The Normal Christian LifeRomans 12:1-2
2015 - Non-Series Sermons
Dr. Daniel Akin
April 26, 2015
Consecration, made possible by transformation, will always result in satisfaction. This is the essence of what Paul tells the Christians living in Rome in Romans 12:1-2. Three important concepts weave these two incredible verses together: consecration, transformation, and satisfaction.
First, Paul commands consecration by calling the believers to present their bodies as a “living sacrifice.” This must have sounded like a contradiction to Paul’s audience. I thought sacrifice was about death? What does he mean to present ourselves as a “living sacrifice”? This means that we surrender ourselves entirely to Jesus Christ; it means that we live under the complete control of our Lord. Of course, a death is involved even in a living sacrifice—it is a death to self. Every single day Christ calls you to die. He calls you to die to your plans, passions, priorities, and pursuits, and He calls you to live entirely under the rule and reign of Jesus Christ. This is what “spiritual worship” looks like. Worship is responding to the worthiness of God. Sure, we do this through song on Sunday mornings, but we are called to do this everyday by responding to the worthiness of God by offering our lives to Him.
How do we live this way? How can we die to ourselves every moment throughout every day? The answer is found in the first half of verse 2: transformation. The way in which we live for God and not for ourselves is to fight actively against being conformed to this world and to fight actively to be transformed into the image of Christ. This means we do not possess the same desires, priorities, and values as the world but we embrace the desires, priorities, and values of Christ. Paul says this primarily happens through “the renewal of your mind.” As people who have been transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light, we have to re-teach ourselves how to think. We also have to protect the content we allow into our minds. The Christian life is won or lost in the mind. This type of mind renewal will only come about when you discipline yourself to feast upon the word of God. By saturating your thoughts with the word of life, your mind will be renewed, your life will be transformed, and you will be able to present yourself completely to God.
What is the result of this kind of transformation? The answer is satisfaction. When we spend time in the presence of God, meditating on His word, and being transformed by His Spirit, we are then able to prove what His will is. We will always find that His will, while it may not be safe or easy, is always “good and acceptable and perfect.” Satisfaction is only found in the will of God. Do you want to discern God’s will for your life? Then present your body as a living sacrifice and allow God’s word to renew your mind.
Can you image what God can do in a life, a family, and a church that has people who are daily dying to themselves and renewing their minds by God’s word? This would yield individuals, families, and a church that accomplishes extraordinary things for the Kingdom of God. Be that person, be that family, and let’s be that church!
Contentment, Faithfulness, Sacrifice, Selfishness, Worship