about the government, what Christian morality looks like, how to avoid being judgmental, how to handle “gray-areas” among believers when they disagree, and how to live in harmony despite racial and preferential differences. There have always been martyrs. SACRIFICE: 1 : an act of offering to a deity something precious; especially :the killing of a victim on an altar? And based on the mercy of God, in view of his grace, we give ourselves to God. Paul said “... to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God” (Rom. 344.). This happens when Christ comes into a person. It’s not an animal. We are to place ourselves on the altar before God as an offering to Him. Others of you are setting yourself up for huge failure in the future. The world is not neutral. I remember my graduation, and I’m sure most of you do as well. To say, “I’m Yours” is to recognize and affirm something very significant and very practical. Therefore, believers must pay careful attention to their thinking. I love what James Pike said, “When someone says “Oh, I can worship God anywhere,” the answer is, “Do you?” (James A. Pike, Beyond Anxiety, 1953. The best sermons and the best Sundays are when you see the connection between a truth in the Bible and where you live and then when you see your life change because of the application of that truth. And that is a huge problem because the world is broken and has an anti-God mentality. Here is how 2 Corinthians 3:18 says it: 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. 1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. People who have seen this vision of mercy are different. It prepares us for a somewhat painful life. Let’s think for a moment about our situations. living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God… (Rom. that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. Worship affects everything we do and everywhere we are. Here is how Paul stated this truth in Romans 6. Therefore, we must cry out “Change Me!” And that leads us to the final aspect of a Christian mindset. It is in gratitude for Jesus’ sacrifice we are called to make a new kind of offering to God. You may have tried to change and failed because there was no change of mindset, no brokenness, and no giving up on your way of thinking. * Indicated Required Field See our Privacy Policy. What is sacrifice? He had finally gotten to the place where he couldn’t function. It is a position with ethical and reasonable commitments. 12:1b). 1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Today our text is only the first two verses of Romans 12. Jesus Christ is a perfect example of living a life of sacrifice. And this is so important that the apostle says in Galatians that if your Christianity does not “work” morally, then you do not really have true Christianity (see Galatians 5:16-24). . This is a very interesting and powerful statement because Paul is drawing from a familiar worship metaphor connected to the Old Testament sacrificial system. Worship is not a once-a-week event. That sin has deathly consequences. That life produced the Name above all names – God the Father honors the son for that sacrifice. And as we celebrated that important moment in the life of our boys, do you know what I want for them? 2 September 1990 . Sometimes we mistakenly think that we must always withdraw to a church building to worship. . Holding out a blank sheet of paper, the pastor replied, “It is to sign your name at the bottom of this blank sheet, and let God fill it in as he wills.”. Where would we be without God’s love and forgiveness? This is why you must labor to place the Word of God in front of your children, grandchildren, friends, and fellow church members. Worship is a molding process. Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce this material in any format provided that you do not alter the content in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. 12:1). That’s where some of you are really missing it. Living Life as a Sacrifice of Praise: through Him The first thing I want you to see in verse 15 is we do this “through him.” In other words, Hebrews is telling us we live lives as sacrifices of praise to God only through Christ, who is the real sacrifice. Rest assured that the transformation is happening, and when some new issue or unique temptation or challenging situation arises, you will be able to discern God’s will in a way that would have been impossible before. Verses 1-2 introduce us to this idea. But this text reminds us that bad solutions from your past do not negate the real danger of worldly thinking. When Paul uses the term body he is implying the whole person, or the physical means whereby the whole person is expressed. They reflect a mindset that is fundamental to the Christian life: “I’m Yours,” “Change me,” and “Lead Me.”. Most of us understand the idea of giving an offering of money at church. So when Paul says “present your bodies as a living sacrifice,” he is pulling from that worship culture, but with a very important change. It does not assume that the will of God is always clear. Or, to say it another way, to connect the truth about God to how I live. The transition is the connection between theology and ethics. In other words, it is to say to God “I’m Yours” in such a way that it affects how you live makes sense in light of God’s mercy. So let me give you three simple phrases that I hope will stay with you. In light of that, let me ask you a few questions: Christianity works! I’m going to show you some amazing ideas from the Bible, but when you leave today you will not be able to apply anything that you hear.”. There were two “living sacrifices” recorded in the Bible. Isaac “died” just the same—he died to self and willingly yielded himself to God’s will. The status of “married” carries with a code of conduct that is central to the definition of the relationship between a man and a woman. When I think of that song and dance, I’m reminded of another instruction. It is the greatest deal in history. In 2 Corinthians it sounds like, “beholding the glory of the Lord.” And in Romans 12 it sounds like “by the renewing of your mind.” The idea is simply that you become what you behold. Worship is not just a church activity; it is a life activity. He sobered up and got a job in the service station motel where they had dropped him. (Rom 12:1 KJV) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Real life sermon on living a life of sacrifice seek milestone in our whole lives to God is not of. Just the same—he died to self and willingly yielded himself to God because of (! 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