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Summary: A scholar once said: "Matthew through John gives us the Gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ¨ The Acts of the Apostles give us the Gospel of the Holy Spirit¨ But it is in Romans that we are given the Gospel of God¡¨

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INTRODUCTION: What we have been learning so far in this series is mainly on the subject of church doctrine

(A highly oversimplified look at the last few weeks would be this)

„X The Doctrine of Sin is that we are all guilty of sin, all in need of a Savior

„X The Doctrine of Righteousness is that it is imputed unto the believer when he becomes justified of sin by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ

„X The Doctrine of Sanctification is the process by which the Holy Spirit molds and shapes us to be more and more like Christ

Last week you will notice that Romans reared from discussing church doctrine to talking about the Jews

In fact many have said that you could leave out Romans 9-11 altogether and the book would never miss a beat because chapter eight is actually the segue into chapter twelve

The reason Paul so pointedly changes from doctrine to speaking of the Jews specifically is because the doctrines discussed in the first eight chapters were being disputed by the Jewish people

***Now he returns to his original premise of Christian doctrine and begins to give the believers in Rome practical ways to apply these doctrines

He tells us to offer ourselves as a ¡§living sacrifice¡¨

Illustration: ¡§Pictures in instructions¡¨ Years ago instruction booklets only came with just the words. Little by little they began adding pictures to the words and now whenever you buy something with ¡¥assembly required¡¦, it comes with a full color diagram and very little words. My computer came with no words, just a poster with color coded cords to stick into the slots.

The point is this, ¡¥It is much easier to apply something we can see than something we just read¡¦

Jesus knew this, which is why He spoke in word pictures rather than just teaching doctrine all the time

Paul understood this too and that is why we he now takes the time to explain the application in the form of a word picture

He begins by bringing the word picture of the sacrifices given in the Temple

People would bring animals and sacrifice them to the Lord

This act of worship was no longer needed because Jesus, the Lamb of God, had been slain to take away the sin of the world

So now a totally new act of sacrifice is required

No longer were we being required to bring an offering for death

But now we are called to bring our lives as a living offering

Romans 12 gives us application about what it means to be a ¡§living sacrifice¡¨

I. A living sacrifice does not conform this world

a. Romans 12:2 ¡§And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,¡¨

b. Did you know that Christians are supposed to be peculiar?

i. Some of us don¡¦t have to try too hard (Ha Ha)

ii. We are called to be different from the world

c. Why would God call us to pattern our lives different than the world?

i. Look around us, are the world¡¦s values God¡¦s values?

ii. Not at all; the world values:

1. Outer beauty, while God values inner beauty

2. Monetary wealth, while God values spiritual wealth

3. Power, while God says blessed are the meek

d. A Christian should not even feel ¡¥at home¡¦ in the world

i. 1 Peter 2:11 ¡§Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,¡¨

ii. The word ¡¥sojourner¡¦ actually means ¡¥stranger¡¦

iii. We are to be strangers in this world

iv. Pilgrims, who are only passing through

v. We are not at home yet, as such we are always a little uncomfortable, because we are not conformed to this world

e. Some people who call themselves Christians have no problem with the ways of the world

i. Illustration ¡§The prodigal son¡¨ They are like the prodigal son, who was eating the pig¡¦s food. They think, Um, um, good!

ii. But, just like the prodigal son, we need to ¡¥come to our senses¡¦ and realize that what we are feasting on is pig slop when we allow ourselves to conform to this world

f. Not everything in this world is evil, but most Christians allow too much evil into their lives and then wonder why they become desensitized to it

i. There is a lot of wonderful television programs, movies and music out there

ii. We need to be careful about what we let come into our minds, however

iii. It is amazing how quickly we can be ¡¥conformed to this world¡¦ through what we see and hear on a daily basis

g. This is why so many televisions shows glamorize homosexuality

i. It causes people to see it on a daily, personal basis

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