Summary: A 10 week study on the book of Romans to help every Christian be all they can be.

Welcome back to Basic Training. We have 3 weeks remaining in our study of the book of Romans after today.

Up to this point in our series the Apostle Paul has taken us through some really heavy doctrine. He is using this doctrinal teaching as basic training for the believers in Rome and for us.

The doctrine that Paul is teaching is meant to help us understand more about God, His Son, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. As we understand more about God, the easier it becomes for us to live for Him.

And that is the key. Doctrine is never taught as an end in itself. Doctrine is taught so that we can translate it into practice. We need to be able to practice what we preach.

That is why Jesus said, “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” in John 13:17.

That is why Paul has given us these doctrinal teachings, so that we can apply them to our lives.

The more we are able to apply these truths to our lives the greater chance of revival we are going to have.

We need revival but revival comes at a cost. It will cost us time in the Word of God, time in prayer, time in worship. It will cost us in what we do for others, in our sharing of the Good News, and in helping others. It will cost us our reputation, because some will see us as Jesus freaks.

And it will cost us in repentance. Which is really where it all starts. In order for justification and sanctification to happen we have to repent.

Jesus first came with the message to repent. He said in Matthew 4:17, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Jesus was not suggesting repentance, He was commanding it. Why? Because repentance is what brings justification and sanctification.

Repentance is not a penance for guilt nor is it a quick prayer asking for forgiveness. Repentance is a complete brokenness and a change of heart regarding our actions in life. True repentance is grieving over our sin, which God hates, and turning away from that sin. It is a change of mind. It is doing a 180 degree turn away from sin.

When a person changes his mind about sin, a change in behavior will naturally result. For example, those who repented of their sins in the Old Testament often showed outward evidence by tearing down idolatrous statues.

In the New Testament, signs of repentance included water baptism, restitution for theft, and the burning of occultic possessions.

Repentance is the necessary factor in giving your heart to God. It is accepting His gift to us, Jesus Christ as our Savior. It is then turning for our old sinful lives and striving to live in the righteousness that God offers everyone of us.

Before we go on this morning, let us be sure that we have repented of our sins and that we have turned to Jesus.

Take time to look at your heart right now and if there is sin in your life, confess that to God and ask for His forgiveness and make a decision to do a 180 degree turn away from that sin to the Father.

Prayer of forgiveness. Forgive us of our sins. Forgive us for thinking and doing things we should not. Forgive us for saying things we shouldn’t. Forgive us of not caring at times. Forgive us for not loving at times. Forgive us for not forgiving others. Help us to remember that "The key to forgiveness is to quit focusing on what they did TO you and start focusing on what Christ did FOR you."

Forgive us if we have taken our eyes off You. Forgive us for not helping others. Help us to turn for our sin. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil!.


And will you also pray this prayer with me?


Open my eyes so I can see Your truth.

Open my ears so I can hear Your voice.

Open my mind so I can understand Your Word.

And open my heart so I may receive all that You want me to receive. AMEN

Today as we move on we begin the third section of the book of Romans. There are three sections to the book of Romans. Each one begins with the word “therefore.”

The first is in Romans 5:1, “Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with our God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The second is in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.”

The third is in Romans 12:1.

In Romans 12 Paul begins to present the practical application of all the doctrine he had just explained. The application of all the doctrine explains to the believer how to live their life on earth so that their behavior would be acceptable to God.

This is Basic Training, how to put all the doctrine of Romans 1-11 to practice in our lives.

We start with Romans 12:1-2.

Up to this point, Paul has been telling us how we can become a Christian. He has been telling us the benefits of being a child of God.

Now Paul is telling us to practice what we have been taught.

1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2 NIV (84)

In view of all that God has provided for us through His Son, Paul explains how we should live our lives for God.

He begins this section by explaining that God desires each of us to be a living sacrifice. God is looking for the sacrifice of our life not our death.

The people of this time knew what it meant to sacrifice. The Jews sacrificed to our God and everyone else sacrificed to their false Gods.

To sacrifice something was to offer something that was dead that was once living. This was the way of life in the Old Testament but it was not intended to be the way of life for the New Testament church because Jesus became the sacrifice for us.

Paul is suggesting that we present our lives to God as living sacrifices not dead ones. Living sacrifices represents the whole person.

The commentator, John Philips writes, “The challenge has to do with the believer's body, which Paul now reveals to be the ultimate key to the practice of the victorious Christian life.”

We have been given all of these doctrinal truths up to this point but they are of little avail to know and not surrender our lives to Christ so that the life of Christ can be expressed in the everyday affairs of our lives

God does not compel and coerce the believer into presenting his body. He does not corral him and bridle him like a horse and force him to obey. He beseeches him.

