Summary: Our Relationship to God. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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;
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.