Summary: In order to be a world changer I must be willing to lay down my life. Part 1 in a series called "How to Change Your World."
How to Change Your World – Part 1
October 14, 2001
One of the things that was clear from our study of the Sermon on the Mount was that followers of Jesus have within themselves the potential to make a great impact on the world. Jesus referred to those who take his message seriously as salt and light – two things that certainly change their surroundings.
Jesus was here on earth for a mere three years, but his disciples – his followers, were faithful to carry on the mission – they changed the course of history. We have the same mission, the same message and the same Spirit inside us – we can be world-changers too.
We find ourselves living in the midst of historic times.
Our country at war.
Threats of future terrorist attacks.
Fear of the spread of Anthrax contamination.
Scary times. Uncertain times. Yet it is out of moments like this that great change – even long lasting change can occur. This era in which we live could be one of the finest hours for the church of Jesus Christ.
TRANSITION: This morning I’d like to take the first step in showing you what the Bible says about how to change the world. Or rather how God wants to change the world through you.
A follower of Jesus can have world-changing influence, and the process begins with extreme surrender.
This morning we’re going to look at two places in the book of Romans, chapter 6 and chapter 12, to learn about surrender. In chapter 6, Paul starts off like this…
Read Romans 6:1-2
1What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?
Extreme Surrender is a…
I. SURRENDER OF SIN
Romans 6 goes on to say…
Through coming to Jesus Christ and being baptized into him, we died to sin, how can we live in it any longer? But the Bible shows us that it is an ongoing surrender.
Read 6:11 - In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
If I’m going to engage in a surrender of sin, I have to…
Surrender my passion for it
Read verse 12 – Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal bodies so that you obey its evil desires.
The New Living Translation says…
Do not let sin control the way you live. (Romans 6:12, NLT)
Have you ever enjoyed doing something you knew was wrong?
Kim and I recently went to dinner at a nice restaurant in Galena, IL. After a gluttonous meal of soup, salad, bread and a huge entrée, our server brought out the dessert tray. She even had the nerve to hold it under my nose while she explained each one. I knew I shouldn’t. I didn’t need it. I was already full. But I knew I would enjoy it.
Then I reasoned, “Maybe I’ll never have dessert again. What if this is my last chance at chocolate?” So I ordered a big old piece of double chocolate fudge cake. Kim looked at me like I was crazy after eating such a huge meal. And as I was eating it I kept thinking, “I shouldn’t be doing this – but it tastes so good!”
Having dessert at a nice restaurant is a rather innocent little indulgence. The trouble is, sometimes we find a similar kind of enjoyment in things that really are wrong.
When we embrace any sin, we run the risk of getting to the place where we actually have a passion for it. We love sin. And we wonder what our lives might be like if the sin had to be immediately eliminated. We think we might not enjoy life as much.
If we are extremely honest with ourselves and look deep inside, we might find some passion for sin is already there. Dig deep – look within – what’s inside? Does your heart say…
I really enjoy gossip.
I like pornography.
Being self-centered is rather fun sometimes
Admit it. Surrender it.
You died to sin. Don’t let it control the way you live. Surrender your passion for it. If I engage in surrender of sin, I’ll also need to…
Surrender my curiosity with it
Do not let any part of your body become a tool of wickedness, to be used for sinning. (Romans 6:13, NLT)
I picture a gradual creeping in of sin’s presence. Any part of your body. Part by part, little by little. Satan can gain a foothold.
Curiosity is where many of us begin to get hooked.
We wonder…Could it be as bad as they say?
Maybe if I just see it. Or maybe if I just learn more about it. Maybe if I just try it.