Summary: The twelfth chapter of Romans opens with one of the most powerful exhortations in the New Testament, as we are urged to offer our bodies as living sacrifices to God, refusing to be conformed to the world, but instead being transformed by the renewing of o
Opening Statement: In my reading this week, I came across a funny story that sets up our theme today. His name was Bud. He was a factory worker with more than a slight resemblance to Archie Bunker. Every single day he’d come home sweaty and dirty. He’d go in the back door, grab an alcoholic beverage of choice from the frig, and plop himself down in front of the TV until his wife brought him supper.
One day as he was driving to work he happened across a Christian psychologist on the radio -- kinda’ of a local version of James Dobson. And something the commentator said stuck in his mind -- that love and marriage are about sacrifice.
And it hit him – no, convicted him – that he’d been expecting his wife to sacrifice for him but he’d never really sacrificed for her. It was as though a relational light bulb came on and he knew that he had to do something about it.
So he decided that he was going to surprise her the next day. Before coming home he showered and shaved. He went to the florist and bought flowers and instead of going in through the back door he went to the front and rang the bell.
When she answered the door he held out the flowers and said -- "Honey, they’re for you! I love you."
She looked at him, her mouth dropped open. Tears filled her eyes.
And she said, "I’ve had a terrible day. Billy broke his leg and I had to take him to the hospital. No sooner had I got home than the phone rang. It was your mother and she’s coming to visit for two weeks. I tried to do the wash but the machine broke and there’s water all over the basement floor. And now, you come home drunk!
Transition: Poor Bud. He somehow knew that the concept of love was wonderful. However, he soon discovered that love relationships are difficult and messy and we’re not very good at it by nature. There’s a lot of pain and disillusionment involved in opening your heart to another person and all the baggage from our past is many times pulled into our present relationships. But, let’s give Bud credit; he’d finally got the right idea! He was on the right path, at least as mapped out by our text this morning. True love manifests itself in sacrificial action. Love and sacrifice goes hand-in-hand with husbands and wives, with brother’s and sister’s, with teammates, with business partners, with God and humanity.
Title: Love and Sacrifice
Background: The twelfth chapter of Romans opens with one of the most powerful exhortations in the New Testament, as we are urged to offer our bodies as living sacrifices to God, refusing to be conformed to the world, but instead being transformed by the renewing of our minds (12:1,2). Then Paul proceeds to show us what a transformed life and a renewed mind look like. Paul fires off a volley of short, sharp injunctions with very little elaboration. They are like little biblical bullets that are to impact the reader. The common theme that connects these biblical bullets is love.
Quotation: John R. W. Stott, the English commentator, calls these bullets, “staccato imperatives” and each one adds a fresh ingredient to the apostle’s recipe for love.