Summary: We have a great gift in Christ, we must share what we have been given!
Date Written: June 16, 2006
Date Preached: June 21, 2006
Where Preached: OZHBC (Wed PM)
Series Title: Basic Bible Studies
Sermon Title: What a Wonderful Gift
Sermon Text: Romans 12:1-2
Imagine turning 16 and your parents have purchased for you a brand new automobile. You are overjoyed and so happy. Later that day your mother comes up to you and says, “You need to go clean your room!”
I believe that you would probably not only clean your room but you would probably offer to clean the entire house as well. It is a natural response to go ‘overboard’ for someone who has given us such a wonderful gift…
Now I want to look at this from a spiritual perspective… Christ brings salvation into our lives and then He asks us to do things for Him… should we not be willing to do these things? The incredible gift that God brings into our lives deserves a response on our part… it deserves our service to Him.
In Rom 12:1-2 we find Paul sharing this very concept with the believers in Rome.
1. Make a Presentation (v.1)
I want us to take a good look at the phrase that Paul uses here in v.1. He says, “…I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice…”
The word he uses here actually means to put at one’s disposal. We are called by God to put ourselves at HIS disposal. Paul says we are to submit to becoming a living sacrifice for God.
Now understand that our bodies are the outward expression of our own will. If we are submitting our bodies…then our heart is in it as well. When we lay down our lives as a living sacrifice it demonstrates a submission and surrender to Jesus Christ.
I want us to also look at what Paul says at the end of v.1… he says, “…this is your spiritual worship…” In other words, what Paul is saying here is that this call to surrender to Christ is a reasonable request by God because of the great gift He has lavished upon us in salvation. It only makes sense that we submit to Christ and offer our lives as a living sacrifice!
2. Commit to separation (v.2a)
Verse 2a tells believers to NOT be conformed by the world. In other words not be molded or shaped by the world. It is our duty to commit ourselves to being separate from the world and its stance against God.
We live in a world that is focused on materialism, power and popularity and society does its best to force all to conform to its mold.
We live in a world of political ‘correctness’ that stresses tolerance for all lifestyles EXCEPT Christianity. We cannot fall into the mold or be pressed by the world to conform to its view of God or its view of reality… because it is vastly different from that of our Savior!
The devil believes that each and every believer will compromise if the bribe is high enough… we cannot conform… we cannot relent in our resistance to Satan’s influence in this world! Resist the devil and he will flee from your presence!
3. Experience a transformation (v.2b)
Let me ask you a question… What do a Christian and a butterfly have in common? It is the incredible TRANSFORMATION we experience!
The caterpillar goes thru a metamorphosis and turns into a butterfly. But even MORE wonderful is the sinner who is overshadowed by God’s presence and filled with God’s Word and the power of the Gospel transforms them from death to life… from darkness to light!
When we are saved our values are transformed by God. God’s playbook is His Word and when we begin to use His playbook in the game of life… we begin to WIN… we are transformed from a sinner struggling and failing on our own to a saint saved by Grace and relying on the power of God for his or her strength.
When we fully submit and surrender to Christ our thought process changes, our actions change, our beliefs change, our habits change, our character changes… God produces in us a character that reflects Christ and pleases God.
Paul wraps this up in v.2b when he says, “…so that you may discern [KNOW] what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God…”
You may say… “I have NEVER rec’d a new car!” and in this world you may NEVER say that or experience that… but if you are saved… if Christ has come to dwell within you… you have rec’d something so much better!
The question is what are going to do with that gift and how are you to going to respond to Christ’s call on your