Summary: Be a living sacrifice Live on that altar Don’t be conformed Be transformed!
Conform or Transform?
I want to introduce you to a mythical church member that I am going to call Kenny
When we first meet Kenny he is attending services at First Church but he left because the services were too formal
Every one on the platform wore a tie
He and his family then wandered over to Grace Church because they had a great choir
But before long, we hear they are “happy” at the Christian Worship Center
But before long they move their membership to the Community Church because of the great bible teaching
After that the youth program at New Hope catches their eye
Now at least for the moment, they are at the church uptown, at least until something else catching their roving eye. What ever happened to commitment?
Why do you suppose that there are close to 100 million church members in America yet they are not making more of a moral and spiritual impact?
Why is that on Sunday morning thousands of churches have more empty pews than full?
Why is it that the average Sunday School in America has less than 66 in attendance and that the average worship service has 84?
Why is it that only 50% of the number on any church membership roll can be expected to attend?
If Christians really believe in a real heaven and a real Hell, how can we be so silent?
The answer to all of these questions is tragically simple
God’s people have made a decision about Jesus
But have never made a commitment to Him.”
[Charles Stanley. Confronting Casual Christianity. (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1985) pp. 23-33.]
There is of course a difference between a decision and a commitment
The reason that the church is not making more of an impact in our society is that many church members made a decision about Christ, but have not made a commitment to Christ
When the pilot of a giant airline is speeding down the runway, there is a certain point where it staying on the ground is no longer an option
When he crosses that line, he is committed to the air, he will take off or a disastrous crash is imminent
At the point the pilot can no longer change his mind he is committed
Unfortunately churches are filled with members who have never got off the ground
They have been sitting there gunning their engines, making noise but getting nowhere
They have been planning on it, meaning to, wanting to, trying to, going to, aiming to, hoping to
But tragedy of tragedies, they have never got off the ground. ( Stanley, p. 30)
I want to challenge you this morning to “get off the ground.”
Are you conformed of transformed?
Are you self-dedicated to the Lord?
Wholehearted for God
Wholeheartedness for God ought to characterize every Christian
And this is evidenced by our presenting our bodies a living sacrifice unto God
I. The Sacrifice to be Offered
“present your bodies”
Far to often we are content with committing our souls to Him
We seem to think that our bodies are all our own
And that our souls belong to God
We know that the scriptures teach that our body is the temple of the soul and spirit
The means through which these parts of our being act and manifest themselves
The inner man, the part of us that really tells who we really are, acts through the outer man
The part the world sees
What is on the inside, shows itself on the outside
Or so it should be
So our bodies ought to be in the hands of God as well as the inner man, our soul and spirit
In fact, unless God has full charge of the whole being the Divine power will be withheld
He does not give us power so much as He desires to manifest His power through us
It is kind of like a brand new Cadillac
Inside, it has all the latest features installed
As it rolls off the assembly line at GM it has everything you would expect in a Caddy
Top of the line electronics, voice activated GPS navigation system
Great surround sound system
Heated and cooled all leather seats, push button start
But they do not let that Cadillac out of the factory
With primer grey paint, knock off tires and plain Jane stock wheels
Plastic bolt on mirrors and bargain bin wipers and headlights
No, to be a Cadillac it must be a Cadillac inside and out
You wouldn’t want to drive a car that was a Cadillac on the inside, and a Gremlin or a Pacer on the outside
It must be a Cadillac through and through