God wants an unbridled sacrifice. So Paul makes it clear that to present the body to God is, for the believer, the proper thing to do.

The word therefore in this Scripture links God's demand for the believer's body with those "mercies" Paul has been describing up to this point in his epistle.

God has saved us from sin, from its penalty and its power.

He has saved us from self in all its features and all its forms. He has overruled the destinies of nations.

He has triumphed in His grace and multiplied His mercies.

He has, as it were, besieged us with His mercies, brought them up against us in countless number, built the bulwarks of His grace against our souls, poured a ceaseless cannonade of kindness in upon the breaches in our hearts.

He has overwhelmed us with unmerited favor and carried all before Him on the resistless arms of love.

"I beseech you therefore," says Paul, "by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies."

It is the proper thing to do. It is the only possible thing to do. It is the only fitting answer we can give to the love of God, love so amazing.

Our reasonable service is to live for God. He wants the whole person. He doesn’t want us to hold back. This is the key to living a victorious Christian life.

As we become a living sacrifice our minds are renewed. That is why Paul said, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Instead of living by the standards of this world, standards that will fall far short of God’s glory, we are to turn to God and His ways.

When we turn to God, when we follow His ways as we are changed inwardly and outwardly, we then are able to test or to prove what God’s will is.

We are able to scrutinize it and examine it.

God’s will is simple, God’s desire is to draw all men to Himself. If we are not drawn to Him then we are drawn apart from Him and that is not a good place to be.

Apart from God we are destined to eternal death in hell but with God, through Jesus Christ we are promised eternal life in heaven.

That is God’s will and that is why God sent Jesus.

Paul then begins to explain to us how this transformation affects our lives in Romans 12:3-21. There are three ways that we are transformed by God’s righteousness through Jesus.

There is a transformation of humility, a transformation of love, and a transformation of honor.

Let’s read Romans 12:3-21.

3 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 judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;

if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:3-21 NIV

1. A transformation of Humility.

We have to get rid of the “it’s all about me attitude.”

We need to be careful of being above minded, which is an attitude of superiority.

Jesus taught us how to be humble, He demonstrated for us as He washed the disciples feet. Jesus also taught us that if we are going to be the greatest then we should become the least.

We need to have a humble assessment of ourselves. The Apostle Paul had a humble assessment of himself, he said he was the least of the apostles, the least of the saints, and the greatest of sinners.

John Ruskin was a very prominent business man and writer in London in the late 1800’s. He once said, "I believe the first test of a truly great man is his humility. I do not mean by humility, doubt of his own power, or hesitation in speaking his opinion. But really great men have a ... feeling that the greatness is not in them but through them; that they could not do or be anything else than God made them."

For us as believers we need to understand that without God and without Christ we are nothing. God created us and it is His power that allows us to live and to function within the body of Christ.

That is why Paul explains all the gifts God has given us. These gifts are a result of our salvation and the fact that the Holy Spirit dwells in us.

The Apostle Peter said, Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time…”

1 Peter 5:6 KJV

2. A transformation of Love.

Paul says our love must be sincere in Romans 12:9.

As God’s children we need to genuinely love one another.

We must have a sincere love for all who are called our brothers and sisters in Christ. We must love them regardless of their nationality, regardless their political views, and regardless of any differences we might have.

We are all called to love as God loves us. Paul is not the only person to tell us this in the Bible.

The writer of Hebrews says, Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. Hebrews 13:1

The Apostle John said, 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. 1 John 4:19-21

As God’s children we must have a transformation of love because love brings unity and a house divided will not stand.

3. A transformation of Honor.

Let’s look at Romans 12:17-21 again.

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;

if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:17-21 NIV

Not only are we supposed to live a life of love towards are brothers and sisters but now Paul tells us that we are to live a life of honor both inside the church and outside the church.

Paul is saying that there are going to be times that we are wronged by others and when those times happen in the church and outside of the church there is no place for retaliation from the believer.

The reason he says this is because retaliation would mean a complete breakdown in the testimony of the child of God.

How can we live honorably? We do so by living at peace with others. We do so by helping others. We do so by living in good will towards all others and not be a person who is offensive or obnoxious towards them.

When we repay evil with good we are heaping coals upon the head of the other. The meaning of this refers to a sense of shame so that the evil doer might have remorse for his or her actions.

By living a life of honor we are promoting our relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

A transformation of humility, a transformation of love, and a transformation of honor these things are needed in our lives if we are going to live for God.

A transformation is a dramatic change, like the caterpillar that changes into a butterfly.

As we transform ourselves in these areas we draw closer to God and give more validity to our testimony.

May it be said of us that we exhibit a life of transformation.