Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:1-2 NIV).
|Text: Romans 12:1-2|
|Subject: What are the Expectations Required of Believers in Treating God’s Mercy?|
1. Believers should offer their bodies as living sacrifice (verse 1).
2. Believers should offer their bodies as holy (verse 1).Believers should offer bodies as pleasing to the Lord (verse 1).
|Main Idea: Offering bodies as living sacrifice, holy, and pleasing to God are true and proper worship God desires (verse 1).|
|Exegetical Idea: The Lord demands holiness form the church (verse 1).|
|Homiletical Idea: You are called unto holiness (verse 1).|
“Paul had never been to Rome when he wrote the letter to the Romans, though he had clearly expressed his desire to travel there in the near future (Acts 19:21; Romans 1:10–12). The apostle greeted twenty-six different people by name, personalizing a letter from a man who would have been a personal stranger to most of the recipients. No doubt they had heard of Paul and would have been honored by the letter, but Paul always took opportunities to personally connect with his audience so that the message of the gospel might be better received. The apostle Paul wrote to the Romans from the Greek city of Corinth in AD 57, just three years after the 16-year-old Nero had ascended to the throne as Emperor of Rome. The political situation in the capital had not yet deteriorated for the Roman Christians, as Nero wouldn’t begin his persecution of them until he made them scapegoats after the great Roman fire in AD 64. Therefore, Paul wrote to a church that was experiencing a time of relative peace, but a church that he felt needed a strong dose of basic gospel doctrine. Writing from Corinth, Paul likely encountered a diverse array of people and practices—from gruff sailors and meticulous tradesmen to wealthy idolaters and enslaved Christians. The prominent Greek city was also a hotbed of sexual immorality and idol worship. So when Paul wrote in Romans about the sinfulness of humanity or the power of God’s grace to miraculously and completely change lives, he knew that of which he spoke. It was played out before his eyes every day. The letter to the Romans stands as the clearest and most systematic presentation of Christian doctrine in all the Scriptures. Paul began by discussing that which is most easily observable in the world—the sinfulness of all humanity. All people have been condemned due to our rebellion against God. However, God in His grace offers us justification by faith in His Son, Jesus. When we are justified by God, we receive redemption, or salvation, because Christ’s blood covers our sin. But Paul made it clear that the believer’s pursuit of God doesn’t stop with salvation; it continues as each of us is sanctified—made holy—as we persist in following Him. Paul’s treatment of these issues offers a logical and complete presentation of how a person can be saved from the penalty and power of his or her sin. The primary theme running through Paul’s letter to the Romans is the revelation of God’s righteousness in His plan for salvation, what the Bible calls the gospel:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel; for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16–17).
Paul showed how human beings lack God’s righteousness because of our sin (1–3), receive God’s righteousness when God justifies us by faith (4–5), demonstrate God’s righteousness by being transformed from rebels to followers (6–8), confirm His righteousness when God saves the Jews (9–11), and apply His righteousness in practical ways throughout our lives (12–16). The structure of Romans provides a hint into the importance of the book in our everyday lives. Beginning with eleven chapters of doctrines, the book then transitions into five chapters of practical instruction. This union between doctrine and life illustrates for Christians the absolute importance of both what we believe and how we live out those beliefs. Does your day-to-day life mirror the beliefs you hold, or do you find yourself in a constant battle with hypocrisy? Take heed of the doctrine you find within the pages of Romans, but don’t forget to put it into practice as well.”
Key Words and Phrases
Mercies of God
Oiktirmos is the mercies of God or the compassion of God or deep feeling God has about someone’s difficulty or misfortune. The deep feeling God has for humanity; he equally and powerfully shows concern and shares in those following Him.
Believers Should Offer(present) Their Bodies As Living Sacrifice (Verse 1)
Paristémi is defined as to place beside, to present, stand by, or appear. Considering your bodies as the temple of God, you are the steward of your own bodies before God (1Cor. 6:19–20). Thusia refers to sacrifice. It is an offering (sacrifice); an official sacrifice prescribed by God and it should be offered on His terms. It refers to various forms of OT blood sacrifices (types)– all awaiting their fulfillment in their antitype, Jesus Christ (Heb. 10:5 – 12). Zaó is to live or to experience God’s gift of life. Something that is living has its origin from zao. This kind of sacrifice is characteristic of cleanness or without spot or spotless that exemplifies the holiness of God (Eph 4:22–24; 2 Pet. 2:5–10).
