Summary: What does it mean to be transformed by Christ?
Date Written: September 21, 2012
Date Preached: September 23, 2012
Church: Oak Park BC (AM)
Series: A Series In Romans
Title: A Guide For Living Godly Life
Text: Romans 12:1-2
ETS: Paul understood what it took to live a godly life.
ESS: As Christians we must also understand what it takes to live a godly life.
1Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. 2Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
I mentioned this a couple of weeks ago when I preached on this passage and used Jesus as the example… I mentioned that Romans is divided into 2 major sections:
1 – Chapters 1-11 are focused on the doctrines of grace and faith and what that means for us. These chapters are the ‘what and why’ behind Christianity…
2 – Chapters 12-16 are focused on how we as believers are to practically implement the doctrines Paul set forth in 1-11. These chapters are the ‘how and who’ behind Christianity
So as we look at these 1st 2 verses once more, I want us to look at them in a way that you may not have ever viewed them before…
This is actually a point of transition in this letter and v.1 of this chapter is THE actual point of transition from the doctrines of grace and faith being explained to the practical teaching of how those things are to be lived out…
In v.1 Paul makes a very ‘matter of fact’ statement about what is required for the believer to LIVE as they should… he says that we are all called to submit to becoming living sacrifices!
Paul says that this is our spiritual service… in other words… this is our calling… our duty… what we should do because of what Christ has done for us!
Now I don’t want you to misunderstand me here… we don’t become living sacrifices out of obligation to God, because it must be out of our love for God.
BUT let me put it to you this way… when your mom or dad wants you to do something, even if it is something inconvenient and you do it… Do you do it out of duty to them, OR do you do it in spite of NOT wanting to do because you love them?
Our love for our parents usually transcends any inconvenience or difficulty it may bring upon us… we may THINK we are doing it out of duty, but if it were not for our love for them, we would not do it at all!
It is like that with God as well. When we submit to the lifestyle of becoming a living sacrifice, we may FEEL like we are doing it out of our duty to Christ, but if we did not love Him we would not be doing it anyway!
So for starters, Paul calls us to a sacrificial life…but this morning I want to look more closely at v.2 and look at what that sacrificial life is supposed to look like!
When we look at v.2 we can see three characteristics revealed…
1st we see a command for living, 2Do not be conformed to this age... but this command is given in negative manner… it is presented as a DO NOT command (like many of the 10 commandments) where the believer is warned to avoid certain behaviors!
The 2nd command is another command for living, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, and this command is given from an entirely different perspective… it is given via positive encouragement.
What Paul is saying here is that when we allow ourselves to become living sacrifices we also allow ourselves to be molded in the fashion that Christ desires for our lives…
In other words, we become something entirely different from who we were before we were saved all because of the influence of Christ on our lives and in our hearts…
When we come to know Christ as Savior, we are radically TRANSFORMED! We are changed in all sorts of ways, but finally we see the 3rd characteristic and it is the result of the 1st 2… We are at peace with God!
Don’t Let The World Shape You (negative command)
2Do not be conformed to this age…
We are born into sin and as we grow we become shaped to what the world throws our way. It is said that our environment shapes us… regardless of how or where we are born.
Take someone with all the advantages of life, born to the wealthiest family and place them as a small child in the inner city with a family that is poor and struggling… that person will know struggle most of his or her life!