Sermon #1055 Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: SOMETHING REASONABLE
Text: Romans 12:1-2
Scripture Reading: Luke 15:11-24
Subject: Consecration to God
Date: Tuesday Evening November 24, 1992
Knowing that Thanksgiving Day is coming up Thursday, I have been seeking a message from God that would inspire our hearts with true gratitude and thanks giving. I attempted to prepare a message from several texts of Scripture.
· Psalm 103:1
· Psalm 115:15
· I Thessalonians 5:16-18
· II Thessalonians 2:13
Delightful as these texts are, none of them contained the message that is needed for this hour. I could prepare a good sermon from any of them. But God gave me no message from them for you.
Then, as I opened my Bible this morning and read the assigned chapters for todays reading. God spoke to my heart and gave me a message. I cannot imagine a better way for us to give thanks to God than by obeying the exhortation of Romans 12:1-2. READ
The title of my message tonight is Something Reasonable. I want to talk to you about consecration to God. I want to persuade you, and to persuade myself, to a perpetual dedication to our God.
The greatest possible demonstration of love and gratitude to God is the consecration of ourselves to him.
As we look at these two verses, let me direct your attention to five things:
1. A Tender Exhortation I beseech you therefore brethren!
2. A Motive of Grace By the mercies of God!
3. A Sacrifice to be Made That you present your bodies
4. A World to be Shunned _ Be not conformed to this world!
5. A Transformation to be Desired But be ye transformed by
I. Here is A Tender Exhortation!
I beseech you therefore, brethren!
A. I beseech you!
What an astonishing word to come from God! This Word comes from God against whom we have sinned, whose judgment from God against whom we have sinned, whose judgment we fully deserve. It comes to us, believers, who have been saved by his grace, delivered from enmity against him, redeemed by the blood of Christ and called by his Spirit!
Well might the Apostle of God have said, I command you! But he doesnt. He does not use the language of law, but of grace. He speaks not as to slaves, but as to children. There is no threat, no intimidation, no coercion, accept the coercion of grace. He says, I beseech you!
B. Notice the next word Therefore!
This is the word of emphasis in the text. In chapters 1-11 Paul has been laying out, in clear, unmistable terms, the great body of doctrinal truth which distinguishes our God and his gospel from all false religion.
· Universal Depravity, Guilt and Condemnation (1-3).
· Justification by Grace Alone, through Faith Alone, in Christ Alone (3-5).
· Regeneration and Conversion by the Spirit of God (6-8).
· Gods Sovereign Purpose of Grace, Accomplished in Election, Predestination, Redemption and Providence (8-11).
But Paul was not a mere doctrinalists. He was not a theological theorist. He knew the necessity of sound doctrine. If your doctrine is wrong, everything is wrong! Yet, Paul urges us to put our doctrine into practice. When he says Therefore, Paul is telling us that what he is about to say is the result of his gospel doctrine. Since we have experienced the grace of God in Christ, we ought to consecrate ourselves to our God. If our doctrine is right, it ought to be reflected in our lives.
C. Now, look at this next word I beseech you therefore, Brethren.
How I love that word, brethren! It is a word of tenderness, love, unity, sympathy and deep concern. We are brethren! We each have
· The same Heavenly Father!
· The same Elder Brother!
· The same Spirit and Nature!
· The same Heavenly Inheritance!
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God Here is the motive which Paul inspires compliance with his exhortation. It is
II. A Motive of Grace.
He urges us to devote ourselves to God by reminding us of The mercies of God which we have experienced. Can you resist this argument of love? Paul is about to ask for a great sacrifice. So he gives us a great motive The mercies of God!
· Not the Law of God!
· Not the Justice of God!
· Not even the Fear of God!
· But the Mercies of God!
A. External Mercies!
B. Redeeming Mercies!
C. Saving Mercies!
· Regeneration and Calling.
· Repentance and Faith.
· Conversion and Preservation.
D. Daily Mercies!
E. Promised Mercies!
· In Death.
· In the Resurrection.
· In Glory.
III. Read on Here is A Sacrifice to be Made.
Paul says, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. What kind of sacrifice is this? What is Paul calling for?
A. A Complete Sacrifice Your bodies.
The word bodies refers to our entire being (Rom. 6:11-14). Christ shall be magnified in my body (Phil. 1:20).
Calvin writes, By bodies he means all that we are, for the members of the body are the instruments by which we carry out our purposes.
If a man presents his body, willingly, for the service of another, it carries with it all that that man is. Nothing is withheld!