Believers Should Offer Their Bodies As Holy (Verse 1).
Soma is body, flesh; the body of the Church is also used figuratively of the mystical Body of Christ (= the Church, the one people of God). The body should be holy before God. Hagios is an adjective that is defined as sacred, or holy. Hágios means “likeness of nature with the Lord” because “different from the world.”
The fundamental (core) meaning of hágios is “different” – thus a temple in the 1st century was hagios (“holy”) because it was different from other buildings (Wm. Barclay).
Believers Should Offer Bodies As Pleasing To The Lord (Verse 1).
Well-pleasing in Greek is euarestos. It means acceptable to the Lord. Logikos (worship) in Greek is what is logical to God. What is logical to God is the reasonable service or worship one can offer to God and become acceptable in his sight.
Text: Romans 12:1
Subject: What are the Expectations Required of Believers in Treating God’s Mercy?
I. Believers should offer their bodies as living sacrifice (verse 1).
- Luke 9:24
II. Believers should offer their bodies as holy (verse 1).
- 2 Cor 7:1
III. Believers should offer bodies as pleasing to the Lord (verse 1).
Main Idea: Offering bodies as living sacrifice, holy, and pleasing to God are true and proper worship God desires (verse 1).
I first noticed this in leading people to Christ. They were beautiful before they were “church broke.” Great young converts often start out as radiant Christians and end up only as carbon-copy Baptists. Great young ministers start out as adorable mavericks, but after a business meeting or two and a church fight, their independence begins to look for protection. And then somebody buys them a new suit, and somebody else gives them an all-expense-paid ticket to the Holy Land. The goodies change them and leave them so codependent on favors that they soon live only for those perks one earns simply by being predictable.
Miller, C. (2011). Letters to a young pastor. Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will (12:1–2).
|Text: Romans 12:1-2|
|Subject: What are the Steps of True Transformation?|
| Complement: |
1. The human’s mind must be renewed (verse 2).
2. The human’s mind must not be conformed to the pattern of this world (verse 2).
|Main Idea: Man will test and approve what God’s will is provided he allows the change process (verse 2).|
|Exegetical Idea: Human’s change is inevitable with reference to God’s purpose and will provided man cooperates with God during the change process (verses 2).|
|Homiletical Idea:Your change is here!|
Key Words and Phrases
Be Not Conformed
Suschématizó is defined as to conform to. It is defined as being identified with” or “having outward shape” and properly assuming a similar outward form (expression) by following the same pattern (model, mold).
Metamorphoó is defined as to transform. It is the root of the English terms “metamorphosis.” It is defined as change after being with “changing form in keeping with inner reality”) – properly, transformed after being with; transfigured.
Text: Romans 12:2
Subject: What are the Steps of True Transformation?
I. The human’s mind must be renewed (verse 2).
II. The human’s mind must not be conformed to the pattern of this world (verse 2).
Main Idea: Man will test and approve what God’s will is provided he allows the change process (verse 2).
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land ( 2 Chronicle 7:14 NIV).
