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Working Out Our Salvation  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  57:36
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Gratitude is defined as, “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” Recent studies have shown that generosity and gratitude go hand in hand both at a psychological and neurobiological level.
In 1994, Steven Spielberg founded the USC Shoah Foundation which is a nonprofit organization established to record testimonies in video format of survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides for education purposes and subsequent action.
The stimuli used to elicit gratitude were drawn from stories of survivors of the Holocaust, as many survivors report being sheltered by strangers or receiving lifesaving food and clothing, and having strong feelings of gratitude for such gifts. The participants were asked to place themselves in the context of the Holocaust and imagine what their own experience would feel like if they received such gifts. For each gift, they rated how grateful they felt. Results: "when the brain feels gratitude, it activates areas responsible for feelings of reward, moral cognition, subjective value judgments, fairness, economic decision-making and self-reference.
The October 2015 study, “Neural Correlates of Gratitude,” was published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.
"Gratitude rewards generosity and maintains the cycle of healthy social behavior." As this research shows, generosity and gratitude work in tandem in ways that benefit both the giver and receiver.
{Does the generosity of God toward us as believers produce gratitude? To what extent is that gratitude seen in your life?}
Romans 12:1–2 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. 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.
This is one of the most well known passages in Scripture, eclipsed only by John 3:16. Yet it is so misunderstood.
Paul “appeals” to believers; which the Greek: Παρακαλῶ meaning is somewhere between and strong urging and a command.
“therefore” points to the foundation of that appeal.
“by the mercies of God” points to the impetus of the appeal…God’s mercy = God’s generosity.
{How should our gratitude be displayed?}
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.
present our bodies as living sacrifice” - We do it.
Phil. 2:12
Philippians 2:12 ESV
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,
“present our bodies” - This is not theoretical but practical. How we live.
living sacrifice” - ongoing self-denial
Mark 8:34
Mark 8:34 ESV
34 And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
3 qualities stand out about this sacrifice:
It is holy or set apart unto God. Something very special and unique.
It is acceptable to God meaning He will like it.
It is how worship is supposed to be given.
{But, what does this denying or sacrificing really look like in life? How is it done?}
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.
Starting at the end of the verse, to live our lives as a sacrifice means to understand and do the will of God and not our own will.
This will has 3 characteristics:
It is good, meaning it is profitable, virtuous.
It is acceptable, same word as in vs. 1 meaning well-pleasing (God) also grateful.
It is perfect, complete, fully accomplished or realized.
We can “test” the will of God, meaning we can decide upon after examination, judge or distinguish.
{How is that done?}
2 step process:
“do not be conformed”
active voice
Phil. 2:12
Philippians 2:12 ESV
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,
“pressed into mold”
react, think, do what the rest of the world does
“be transformed”
passive voice
Phil. 2:13
Philippians 2:13 ESV
13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
2 Cor. 3:18
2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV
18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
meaning (μεταμορφόω) to change the external form/ undergo spiritual transformation.
Done by the Holy Spirit…but we “present” ourselves in gratitude to the transforming work of the Holy Spirit.
{If it is done by the H.S., then what is really going on?}
“by the renewal of your mind”
Tit. 3:5
Titus 3:5 ESV
5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,
9 Ways we are being renewed:
Moving from drawing our identity from what we do or have to who we are in Christ.
Looking to God’s Word for definitions of reality and spiritual well-being instead of the World.
Change our desires for personal praise to a zeal for the reputation of Christ.
Leaning to find real rest and security in Jesus’ presence and not in our ability to build safety nets.
Reliance on God’s grace instead of our experience and abilities.
Greater understanding that we live in a dramatically fallen world and will be continually disappointed in it’s promises but never in God’s promises.
Understanding that the real battles in life are fought and won in the mind/heart.
We will always run somewhere or to someone for refuge in times of distress or fear; so we are making sure it is to the Lord.
Where we are headed will be trouble free; so we are letting that hope sustain us.
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