Summary: We are to be totally sold out followers of Jesus Christ.
A Living Sacrifice
April 27, 2008 Evening Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: We are to be totally sold out followers of Jesus Christ.
Focus Passage: Romans 12:1-2
1. General Observations:
a. This passage is urgent: beg, plead. It is the heart of a pastor. Pastors want their church to love God.
b. This passage is for believers. We can’t apply Biblical principles to non-believers. Expect sinners to act like sinners (and Christians to act like Christians)
I. The Sacrifice is to be living:
a. A living sacrifice is constant (in the OT, it was a one time offering)
b. A living sacrifice is complete – there is no where you can go, no state of mind which does not require sacrifice to God. Everything about you, good and bad, is sacrificed.
c. A living sacrifice is constructive – we find time for the things we want to do: fish, hunt, sew, visit, watch TV, shop, take a drive; but how much do we DO for God? We don’t make time for Him, for His Word.
II. The Sacrifice is to be offered. - First, let’s talk about what it means to offer. This word means to "put at disposal [and] to hand over." To offer your body to God is to put your life at His disposal.
a. The day you signed up for Christianity, you signed over the whole lot. There is no such thing as my family, my time, my money, my life when it comes to God and the Christian. We realize that everything we own really belongs to our Lord. But some it seems struggle with this concept. I can’t go to church or I can’t tithe or I can’t serve or I can’t spend time with God or I can’t witness because I don’t have the time or the money or the desire.
b. Psalm 32:9 says, "Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you." The reason a person has difficulty offering his life to God is because, like the mule and the horse, he has a lack of understanding. A person who cannot wholly offer himself to God reveals his misunderstanding of the covenant he made with God, the nature and character of God, and the inadequacy of his own abilities and his own limitations.
III. The Sacrifice is to be BODILY - Paul gives the command to offer our living and physical bodies. Why is God so interested in our physical bodies?
a. Your Body is His Temple - I Corinthians 6:19-20 gives us a good idea: "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body."
b. Your body is in His Image - (Gen 1:27) And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
IV. The Sacrifice Is to be Holy and Pleasing to God
a. "The believer is to present his body to God. The dedication...
...is not to be made to self: living as one wishes; doing one’s own thing
...is not to be made to others: living for family, wife, husband, child, parent [...] or employer
...is not to be to something else: houses, lands, property, money, cars, possessions, profession, recreation, retirement, luxury, power, recognition, fame."
b. When you come to God in church or at home, you should not come to receive from Him, rather to give of yourself. The preacher could forget his words, the musicians could miss every note, and the choir could all fall down, but none of that matters. A person of sacrifice doesn’t worry about anything except offering himself.
V. The Sacrifice Is to be Transforming
a. Our lives are to be a reflection of Jesus Christ; not a reflection of our lives BEFORE Jesus.
b. No one calls a convict a hypocrite for fighting. That’s what we expect. No one stares in disbelief at a drug dealer who shoots someone.
Invitation: Listen closely: When Christians refuse to be transformed, the first thing to suffer is their own sacrifice.
Results of the Sacrifice
1. A Life of Knowledge
"Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is; his good, pleasing and perfect will." (Romans 12:2)
2. A Life of Holiness
3. A Life of Confidence