Illustration: The Bondservant (Ex. 21).
The Induction of a Soldier.
King Jesus demands total surrender! (Luke 14:25-33).
B. A Living Sacrifice!
This is in contrast to those slain offerings the Jews brought to God in the Old Testament. The death of Christ has forever swept all dead sacrifices from the altar. Paul is not calling for an act, but for an attitude. We are to live continually upon the altar! He is calling for us to consecrate our lives to our God, so that we can all say with him, To me to live is Christ!
C. A Holy Sacrifice!
What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you? Ye are the temple of the living God! (I Cor. 6:19; II Cor. 5:16).
When God the Holy Spirit took up residence in you, he made you holy, he sanctified you. Now, he calls for us to give him that which is his own, which he ahs sanctified and made holy You! Me!
D. An Acceptable Sacrifice!
The word acceptable means well-pleasing. Isnt that amazing? The Lord God takes us, as we willingly consecrate ourselves to him, in the entirety of our lives, and declares that we are acceptable, well-pleasing, satisfying to him Our acceptance is altogether a matter of grace Our acceptance is only in Christ But our acceptance is real!
When a sinner consecrates his life to God by faith in Jesus Christ, that sinners life is a sacrifice holy, acceptable unto God!
Someone said, That any creature should be able to offer what could please the infinite Creator, is wonderful; but that such wretched, fallen ones as the sons of men should do so, is a marvel of which only the gracious God himself knows the depth!
E. A Reasonable Sacrifice Which is your reasonable service.
It is but reasonable that we should yield ourselves up to our God, since he has redeemed us. Since he has redeemed my life from destruction, it is reasonable for me to devote all my life to him. It would be most unreasonable for me to withhold from God that which belongs to him (I Cor. 6:19-20).
F. A Spiritual Sacrifice!
The words reasonable service also mean spiritual worship. Our worship of God in the Spirit is intelligent, spiritual worship, as contrasted with the carnal, shadowy worship of the Jews in the Old Testament (Heb. 10:1-23).
NOTE: Worship is not an act we perform. It is the way we live. We live unto God!
Paul is here calling us to a life of complete dedication and wholehearted commitment Nothing less than thorough self-surrender out of gratitude is required. (William Hendrikson) That must be our goal. But how do we reach that goal? Paul tells us that in verse 2.
IV. Here the Apostle shows us A World to be Shunned And be not conformed to this world!
Quite literally Paul is saying, Stop allowing yourselves to be fashioned after the pattern of this evil age.
· Galatians 1:4
· Titus 2:11-12
A. We cannot avoid association with this world, not should we We are to be witnesses in this world!
B. But we must not make companionship with the world (II Cor. 6:14). How can two walk together, except they be agreed?
Illustration: Ox and Ass
Lemin and Wol
C. We must stop allowing the world to influence our thinking and our lives.
1. Our chief aim in life must always be the glory of God (I Cor. 10:31).
2. If you allow yourself to follow the fashion of the world your life will be filled with bitter disappointment, for the fashion of the world passeth away. (I Cor. 7:31).
V. Lastly, here is A Transformation to Be Desired 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.
NOTE: The word transformed here is the very same word that is translated transfigured in Matthew 17:2. It is a remarkable word. It is the word from which we get our word metamorphosis When Christ was transfigured, the glory that was within him because visibly apparent to all who saw him.
A. This exhortation is in the Present Tense Be ye transformed!
B. It is given in the Passive Voice Be ye
Paul does not say, transform yourselves, but let yourselves be transformed (II Cor. 3:18).
C. Yet, it is in the Imperative Mood.
We are not completely passive. Our responsibility is not overlooked. It is our duty to yield to the gracious operations of the Holy Spirit upon us.
D. This transformation comes by the continual renewing of your mind.
Illustration: The metamorphic change of Butterfly
1. Larva Stage Crawling across the earth, eating the vegetation Natural Man.
2. Cocoon Stage Man in Christ.
3. Butterfly Stage Flying above the earth, seldom lighting, only to suck the juices of the earths plants How beautiful! The New Creature!
By surrender to Christ we prove, experimentally, and show the proof of that which is the good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God What it is that God wants us to be and do!
· It does not matter how important we are, or think we are!
· It does not matter how charismatic we are!
· It does not matter how strong we are!
· The only thing that matters is faith, gratitude, and devotion!
· Surrender to Christ is an act of faith! Constant surrender is an act of constant faith.
Read Romans 12:12