|Text: 2 Chronicle 7:14|
|Subject: The Conditions for Spiritual Renewal|
| Complement: |
1. God’s people should humble themselves (verse 14 a).
2. God’s people should pray (verse 14 b).
3. God’s people should seek His face (verse 14 c).
4. God’s people should repent (verse 14 d; Acts 3:19–21).
|Main Idea: God responds favorably to obedience (verse 14 e).|
|Exegetical Idea: God accepts the sinner when the sinner turns to Him (verse 14 e).|
|Homiletical Idea: What Habitual sin separates you from God’s blessing?|
“A post-exilic (after the exile) Jewish scholar compiled material from many historical resources to chronicle the history of his people. This person is not named and remains unknown, though Ezra has been cited as a possible candidate. Whoever “the chronicler” was, he utilized official and unofficial documents to write this historical account. As noted earlier, 2 Chronicles originally was joined with 1 Chronicles as one book, separated into two books since about 200 BC when the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament, was translated. Second Chronicles covers the time from Solomon’s ascension to the throne (971 BC) until the southern kingdom of Judah was finally carried into exile in Babylon in 586 BC. The focus of the book is on Judah. The author was more concerned with telling the story of David’s descendants, who reigned over Judah, than with the history of the northern kingdom of Israel. The centrality of Jerusalem, where the temple was located, falls in line with the book’s overarching focus on the priesthood as well. Again, 2 Chronicles was probably written in the fifth century BC, “following the return of a small group of Jews to Judah following the fall of the Babylonian Empire. Intent on rebuilding the temple and resettling the Holy Land, the little community soon found itself in a struggle simply to survive.”1 The Jews eventually rebuilt the temple but languished for years in their fight to reclaim the land. Against this backdrop, the chronicler portrayed Jewish history, focusing on the blessings God bestowed when leaders were faithful to His Law. The book opens with Solomon establishing his throne over a unified nation, solidifying his authority and squashing early rebellions (1 Kings 2). He then built the magnificent temple of God, using the plans God gave to his father, David. Six of the nine chapters devoted to King Solomon focus on the temple construction, a task reserved for him since before his birth (2 Chronicles 2–7). When the kingdom split under the rule of Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, the Levites from all over Israel sided with Rehoboam and flocked to Jerusalem to continue their priestly duties (10:1–19). But a cycle of righteousness and corruption characterized the throne. Some kings were completely evil, disregarding God’s Law and leading the people into sinful behaviors. A few kings, such as Solomon, started off as righteous but fell away. Others strayed but repented, such as Manassah (33:1–25). A few kings, such as Hezekiah and Josiah, were honored with the epitaph “he did right in the sight of the LORD” (29:2; 34:2). Throughout 2 Chronicles, faithfulness was rewarded; betrayal was judged. A history lover will enjoy the numerous mentions of secular historical figures during this time period. From Tilgath-pilneser of Assyria, to Sennacherib of Assyria, to Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, non-Jewish foreign leaders played prominent roles in the political fortunes of Judah. The post-exilic Jews needed a reminder of who their God was and how He worked. History provided the best lesson for them. “The author uses the history of Judah to demonstrate that God blesses His people when they remain faithful and joyfully worship the Lord.”2
One writer stated that:
History itself is a call to worship and an invitation to hope. If the struggling community of Jews in Judah will put God first as did godly generations of the past, and show their commitment by a similar zeal for worship, the Lord will surely show His faithfulness to them. The line of David will yet again take Zion’s throne and the kingdom of God be established over all the earth.3 As it did for the Israelites, history can jog our memories. Can you remember times when God blessed you? Such memories are blessings in themselves, as well as encouragements to press on in holiness, with hope and confidence. If you are hard-pressed to recall specific times when God worked in your life, consider your devotional habits. A prayer journal that recalls prayers asked and those answered can act as your own “history” manual. God wants us to remember His works, so we, too, can praise Him for His goodness and have hope for our future!”
Text: 2 Chronicle 7:14
Subject: What are the Conditions for Spiritual Renewal?
I. God’s people should humble themselves (verse 14 a).
II. God’s people should pray (verse 14 b).
III. God’s people should seek His face (verse 14 c).
IV. God’s people should repent (verse 14 d
Main Idea: God responds favorably to obedience (verse 14 e).
For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God (1 John 5:4–5 NIV).
|Text: 1 John 5:4–5|
|Subject: The Conditions for Overcoming the World|
| Complement: |
1. One should be born again (verse 4 a).
2. One should believe that Jesus is the Son of God (verse 4 b).
3. One should walk in faith (Heb 11:6).
|Main Idea: Knowing and believing God’s Son is overcoming the world through the exercise of your faith (verse 4–5).|
|Exegetical Idea: Believing and accepting God’s Son is the pathway to salvation (verse 4–5).|
|Homiletical Idea: You are overcomers!|
The author of this epistle never identified himself by name, but Christians since the beginning of the church have considered this letter authoritative, believing it was written by John the apostle. That group of witnesses includes Polycarp, an early second-century bishop who as a young man knew John personally. In addition, the author clearly places himself as part of a group of apostolic eyewitnesses to the life and ministry of Jesus, noting that “what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also” (1 John 1:3).
