Summary: Our Relationship to God. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

Session 1: Our Relationship to God.

Reading: Romans chapter 12 verse 1-3.

• Newspapers contain a number of things - for example ‘Headlines’;

• Here are a few that they would probably have changed.


• “Drunk Gets Nine Months in Violin Case”

• “Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge”

• “Safety Experts Say School Bus Passengers Should Be Belted”

• “Iraqi Head Seeks Arms”

• “New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group”

• “Kids Make Nutritious Snacks “

• “Jamie Oliver Throws His Heart into Helping Feed Needy”

• “Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half New”

• “Parents told Include your Children When Baking Cookies”

• “Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors”

• “Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead”

• “Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft”

There are of course two ways to read those headlines!

• Which changes their meaning from factual statement;

• To amusing quip.

• Now as well as headlines, newspapers also contain something I hate;

• Crosswords!


The book of Romans is very much like a crossword puzzle:

• For a crossword to work you have to work the two dimensions together,

• Both the vertical and the horizontal.

• Nobody can complete a crossword if they only handle one dimension:

• You must do the vertical and horizontal together

In the book of Romans:

• The vertical is Romans chapters 1-11.

• These chapters explain God’s plan of salvation.

• The horizontal is Chapters 12-16.

• These chapters explain how we live out that salvation in the Church & the world.

These chapters (12-16) bring into balance the whole message of the gospel.

• Sadly some people just study the theological side,

• The theory contained in chapters 1-11.

• And they never seem to get into the practical outworking of the gospel

• Chapters 12-16.

Yet these last four chapters of the letter are so important:

• Because they deal with our interrelationships with one another,

• And our mutual responsibility to one another and to the world in which we live.

• If we stop at chapter 11 (the theory):

• We will soon be out of balance, when it comes to walking with God.


“It is a healthy goal to ask God to keep you balanced:

Most of us are knower’s, when we need to be both knower’ and doers”


Story told of a lady whose ambition in life was to visit Mount Sinai:

• She wanted to stand at the top of the mountain & shout out the 10 laws.

• When she told this to a dear old Scottish woman in her fellowship:

• The reply she received back was this:

• “Och! You’d be better off staying at home and putting them into practice!”


“It is not the acquisition of truth that sets a person free,

but the application of truth”.

Application of knowledge is important in all areas of life:


• In the morning, just reading the ingredients on the side of the cornflakes packet;

• Will not fill you up,

• You have to physically eat the corn flakes.

• No matter how riveting information may be, practical action is always required!


• Most of us are here this morning;

• Not because we know all the mechanics of how a car works,

• We are here because we put our limited knowledge into practice,

• We applied the basic practical rules of driving and ‘hey presto!’

Note: The Apostle Paul has NOT spent 11 chapters of this letter:

• Teaching the Christians in Rome how to be smarter sinners,

• Or how to be more informed, more knowledgeable believers.

• He wants his readers to be balanced;

• His purpose is to encourage & instruct them to allow their doctrine to affect their behaviour.

This session I want you to think of Romans chapter 12 as a door.

• Ill: A door may let you into a whole new room of discovery.

• Ill: Contrast between a dark room and a light room or a cold room to a hot room.

• We are moving from one room into another;

• From the room of theory to the room of practice.

• We are moving from what God has done for us (chapters 1-11)

• Into what God wants us to do for him (chapters 12-16).


• Decorator by trade;

• I was always taught that on a well-hung door there should be 3 hinges.

The 3 hinges on this door are found in the first 3 verses of chapter 12.

• I’ll tell you what they are and then we will work through them:

• (1). Consecration. verse 1.

• (2). Transformation. verse 2.

• (3). Evaluation. verse 3.

Notice: That in these 3 things there is a transition, change-over.

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