[Calvary Chapel]2000-02-05 - Romans Chapter 12

Part 1

Wow! What a week. I (Rick) spent many looong hours plowing snow and wondered if I would even have time to write a devotional. I (Sandy) spent many loooong hours watching children and homeschooling our four.The Lord got most of us to church Wednesday night and the following is what we heard while we were there. Our Pastor took ill and preach #2 really did a good job. Please keep our Pastor and his family in prayer.

I hope this is as much of a blessing to you as it was to us. This series will definitely go for a few weeks because we believe there is a lot there.

Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service. And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, and ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

In these verses we see clearly how to come to God--it is through His mercy. It is by the Lord's goodness and through His grace that people repent and find salvation. Paul does not appeal to us in any puffed up way but refers to us as brethren. We are all equal in the body of Christ. We should never think ourselves as more than we are, sinners saved by grace. We should be willing servants with love in our hearts toward the brethren. Paul does not elevate himself but talks on a level all true men and women of God should exercise with one another.

Remember it was Paul who earlier, in the same letter wrote about the true condition of man. That condition is hopeless without Jesus Christ. It was that same hopeless place where Paul found himself once. He had nothing to brag about. Do you recall a similar experience when you recognized the sobering reality of your human condition? Please note the following verses.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 10:9-10 Because if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved: 10 for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

It was through the mercy of God that Jesus died for us to open a way to bridge the gap between God and man.

Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service. And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, and ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

We are exhorted to present our bodies to God as a living sacrifice. Again I believe Paul had an uplifting and true idea about this presentation we are all to make. Please note these verses about denying "self" and "dependence". The Lord Jesus, our example, looked to God for direction and He was faithful to that direction. He was faithful even to death on a cross. I like to encourage folks by saying "be faithful today" but I should add-just as Jesus was. For it is our faith that is pleasing to God. It is His will that we are changed by His Word.

Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man would come after me, let him deny HIMSELF and take up his cross, and follow me.

Matthew 26:42 Again a second time he went away, and prayed, saying, My Father, if this cannot pass away, except I drink it, THY WILL be done.

In Romans 12 verse two it says that we are not to be conformed to this world. Being conformed is like Jello being stuck in a mold and there it is. We are not to be like that. We are to be transformed from within by the Holy Spirit to be who the Lord wants us to be. The word transformed is the same word in Greek found elsewhere as transfigured. In the following verses we see that when Jesus was on the mount and transfigured/transformed what was inside shined outwardly. This is what God wants to see in us --His will shining through a life that denies self AND is willing to suffer (carry your cross) BEING renewed by the Word to do God's will by living a life that is holy. It is our flesh that needs to be denied and torn away -- In other words it is our human nature, our old man, our SELF that gets in the way.

Matthew 17:1-2 And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart: 2 and he was TRANSFIGURED/TRANSFORMED before them; and his face did shine as the sun, and his garments became white as the light.

The Word of God will wash us if we fill ourselves with it, and when the Word is in us and we are faced with the circumstances of our surroundings we will be able to reply on God's Word to sustain us. It will cleanse away the garbage and renew us in His will. We no longer have to live a life without light or understanding. His Word gives us all the direction we need to be faithful today.

Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself up for it; 26 that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the WASHING OF WATER WITH THE WORD 27 that he might present the church to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

The word gives us the ability -- it is like a plumb line to let us know if we are square. If we are wrong we need to repent. God in His Word tells us what to do as well as what not to do.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart.

I am going to close with the third verse of Romans chapter 12. I believe it sums up and certifies the doctrine taught in verses 1 and 2 and opens the door to the rest of the chapter. Next week I will discuss more on who we are in Christ as I continue through this chapter. If you are a Christian, God has given you a gift to use within the church. He wants each of us to grow up in Christ and use those gifts as we walk humbly with Him ministering (serving) others.

Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace that was given me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think as to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to each man a measure of faith.

We pray Lord that you would renew our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

In His Service,
Rick & Sandy

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