John did not specify the recipients of this letter, but given his addresses in Revelation 2–3 to seven churches in the immediate vicinity of Ephesus—the city where John ministered late in his life—he likely had those same churches in mind for this letter. The letter offers little in the way of specifics, so pinpointing the date of its composition can be difficult. However, its similarity with the gospel composed by John means it was probably written near the same time. A date of about AD 90, with John writing from his exile on Patmos, ends up being the best proposition. The parallelisms in 1 John are striking for their simplicity: Christ vs. antichrists, light vs. darkness, truth vs. falsehood, righteousness vs. sin, love of the Father vs. love of the world, and the Spirit of God vs. the spirit of the Antichrist. While this is not a complete list, it reveals a letter that presents the world in an uncomplicated way—there is right and there is wrong, period. This emphasis by John, while striking, is not without love. It’s quite the opposite, in fact. John recognized that love comes from God, and he encouraged the believers to love one another (1 John 4:7). John’s first epistle teaches that while it is important to recognize the lines between truth and error, it must always be done in a spirit of love. As he did in his gospel, John stated with clarity the purpose of his first letter. He proclaimed the good news about Jesus to the recipients of this letter, saying “so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3). Later, John added “so that you may not sin” (2:1) and “so that you may know that you have eternal life” (5:13). John wanted his readers to experience true fellowship with God and with God’s people. But he knew that would not happen until the Christians set aside their own selfish desires in favor of the pursuits God had for them. To help them attain that goal, John focused on three issues: the zeal of the believers, standing firm against false teachers, and reassuring the Christians that they have eternal life. John wrote to churches full of people who had struggled with discouragement—whether due to their own sinful failures or the presence of false teachers in their midst. The aging apostle hoped to ignite the zeal of these believers so that they might follow the Lord more closely and stand firm against those who meant to sow discord among the churches. In doing so, they would solidify their relationship with God and gain confidence in His work in their lives. We all go through ups and downs in our Christian faith. Whatever the struggle—whether outside of us or inside—we often feel ourselves blown about by the winds of emotion or circumstances. Yet God calls us to lives of increasing consistency, with the evidence of our inner transformation becoming more and more apparent as the months and years pass by. How would you characterize your relationship with God—consistent and fruitful or sporadic and parched? John knew that we would never find in ourselves the faithfulness God requires. Instead, we have to place complete trust in the work and grace of God, believing that He will certainly conform us to the image of His Son, Jesus. That sense of being grounded in God only comes when we set aside our sin in the pursuit of the one true God. Or, in the words of John, “if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us” (1 John 4:12).
Key Words and Phrases
Born of God
Gennaó is defined as to beget, or to bring forth. It has to do with procreation of descendents or offspring.
Overcome the world
Nikaó is defined as to conquer, or to prevail. Kosmos is defined as the world, universe; worldly affairs; the inhabitants of the world; or adornment.
Text: 1 John 5:4–5
Subject: The Condition for Overcoming the World.
I. One should be born again (verse 4 a).
- John 3:1–8
2. 1 Pet 1:23
II. One should believe that Jesus is the Son of God (verse 4 b).
- Romans 10:9
2. Col 2:13
III. One should walk in faith (Heb 11:6).
- Heb 11:6
Main Idea: Knowing and believing God’s Son is overcoming the world through the exercise of your faith (verse 4–5).
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, e just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith (Romans 1:16–17 NIV).”
|Text: Romans 1:16–17|
|Subject: The Effects of the Gospel|
| Complement: |
1. The gospel brings salvation (verse 16 a).
2. The gospel reveals righteousness (verse 17).
|Main Idea: Believing the gospel is the gateway to receiving salvation and righteousness (verse 16–17).|
|Exegetical Idea: The gospel is the power of God to salvation and righteousness (verse 16–17).|
|Homiletical Idea: Believe the gospel and you will receive salvation and righteousness (verse 16–17).|
Key Words and Phrases
Power of God
Dunamis is defined as the (miraculous) power, might, or strength. It is power to achieve by applying the Lord’s inherent abilities. “Power through God’s ability” is needed in every scene of life to really grow in sanctification and prepare for heaven (glorification). It is used 120 times in the NT.
Sótéria is defined as deliverance or salvation. It usage include welfare, prosperity, deliverance, preservation, salvation, or safety. It is God’s rescue which delivers believers out of destruction and into His safety.
