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Summary: Be a living sacrifice Live on that altar Don’t be conformed Be transformed!

Conform or Transform?

Romans 12:1-2

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.”

In Romans 12:1-2, the Apostle Paul issues a clear call for commitment when he says in Romans 12:1-2

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

Everything

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

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