Summary: This is a look at Romans 12:1-8. In view of God’s mercy, Paul sheds light on our personal responsibility to live to our true potential.
Romans 12:1 - 8. “Fulfilling our true potential .”
When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation. When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn’t change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family. Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world.
Source: Unknown Monk (1100AD). Found at Aspiring to Greatness
Its true that parents always want their children to fulfill their true potential in life and its no different with our God. He wants Christians to fulfil their true potential? But its a question of the will will we take up that personal responsibility? We can’t just sit back and expect God to deliver it on a plate we after exercise a life of faith.
Its really a question of whether your a consecrated Christian or a comfortable one? Paul begins with the motivation for living to our full potential.
v1 Okay let’s start on the ’Therefore.’
What is the therefore there for? Well it takes us back to what has been said previously - Paul has been looking at the mind bending truths of Gods unfolding plan towards the Gentile and Jew v25-26 pointing to a great ingathering of peoples to come both Jew and Gentile. He goes on to a prayer of praise to God where he is in utter awe of God - over His wisdom - knowledge and judgements in His unfolding plan of redemption.
• Isn’t our redemption awesome? The mercy and love of God - forgiven sinners - a relationship with the Father through the Son in the power of Holy Spirit. God’s mercy raises a real ethical problem for us, how are we to respond, how are we to live in the light of it all?
song writer Matt Redman wrote: Jesus what can I give, what can I bring, to so faithful a friend to so loving a king? Saviour, what can be said? What can be sung as a praise of your name for the things you have done? Oh, my words could not tell, not even in part, of the debt of love that is owed by this thankful heart.
Paul here helps us, he moves away from the theological truth to the real practical implications of Christian living in a fallen world. Paul will lay down for us practical guidelines as God’s redeemed people in a fallen world. This will enable us to live to our true potential according to God’s will. The first thing that Paul says:
1.WE ARE CALLED TO BE SACRIFICIAL PEOPLE NOT SUPERFICIAL PEOPLE. V1
We have seen that our transformation is a work of God but Paul wants us to know we are not to be disengaged when it comes to this transformation – we are called to be active also V1 to offer our Bodies as living sacrifices, we are called to participate to be active in this transformation with sacrificial lives this is pleasing to God.
A.This Involves consistency : In the OT animals were sacrificed without reserve (day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year) time and time again they would offer sacrifices. This is what God is calling us to be,not to literal sacrifice but to a a consistent sacrificial lifestyle in that we do not hold back to offer our bodies - to serve Him without reserve, (day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year)not as a life laid down as in the (OT) but as a life taken up, no longer serving sin but serving Him.