Text: Romans 1:16–17
I. The gospel brings salvation (verse 16 a).
- 1 Cor. 15:3–4
2. 1 Pet. 1:3–5
3. Romans 8:11
II. The gospel reveals righteousness (verse 17).
- Romans 4:13
2. Romans 3:21
3. Romans 3:22
Main Idea: Believing the gospel is the gateway to receiving salvation and righteousness (verse 16–17).
SUBJECT, COMPLEMENT, EXEGETICAL IDEA, HOMILETICAL IDEA, AND SERMON OUTLINE AND MANUSCRIPT
In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace (Romans 6:11–14 NIV).
| Text: Romans 6:11–14 |
Subject: The Call to Maintaining Christian Identity
| Complement: |
1. Do not offer yourself to sin (11–13a).
2. Offer yourself to God as instrument of righteousness (13b).
3. Grace has provided the empowerment instead of the law (14).
|Exegetical Idea: The true meaning of the Christian life and the source of the believer’s freedom is total obedience empowered by God’s grace.|
|Homiletical Idea: You are called to obey.|
| Outline: |
I. Maintaining Christian Identity
A. Do not offer yourselves to sin (11–13a).
1. Thess 5:16–22
B. Offer yourselves to God as instrument of righteousness (13b).
1. Romans 12:1
II. The Law or Grace
A. You are under grace instead of the law (14).
1. Eph 2:8–9; 4:7
2. Heb 13:9; 14:16
3. Exodus 12:14–16
4. Lev 1:10–13
5. Matt 5:17–18
Repent from your sin because you are dead to sin and under grace.
The choice you make in life is the sum total of your true existence in this world and the world to come in eternity; therefore, be careful of the choices you make today.
The principle of life and the fortune or misfortune that follows lies in the choices we make in this life. Our lives are the sum result of all the choices we make consciously and unconsciously. If we can control the practice of choices we make, we can manage all of the aspects of our lives; therefore, we can find the liberty that comes from being in charge of our lives. In this junction, it is better to do the right thing than doing what is acceptable. Romans 6:11–14 calls for maintaining Christian identity that is strongly tied to the choices we make in this life. Paul did not start church in Rome, but he knew many leaders in the Romans churches. These churches were made up of Jews and non-Jews and from A.D 49–54 all Jews were expelled from Rome by the Roman Emperor. After their return, having been allowed, the Jewish and non-Jewish Christians had a difficult time co-existing peaceably. They had controversy concerning the exact meaning of the Gospel and the practice of regulations in their lives which center on following Jesus especially in the area of religious customs and holy days. His larger dream was to make the church in Rome as a staging ground for the Gospel to proliferate further west to Spain and beyond. Evidentially manifested concerning the division of the Jews and non-Jews, Paul had a task to bring these groups together through instructional approach using the Gospel message centralizing Jesus as the core of their beliefs system. If the Roman Christians were opinionated concerning the message of the Gospel and could not consent on the definition of the Gospel, Paul’s plan and mission would be taken for granted or compromised. His mission in the epistle is to elucidate the message of the Gospel about salvation through faith in Jesus. He points out that Jesus is the completion of God’s relation with Israel and that God intended that the Gospel spread beyond Israel to non-Jews. This is the reason Paul focuses on Old Testament themes such as Abraham, Torah or circumcision and he implicates the Gospel for the Jew or Gentile affiliation or relationship. In the introduction, few scholars had debated the Pauline authorship in regards to the epistle to the Romans. Evidence is revealed not only in the theme of the grace of God but in the evidence the individual who scribed the letter was “without doubt a Jew who was thoroughly familiar with the Pharisaical Judaism (Acts 23:6), as well as one who was burdened to proclaim the gospel to the Gentiles world (Acts 13:47).” The Apostle Paul wrote the letter to the brethren of faith in Rome. Brooten refers to the recipients as “the Roman community of those who believed in Christ.”
