Summary: God desires that every believer lead a righteous life but our culture places a lot of pressure on Christians to "fit in." How can we resist the secular influences of our time? The apostle Paul reveals how to pursue holiness and resist compromise.
Living the Life - A Call to Godly Living
Scripture: Romans 12:1-2
God desires that every believer lead a righteous life. But our culture places a tremendous amount of pressure on Christians to "fit in."
The doctrines of our faith are often mocked and ridiculed in the public arena. Individual believers sometimes make spiritual or moral compromises in an attempt to be accepted.
How can we resist the secular influences of our time? In Romans 12:1-2, the apostle Paul reveals how to pursue holiness and resist compromise.
I. God calls us to Godly living.
A. God's call to surrender our lives to Him as living sacrifices is reasonable because He redeemed us from spiritual darkness and adopted us as children.
• In Romans 1-11, Paul explains salvation, victorious Christian living, and the Lord's ultimate plan for Israel.
• In Romans 12:1-2, he urges believers to give control of their lives to God in light of all He has done for us.
B. We must make the choice to give control to the Father.
• As God's people, we no longer have the right to run our own lives, but He still allows us to choose whether or not to surrender.
• Your entire being—including your mind, will, and emotions—should be yielded to God.
C. We are called to be living sacrifices.
• Becoming a "living sacrifice" means we allow the Holy Spirit to live through us.
• As we surrender to the Spirit's guidance and leadership, He empowers us to live a Godly life.
D. The apostle also urges believers to be holy sacrifices.
• In Greek, this word means "set apart" (as in "for a special purpose"). In one of the paradoxes of our faith, sanctification—or being made holy—happens immediately at salvation, but it is also a lifelong process.
E. Our lives should be acceptable to God.
• As believers, we ought to be different from the world. Our goal should be to act as Jesus did: forgiving, loving, and helping others—yet knowing when to speak the truth in love or share our faith.
When we sin, we should be quick to confess and repent.
• A Godly lifestyle will attract some people to you, and it will drive others away. (Sometimes the same people who resist the gospel will seek out a believer for help when life gets difficult.)
II. Those who live in a Godly manner will face conflict with the world.
A. Pressure from those in the world sometimes causes believers to compromise their convictions.
• As individuals, Christians sometimes justify compromising the truth in this way: they claim they are "being a witness" by spending time with ungodly friends, even when that includes making unrighteous choices.
• Instead, we should make sure our best friends are believers who take their faith seriously (2 Cor. 6:14-15, 17; 1 Cor. 15:33).
Our highest priority should be to please God rather than to fit in with the world.
B. Paul warns believers, "Do not be conformed to this world" (Rom. 12:2).
• The media frequently portrays the idea that if we become rich, attractive, influential, or famous, we will be happy and content. But none of these things guarantee joy.