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Summary: This sermon emphasis the need for training outside the local church. It also exaimines the passage in Romans 12 by going through a verse by verse explaination. Drawing practical and theological applications from the text

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Training spiritually part 2

Have you ever noticed that Australian’s don’t like to be told what to do? I mean, directions – guys will wander around aimlessly and totally lost for days before stopping to ask for directions. And putting things together – when I get a new piece of furniture, or a new computer program – the first thing I do is take out the parts or the disk and start working. There is no way and Australian would look at the manual first.

Okay – often we end up with odd parts left over – or haven’t the faintest clue how to use our new program once its installed. If we had just used the manual we would have saved so much trouble and gotten a much better result.

When it comes to life, we often react the same way – we don’t want anyone telling us how to live, we just go out there and start living – making it up as we go. We have a manual, a book of directions – it’s the Bible. We should read it, understand it, live by it.

But it’s a pretty big manual – and many of us don’t take the time to read the whole thing.

You’ll notice that starting in chapter 12, Paul leaves the purely theological discussion of chapters 1-11 and gets into some real practical stuff.

This little quick start guide covers three areas of life: our relationship with the Father, our relationship with ourselves, and our relationships with others – both in the church community and in the world.

In each verse or two I’ll highlight a “Life Principal”. And if you want the “quick start” guide it is all based on just two verses – 1 & 2.

Read Romans 12:1-12:21

I would now like to go through this passage verse by verse

Live a Worshipful Life dedicated to the Father

12:1 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.

A beautiful life does not just happen, it is built daily by prayer, humilty, sacrifice and love. May that beautiful life be yours always

Dennis Castillo

Dennis Castillo Filipino Author

In the Old Agreement – an act of worship meant you took an animal and sacrificed it on the altar. Now that Jesus has become our sacrifice for sin – we offer ourselves up as living sacrifices. The problem with living sacrifices, of course, is that we can get up off the altar. Sometimes we feel like we’re “giving it all up for God” but at other times we get scared or selfish and we jump down and say – not today God.

“Spiritual” here means – informed, understanding. It is reasonable to give ourselves to God’s service in light of what God has done for us through Jesus – extending His mercy to us, who didn’t deserve it.

The word “worship” doesn’t actually appear in the Greek – it’s the word: “service” which means – hired service, or service to God. We aren’t slaves in the sense of not having a choice – every day we have a choice to serve God – and we do it because we love Him.

Now Paul doesn’t just leave it there, he goes on to get very specific. First he talks about our relationship with the Father – one of laying down our desires – then he talks about our relationship with ourselves – to be transformed. But notice that it all starts with this – our relationship with God, our laying down our lives for His service – without that, none of the rest is possible.

2. Our Relationship with Ourselves

Live a Transformed Life to find Real Purpose

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.

Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of man will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint.

Alexander Hamilton

American, Secretary of the treasury 1755 - 1804

Sacrifices are burned up – their literal chemical properties are different as the fire oxidizes the meat. We as living sacrifices should also be changed – no longer conforming but transformed.

The world system around us sets a pattern for behavior and demands that we conform to that pattern. Instead, Paul says, we should be changed to a different pattern – how? By the renewing of our minds. That word “renewing” comes from the Greek word for “renovation.” For two thousand years Christians have gone to conferences to have their minds renewed. Get away from everything and just focus upon God for a few days. Football teams do it, company managers do it, professional organisations all know it is essential, if you are passionate about something you need to take a few days away to focus on it. Yet sadly many people say ‘I don’t need to go on a Christian conference’.

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