Paul did not establish the church in Rome and he had not yet paid any visit at the time of writing the epistle to the Roman Christians. Corley presents two possibilities of church establishment in Rome. Primarily, the church might have been established through the evangelization of the early converts. Secondly, the church in Rome might have been established as a result of the witnessing of the proselytes, Roman Jews who were in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. The establishment or institution of the church ministry in Rome might have come from both of these factors. A relatively small number of scholars maintains that the church in Rome was Jewish in majority; however, the traditional view holds that the church was by large a Gentile church. Paul wrote this letter primarily to teach on universal holiness
MAINTAINING CHRISTIAN IDENTITY
The Christian identity in Christ is an individual uniqueness that is associated or directly linked to the soul of mankind. It is an individual personhood that is invisible in the natural but it can be seen or viewed in the spiritual. It is transliterated in Greek as psuché (ψυχή, ῆς, ἡ). It is a feminine noun and it is called the soul, life, or self. It is the seat of affection and will. It is an invisible individualism that is directly linked to God’s identity (holiness). Identity in Christ means that believers should look like Christ in God. Christ was without sin; on the contrary, we were born as sinners by virtue of the Adamic nature in us; fortunately, when Christ was revealed, he was revealed to atone for sin once for all (Romans 5:12–18). He died for sin so that the body of sin might be done away with so that we can live new life. The new life is actualized in Christ when the sinner believes in Christ and accepts him as Lord and Savior. The human soul that experienced the sin nature as the result of disobedience becomes anew through the Spirit. Christ’s identity is joined to the human soul identity (psuché). This identity is what the believer needs to live an overcoming Christian life in this world of perversion or sin.
Do Not Offer Yourselves To Sin (11–13a, 13b)
Paul admonishes the Christians at Rome to not offer themselves to sin as instrument of unrighteousness, but rather they should offer themselves to God as instrument of righteousness. The focus of this commandment is placed on obedience in the Christian life. He uses the reflexive pronoun in this passage indicating an action that is performed by self. It indicates that despite of men being tempted by Satan, he has the will power to make decision. He or she can choose to say no to the devil or he or she can choose to say yes to the devil. The devil does not infringe on the decision we make in life. The choices we make in this life can become the sum total of our existence. If the devil had the power to infringe on people’s decision making, no one could be saved in this world. Thanks be to God that Jesus died to stop the devil to infringe on the decision we make. You have been made freed by the reason of Jesus’ redemptive works on the cross. Paul re-emphasized to the Christians in Rome to not offer themselves to sin. The Greek word offer is transliterated as paristémi (παρίστημι). It means to present, stand by, appear, or place beside. It has to do with having fellowship with sin or yielding or living in sin. It is forbidden for believers to offer the parts of their body to sinful living. Examine the activities of your body parts to see what each member of your body is involved. What part of your body is used to commit sin? Do you use your feet, mouth, hands, mind etc. to destroy someone’s home or do you use them to bring glory to God? Christians are admonished to not offer the parts of their body to sin because they are dead to sin. Nekros (νεκρός) as transliterated means dead, lifeless, subject to death, mortal or dead body. Literally, it means what lack life. Figuratively, it means the inability to respond to impulses or perform function. It is an adjective that describes the unresponsiveness to life-giving influences (opportunities) that are inoperative to the things of God. One must be dead to sin through the works of Christ on the cross coupled with the believer’s obedience to God. The believer’s responsibility to total obedience becomes God’s ability in him or her to live above sin. Our empowerment before God to overcome sin in this world demands our obedience. Our responsibility is God’s ability in us to function with Him.
Offer Yourselves To God As Instrument Of Righteousness (13b)
Believers are admonished to offer the parts of their body to God as instrument of righteousness. He uses the words consider or reckon. Logizomai (λογίζομαι) in Greek means I reckon, I count, I am charge with, I reason, I decide, I conclude, I think, or I suppose. It is an act of making decision to carry out specific task assigned to an individual. The word instrument in Greek is hoplon (ὅπλον) which means an instrument, a tool, an implement, weapons, or arms. It means an instrument to make war which underlines that God has given us all resources we need to prevail in spiritual warfare provided we consider our body parts as instruments of war. Our parts should not be offered to sin; instead, they should be offered to God in holiness to become effective in fighting this spiritual warfare. The fervent prayer of the righteousness man is effective before God to answer prayer (James 5:14–17). God has called us into spiritual warfare. The victory we have is determined by our obedience before him (Romans 1:4). The victory we obtain in spiritual warfare is the result of being alive in Christ. We cannot fight Satan and overcome him if we are outside of Christ. It will be a spiritual suicide for anyone outside of Christ and who tries to fight Satan. You cannot fight someone whom you belong to. The life we have in Christ is characterized by the experience God’s gift of life. This God’s gift of life called zaó in Greek that is tied to charisma (anointing or gift). God has empowered believers through his anointing. The anointing that has two sides of life is God’s. It can heal, deliver, or it can kill or destroy. This is the reason God said that no one should touch his anointed or does his prophet any harm (Psalm 105:15). The end product of obedience is tied to believers reigning with Christ through righteousness. The Greek word, transliterated as basileuó means to rule as king in exercising dominion. This rule is tied to the kingdom of God which has to do with influence. Believers are called and predestined to exercise influence in any given situation. Knowing your kingdom authority as a believer is paramount to your victory in Christ. You are called to represent God on planet earth. You can declare God’s presence in a given situation to advert unfavorable situation provided you know and understand your authority. You are called to rule (kurieuó) as the result of God’s righteousness (dikaiosuné). God is the source or author of this righteousness that you have inherited by adoption as sons when you accepted Christ.
