Sermons

Summary: Message 29 in our exposition of Romans exploring the command to invest the grace given each one in ministry.

Chico Alliance Church

Pastor David Welch

“Investing Your Allotment of Grace”

I. Receive the gift of righteousness

II. Apply the Gift of Righteousness

III. Place of Israel in the God’s Plan of Salvation

IV. Live the Gift of Righteousness

A. Dedicate your body and soul to God’s service

1. Dedicate our bodies completely to God

2. Dedicate your soul to continual transformation

a) Resist the world’s attempt to cram you into its mold

b) Submit to continual soul transformation

As you submit to God you will not only discern the wonder of God’s will but you will desire it and discover the depth of its application to all of life. God’s will is beneficial, well pleasing and complete. Paul follows this admonition to renew our thinking with six guiding principles regarding our relationship to the body of Christ useful for keeping our thinking straight. In these few verse we find the most concise yet complete image of the body of Christ any where in Scripture.

B. Think fittingly and serve faithfully in the body. 12:3-8

1. Think fittingly concerning the principles governing the church

a) The principle of Humility

Now Paul focuses on our relationship to others and ourselves. We must first adjust or renew our thinking regarding ourselves. Paul indicated that his instruction is the result of a special grace given to him by God.

For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you

In other words, “Listen up because this is something God told me to ell you!” In this context grace refers to a special divine empowering for service and ministry. He addressed his remarks to the whole body. The following instructions applied to EVERYONE!

not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment,

Paul employs a positive/negative approach. Don’t do that, but do this! Don’t think beyond what is right or accurate. “Think” = “To be minded in a certain way, have a certain mindset or pattern of thinking”. In this case, God reminds us not to have a mindset about ourselves that is inflated or beyond what is accurate or corresponds with reality. This refers to one who entertains hyper-thinking about his or her self and their abilities.

“I am better. Look at my contribution. God is fortunate to have me working for Him.”

This is the person who overestimates their value and abilities beyond reality or fails to acknowledge God’s primary part in any talent or gifting. Paul warns the person who thinks they know more than they do or can do more than they are really able or do things better than anyone else.

Paul calls for humble thinking – humility. Thinking that continually recognizes the reality of our inadequacy but rests in God’s grace clears the mind and soul of self focus and becomes useable by God. God resists the proud but measures out grace to or spiritually energizes the humble. (1Pet 5) He who toots his own horn generally plays off key.

Humble thinking embraces reality. Humble thinking sees and evaluates as God would.

Don’t think too highly of ourselves but think soberly or with rational thinking. Someone not thinking soberly or with a distorted mindset was one considered out of their mind or insane. We need to think properly not irrationally regarding yourself. I would add that sound judgment or thinking has also to do with not thinking too low of ourselves either.

God doesn’t want us to entertain thinking that overestimates or underestimates ourselves but views ourselves as God sees and corresponds with what is accurately the case. It is important to be authentic. Don’t try to be what you aren’t. Focus on what God gifts you to do. Only when we have a healthy sense of identity through our relationship with Christ can we face the reality of who we really are and aren’t. We can be honest about both about our achievements and deficiencies; our strength and our non-strengths. We recognize that we can do all things through Christ but without Him we can do nothing of any eternal value.

With this proper thinking, we are able to fill our place in the body of Christ with humility and faithfulness not trying to be someone else or be jealous of the gifts and achievements of others. When we find our true identity in Christ, we have nothing to prove and nothing to lose and nothing to protect. We are at that point surrendered to God and accountable to Him. We are a moldable usable vessel in the hands of the master.

The principle of humility

Don’t think more highly or lowly than you should but think of yourself as God thinks.

b) The Principle of Headship

as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. Romans 12:3

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