Summary: Paul outlines what he expects as evidenve of a regenerated life in Christ.
INTRO: Tonight we conclude our series on Romans
1. The mega-theme: Because of sin the whole human race (Jews and non-Jews) need to be put right with God—Through Jesus Christ
2. Everyone are sinners – believers and non-believer – no difference between them
3. God has made a way forward offering us Jesus as the solution to our sinful disobedience.
4. Therefore we can experience a new way to live our lives
Tonight we explore this new life some more
READ: Romans 12:1-8
[v. 1] “In view of God’s mercy ...” compassion, leniency
“Offer your bodies as living sacrifices ...”
“... This is your spiritual act of worship.” or “Is pleasing/acceptable to God.”
[v. 2] “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world.”
BUT “Be transformed” change shape/altered
“by the renewing of your mind.”
Our refusal to conform to this world's values, however, must go even deeper than the level of behaviour and customs — it must be firmly planted in our minds — “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” It is possible to avoid most worldly customs and still be proud, covetous, selfish, stubborn, and arrogant. Only when the Holy Spirit renews, re-educates, and redirects our minds are we truly transformed.
[Rom 8:5] “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”
The problem standing in our way from living the life God wants us to?
ILLUSTATRAION: Psychological Conditioning of monkeys –
5 monkeys in a cage and hang a banana on a string at the top of the cage with a ladder leading up to it, before long a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana.
As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the monkeys with cold water.
After a while, another monkey will make an attempt with the same response
All of the monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Keep this up for several days.
At this point you shouldn’t need any more cold water. If, later, another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it even though no water sprays them.
Now, remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his horror, all of the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.
Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm.
Replace the third original monkey with a new one. The new one makes it to the stairs and is attacked as well. Two of the four monkeys that beat him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs, or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.
After replacing the fourth and fifth original monkeys, all the monkeys which have been sprayed with cold water have been replaced. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs.
Why not? “Because that’s the way it’s always been done around here.”
We have a wonderful thing called Christian freedom. It allows us to do anything we want within the realm of God’s permission. God has given us wisdom to be more than monkeys. God has given us a human brain to rationalise, think, contemplate, reason, and make decisions about our life, our attitudes and our actions.
[v. 3] “... Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought.”
What is the basis of our self worth?
Our abilities, successes, achievements?
Or as Paul suggests, “in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.”
“Our identity [is found] in Christ. Apart from him, we aren't capable of very much by eternal standards; in him, we are valuable and capable of worthy service. Evaluating yourself by the worldly standards of success and achievement can cause you to think too much about your worth in the eyes of others and thus miss your true value in God's eyes. Life Application Study Bible.
[vv. 4-8]Need to use our God given gifts to give glory to God and help build the Kingdom