Summary: In our spiritual lives we must sacrifice some things in order to see spiritual change.
Have you ever had to give up something that you really, really loved? Something that had a hold on you, and you had a hold on it. I mean this was something you went to bed dreaming about, and woke up in the morning smiling at just the thought of it. Something that had been a part of your life for a long time, just long enough that it made it hard for you to give up and let go. Maybe you’ve went to the doctor and found out that your cholesterol level is too high. High cholesterol can be a result of eating too much saturated fat, and so now the doctor says you have to lay off the butter, and to stop mixing all that cheese in your grits. These are things that you love to eat, but if you want to lower your cholesterol, you must make a sacrifice if you want to change or improve your condition.
There are some of you who have friends that you run with, but the problem is you’re running everywhere they go, instead of them running everywhere you go. And you’re finding yourselves running with them to Gigi’s on Saturday night, but they can’t run with you to church on Sunday morning. Yeah I know about Gigi’s, when I moved here in 1999 I was in house a few times, they weren’t leaning with it, and rocking with it like they’re doing now, but I was in the house! (Just to clarify pastor…) But some of us have some friends that we need to let go, if we expect to make a sacrificial transformation.
Young people, I know you love watching television and playing your XBOX & Playstation when you get home from school, but 99% of the time you’re given homework to do; keyword is home, that means your work is meant to be done at home, not the next day before class. This is why some of you are not doing so well in school, it’s not because you’re not smart, but you have placed the T.V. and video games before your homework. You have to give up that which you love, in order to change and bring those grades up. I wasn’t going to go there, but men, some of you need to put down the video games too, because when you come home from work, some of you have children and spouses that need your attention more than Madden 2007. EA Sports, it’s in the game, but family time is in your hands.
A sacrificial transformation, we’ve mentioned some things that are physical, but what we really want to highlight this morning is a sacrificial transformation that’s spiritual. And when we learn how to sacrifice in the spiritual, not only will we begin to transform spiritually, but physically things will fall in line as well.
In the canonical text, Paul wrote this letter to the church at Rome, because he had plans to visit them one day. Paul didn’t want to just pop up on the scene, so in this letter he prepared the church in Rome to receive his doctrine.
• This letter to the church contained God’s Holy Word, which Paul didn’t just believe in, but it was what Paul was preaching as well. There are some people who strongly believe in something, but they can’t back it up with their actions.
• If I go to purchase a BMW, and keep in mind this is an example because I don’t have BMW money, but if I go to purchase a BMW, I don’t want to see my salesman go home at the end of the day in a Lexus. In other words, we should be able to practice what we preach.
Paul’s letter dealt with sin, salvation, spiritual growth, the sovereignty of God, and service. And in our selected text, Paul helps us to understand what is involved in a sacrificial transformation. When Paul finished carefully outlining his beliefs and God’s Word, he said not only to the church at Rome, but to every Christian today, therefore! In other words, everything that Paul has said in this letter up unto this point, what is it there for?
• Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God,” what is that there for?
• Romans 5:8, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,” what is that there for? Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,” what is this there for?
• Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit,” what is this there for?