Summary: From Romans, a message which speaks to being a "believer."
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE “HIS”
* (Video- “I am a Child of God) “For HIS service.” Think about this word with me, “Possession.” What does it mean to possess something? It means you “own it”, and you “control it.” To possess something give you power over whatever it is that you possess. When we hear about this concept, we think of cars, houses, etc, yet, in God’s word we find a clear picture.
* On numerous occasions in the gospels we see “possessed” people. The common terminology is “demon-possessed”. Have you ever considered the behavior of a ‘possessed’ person? The person’s actions are controlled by that which ‘possessed them’. The demon controlled their speech, their lifestyle, and even their attitude because he is indeed in total control.
* As we have read our Romans passage today, it is clearly a passage which is intended for God’s redeemed Children. And I can lift out of this passage the Holy Spirit speaking to the Apostle Paul and saying, “Tell them that THIS is what it means to be mine.”
* Candidly, too many have put their slant on exactly what it means to be God’s child. For many, it means reforming their lifestyle, repeat the right words, and even reduce our bad habits.
1. It means we have received GRACE. - Paul says, “For by the grace given to me.” This speaks of his Damascus road experience; his salvation, his transformation, or his reconciliation. Paul knew He had received some-thing which he did not deserve and He never got over it. When you and I come to Christ and receive this wonderful gift of grace, it affects us.
a. It affects our mindset – Think about the 2 options for our thinking which Paul gives. First is “think of yourself” and second he lists “think sensible.” Honestly, I keep looking for a third option. It seems that Paul is attempting to teach us that when we think more highly of ourselves than we should that we are not thinking sensibly or soberly. In other words, when we have “number 1” at the top of our priority list, then we are not thinking sensibly or soberly. That being said, it is obvious that Paul is imploring his readers to know this is one of the ways in which our mind is renewed. A renewed mind puts self in the proper perspective.
* For the person who is full of ‘self’ may well not have experienced a transformation which resulted in a renewed mind. Why? Because we are transformed by the renewing of our mind. To receive grace is to be saved and transformed or better said, born again.
b. It affects our makeup – This means how we relate to other people in the body which is the church. The scripture is very clear on this point; we are a part of each other. We find this truth here in Romans 12 and we can turn to 1 Corinthians 12 (12ff) and find the same truth.
* Watch this; this is why it is true if one member of the body hurts, we all hurt. If one church family hurts, it impacts us all. The word for being a part of God’s family is “interconnectedness.” Think about your body. Would your hand really consider hurting your foot? While this may sound silly, it is the exact same principle in a church. When with malice in our hearts we attack another member of the body, we are hurting ourselves. As a receiver of His grace, our makeup has changed.
c. It affects our mission – Verse 5 gives us this truth when it says, “we who are many are ONE BODY in Christ.” Consider that concept; ONE BODY! One body can only have one mission. For the person who has received grace, that one mission becomes HIS mission. Why? Because in receiving HIS grace, we become HIS and HE calls the shots. So now life is not some hit or miss trek which is lived out with little purpose or direction, but is controlled by HIM. In fact, I would go so far as to say, “If my life is not controlled by HIM, then I am not now His and am a partaker in His heavenly grace.” As partakers of His grace, we become His possession and not just ‘A’ possession but His ‘prized’ possession. His possessions, like yours, are controlled by HIM. Consider what that means.
2. It means we have received GIFT(S). – One of the Bible truths which Southern Baptist ignored for many years was the teaching concerning “spiritual gifts.” The early days of my training, both in church and school, had an air of unhealthiness concerning spiritual gifts. Yet, in multiple places, the Bible clearly teaches the truth about Spiritual Giftedness and the use of those gifts. It would seem that our years of NOT teaching this has caught up with the whole of Baptist life because today’s church is more anemic than any other time in American history. The plan of God is that every believer discover, develop, and deploy his or her gifts in ministry. Without the gifts being used, the church is like a car without engine.