Summary: How can we be transformed more and more into the likeness of Christ. Romans 12:1-6 gives us some solid principles in this process.
a. What a time we had last weekend!
b. You’ve heard several stories about how God moved in mighty ways in the lives of these young people and it was exciting!
c. The theme of the weekend was centered around a Greek word… “Eikon” which came from this verse in Romans 8:29 “For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness (or Eikon) of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”
d. “Eikon” is defined as “a likeness or an image of someone”
e. The whole idea here being this… when we enter in to a relationship with Jesus Christ, we are to begin the process of being conformed to that image.
i. We are all created in the image of God, but sin has tainted that image, so much so that we wind up not looking like our God!
f. So what must happen for us to reflect this image more clearly!
i. We must become transformers!
ii. This summer, many of you may know, the movie Transformers hit the big screen and was a HUGE success!
g. This morning I want to put this challenge on the coat tails of REFRESH weekend and to you our church body… God wants us to be transformers!
i. But unlike the robots in the movies, He does NOT desire that we transform back and forth from the were person we were, to the person we are in Christ, and back to the person we were.
ii. No… His desire is that we become II Corinthians 5:17 in action… “Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a NEW creation, the old is GONE and the new has come!!!”
h. But how can we do that… How can we transform more and more every day into the “eikon” or likeness of Christ?
i. Romans 12:1-6a - “1Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.3For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. 4For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 5so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith;”
j. The clear temptation that screams from this passage is the temptation to conform!
i. And let’s face it… we’ve all done this from time to time!
ii. When I was young… growing up in the south… there was a certain hairstyle that popular…
1. Flash picture of me with a mullet!
2. Yeah, that’s right… I sported a mullet!
3. Business in the front, party in the back… right?!
k. Conformity is something we talk about A LOT in the teenage world… but it is a temptation that everyone struggles with.
l. But God has called us to move past conformity and to be transformed!
m. Let me just say up front that this transformation is a process… while we are declared righteous and cleansed immediately upon faith in Christ… our transformation into His likeness on earth is a lifetime process.
n. But how can we move forward in this process? I think this passage gives us some clear guidelines from such progress.
II. Reflect often on the magnitude of Grace!
a. The open words of verse one in Chapter 12 are often brushed over with little consideration… but that is tragic mistake.
b. “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God…”
c. Before any exhortation takes place in these verses, Paul says this… “what I am about to tell you to do springs forth from grace… it will only be fueled by a response to grace!!!
d. I was once posed this question, “who are the greatest evangelist in the world?” or “Who are the most effective people in sharing the gospel with the world?”
i. Some immediate responses were… missionaries, pastors, etc.
ii. You know what the correct response is? New believers!
1. Because they usually have lots of lost friends.
2. Because they haven’t yet gotten used to grace… they are still blown away by the fact that God’s Son stepped out of heaven, became a man, suffered and died so that they could have eternal life!