Summary: Paul gives us a passage that is 1. Simple 2. Practical 3. Filled with Spiritual Passion and Energy. A passage that can transform our lives and the lives of the Body of Christ!
Title: Nuts and Bolts Christianity
Paul gives us a passage that is 1. Simple 2. Practical 3. Filled with Spiritual Passion and Energy. A passage that can transform our lives and the lives of the Body of Christ!
Grace and peace from God our Father and from His Son Jesus Christ who came to take away the sin of the world!
I believe we can all say this morning that a great many people in our country absolutely love sports. Sports have become for many much more than just a past time. Sports have become a major part of their lives. Some have even become obsessed with sports. You see it in some Football fans, Baseball fans, MMA fans, Soccer fans, Racing fans and in Basketball fans. You see it in fans of Extreme sports and in those who love American Ninja Warrior competition. Nowadays, you can even see it in golf fans.
At times it seems like the whole sports scene is a like a giant circus or extravaganza . Take the whole Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather pre-fight and fight hoopla for example. If you saw any of it or read any about it then you know it was a quite a show. But it was a show that brought in over 600 million dollars by the time you add up all the ticket sales, the gambling receipts, the merchandizing and pay per view receipts. For 600 million plus dollars I am sure a lot of people would create some kind of circus.
But not everyone. There are those people in sports and in life who are no nonsense people. They just want to deal with the basic facts, the fundamentals and the nitty gritty. There are those like New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick who just wants to get down to the brass tacks. There are those like Nick Saban, coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide who holds to the same basic philosophy. It's all about the fundamentals, no frills and no nonsense. There are those in sports and in life like Sergeant Joe Friday who would say - " All we want are the facts, ma’am".
This morning, our passage in Romans chapter 12 is a "Nuts and Bolts" passage. It is one that deals with the fundaments, with the nitty gritty and with the brass tacks of what it means to live as a person who has been rescued, redeemed and in the midst of being restored into the image of Christ. It is a passage that deals with what it means to live out life as an image bearer of the Lord God Almighty in our world. It is a passage that deals with what it means to be God's Salt and Light.
For a few minutes this morning let's take some time and look at this passage:
I. We see first of all that it is a rather simple passage
Normally, when we read a passage written by the Apostle Paul we notice the number of run on sentences or sentences that seem to go on forever. For example, one of the longest sentences Paul writes in found in the opening passage of his letter to the churches around Ephesus. Many Bible scholars believe that what we read in Ephesus 1:3 - 14 is one long sentence that shares the Apostle's prayer of thanksgiving and praise to the God. It is a sentence that contains over 200 Greek words. Now, that's a long sentence. But then in verses 15 - 21, Paul does it all over again with another sentence that is over 165 words.
Of course many of our modern translations have taken these passages and chopped them up into a series of shorter sentences. Translators understand that while the Greek gave itself over to long drawn out sentences modern day readers would have a hard time reading and understanding them. So, they have done their best to guess where Paul might have put a period or a pause if he were writing the same passage today for an English speaking audience.
The letter to the Romans is full of drawn out sentences as well. Romans 5:1-11 in the Greek is one long sentence as well as Romans 5: 12 - 21 and Romans 11:33 - 35. Writing long run on sentences is merely one of Paul's signature styles. It's one of the ways Bible scholars down through the years have known if a letter or a passage of scripture was truly written by the Apostle or by another author.
However, when we get to our passage this morning we see that the Apostle Paul goes outside the norm. Instead of using long flowing sentences or even run on sentences he uses a style more like what we would today call bullet points. The Apostle take great pains in writing these short sentences or phrases.