Andrew Fountain - A Living Sacrifice

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Full sermon notes - A Living Sacrifice

  • Newlife church is on a mission
  • We need to have every single person involved
  • Lots of things are planned
  • But in Romans 12, Paul says something before he starts talking about the gifts
    • the level of commitment

Romans 12

  1. I appeal to you therefore, brothers,
    • by the mercies of God
    • to present your bodies a living sacrifice
      • holy and pleasing to God
      • which is your reasonable service
  2. and do not let yourself be conformed to this world
  • but let yourself be transformed by the renewing of your mind
  • that you might discern and approve what is the will of God:
    • what is good, and well-pleasing and perfect

1. Overview

  • I’m going to go through it three times
    1. An overview, seeing what it means and how it fits together
    2. Step back and see the big picture
    3. Asking what it means in practice
  • Also develop the transation a bit:

Romans 12

  1. I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters,
    • by the mercies of God
    • to present your whole beings a living sacrifice
      • 100% dedicated and bringing pleasure to God
      • which is your service that makes complete sense
  2. and do not let yourself be pressed into the shape of this world
  • but let yourself be continuously morphed by the renewing of your mind
  • that you might recognize and be 100% in agreement with the will of God:
    • what is good, and well-pleasing and flawless
  1. “Therefore... by the mercies”
    • There is a ‘therefore’ to link with what has gone before
    • This is about God’s mercies
      • we were lost, slaves to a self-centred way of living
      • unable to please God
      • heading for destruction
    • God looked down on us and had compassion
      • at tremendous cost to himself he gave his son Jesus
      • Not only did he forgive us, but adopted us into his family
      • and has an amazing destiny for us
  2. Now we come to our response
    • There is a switch—God has given himself for us, we give ourselves to him
    • But they are totally different:
      • Jesus was a “dying sacrifice” for us—that was agony
      • We don’t have to die—ours is a joy
    • “bodies” is used here for the whole being, —he is not trying to drive a wedge between our mind and our body.
    • “reasonable service” KJV & NET, or “rational sacrifice”?
      • the word means “it makes logical sense”, it is totally reasonable.
      • the word for “service” is the same as the priests serving in the temple—we are not only the sacrifice itself, but also the priest who offeres it up! And it all makes sense!
  3. This looks like transformation into the new, not the old
    • The word transformed is metamorphosis.
      • We are morphing into something different
      • Think of superman
      • Think of transformers
      • Think of caterpillar to butterfly
    Two things to note:
    1. it is a continuous process (slow motion transformation...)
    2. It is done to us
    So what stops this? and what makes it happen?
    • It is stopped by the opposite happening—we are conformed to this world
      • back problems: shape of car seat
      • shape of the metal sides of the car (not hand crafted by elves)
      • literally means shaped by being with something
        • so it’s hard for us to transform, because we are being continually pushed back into the old shape
    • Oh, and it’s your mind not your body. (body still looks the same!)
      • One day it will be the body as well
      • for now it is your inner world that being radically changed
  4. The goal is becoming shaped to the beautiful will of God
    • We become in tune with God’s will
    • This is not so much about having a revelation of his will, as being in tune with it
      • The word means to examine something and be in 100% agreement with it at the end
    • Both you and God agree that it is good, brings pleasure, and is flawless
  • So that is an overview
  • Now we will step back and see the big picture

The Big Picture

Old Covenant New Covenant
Boundary markers defining God’s people The Law Faith in Jesus
  • Circumcision
  • Food laws
  • Sabath and other special days
  • Sacrifices
  • Priests to serve God
  • Government
  • Ten Commandments
  • The Temple
  • Presence of the Spirit

Relates to 10 commandments and Government:

Romans 13:7–9

  1. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
  2. Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
  3. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
  • knowing God’s will

Parallel with Rom 2

  1. But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast in God
  2. and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law;
  3. and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness,

Voluntary

The Old and the New

  • Old People of God
  • The New People of God
  • What is the new rule of life?
Old “Do this and live” Lev 18:5
New “present your bodies a living sacrifice” Rom 12:1

3. What does it means in practice?

  • So that’s the theology, what does it actually mean for us today?

Questions

  1. What does it actually mean in practice to be a “living sacrifice”?
  2. What does “this world” mean?
  3. What are the pressures that conform us?
  4. How do we go about getting transformed?
  5. What are we morphed into?
  6. How does recognizing God’s will actually happen?
  • Jesus defined what it looks like

Parallel Col 3 and 2 Cor 4

  1. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices
  2. and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

2 Cor 4:

  1. So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.

Parallel with Romans 6

  1. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.
  2. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
  3. What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!
  4. Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?

Romans 6 cont’d

  1. But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed,
  2. and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.
  3. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.

Romans 12

  1. I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters,
    • by the mercies of God
    • to present your whole beings a living sacrifice
      • 100% dedicated and bringing pleasure to God
      • which is your service that makes complete sense
  2. and do not let yourself be pressed into the shape of this world
  • but let yourself be continuously morphed by the renewing of your mind
  • that you might recognize and be 100% in agreement with the will of God:
    • what is good, and well-pleasing and flawless

Updated on 2014-08-03 by Andrew Fountain