Summary: Our relationship in the Church. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Session 2: Our relationship in the Church.
Reading: Romans chapter 12 verse 1-3.
• On a wall near the main entrance to the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas,
• Is a portrait with the following inscription:
“James Butler Bonham—no picture of him exists. This portrait is of his nephew, Major James Bonham, deceased, who greatly resembled his uncle. It is placed here by the family that people may know the appearance of the man who died for freedom.”
In a similar way:
• God wants people to look at us and see his Son!
• People should see Jesus in us;
• Our attitudes – renewing of the mind of Christ.
• Our actions – transformation – not as the world!
• Our relationships – as we demonstrate love for one another.
We noted last session:
• That chapter 12 is a door in this letter that opens up and lets us into a different room,
• There are 3 major hinges on that door, they are found in the first 3 verses of chapter 12.
• Notice each verse relates to a key area of our being:
• Verse 1: Refers to the body - “offer your bodies as living sacrifices”,
• Verse 2: Refers to the mind – “be transformed by the renewing of your mind”.
• Verse 3: Refers to the will – “Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
There are 3 Key words to go with each verse:
• Verse 1: Consecration - set apart for God's use.
• Verse 2: Transformation - automatic result of being in the presence of God.
• Verse 3: Evaluation:
• You are a purposeful person (in the Church – vs 3-8 and in the world – vs 9-21)
"For by the grace given me I say to every one of you:
Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought,
But rather think of yourself with sober judgement,
In accordance with the measure of faith God has given you".
• When God is “Renewing the mind”
• He will give us a proper estimation of ourselves.
• In fact in verse 3:
• The apostle Paul teaches us three truths in this verse.
(1). Know yourself: “Sound / sober judgement”
• It is rare to find someone who really knows themselves,
• And who really accepts themselves.
We tend to gravitate towards two extremes.
1st: We think more highly then we ought to think.
ill: A little poem:
"Sometime when you’re feeling important,
Sometime when your ego's way up,
Sometime when you take it for granted,
that your the prize winning pup.
Sometime when you feel your absence
will leave an infallible hole,
Just follow these simple instructions
and see how it humbles your soul.
Take a bucket and fill it with water,
Put your hand in it up to the wrist,
Now pull it out fast, and the hole that remains
is the measure of how you'll be missed.
You may splash all you please as you enter
and stir up the water galore,
But stop and you'll find in a minute
It's right back to where, it was once before".
That's good for some of us to memorise and remember:
• I would rather be a pillar in my local Church,
• Than a caterpillar (creeping in and out).
• But actually only one person is indispensable in this body,
• And that is Christ, the head, He alone is to be pre-eminent.
• And when we realise that the Church didn’t depend on me doing everything,
• We might actually release others to come forward and play their part.
2nd extreme: We think more lowly than we ought to think.
• There are those who think:
• "I can't do anything", "There's no real role or job for me to do",
Isaiah chapter 45 verse 9:
"Woe to the man who fights with his creator,
Does the pot argue with its maker?
Does the clay dispute with him who forms it, saying,
"Stop your doing it all wrong" or "How clumsy your work has no handles".
Personal Question: Does that describe you?
• Sing like?
• Preach like?
• Play piano like?
• Testimony like?
• If only I could...?
• Or if only.....?
• Listen, if that describes you,
• Then you are "a pot" arguing with it's creator.
• Tough question, do you think God got it wrong with you?
• Forgot your handles and made a mistake?
The two extremes in many churches:
• Those with a finger in every pie.
• Those who are not involved in anyway.
• So Paul says: (1). Know yourself:
• “Sound / sober judgement”
(2). Accept yourself (Verse 3):