Summary: In order for us to "Discover & Experience God’s Will", what does He expect from us regareding a) our relationship with Him and b) our relationship with each other.
We have begun a series to Discover & Experience God’s Will, and I’m sure that we all agree that God’s Will IS good, perfect, and pleasing as we will see in our text this morning.
What we are striving to discover during our February study is what type of conditions are necessary in order for the believer to be able to discover and experience that good, perfect, and pleasing will.
WHAT DOES GOD EXPECT ON THE PART OF THE BELIEVER?
As we will see in our study this morning, there are 2 Parts to This Question:
1. What does He expect regarding “our relationship with Him”?
2. What does He expect regarding “our relationship with Each Other”?
I. OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
Romans 12:1 (NIV)
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. (Vs. 1) – GOD EXPECTES - A LIVING SACRIFICE
1. in view “of God’s mercy”
- God’s compassion, mercy, love
- Notice Vs. 32 of chapter 11 “he may have mercy on them all”
- He offered His Son!
2. “’offer your bodies’ as living sacrifices”
- Represents our whole being
- The tool that rep our mind, personalities/skills, emotions, activities
- Meaning is that we are to offer our entirety – all that we are
3. “offer your bodies ‘a living sacrifice’”
- OT Sacrifice: Priest would kill, cut, place on altar
- Sacrifice was something offered in payment for sin
- God wants the believer to offer themselves as living sacrifices
- Not dead or temporary, but alive in Christ
4. “is holy and pleasing (acceptable) to God”
- Christ in becoming our payment of sin also redeemed us – He bought us.
- In view of Christ, God expects the believer to OFFER THEMSELVES to Him.
- It’s “acceptable” to Him.
Romans 12:2 (NIV)
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.
B. (Vs. 2) – BE TRANSFORMED
When believers offer their entire self to God, a change will happen in their relation to the world. Why? Because we are allowing God to work in and through us so that we become a transformed “from the inside out” new creature!
1. “be transformed” (last week)
The Greek verb translated “transformed” is seen in the English word “metamorphosis”: a total change from inside out.
READ 2 Corinthians 3:18
God – through Christ – is working to transform us from the inside BY...
2. “renewing of your mind”
- Key to this transformation is the mind – the control center – total being.
- As God works one’s whole life and lifestyle become what God envisioned.
WHAT IS RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE BELIEVER AND GOD?
1. Body: A “Living Sacrifice”: A daily laying aside of one’s desires giving them to God through Christ so that He can work in and through
Eph 2:10 “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works…”
Matthew 16:24 (NIV)
24 "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
Why does He wants you as a living sacrifice?
2. To Become: A “Transformed Mind”:
- A transformation through our control center – our mind
- A process where God reshapes us into His likeness – His thoughts – His desires – His image.
3. 2b) “test and approve what God’s will”
As God transforms us, we become more like Him in every area and we then begin to: “Discover and Experience His Perfect Will! – that GOOD, PLEASING, AND PERFECT WILL!
II. OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH EACH OTHER (Verses 3-5)
That’s what God expects of us, BUT there is another part of what is expected from us as BELIEVERS.
WHAT DOES GOD EXPECT IN OUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS
Romans 12:3 (NIV) (1st part only)
3 “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you…”
TRANSITION: “BY THE GRACE GIVEN ME”
What Paul was about to share was exactly as God instructed Him. He wasn’t sugar coating or cherry picking what the believers necessarily wanted to hear.
ILL: A STATUS CHURCH (Central)
Over the last couple of years, one of the more prominent churches seemed to change. Negative things were beginning to be reported and observed.
I was very careful in what judgments I began to form. Then this past week, I was talking to an individual I knew to be a solid man of faith.
He offered he had been a member of this particular church and had left. Very carefully worded, I inquired as to why and what was going on with church.