Transformed from Selfish to Saintly

2023 Summer in Romans  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  45:14
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Getting Serious About Salvation

Giving In to God’s Grace

Romans 12:1 ESV
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
God does not force our sacrifice of “Self”
Sacrifice is something we have to do willingly, otherwise it is just slaughter.
In order to be an act of worship, it must be done with a heart focused on gratitude toward God for his grace to us, a heart that wants to give itself to God out of love, which becomes holy and acceptable as we give ourselves to God without reservation, without condition, and because of His goodness to us.
We become a living sacrifice because we become a tool in God’s hands, not a trophy in God’s library. Given to God to be used by God for the purposes of God.
And we do it with a heart of worship to God. And be fully aware that Paul is saying we are to give our whole selves, especially our bodies which hold all the rest. That means that we are to give to God our actions, our desires, our behaviors, our purity, our talents, and our skills to God.

Conformed or Transformed?

Romans 12:2 ESV
2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Conformed is what happens to Jello when we pour it into a mold.
I know when I talk to anyone over 25 or 30 years old that they know what a Jello mold is about...
Transformed is something the younger set knows because of the “Transformers”

Being A Gift of God to Others

I originally wrote that heading as “Your are God’s Gift to Others.”
But that heading sounded a little off-center, when compared to a common jab we use about those who seem pretty self-important. You know the phrase, I think, we use as we say “Yeah, that Dave Collett thinks he is God’s gift to mankind.” We don’t use that as a complement. We use that to express that someone is “too big for their britches”. Now there’s a term that has no context anymore. “Britches” is a word for pants, but is the modern pronunciation of “breeches” which refers the to kind of trousers that you see King Louis the Fourteenth or George Washington or Ben Franklin wearing in the 18th century. They go just below the knee and over the top of long stockings with a button on the cuff. Those are the breeches of the privileged class.
But boys were given breeches, not long pants, as their every-day pants in the 19th and early 20th century too. You had to get past grade school to get your “long pants”.
So getting too big for your britches was getting to privileged to fit your pants—in other words, too fat to fit, in terms of expecting everyone to honor and wait on you. Or, for a young man, getting too big for your breeches was about thinking they were smarter or more clever than the adults around them.
That’s why thinking you are God’s gift to humanity is a little like getting too big for your breeches: Thinking you are so important that you are there to take care of everyone else’s shortcomings. Like a lot of politicians on the stump for office. (OK, there I go again: on the stump refers to a traveling politician finding the stump of a tree to stand on to be head-and-shoulders above the crowd when they gave their speech to a fresh batch of folks who came to see what all the noise was about. I won’t bother to explain a soap-box to you today, that’s not my point.)
So where was I . . . Ohh, I was telling you why I didn’t want to say you are God’s gift to humanity, because I don’t want to encourage arrogance.
So I had to think about re-writing it to say what we need to hear. What I want us to remember in this section of Romans 12 is what is expressed in verse 5: We are “members one of another”. So I settled on “Being a Gift of God to Others” with a little trepidation.
Why was I a bit reticent to use it? Interestingly, Paul explains my quandary as he tells us in the next verse we better think about. . .

Getting Your Mind Right

Romans 12:3 ESV
3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

Interdependent not Independent

Romans 12:4–5 ESV
4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

Gifted in Order to Give

Romans 12:6–8 ESV
6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
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