Standing Firm: Walking through Romans – Chapter 12 part 2

Good morning family and welcome home! I trust you’ve all had a Merry Christmas? As we approach the new year, we will have a special opportunity to reflect the year passed. We will be reminded of the good things and the not so pleasant. We will think about our hope for the future and the things we want to do better.

In our text today, we are reminded of the biblical standard for our general outlook on relationships and attitudes towards God, each other, and His will for our purpose in this life.

My big idea for today is that by directing our focus towards God and His people that we will naturally gravitate to a position of humility, moving forward to the mind and unity of Christ. My prayer today is that by hearing this message that together we (as one body) will be able to (collectively) step back and take a breath and begin to recalibrate the way we see ourselves and the way we see others in view of God’s goodness.

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Romans 12:3-8

In order to help me share with you today, I have separated my thoughts into 3 sections or points. Let’s take a look at my first point.

Honor God By Minding Our Own Actions

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.

Romans 12:3

Paul begins this portion by reminding the church in Rome that God has given him the authority over the Gentile church and this is why they should heed his instruction. Before we go any further, this is about where we left off in the previous weeks.  We talked about my experience in Costco and how God moved upon my heart to reveal my own missteps in how I had not been considerate of my wife’s feeling and in so many other ways. However, moving forward we will focus on the greater context of the passage.

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.

Romans 12:3

Let’s view ourselves as children of God. Servants of God. Serving others by proxy in the name of Christ Jesus.

Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.  

Matthew 11:11

John the Baptist dwelt in the wilderness eating bugs and wearing furs.

Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Mark 10:43-45

If we strive to His likeness, then we should follow His model of servanthood. Giving of ourselves to others. And honoring God by minding our actions. It is through the position of our heart and our actions that we bring honor to God in the sight of this world.

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

John 13:35

Through His love and direction we can reflect the glory of God to the rest of the world. “So they might be saved”

Let’s move to my next point

Honor God In How We Value Each Other

4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 

Romans 12:4-5

This teaching will probably seem elementary to most of you. But Paul uses this analogy of anatomy to demonstrate the connectivity of each part of the body. Foot, leg, body, etc. In most civilizations the elderly are revered.  In fact, most homes are multi-generational where the grandparents help with the raising of children etc. In our western postmodern culture, the elderly are in many cases, discarded. They are not seen as having a productive value. But in the body of Christ everyone regardless of age, young and old, has a God-given value and when we he honor the imago dei/image of God in all people, we bring honor to God Himself.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33 even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.

1 Corinthians 10:31-33

The brass tacks of all of this is that there are those watching and those who will experience the glory of God or not through our actions and the demonstration of the love of God that is displayed through us. Good or bad!

Let’s move on to my final point.

Honor God In The Gifts He Has Given To You

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Romans 12:6-8

The Bible has given us many examples of gifts. There are gifts to the church; Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, & Teachers (Eph. 4:11-12). To individuals 1 Cor. 12:7-11 A word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, healing, miraculous powers, prophecy, discerning spirits, tongues and interpretations. Paul is speaking generally, whatever your personal leaning, do with the intention to bless others and glorify God.

I’m not going to be perfect as a man. Ladies you know I’m right, but I can give my all to represent my family for Christ and bring glory to my God. I can ask God to help me represent Living Water for Christ. We can all represent Christ as his body for the glory of our God. Exodus 17 gives us a clear picture of how we all work together with our special gifts to accomplish God’s will.  Moses sends Joshua out to fight the Amalekites. Moses instructed Joshua to fight, but he would stand on the mountain with the staff od God in his hand. As long as Moses would hold up the staff, Joshua would be winning, but if Moses lowered the staff in fatigue, the Amalekites would gain ground. Aaron and Hur were with Moses each having a different office and talents.  They held up Moses’ arms to support him and Joshua won the day for Israel and God’s will was accomplished.  Moses couldn’t do it by himself. I cannot do it by myself. You cannot do it by yourself. But we can bring honor to God by offering our gifts for the unity of the body of Christ.

We can all be part of that which brings glory to God in the love and humility of Christ, seeking to focus on God and others helps us remain levelheaded with the mind of Christ. In how we see ourselves. In how we value others. In how we use our gifts. And in how we see Jesus Christ and the price He paid for us. Today we can all make the choice to give God free and open access to our hearts. As we approach this new year now is the time to ask God for a person revival. Where He would break down those barriers for self, fear, and control and start moving towards unity in Christ Jesus.

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