Transformers

Transformers       (Romans 12:1-2)              *All verses in NKJV*

Romans 12:1-2, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

– Leading up to this point in Romans, Paul and the Apostles have made clear the fundamental principles of Christianity: Salvation by grace through faith, can’t earn it, repent, walk in forgiveness….

– Romans 12 begins with the word “therefore”. This word goes between all for the things you just heard Paul say, and what you should do about it. It is the “application” word.

– God’s gift of salvation in Christ requires a response. God is not satisfied simply with forgiving our sin; he wants to transform our lives.

– This Christian life is not just spiritual ideas and a system of behavior. It is a practical pursuit of holiness and requires action on our part.

– It is designed not only to inform our thoughts, but to reform our hearts.

– You are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone (that’s Eph Ch. 2)

James 1:22, But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

– James also said that a faith (or belief) without works (or actions to back it up), is a dead and worthless kind of faith. If you truly believe something, it should change your life!

#1: This is your reasonable act of service.

Romans 12:1, I beseech (or urge) you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable (or rational) service.

– Do this because of what God has already done for you: because he has shown you mercy, given you salvation, redeemed you and made you a new creation, justified by faith…

– “Your bodies” doesn’t just mean your physical body. It means your total person. All of who you are.

– In the Old Testament, the people had a whole system of sacrificing animals to the Lord. God is not asking that from us today.

– A living sacrifice… lay your life down for God, not to kill it, but to offer it while living in obedience.

1 Samuel 15:22-23a, So Samuel said: “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry….

– God’s takes your stubborn self-centeredness, and rebellion to His statutes, very seriously.

– The Lord would rather you simply be obedient to his word, rather than make costly and dramatic sacrifices.

– Your “living sacrifice” is to live your life as he has called you to do, as his word declares.

– Pastor Kevin preached on Sunday and brought a fantastic message out of Matthew:

Matthew 16:24-26, Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

– Tonight’s sermon fit right into this. “Dying to yourself” means you no longer live to serve your own selfish wants and desires. “Living for the Lord” means you now set His priorities as your own.

– To glorify or worship God with our bodies is to engage immediately and with diligence to what God has called us to do by his word, without concern for the personal cost.

– Like when Pastor Kevin spoke about Paul and Silas being thrown in prison, it is to be willing to suffer. You must trust that the Lord knows what he is doing, even when we don’t!

1 Cor 6:19-20, Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

2 Cor. 5:9, Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.

#2. Be Transformers.

Romans 12:2a, And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,

– One of my favorite toys as a kid was Transformers, circa 1985. Robots that turn into cars? Or cars that become robots? Who are they really? “More than meets the eye!”

– Transformers are robots who come to earth to escape the destruction of their home planet.

– When they get to our planet, they shape-shift into everyday things to blend in and not be detected for who they really are. They are aliens to this world, but try to blend in to hide from their identity.

– They are amazing and wonderous creations, set free from destruction, they are “not of this world” but are living in the world… They choose to blend in and pretend to be common things.

– They didn’t want anyone to know who they really were because they knew they would be attacked.

* God has NOT called us to be conformers, but to be transformers!

– They were being conformers, not transformers. Do not conform, and try to blend into the world around you. Transform into the magnificent thing God has created you to be!

Psalm 139:14, I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.

– As Christians, we should not try to transform into something accepted to the world, to blend in or hide? We should be unashamed to be who God created us to be, and accept the consequences.

John 15:19, If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 

– How can we be transformed? By the renewing of our mind!

– So many things in life come down to mind set. Do you really believe it is for you?

– Are you changed? …but do YOU believe you are?

– My other favorite toy as a child was GI Joe. My favorite GI Joe was Gung Ho. (Surprised?)

Marines are just different than other members of the military, but not how you think I mean…

– Often it is said Marines are tougher, better trained, more disciplined, etc… but this is not always the case. I have met many other services members that are MORE of all of these things.

– The real difference is “mind set”. Marines are taught history and tradition extensively! We were tested on it the same as shooting or physical fitness. Our history and legacy are a large part of who we are. (This isn’t the same on the other services.)

– For the other branches, you say, “I was in the military”, or “I was a soldier”. In the Marines, its “I AM a Marine.” I will always BE a Marine. It’s not something I did, it’s something that I am.

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind…

Eph. 4:22-24, 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

– Just like Marines in the physical, Christians should put off the old man and BE the new man that God has created them to be! It’s not something you do, it is someone that you ARE!

– You don’t just “go to church”, you “are the church”!

– You may not always be able to see it, but as soon as someone opens their mouth, their truth will be revealed. Would others know you are a Christian by the words that you speak?

– The mind is the acting ruling part of us; so that the renewing of the mind, and lining it up with the will of God, is the renewing of the whole man.

Proverbs 4:23, Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.

Phil. 4:6-7, Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

#3. Walk in obedience, renew your mind, THEN you will know God’s will for your life.

– Romans 12:2b, … be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

– God has a general will for all of us, and a specific will for your life also.

– God’s general will is easily found in scripture, and easily understood with a renewed mind:

Matthew 22:36-40, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

– This is the Commander’s intent, what Jesus said was the most important. Love IS action, not words.

– Accept their faults. Forgive them for hurting you. Have compassion for what they are going through. Say something when they are headed towards disaster. It’s what you’d want for yourself!

Micah 6:8, He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?        (This isn’t an exhaustive list…)

– Think of how this looks, and how many decisions it covers, when you actually walk it out.

– We, as people, love to see others “get what they deserve”. This is not a Christian virtue. This only satisfies the flesh, Show people the same mercy God has shown you!

1 Peter 3:8-9, Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. 

– The Bible is full of instruction on what God’s will is for His people. Read it, and do what it says!

– God also has a specific will for you, but I can’t tell you what it is.

– Like the bible verse tonight says,

– Because of all of the things God has already done for you, live your life as a sacrifice in obedience to the Lord.

– Renew your mind by reading His word, and be transformed.

THEN you will know and understand His perfect will for your life.

– Walk in obedience, read your bible, pray and seek the Lord, be still and wait…

– Don’t make a plan and ask God to bless it, ask God for His plan, and it will be blessed!

– alter call –

– prayer –

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