Sermons

Summary: Why do you suppose there are close to 159 million people in America who claim to be Christians and yet the Church is not making more of a moral and spiritual impact?

I. The Appeal to Commitment (v. 1a)

A. We Respond to an Appeal

B. We Respond in Appreciation,

II. The Act of Commitment (vv. 1b-2a)

A. It is a Permanent Sacrifice

B. It is a Personal Sacrifice

C. It is a Practical Sacrifice.

III. The Assignments of Commitment (v. 2)

A. The Christian is not to Be Conformed to This World.

(2a)

B. The Christian is to Be Transformed by the Word (2b)

IV. The Accomplishment of Commitment

A. We Will be Enlightened in Knowing the Will of God

B. We Will be Engaged in Doing the Will of God

C. We Will Find Enjoyment in Fulfilling the Will of God

Why do you suppose there are close to 159 million people in America who claim to be Christians and yet the Church is not making more of a moral and spiritual impact? Why is it that on Sunday mornings thousands of churches across the nation has more empty pews than full? Why is it that the average worship attendance is 90 (Barna, 1999)? Why is it that only 50% of the number on any church’s membership rolls can be expected to attend on any given Sunday? I believe the answer can be found in one word, commitment!

Romans 12:1“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. (2) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

In verse one Paul begins to challenge his readers to move to total commitment.

We have the misconception our modern day churches that, sure preachers and missionaries and other full time Christian workers should be 100% committed, but for the ordinary church member something less is permissible. The problem with a lot of Christians is that they are at best only participating in church work or at worse are mere spectators.

We cannot remain as spectators looking on. Someone once described a football game as twenty-two men on the field badly in need of rest being watched by seventy-two thousand people in the stands badly in need of exercise. While football may be a spectator sport for most of us, Christianity certainly should never be.

I. The Appeal to Commitment (v. 1a)

A. We Respond to an Appeal

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

20xs Paul says “I beseech you” = “I plead with you” (Beg)

That is all the gospel preacher can do. There are handcuffs and court orders to get people to do some things in this world, but all the gospel preacher can do to get people to do right and to live for the Lord, is to preach the Word of God and plead with people to obey it.

This section begins with “therefore” – it is the third and final “therefore” in the book, the others are (5:1 and 8:1).

Whenever a verse begins with “therefore” we know that it is intimately connected to what has preceded it and we need to stop and see what it is “there for.”

B. We Respond in Appreciation,

“by the mercies of God”

In this case it is giving the motivation for the challenge he gives to his readers in verses one and two. “Therefore” we need to take a moment and look back at 11:33-35,

Mercy is mentioned by Paul nine times in chapter 1-11, four times in chapter 11 alone (verses 30, 31, 32). He ends chapter 11 marveling at the mercy of God that saves us, and uses the mercy of God as the basis for his appeal.

“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! (34) “ For who has known the mind of the LORD? Or who has become His counselor?” (35) “Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him?” (36) For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.”

The motivation for a Christian’s total commitment to Christ is found in all that Christ has already done for us. Paul begins in verse one by saying, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”

Notice that Paul does not issue a command here. Paul does not say, “I command you.” but rather “I beseech you or I beg you.” We don’t serve Christ “in order that we might be saved” but because we are saved!

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Dan Fogle

commented on Nov 12, 2006

Good sermon. Thanks, Dan

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