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Author Topic: Romans 12 - Living the Christian Life!  (Read 2139 times)
2nd Timothy
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« on: April 07, 2007, 08:15:28 PM »

This being Easter, the focus of our hearts are on our Lords Crucifixion and Resurrection.  Truly a blessed season for believers.

While this is not directly tied to the easter season, I recently did a study on Romans 12 that had a profound impact on my Christian walk, and wanted to share it here.  If you've ever struggled with what it means to live a Christian life, how to live it, Who you are in Christ, where you belong, what are you suppose to do, you might find this study insightful.  At least I hope and pray that you will.   I will keep the thread locked until I can get all my notes posted, but I promise to unlock it for any comments once I get finished.


As we go through Romans 12, you will see the following outline or description unfold.

A Genuine disciple is...

1.  Surrendered to God
2.  Separate from the world.
3.  Sober in self assessment.
4.  Serving in love.
5.  Supernaturally responding to evil.


Lets start with verse 1.

Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living
sacrifice
, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.



Paul shows that surrender to God is the starting place for living a Genuine Christian life. Giving your everything for Christ, total surrender or commitment.  A living sacrifice!

A question we all must ask is...Am I totally committed or surrendered to Christ?   If so, what does this mean to me?  What does this mean to you?

The Command Paul gives here is: "offer yourself to God!"   
The alter of sacrifice is life, you climb on, with all that you are (I am), and all that you have (I have) is Gods.  This happens at a point in time for every believer when they come to Christ.   Is He my Saviour,  CEO(lordship- Lord) of my life?  Its a scary thought really.  Many might say that you believe Christ is the Son of God, but have you surrendered everything you are or have to Him?   I remember considering this and realized even though I had accepted Christ as my Saviour, there were still areas of my life that He was not Lord over.  Granted, this is part of the Christian walk, where the Holy Spirit will address things in our lives, but I like to think of this as a Lordship type of moment.  Like Abraham had when God asked Him to offer his son Isaac.   When He asks for whatever is near and dear to you, could you give it up for Him?   

Its a very sobering thought to say to God..."Lord, All that I am, is yours EVERYTHING!"  But here Paul tells us that we are to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God.  Dying to self and offering our all to Him.  All the rest hinges on this!


You might be a born again believer.  You may be facing daily struggles with sin..I know I do!  But have you surrendered your all to Him, knowing that you must die to self completely?  If you haven't had a complete "Lordship" moment in your walk with the Saviour, I encourage you to sit and think about what that means to you in your Christian walk, and take inventory of your life in Him.   It will make you tremble if you have an honest heart before the Lord.


Listen to these profound words of Christ.

Mat 13:44  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.

Jesus has such a wonderful way of putting things doesn't He?   Ask yourself today...Who is the CEO over your life?   Who is in charge?   Who is Lord over your life?   Have you sold everything you are to buy into His Kingdom?  You are only in a position to receive His Lordship over your life if you offer yourself as a living sacrifice on the alter of life before God.


Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Blessings!

more to come later
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Tim

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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2007, 08:30:51 PM »

AMEN brother AMEN

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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2007, 11:39:10 PM »

1.  Surrendered to God


I want to emphasize from the first post again, the importance of what Paul is saying.


For those here who don't know me very well, I have known the Lord for many years.   In all honesty, when I accepted Christ, I believed fully in Him as my Saviour and Lord and was born again.  However, this passage gave me what I referred to before as a 'Lordship moment' in my walk with Him.   It forced me to question, is He Really Lord over all in my life?   The honest answer for me was no.  With fear and trembling, I went before the Lord and asked Him to be Lord over everything in my life.   While fearful, I can't tell you how that impacted my Christian walk.  I do believe its a lifelong-ongoing surrender, but coming to that place at that time, was an important step in my walk of faith.   And clearly its an important part of Paul's instruction to this Roman church as well as us today.

Once again in the AMPLIFIED version

Rom 12:1  I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.

Full surrender!  I wrote down the date in my bible next to this verse the day I prayed that prayer, and I can clearly see major changes in my walk.   God is always seeking our full surrender to Him.  However, God is a perfect gentleman.   He will not impose His Lordship on you.  Search your heart today, and fully surrender to Him.

Moving onů.
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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2007, 11:47:32 PM »

Separate from the world.


In verse 2 Paul gives us some more instruction


Rom 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: [.....]


To understand this, we must first try to see how the world attempts to conform us.   Its something that is forbidden but presently happening.   We are bombarded and influenced by TV shows/adds, billboards, friends, family members etc.   Our thinking, speech, behavior, relationships....all of this is trying to mold us on a daily basis into the world system if you will.   Now, obviously, not all things are bad.  There are plenty of good things we as believers might enjoy or have, but a lot of times the enemy tempts us with these things at the wrong time, or for the wrong reasons, and they can take priority over God.

Stop allowing yourself to be molded by the influences of the world...your thinking, your speech, behavior, relationships. 

1Jo 2:15  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1Jo 2:16  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.


