Summary: Paul in Romans 12 calls on the followers of Christ to yield themselves completely to God, to capitulate to His Lordship. Until we do this we can never experience the fullness of joy and blessing God has for us individually and as a church.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Paul in Romans 12 calls on the followers of Christ to yield themselves completely to God, to capitulate to His Lordship. Until we do this we can never experience the fullness of joy and blessing God has for us individually and as a church. Andrew Murray was in Scotland and was discussing with a group of men the condition of Christ's Church, and what the great need of the Church and of believers is. A godly Christian worker who was actively involved in training other workers for Christ when asked what he would say was the great need of the Church, the message that ought to be preached, answered very quietly, simply and determinedly: "Absolute surrender to God is the one thing."
I. Why is absolute surrender the Greatest Need in the Church
A. God demands our absolute surrender.
1. Romans 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
2. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
B. The Condition of the church demands absolute surrender.
1. The Church today is filled with powerless Christians who live anemic Christian lives and fail to have any idea why they don’t see God’s power in their life.
2. 1 Corinthians 3:1 "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ."
3. “No words can tell the sad state of the Church of Christ on earth. I wish I had words to speak what I sometimes feel about it. Just think of the Christians around you. I do not speak of nominal Christians, or of professing Christians, but I speak of hundreds and thousands of honest, earnest Christians who are not living a life in the power of God or to His glory. So little power, so little devotion or consecration to God, so little perception of the truth that a Christian is a man utterly surrendered to God's will! Oh, we want to confess the sins of God's people around us, and to humble ourselves.” – Andrew Murray
4. We are members of that sickly body. The sickliness of the body will hinder us and break us down, unless we come to God. We must, in confession, separate ourselves from partnership with worldliness, with coldness toward each other. We must give ourselves up to be entirely and wholly for God. – Andrew Murray
5. 1 Kings 18:21 “And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, ‘How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him.’ And the people answered him not a word.” (CEV – “How much longer will you try to have things both ways?)
6. Many Christians have one foot in the church and the other foot in the world. They are trying to hold on to their baubles in the world and, at the same time, hold on to heaven. They think they are going to get the best of both worlds. The truth is that they get the best of neither. – copied
7. Matthew 6:24 “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
8. Lack of surrender to God is a result of selfishness deep within our characters. Our selfish characters rob us of intimacy with Christ and the power to touch our family, friends and the lost with the power of the Holy Spirit. Liu Zhenying, known as Brother Yun, is one of the leading pastors in the Chinese house church movement. He recognized that “Multitudes of church members in the West are satisfied with giving their minimum to God, not their maximum... Jesus gave his whole life for us, and we give as little of our lives, time and money as we can back to God. What a disgrace! Repent!” – Meldrum, The Beauty of Brokeness.
C. God’s blessings are conditioned upon our absolute surrender.
1. 1 John 3:22 “whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.”