Romans 12 Transformed Thinking Sermon

Romans 12 Transformed Thinking © 2012 WF Cobb

I. A Renewed Mind is Necessary for Sacrificial Service and Experiencing the Perfect Will of God.
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living/ongoing sacrifice,
holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable/”of the word” service of worship. (Cf 6:11 reckon dead/alive 12:11 serving)
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed
by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove/demonstrate what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Caterpillar Christians are not much different from they way they were, nor from other worldings (no metamorphosis). They inch along on their own power (rather than riding breezes), blending in (rather than attractively reflecting God's glorious creativity), never rising above the circumstances, eating weeds (rather than sipping nectar), not reproducing. [robot not reprogrammed]

A Conformed Mind is bound by old identities and what others think (rather than free to be what God wants them to be), selfishly views itself as the center of the universe, lives for immediate gratification of senses (no spiritual insight nor eternal objectives), consumes vs invests.

A Transformed Mind, renewed by the Truth, is very conscious that this world is not all there is; that a new world is coming in which God rewards righteousness, service, and love; that independence is the essence of sin, and dependence is the essence of delight; makes disciples.

II. A Renewed Mind Has a Proper View of Oneself in Relationship to the Body (new identity, focus, and purpose)
3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soundmindedly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.

III. A Renewed Mind Serves with Grace by Faith to accomplish God's purposes in building up the Body.
6 Having then grace-things differing according to the grace that is given to us (1Cor 12:11), let us use them: (saved sinner or serving saint)
if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to the measure of the faith;
7 or ministry/service, let us use it in our ministering/serving; he who teaches, in teaching;
8 he who encourages/exhorts, in encouragement/exhortation;
he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

IV. A Renewed Mind Loves Purely (sanctifies & sacrifices oneself to do what is in another's highest interest -other-centered)

Love: 9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.

10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
1 Peter 1:22 Since you have purified your souls by obedience to the truth through the Spirit for a sincere love for the brothers, love one another fervently from a pure heart, 2 Peter 1:5-7 virtue, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, brotherly love, agape love.

Service/Ministry: 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; (cf 12:1; Matthew 25:40 done to me; John 21:17 feed sheep)

12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;

13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute/harass you; bless and do not curse. Colossians 3:13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, if any man has a complaint against any; even as Christ forgave you, so you also do. Matthew 6:15 if you do not forgive...neither will your Father

15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. (other-centered emotions)

Unity: 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. 1 Corinthians 1:10 I plead with you, by the name of our Lord that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion/estimation.

17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.
18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

Purity: 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. 20 Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head."

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:
1. Do most believers live like caterpillars or butterflies? How does one undergo metamorphosis? What happens if one doesn't?
2. Why is independence the essence of sin? Can someone be pleasing to Christ and not a functioning member of His Body (biblical)?
3. Why do you think the Holy Spirit gave differing grace to believers? How are the grace-things necessary for a Body to function?
4. Do you have to like someone to love them? Is love an emotion or a decision of the will? What hinders fondness and affection?
5. How has your life changed in response to the mercy of God? How have you changed others' lives? What help do you need?

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