Standing Firm: Walking through Romans – Chapter 12 part 1

Many say that chapter 11 closes out the theological portion of Romans. The remainder is more like Paul’s practical guidance.

My big Idea for today is: In a chaotic world of mass discontent, live life that’s pleasing to God and rise above this world in the knowledge of God’s plan for our life. My prayer today is that by hearing this message together you and me will be encouraged to move deeper in our commitment to God and in that we would experience the transformation power through the Holy Spirit.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:1-2

In order to help me share with you today, I have separated my thoughts into 2 sections or points. Let’s take a look at my first point.

Give Yourselves To God.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

Romans 12:1

Paul urges us, brothers and sisters. In view of God’s mercy… Acknowledge His Grace in your life.  Submit to the sovereignty of God. Rest in the Joy of His Pleasure. Engage in deep and meaningful worship.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ was meant to be life changing! Transforming us from death in our sins to life in the resurrected Lord Jesus. If we are not owning and living out our theology in faith, the gospel is not accomplishing its purpose. This passage is like a spiritual roadmap to transformation.  Have you ever known someone how seemed stuck in an endless cycle of calamity and dysfunction?  This is a God provided GPS that will take you from wherever you may be to the God ordained purpose the He has declared over you. There are generations of lost people out there that are stuck in destructive cycles. They are desperately searching for something that will help stabilize them. Mass depression, anxiety, and even suicide. Young people plotting to take their own lives. Why? Because they have lost all hope. They have lost hope that their lives can change, and they just want to end the suffering. If we don’t set the example and demonstrate the goodness of God’s grace, how then, will they have hope. The world needs to experience your transformation first. This speaks to working out our own obedience to God.

I believe this passage also speaks to the aimlessness of this generation; There is a lack of clarity in confusing times and This is a path to meaning and significance. Everyone has things about themselves that they wish they could change. This cause and effect idea that living for God in this way will create a positive change in me and my life. This is what is in it for them. This could even bring someone who is seeking into a realization that eternal salvation is attainable. Many of you know about my journey through very dark places, but as I look back, I can identify some key aspects of my dysfunction. I had lost hope. I had lost everything, and I had no idea how/if I could make things right. I was drowning in sorrow and pain both emotional/physical. But, I remember reading the Bible…

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

Romans 12:1

I had given myself to so much foolishness and with great gusto. Could I not Give myself to God? In view of His mercy?

Let’s check out my final point.

Realize Your True Identity In Christ.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:2

This has everything to do with our new identity in Christ Jesus.

Identity/World vs. Identity/Christ

Belonging to Jesus means He has a plan and a purpose for us and his will is to shape us and mold us into His likeness. God loves you too much to allow you to remain in a carnal state. We must cultivate a desire to become like him. We must lean into His character. We will discover His good and pleasing will for your life/the meaning of life.

Do you remember those bracelets and bumper stickers,
WWJD? WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?
Do you ever think about that? What would Jesus do? I think about it all the time. I think about it all the time because I want to be like him. I want to treat others like Jesus would. I want to own my walk with God and do my part, Amen? If I want to be like him, I must be transformed. I do this by reading His word. I do this through prayer.

This brings hope to those stuck between old moral paradigms and the desire to seek truth and meaning afresh.  This passage has the potential to cause a shift in the attention of many who are lost in a sense of spiritual neutrality, Nowheresville. They have not thought much about God, positively or negatively. They live in that blank zone and this idea that something greater exists and Paul is pointing them in the right direction. In my story, I wanted so desperately to be different, so I knew I had to do different. I gave myself to God and He changed me; He changed us.

If you need a change today, even If you have been a Christian for a long time, you may still need some healing in some area.  God wants to transform those areas today. Here is your call to action: Here it is, don’t miss this: Give yourself to God. Give that area of struggle to God and he will transform you. Commit yourself or commit that certain area to your proper identity in Christ. If you have been suffering with depression or any areas of loneliness, God wants to supply your wholeness and completeness in Jesus. Its your true identity.

Would you open our hearts today.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

Jesus, He’s the Son of the living God, and we can receive from Him today His Righteousness, His purpose and His calling. Will you call on him today? Your salvation/forgiveness is just one prayer away. Will you trust in his ability to do what He said He would do? Will you believe today? Many of you need a fresh touch from God today. Is there some form of unbelief or a fracture of trust as it relates to God in your life today?  God wants to redeem and restore those areas of your life? He wants to restore Joy and hope for you today. You’re hearing this now and the Holy Spirit has brought someone or something to mind. He wants to speak life into this today. He wants to bring healing in this area today.  There are areas of deep regret when it comes to your relationship with God and you have rejected Christ as your savior …It’s not too late.

It’s not too late to humble yourself before him today, hold out your arms and open your hands to receive from him today. Will you say yes to Jesus, today? Will you bow your heads with me?  Some of you already know the Lord, but maybe he’s put something on your heart that you need to deal with, you need to ask his forgiveness today. If that’s you will you just acknowledge that to him today. This is just you and God here. Now someone here may not have that relationship with Jesus and today you’ve felt him tugging at your heart, you’ve been hurt, and you’re guarded, I know. Jesus is here and wants set things right in your life.  If you’ll say Pastor, I want Jesus to be my Lord and savior. Remember, it’s just you and God here. Will you pray with me today, We’ll pray here as a family and you can repeat after me.

Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner. I ask you today for your forgiveness. I believe that you died for my sins and on that 3rd day, you rose from the dead. I ask you to come into my heart today. I trust and follow you as my Lord and savior. Guide me and help me to do your will. In Jesus’ name Amen.

 “‘“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’

Numbers 6:24-26