Here’s my sermon outline for Romans 12:1-2 “A Worshipping Life” preached at Cross of Christ Fellowship in Naperville.
-Cousin comes to faith illustration.
-The “now what” question: I have become a Christian, so now what do I do? àANSWER: Worship God!
-The Christian life is a worshipping life. The heart of being a Christian is worshipping and enjoying God.
-The right and fitting response to believing the gospel is offering ourselves up in worship to God.
CONTEXT: Theme of Romans is the GOSPEL: Good news of Jesus Christ.
-Romans 1-11 is mainly explanation of doctrine: explaining and clarifying what the gospel is.
-GOSPEL is the way we might be right with God again through faith in Jesus Christ
-We all have sinned and become estranged from God
-But God has acted in love and grace toward us by sending His Son Jesus to die for our sins
-If we place our faith in Jesus, we will be right with God again and enter into this wonderful new life.
-Romans 12-15 is mainly application of doctrine: showing how Christians are meant to live in light of the gospel.
-There is a fitting and appropriate way that our repentance and faith should look.
–Today we begin this important section on application of the gospel.
-Romans 12:1-2 are described as the summary of rest of section. It’s the BIG PICTURE of Application.
QUESTION: I believed the gospel, so now what?
ANSWER: Worship God. The Christian Life is a WORSHIPPING Life.
1. The Right Response to the Gospel is Worshipping God (12:1)
Paul’s great burden is this: help Christians see that the fitting response to believing the gospel is worshipping God.
CHILDREN, what is the FITTING RESPONSE?à Slice of cake? Shirt? Movie ticket?
-What is the fitting response to believing the gospel? Worshipping God. The Christian life is a worshipping life.
CONSIDER PAUL’S APPEAL WITH ME…
-Paul’s appeal: “I appeal to you”. Paul makes an appeal to us. It based on love for us and for Christ.
-As an apostle, he desires we would become mature in Christ: Col 1:28-29
-Commentators note that this “appeal” has authority to it, weight of a command (not optional for us)
-This appeal is for Christians: “brothers”
-As Christians we are made brothers and sisters.
-God’s word has explicit instructions and commands for us to obey and do: “EVANGELICAL OBEDIENCE”
-We are not saved by these things, but unto them: Eph 2:8-10
-This appeal flows out of doctrine: “therefore”
-Because of everything Paul has said and taught in Romans 1-11, he calls us to this.
-Doctrine leads to Application.
-Same in other letters: Eph 1-3 (doctrine), then 4-6 (application), Col 1-2 (doctrine, 3-4 (application)
-The appeal is made in light of God’s mercies: “by the mercies of God”
-Mercies of God is summary way of including all of Romans 1-11.
-A Christian is someone who has experienced the mercies of God!
-The appeal stated: “present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God”
-This is the language of OT worship. Then God’s people would bring animals to the temple to worship God
-Here the imagery is transformed: instead of “presenting” animal sacrifices, we “present” ourselves
-“living sacrifice” means we offer ourselves—our living selves—to God in worship.
-All that we do we do in worship of God!
-We worship him corporately together on Sundays and during the week with our families.
-We worship God for all of our lives in everything we do: we do it all in worship of God.
APPLICATION: Everyone is a worshiper, the Christian and the non-Christian. This is how we were designed.
-We worship what we believe is most important, beautiful, good, and true.
-For many it is relationships, sex, money, career.
-In Suburbia: success, comfort, appearance, personal happiness, nice house or yard, hobbies.
-The question is not, ‘Am I a worshiper?’ but ‘What do I worship?’
-Only the one true and living God deserves our worship and can satisfy our souls. All other things will leave us hungering for more
*AUGUSTINE: “you made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in you.”
-In gospel we have been made “holy and acceptable to God.”
-This is a result of the gospel! Romans 8:7-9.
-As we present ourselves to God as a living sacrifices, we are offering up “spiritual worship”
-This can also be translated “reasonable service”= worship is the fitting response to God
SCHRIENER: “yielding one’s whole self to God is eminently reasonable. Since God has been so merciful, failure to dedicate one’s life to him is the height of folly and irrationality.”
*SUMMARY: The Christian life is a worshipping life. The fitting response to the gospel is WORSHIP of God.
-How might your day-to-day experience of following Jesus be different if you understand the Christian Faith this way?
-Motivation to get out of bed in the morning: My life is lived for the king of kings.
-When you go through something hard: I am doing this out of love for Christ
-When life feels dull: I am here to worship God
-When life feels joyful: God is giving these gifts and even better than all the these gifts.
-When tempted with sinful desires: these sinful desires cannot satisfy, only God can.
2. A Christian’s Worship Involves Refusal and Renewal (12:2)
12:2 is an explanation of 12:1. Christian worship involves both a refusal and a renewal.
Christian Worship Involves REFUSAL: Do not be conformed to this world,
-Christians are not to be “conformed” or shaped to this “world”
CHILDREN HERE LIKE PLAYDO? Dough is shaped by mold/cutter.
-Paul calls us not to be conformed to “this world”
-“This world” refers to the world’s posture and approach to God, one distorted by sin
-It is the world’s love of self and hatred of God (often shown in apathy of God)
-It is the world’s minimizing of God
-It is the world’s disbelief in God and God’s Word
-It is the world’s approach to sexuality and identity
-It is the world’s approach to finances, relationships, time.
-It is the world’s approach to church: Consumerism, only being interested in what I can get.
-As Christians in Naperville we have intentionally consider how we are tempted to do this.
-Will we prioritize children’s sports and programs over pursuing God?
-Will you keep coming to church and community, even when inconvenient? Or sacrifice other things?
-FOLLY of skipping church for sports—displaying who you worship.
-Will we prize having the nicest things of this life over prizing God?
-Will we place people’s opinions higher than God’s opinions?
*ASK EACH OTHER: How are you tempted to be conformed to this world?
Christian Worship Involves RENEWAL: but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
-RENEWAL—being made new again. Christian worship involves a “renewal of our minds”
-As we read the Bible, believe, meditate, and live the truth of God’s word, a RENEWAL happens in our minds.
-RENEWED joy in God
-RENEWED conviction of sin
-RENEWED love and delight in God.
-RENEWAL of mind results in a TRANSFORMATION of our selves: Being changed from one thing to another
-Caterpillar transforms into a butterfly. Christians are transformed to become more like Jesus.
-Transformed: Lives marked by unrepentant sin to repentance, Prayerless to prayerful, Ignoring God to Treasuring God,
Stingy to Generous, Proud to humble, not like Jesus to more like Jesus.
*ASK EACH OTHER: How is God transforming you to be more like Jesus?
WHERE DOES THIS LEAD THE CHRISTIAN? Into the knowledge of God’s Will! Discovering what God desires of us.As we refuse to be conformed to this world and are transformed by the renewal of our minds we end up in wonderful place: knowing God’s will. “that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
–Will of God= How to do what is pleasing to God (1 Thess 4:3)
–Refusal and Renewal RESULTS: “you might discern what is the will of God”
-We can find out what God wants us to do!
-God’s Wonderful Will: “good and acceptable and perfect.”
-We may not get the answers to all of our questions, but we are led to what is truly good, acceptable and perfect
CONCLUSION: Are you a Christian? What do you do now? WORSHIP GOD!
The Christian life is a worshipping life. The fitting response to belief in the gospel is whole-hearted worship of God. Christian worship takes place in all of our lives and it involves both a refusal—refusing to be conformed to this world’s sinful approach—and a renewal—God transforming us by renewing our minds. The wonderful result is knowing God’s will, His good, acceptable and perfect will.