A Living Sacrifice

Here are the notes from the sermon 8/4/13.

I.  A Living Sacrifice: Romans 12:1-2

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. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

We should offer ourselves to God as His servants, willing to live our lives for Him.  In contrast, dying for Christ only takes a moment, living for Christ takes a lifetime.

We are called to not conform to the world.  I am sometimes concerned about whether our desire to be relevant can lead to compromise on our standards of holiness.  We are not to conform to the world, but to be transformed by the ongoing work of the Word and the Spirit in our lives.

As we mature in Christ, we will begin by being able to tell right from wrong, acceptable, from unacceptable.  As we grow we will be able to distinguish not just what is acceptable, but what is good, and eventually what is perfect.

II.  Overcome Evil with Good:  Romans 12:17-21

Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

We are not to repay evil for evil.  This requires a denial of our fleshly urge to avenge ourselves.  We need to leave the person who has wronged us in the hands of God.  We need to show  people the love and mercy of God, which we have first received ourselves, and so can share with others.  As much as possible we should live at peace with all people.  This is not easy.

III.  More Than Conquerors:  Romans 8:35-39

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”[a]

37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We have offered our lives to God as a living sacrifice.  There will be tests, trials and temptations that will come our way.  We are able to be be victorious in all of these because of the the grace. love and mercy of God. The love of God has been poured into our hearts, and the love of God can sustain us in the days of difficulty.  We can be the people that God wants us to be, because we do not do it in our own power, but by the power of God.

IV.  It’s All For Good:  Romans 8:28

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

We can reassure ourselves in the days of trouble, that God is able to use, not just some things, but all things ultimately for good for His people.  We do not have to be able to understand the how or the why to be comforted, we only have to believe that it is true.

 

If we truly want to be victorious, to know the love of God, offer your whole life to God.

Live your life for Christ.

 

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