THE LAW OR GRACE
Law and grace are two things with respect to covenants and dispensations. Paul declares to the Roman Christians that they are not under the law; instead, they are under grace by reason of covenants and dispensations. The law (nomos) in this scripture refers to the Old Testament or the Mosaic Law. The believers in Rome were both Jews and Gentiles in populations. The Jews were capitalizing on the Old Testament Law observance; on the other hand, the Gentiles believers were capitalizing on faith in Jesus Christ. The gospel message was misunderstood by the Jews populations in this setting. Paul having planned to visit them in order to impart to them some spiritual gifts (Romans 1:11), wrote to correct this erroneous doctrine taught by the Jews. Grace is tied to Jesus’ death on the cross to bring redemption and empowerment to believers; on the contrary, the law could not save mankind neither empowers anyone to live above sin. Paul mentions the law of sin and death and the law of the Spirit in Christ Jesus in Romans 8:1–5. These laws correlate to the Law (nomos) and grace (charis) at different dispensations with respect to covenant and sacrifice.
During the Liberian Civil conflict, check points were set up on various roads to check the identity of people who happened to cross in the check points of both government and rebels’ control areas. The search was carried out in order to check who were rebels, government soldiers or civilians. Those who were not properly identified or found to be opponents were in serious troubles; eventually, they were drastically dealt with. Some were inhumanely treated or killed as the result of identity issues. Today, we will discuss how we as Christians can maintain our identities in Christ to help us stand in God and to enable us face the devil in spiritual warfare.
Primarily, identify yourselves as being dead to sin because you are a Christian. One way to do this is to take a retrospect and introspect of your life some years ago and compare it with your present Christian life. Do you see or find any difference the way you live on the daily basis. Does your life show strength in the area of overcoming the desire of the sinful nature? Spend time in the reading of God’s word followed by praying and fasting. Read scriptures that talk about obedience, sin, holiness, authority, and who you are in Christ. Say totally to temptation and sin no in the name of Jesus and victory is sure based on your obedience to the word of God.
The principle of life
and the fortune or misfortune that follows lies in the choices we make in this
life and this can make a lasting impact to our visions, ministries, calling,
and family life. Our lives are the sum result of all the choices we make consciously
and unconsciously. If we can control the practice of choices we make, we can
manage all of the aspects of our lives; therefore, we can find the liberty that
comes from being in charge of our lives. It is better to do the right thing
than doing what is acceptable. Acceptability with respect how people make
choices liberally is relatively graded based on what individual sees right
rather than considering what God sees right. It is obvious that relativism is
in battles with absolutism with regards to the choices people make. There is
real war taking place in the human soul that draws attention to the battle
believers are involved. We must fight spiritually looking at Jesus who is the
author and finisher of our faith.
Bernadette J Brooten, Love between Women: Early Christian Responses to Female Homoeroticism (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press), 105, 1996.
 Vaughan, Curtis and Corley, Bruce, Romans: A Study Guide Commentary (Grand Rapids: The Zondervan Corporation), 45, 1976.
Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia.When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them (Acts 16:6–10 NIV).
|SUBJECT||The Macedonian Call|
|COMPLEMENT||1. God sends his missionaries to specific geographic location and specific people group in order to advance his kingdom (6–8). |
2. Missionaries are encouraged to be sensitive to the voice of God and act accordingly (9–10).
|EXEGETICAL IDEA||God sends missionaries to particular geographic locations and missionaries are required to obey God’s mission agenda.|
|HOMILETICAL IDEA||We are to go to the location and people God sends us to.|
|SERMON OUTLINE|| I. God’s initiative to Mission Works |
A. God sends People to specific location and people group (6–8).
1. Gen 45:8
2. Psalm 105:26
3. Exod 3:10
B. God reveals his mission plan through vision, dream, or intuition (9–10).
1. Isa 6:8
2. Jer 1:7
C. Man’s Response to God’s Mission Works (9–10).
1. Man goes.
2. Man preaches.
3. Man heals through the power of God.
|ILLUSTRATION||The Prophet Jonah was asked to go to Nineveh; unfortunately, he disobeyed God due to the prevailing circumstances that the children of Israel and the Assyrians were not good neighbors. How many of you plan a trip to somewhere else and were diverted to change the plan? Paul had a plan to go somewhere else; however, he was diverted to go to Macedonia to preach the gospel as the result of the vision he received from God.|
|APPLICATION||To respond to God’s agenda, we must table our agenda by being obedient to the voice of God. We can do this by being prayerful, mission minded, and are willing to venture for mission.|
|CONCLUSION||When we make ourselves available to mission works, our inability to do mission works becomes God’s ability in us to do the unusual things.|
The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” “Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord. Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant (Jer 1:4- 10 NIV).
|SUBJECT||The Call of Jeremiah|
|COMPLEMENT||1. God knows the unknowing and appoints them (6). |
2. Man limits his ability to function, but God promises strength and protection (7–8).
3. God empowers and appoints man to destroy and to build (9–10).
|EXEGETICAL IDEA||God empowers the unborn and appoints him to function according to His plan.|
|HOMILETICAL IDEA||You cannot escape the call of God on your life.|
|SERMON OUTLINE||I. The Omniscience and the Election of God (6). |
1. God knows the presence, the past, and the future (6).
2. God elects His chosen and sends him or her (6).
II. Man’s Perception about Himself (7–8).
1. Man has fear (7–8).
2. Man limits his ability (7–8).
III. God’s Response to Man’s perception (7–10).
1. God promises strength (9–10).
2. God promises protection (9–10).
|ILLUSTRATION||How many of you have limited yourselves as the result of your inadequacy based on your ability to function in various capacities such as educational background, age category, the inability to articulate mentally and in speech communication? Some of these issues tend to limit us to reach out. Jeremiah, the prophet had the same problem when he was called to reach to the world.|
|APPLICATION||In order to reach out to the world to proclaim the gospel message, we should ignore our limitations and recognize God’s ability in us to do mission. We can do so by recognizing God’s protection, his power, and provision on our lives while we are on the mission field.|
|CONCLUSION||When we avail ourselves to God, he can use our availability to do his works through us instead of our qualifications. It takes God’s ability in us to do his works in regardless of our qualifications. Our qualifications before God do not count when it comes to God’s works.|
On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him.But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison. Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there.When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed (Acts 8:1–7 NIV).
|SUBJECT||Persecution Advances the Gospel Message|
|COMPLEMENT||1. The church is scattered (1–3). |
2. The gospel is preached, signs are performed, healing occurred, and people paid close attention to the gospel’s message (4–7).
|EXEGETICAL IDEA||God allows persecution against the church in order to advance the gospel message to the unbelieving world.|
|HOMILETICAL IDEA||Leave your comfort zone and allow God to use you.|
|SERMON OUTLINE||I. Why Persecution (1–3)?|
A. The church goes (1–3).
1. Acts 8:1–3
2. Gal 1:13, 23
3. Acts 20:28
B. The gospel is preached (4–7).
1. Phil 1:12–14
2. Phil 4:23
3. Phil 1:12–30
C. Signs and wonders followed.
1. Acts 8:5
2. Acts 20:20–26
3. Acts 8:28
|ILLUSTRATION||How many of you have been persecuted for preaching the gospel? How many of you are settled down and are not making move to reach out? In the days of the early church, God allowed persecution against the apostles to advance the gospel message to the world.|
|APPLICATION||Plan a mission endeavor to another country to minister and see how God expands your territory to reach more people. Do it prayerfully, intentionally, and missionally to affect the unaffected of the world evangelically.|
|CONCLUSION||When we make ourselves unavailable to God or become disobedient to his call, he can create a situation for us in order to carry out his mandate for our betterment and for his kingdom advancement.|