Summary: This is the hour for you to get your minds stayed on God if true transformation is to take place.
Waltham Park NTCOG
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Text: Romans 12:1-2
Theme: Transform nuh conform (my problem is with my head)
There is much debate as it relates to those who profess to be Christians. Many criticize the church and our young people are not exempt as it relates to what we say, how we look (appearance) and our stance on moral issues. Many have tried to come up with safe reasons as to why they are acting the way they do. Many have no strong biblical view to support their case and at times they try to fit their wrong thinking unto scriptures that may support their position.
While we use verses like render your heart and not your garment to say that God is looking at my heart and not what I wear. This has placed the church into spheres where the criticisms continue to be thrown its way. But this morning I am offering a challenge to all especially the young people that this is the hour that God wants for you to transform nuh conform. This is the hour for you to get your minds stayed on God if true transformation is to take place. So look at your neighbour and tell him/her “Transform nuh Conform”.
The text we are focusing on is Romans 12 with emphasis on verse 2. In this verse there is a call by Paul for the believers to no longer conform to the standards of the world but that they be transformed by the renewing of their minds. And it is here that we want to begin our discourse.
1. Living Sacrifice
Vs. 1 of the text tells us that we are to present our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. Paul was making a contrast with the sacrifice of animals by the priest in the Old Testament. When the animal was brought to the priest it was alive. It was the priest that did the killing. Christ who is now the eternal high priest says we ought to bring ourselves to him just as the saints of the OT brought their animals to be killed. It has to be living because we can’t come to him dead. Why? If the animal was dead in the OT it could not be used for a sacrifice. God is saying if you are dead, dead to the things concerning him. Dead to doing his will you don’t qualify as a living sacrifice.
Young people God is saying you are to be a living sacrifice but he qualifies it by saying not just living , but holy and pleasing to God. There are some animals that are alive, but they are not worthy to be brought to God. They may be lame, sick; they are not at their best. God is saying I need your best. So you may look good on the outside, but there is something on the inside that disqualifies you. You can come but you have to be holy and pleasing/acceptable to him. It must be holy living. You have to be clean. He is looking for living holy sacrifices.
This is your spiritual act of worship/service to God. This is you being a good steward of what God has done in your life. This offering of one self is a daily laying aside of our desires to follow him; putting all our energy and resources at his disposal. This we do out of gratitude for what God has done in our life.
2. Do not Conform
The apostle Paul then says to us, do not conform to the patterns of this world. This word comes from the Greek, syschematizo which means to conform oneself (mind and character) to another’s pattern. Fashion oneself according to; to comply with standards. This word speaks of an outward transformation but not inward. In other words I can conform to the standards of the church but I have not been inwardly changed by the spirit of God. Young people this is not the place you want to be.
There are persons here today who have an outward pattern that differs greatly from their inward pattern. Paul is saying that since you have been saved by God’s mercy and you have presented yourself to him as a living sacrifice then this is not the time for you to conform to the patterns of the world. Brothers and sisters old things have passed away and behold all things have become new. Are you really new?
Paul is saying that in light of your spiritual service do not conform (do not adopt the world’s pattern). John tells us that all the world holds is the pride of life, lust of the eyes and the lust of the flesh. Flee from these things is what the apostle is saying.