Summary: Practical guidelines for living the Christian life.
TEXT: ROMANS 12:9-12 (read at each point)
TITLE: “LESSONS ON LIVING THE CHRISTIAN LIFE”
INTRODUCTION: A. TATER PEOPLE
1. Some people never seem motivated to participate, but are just
content to watch while others do the work.
--They’re called "Speck Taters".
2. Some people never do anything to help, but are gifted at finding
fault with the way others do the work.
--They’re called "Comment Taters".
3. Some people are very bossy and like to tell others what to do, but
don’t want to soil their own hands.
--They’re called "Dick Taters".
4. Some people are always looking to cause problems by asking
others to agree with them. It is too hot or too cold, too sour or too
--They’re called "Agie Taters".
5. There are those who say they will help, but somehow just never get
around to actually doing the promised help.
--They’re called "Hezzie Taters".
6. Some people can put up a front and pretend to be someone they are
--They’re called "Emma Taters".
7. Then there are those who love others and do what they say they
will. They are always prepared to stop whatever they are doing and
lend a helping hand. They bring real sunshine into the lives of
--They’re called "Sweet Taters".
B. What kind of “tater” are you?
1. Today is Homecoming Sunday. We’ll be participating in a potluck
meal in just a fairly short time.
2. Today is the fifth time that we have shared in homecomings here at
--Exactly four years ago today, my family came here and I preached
my trial sermon.
3. In all meals we’ve had here during this time, we’ve had all kinds of
taters – mashed taters, fried taters, baked taters, tater salad, even tater
4. As good as they all may be, the food downstairs is not as important
as the spiritual food upstairs.
C. This morning, we’re called to examine our lives.
1. Are we living it the way Jesus would want us to live it?
2. In 12:1 & 2, Paul tells us that because of all that God has done for
us, that we’re to present our bodies as living sacrifices.
3. In 12:3-8, he tells us that part of being a living sacrifice is
ministering to others in accordance with our spiritual gifts.
4. Today’s section of this letter to the church at Rome, Paul goes into
some pretty specific detail on how to live daily as a living sacrifice
holy and pleasing to God.
--He gives us some important lessons on living the Christian life
5. Now don’t panic! I realize there are 19 different points. I’m only
going to spend about a minute on each one.
6. I’ve nicknamed these points the “Be” attitudes in Paul’s letter to
I. BE LOVING – vs. 9a
Notice the first word of the passage is “love”
Love for Christ and love for others
II. BE SINCERE – vs. 9b
“Love must be sincere…
Our English word sincere comes from the Latin sincerus, which means "without wax." It
stems from a practice of the early Roman merchants who set their earthen and porcelain jars
out for sale. If a crack appeared in one, they would fill it with wax the same color as the jar,
so a buyer would not be aware that it was cracked.
But astute buyers learned to hold these jars out in the sun, and if the jar was cracked, the
wax would melt and the crack would be revealed. So the honest merchants would test their
wares this way and mark them sincerus – without wax.
The word literally reflects what the Greek says here, "Let love be without hypocrisy."
Notice that part of being loving and being sincere in that love toward Jesus and others is:
1. Hating what is evil
2. Clinging to what is good
III. BE CONSIDERATE – vs. 10
“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love…”
--“brotherly love” – “family”
Are we a functional family or dysfunctional family?
Hallmark of a functional family: “Honor one another above yourselves.”
IV. BE FERVENT – vs. 11
“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”
“Fervor” – “boiling over; red hot; glowing”
Col. 3:17 – “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the
V. BE JOYFUL – vs. 12a
“Be joyful in hope…”
Our joy comes from our hope and our hope is Jesus Christ!
VI. BE PATIENT – vs. 12b
“…patient in affliction…”
I’m allergic to pain! Sometimes it’s hardest to be patient in times of distress, affliction, and
VII. BE PRAYERFUL – vs. 12c
“…faithful in prayer…”
1 Thess. 5:17 – “Pray continually”
VIII. BE GIVING – vs. 13a