Summary: A sermon on Romans 12:9-16 on being devoted to our brothers and sisters in Christ
It is said that Cyrus, the founder of the Persian Empire, once had captured a prince and his family. When they came before him, Cyrus asked the prisoner, "What will you give me if I release you?" "Half of my wealth," was his reply. "And if I release your children?" "Everything I possess." "And if I release your wife?" "Your Majesty, I will give myself." Cyrus was so moved by his devotion that he freed them all. As they returned home, the prince said to his wife, "Wasn’t Cyrus a handsome man!" With a look of deep love for her husband, she said to him, "I didn’t notice. I could only keep my eyes on you- -the one who was willing to give himself for me."
Over the past several years I have been going over parts of Romans. Chapters 1 through 11, Paul outlines the gospel way of salvation. Chapters 1 through 8 he talks exclusively of this. Chapters 9 through 11 he corrects some misunderstandings of gospel way that come about because of the Jews hardness of heart against the way of grace. The way of the gospel is open to all not just to Jews but to all of mankind. All need the cross for salvation. Overall chapters 1 through 11 are doctrine. Chapters 12 through 16 of Romans are practical. Considering all of this doctrine, teaching of the way of grace, how shall we then live? Paul does this in many of his letters. First section is doctrine and the last section is practical. Starting a series on Romans 12-16 today.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship... Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:1, 2, NIV. What is God’s will for us? Following vs. talk about this.
Starting in the middle of ch. 12. Saving some things for Father’s Day next week.
This middle section of one line moral teachings can be organized around this phrase from vs. 10: “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.”
Devotion is something that is lacking in our day. Devotion is to give up one’s all to a cause, for the benefit, or advancement of something regarded as deserving support.
Many families are falling apart whether it be the biblical family or the church family. The necessary ingredient to stop all of this is devotion. “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:37-39, NIV. Devotion to God and then devotion to others.
Many times what happens to the family is that it is sacrificed in our world to other devotions, other pursuits. Our lives are devoted to several things, like our job, community organizations, our hobbies, but we should never sacrifice our family for these devotions. Our number one devotion should be to God, and our number two devotion should be to our family. Many sacrifice their family and their relationship with God for earthly pursuits and dreams.
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love- We are brothers and sisters here. We are family. Many times emphasize immediate family and that is fine but what about the church family. Why use such terms if it is not true? We are told to develop close and affectionate relationships that should exist among brothers and sisters. We should be hopelessly devoted to each other. We should look at Pleasant Ridge like our immediate family and the church worldwide as our extended family.
Thesis: Let’s expand upon this theme of devotion by looking at the other commands in Romans 12:9- 16
Sincere love for one another
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” Romans 12:9, NIV.
Love must be sincere. Love without hypocrisy. Many people are fake with their love. To our faces, they are kind and affectionate, but behind our backs they are anything but. We should not be like Judas who betrayed his Lord with a kiss. This is a sign of affection, a sign of love. However, Judas’ heart was full of anything but love.
We need to love those who are devoted to the same cause as we are. We need to love those who have taken the way of grace, fellow pilgrims. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8, NIV.
“Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,” Acts 2:46, NIV.