What exactly is the Lust of the flesh?    Feel - I gotta have I gotta feel, THEN I'll be satisfied. 
Lust of the eyes - To have - material - Once I have, own, then I'll be happy!
Pride of life - Lust to be - ego Look what I have, own, what I am.  As one minister puts it....Sex, salary, status!
This is the world system and what its continuous message is, and what its trying to mold us into.


So how do we as Christians live this out as scripture commands?   Paul tells us....Be transformed! 

Rom 12:2  [....]but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.


Did you catch that?  The battle is for you mind.  You are what you eat.    Paul said I take every thought captive in 2nd Cor.   You must Radically say no to the battles for your mind.   Therefore, renewal happens in your mind, thereby transforming you out of the world system into what God wants you to be!

Renewal principles.

Getting in the word.   There is something supernatural about Gods word in its ability to change us.   Meditate on the word.   Memorize the word.   Spending time with God.  Prayer - worship!   Whats the purpose?  Again..."To be transformed!"   The spirits renewing process transforms us by feeding on Gods living word.  Say no to the world, but yes to God (surrender).    Moment by moment - continuously, all the while renewing your thinking, behavior and speech through sound doctrine in scripture.   -  Its Change from the inside out.   I'm reminded of Christs transfiguration on the mount.   We wont get there until God Changes us and we receive our mortal bodies, but our minds are renewed through His word daily, thus transforming us in the likeness of Christ, and we will finally be changed physically when at Christs return.


Its probably important to point out here, that Transformation does not come by individual willpower.   It comes by full surrender to God, feeding on His word, and then His Grace changing you into who He wants you to be.  Again Surrender being the key operative!



Blessings!
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« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2007, 12:02:54 AM »

3.  Sober in self assessment....(will cover a few verses together now)


Paul continues...

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


We need to have a sober self assessment of ourselves.   Being mindful of the hopelessness God has rescued us from, we are saved by Gods grace and have done nothing to merit it.   We must remain ever mindful that we can do nothing of our own accord to merit Gods favor.  However, God has some wonderful truths about us as His children, that He Himself proclaims to us through His word.

Everyone of us asks at some point, consciously or un consciously...

Who am I?
Where do I belong?
What am I suppose to do? (why am I on this planet?)

Do you know what Gods answer to these questions are?


Here are Gods answers for YOU for these questions...

Who am I?
1.  You are My child made in My image (Gen 1:26), saved by the blood of My Son(Rom 5:9), and you are uniquely and wonderfully made and infinitely valuable just the way I made you. (Psa 139:14)

Where do I belong?
2.  In My family that My Son purchased for Me (Rev 5:9), and I took you out of the kingdom of darkness and into My kingdom (Col 1:13), and you are a member of an intricate organic part of the supernatural body of Christ called the church, and I have a role for you. (Rom 12:5-6)

What am I suppose to do?
3.  You bring certain things to My body that nobody else brings.  Rom 12:6


Rom 12:6 [....]if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith;
Rom 12:7  if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching;
Rom 12:8  or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.


Do you know what your gift is?  Certainly only you and God can answer that question, however, carefully studying the above,  you will clearly fall into one of those  categories on some level, perhaps even more than one.   Prophecy, Serving, Teacher, exhorter/comforter, a giver, a leader, one who shows mercy?   Regardless of your gift, its given by grace, AND  Given for the mutual benefit of others in the body (a gift that YOU give for others).   

Rom 12:6  Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly:[....]

Gods grace tells you and me our responsibility - Its my job to take and steward the gift I was given and function in the body of Christ with it.  Doing it to the proportion of my faith.   

Ask God to show you what your gift is, and to help you use it for His glory and purpose in the Body of Christ.


So far, Paul has taught us that being a disciple of Christ means....

1.  Disciple and a follower - begins with being surrendered to God.
2.  Separate from the world. - Daily sanctification - transformed by the renewing of our minds!
3.  Sober, self assessment. -  Knowing we are helpless without God, and hopelessly in need of Him, yet, at the top of His priority list.  Everything He does, He does for us out of the Greatness of His Love for us.

How precious a truth it is....

Psa 40:5  Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to usward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.

His thoughts toward us are more than can be numbered.   If thats not comforting brothers and sisters, I don't know what is.




I have more, but I'll stop here for now and unlock the thread for comments.  I hope everyone has a joyous day in the Lord as we celebrate easter, the Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour.   




He is Risen!
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Tim

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« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2007, 10:42:40 AM »

Quote
I do believe its a lifelong-ongoing surrender

Amen. As Paul also said "I die daily". We must present our bodies to be that perfect sacrifice unto the Lord. This is telling us that we must present ourselves to Him daily, asking for forgiveness, asking for guidance, humbling ourselves before Him, giving ourselves over to His perfect will.

2Co 4:16  For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

Quote
Knowing we are helpless without God, and hopelessly in need of Him, yet, at the top of His priority list.  Everything He does, He does for us out of the Greatness of His Love for us.

Not only should that be comforting and should give us a peace that passeth all understanding it should give us great joy.

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Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
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