Summary: In order to make God's kingdom a reality, we must be willing to become an active part of God's work.
Romans 12: 1 - 8
Intro: You may be intrigued by the fact that as you entered worship this morning you were presented with a gift from me. You should have received a teabag in a plastic bag. I know that many think I am a bit, shall we say, “odd.” I admit that I am different than most pastors. But, I think you will see there is a purpose for the gift of a teabag. Don’t lose it!
I Romans 12: 1 – 8 articulates a practice of theology that details the ways and means for practicing love in households, churches, and even in the public at large.
A VS. 1 says in part, “offer (present) your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God . . .
Living sacrifice does not involve the slaughtering of humans. It does involve presenting the entire SELF to God.
B. This “living sacrifice” is (??? – za?/ ??s?a – thusia) The emphasis implies focusing one’s entire life around religious services.
C Paul is saying that real woship that is pleasing to God is the offering of our everyday lives to God.
II VS. 2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
A The most important word in this verse is transformed / µetaµ??f?? / metamorpho it refers to an invisible process in Christians which takes place during their life in this age.
B Sam had a 1965 Corvette he bought when he finished college. One morning he started it and it began to clank, sputter and blow blue smoke. It took it to the auto body shop and had it painted red, added new rims, tires and upholstery. When he picked up the care it still clanked, sputtered and blew smoke.
C Sam may have “transformed” how the car looked; but he didn’t do anything about how it worked. “Renewing the mind” is a renovation which makes a person different than in the past.
III In the remainder of the verses Paul goes on to explain that Christians should be able to discern, test, and approve what is the will of God.
A VS. 3 “Don’t 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.”
B Paul compares the working of the church to the working of the human body. Each person must determine what God is calling them to be and do.
C Paul says to the church in Rome and to us that all the followers of Jesus have a part in the body of Christ that is no more and no less important and valued than anyone else’s part.
Concl: Take a look at your teabag. It is my hope that you will put that teabag where you will see it every day to be reminded that you won’t have any tea to drink unless that teabag is transformed, changed by being put in hot water and squeezed. The same is true of each of us and our church. We must become convicted that it is our duty to be the best part of our church working together to bring about God’s kingdom here and in our homes and community. When you put all the teabags together, you can make much more tea than you can from just one. We must put out talents together for the greater good by offering ourselves as a living sacrifice to discern and live into the will of God.