Summary: Paul in chapter 12 tells us that we must be role models saints for this world and not act worldly but instead act like living sacrifices for Jesus. This in turn will make us a hero in the eyes of Kingdom of God.
"Role-model Saints" Romans pt. 18
Opening Illustration: Bluefish TV.Com - History of sacrifice
Thesis: Paul in chapter 12 tells us that we must be role models saints for this world and not act worldly but instead act like living sacrifices for Jesus. This in turn will make us a hero in the eyes of Kingdom of God.
Scripture Text: Romans 12:1, 17-21:
1Therefore, 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.
17Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. 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."
21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
As we have been progressing through the many life changing teachings of Paul in Romans and especially in chapter 12 we have discovered that as a Christian we have been called to be role-model saints for the Kingdom of God. This means that we are to be willing to offer up our lives, our time, our resources and our most precious possessions to Jesus. My heart keeps being drawn back to verse one of chapter 12 and this verse just keeps leaping off the page at me. It almost flashes at me every time I read it. Let me ask, "How many of you know that when the Holy Spirit illuminates a text like this then you have to pay attention to the message?"
So let’s reread the verse in a few translations today to here what the Spirit is saying to us today and to the Church of Jesus Christ:
"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."(NIV, Romans 12:1).
"So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him." (The Message, Romans 12:1).
"Dear friends, God is good. So I beg you to offer your bodies to him as a living sacrifice, pure and pleasing. That’s the most sensible way to serve God (CEV, Romans 12:1).
"And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice, the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him." (NLT, Romans 12:1).
So what springs out of this verse to you? So what does it say about being a
"Living sacrifice?" Let me share a few thoughts as we wrap this chapter up today and prepare for our Baptismal service this afternoon:
1. A role-model saint should desire to be a living sacrifice for the Lord because of their salvation -- which includes the reception of His mercy - His grace and His forgiveness!
2. A role-model saint understands that to worship God means that you give yourself to Him as a living sacrifice for His purposes and for service in His Kingdom.
3. A role-model saint takes their everyday life and they surrender it to God each and every morning they actually surrender their time, their schedule, their work, and their plans to Him each day and this pleases God.
4. A role-model saint understands that the most sensible way to serve God is by giving Him every dimension of our life. They do this because it makes sense!
5. A role-model saint knows that the way to serve God is to present your self to Him with a pure motive and a pure heart. Saints therefore know in their hearts that God will accept their sacrifice and give them an eternal reward in Heaven.
I have stressed repeatedly over the last couple of months that being a living sacrifice is revealed to us by what follows verse one in Chapter 12 of Romans. I have stressed that the other 26 character traits all point back to the fist character trait found in this chapter. The truth is we cannot comprehend what it means to be a living sacrifice today in our society if we are not willing to hear the voice of the Spirit who is telling the church of today to live as the other 26 traits tell us to live.