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Summary: Pentecost 15(A) - In view of God’s mercy, we live! We live by discovering and doing God’s will. We live by uncovering and using God’s gifts.

IN VIEW OF GOD’S MERCY -- WE LIVE! (Outline)

September 9, 2007 -

PENTECOST 15 -

Romans 12:1-8

INTRO: Today’s verses in Romans speak about faithful Christian living. Having faith and living that faith is called sanctification. It is absolutely, positively essential that one know and begin to comprehend God’s great mercy. Only in knowing God’s mercy can the believer live a sanctified life. Chapter 10 of John speaks of Jesus’ love and concern, his mercy, for those who are lost. "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full"(JOHN 10:10). Every believer has been given a full life. This full life is faith-filled life of God’s mercy here on earth. Today we want to consider the truth of our theme:

IN VIEW OF GOD’S MERCY -- WE LIVE!

We live a faith-filled life

I. by discovering and doing God’s will, and:

II. by uncovering and using God’s gifts.

I. (WE LIVE) BY DISCOVERING AND DOING GOD’S WILL

A. Romans chapter 12 verse 1 begins: Therefore. PLEASE STOP and READ 11:33-36(or check last week’s sermon 09/02/07).

1. Paul is absolutely and positively amazed by God’s great mercy for him and every believer.

2. Paul wants these believers to also look again at God’s mercy, verse 1.

3. God’s mercy is there motivation for Christian living – NOT words like must, ought, should.

B. Verse 1 speaks of the constant state of worship of living sacrifices (opposed to dead) of believers.

1. No longer did these believers live in the past of abuse and misuse of their bodies.

2. Rather, now, their lives were changed, verse 2a. The original uses the word metamorphosis.

a. Think of the butterfly. b. The gray cocoon of the monarch changes into colors of beauty.

3. God took these believers out of the grayness of sin into the beautiful colors of grace and mercy.

C. Now, now these believers verse 2b can and would discover God’s good, pleasing, and perfect will.

1. Paul gives them a quick example of not only discovering God’s will but also doing God’s will.

2. Verse 3. These believers would give up their “me-first” worldly way of thinking.

3. These believers were to think of others first and think of themselves with sober judgment.

D. Like these early believers you and I also now begin to treasure the mercy of God. God’s mercy means everything to us. For without God’s mercy we are simply lost and condemned creatures. Sadly, many only look at God’s judgment and righteous justice. Christianity gets a bad reputation in our modern age. At times Christianity is blamed for the state our world is in today. The challenge before us as believers is to view God’s mercy and let it change not only our hearts, but also our very lives. The world is to see in our daily Christian living a full life filled with faith. "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord"(EPHESIANS 5:8-10). “Goodness, righteousness and truth” are key Christian elements that are all too often simply missing in our society today.

E. In view of God’s mercy we live, truly live. A sanctified Christian life is one that is motivated by the mercy and love of Christ. There is little room for the words of must, ought, and should. All too often modern-day preachers use these words – must, ought, should – to try to browbeat believers into doing what God wants. True Christian living comes from understanding God’s great mercy and love for his creation. The Lord does not ask, want or even expect us to anything more than what he himself would do.

"Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave--just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many"(MATTHEW 20:26b-28). Picture Jesus washing his disciples’ feet. Jesus washed them all, even the feet of Judas the one soon to betray him. In view of God’s mercy we live.

F. In view of Jesus’ life we discover God’s will. It may not always seem easy to discover and do God’s will. Why? We are born sinful. We are born as God’s enemies. By grace we have been saved. Still sin taints our every thought, word, and action. We cannot depend or resort to our own reason or strength to discover and do God’s will. By faith we come to the Lord and before the Lord who is always inviting. "Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Rescue me from my enemies, O LORD, for I hide myself in you. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground"(PSALM 143:8b-10). We pray to God to always open our eyes to view God’s mercy.

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