Summary: Message 39 in our exposition of Romans. This message considers the instruction to serve one another.
Chico Alliance Church
Pastor David Welch
“Serving Saints in Need” Romans 12:13
Previously in Romans 12
A. Think and live wisely through dedication to God 12:1-2
B. Think and live wisely concerning the body of Christ 12:3-8
C. Think and live persistently and passionately for God’s purpose 12:11
D. Think and live wisely through turbulent times 12:12
1. Regarding hope -- rejoicing
2. Regarding tribulations - enduring
3. Regarding prayer -- persisting
Renewed thinking always precedes consistent transformed living. Paul shifts from anchors for navigating troubled times to admonitions for ministering to troubled saints. Verse 13 ends this lengthy series of “ing” phrases with a final couplet.
E. Think and live wisely concerning needy saints 12:13
Lets ask three questions from this passage.
1. Who is the object?
2. What is their situation?
3. How should we respond to them?
Paul draws our attention to fellow saints. The term “saint” is a frequent designation of the specially chosen children of God. The root meaning has to do with “holy ones” or those who have been specially set aside for a special use of God. It came to refer to what was devoted to the gods, consecrated, set apart for a high calling, a special revered function, worthy, venerated, distinct, special, precious. It is even at times translated “sanctuary” (dwelling of God).
What’s in a name?
Whether we realize it or not we often live the labels we assume or that are given to us.
“Loser”, “Failure”, “Weak”, “Stupid”, “Forgetful”, “Adulterer”, “Alcoholic” “Addict”, “Sinner” and a thousand others we adopt at one time or another. Isn’t it interesting that of all the names associated with Christians or could be given to Christians, the Holy Spirit chooses to use this special label most often? “Holy one” or “sanctified one” -- “SAINT”.
Think of it! After conversion, God does not call us sinners but saints. He talks about sin and warns against sin but does not view us as sinners. Should we?
Listen to the opening part of Paul’s letter to the believers at Corinth; a letter in which he addresses some most disturbing and unchristian activities.
Paul, called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Cor. 1:1-9
But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, "LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD."
1 Cor. 1:30-31
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. 1 Cor. 6:9-11
God labels us saints not based on our conduct but on His calling. Read that again!
God labels us saints not based on our conduct but on His calling. God views Christians as His special choice ambassadors, His distinctive people; saints.
Listen to the Spirit’s view of Christians communicated through Peter!
But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10
Such is our destiny. Such is our calling. Such is God’s choice. This is who we are in the eyes of Almighty God. So think like it. Live like it. Stop thinking and living like beggars. Stop thinking and living like worms. Stop taking the label sinner when none other than God Himself calls you SAINTS!!!!! We are not just sinners saved by grace. We are God’s set apart people who on occasion sin. But sin is not our true essential nature. We are not just beggars telling other beggars where to find bread. We are children of the King in line to inherit all of the riches of the king for eternity. We are gifted ambassadors, soldiers, laborers, stewards sent to proclaim to anyone who will listen the excellencies of Him who called us out of the kingdom of darkness into the eternal kingdom of Christ. (1 Pet 2)