Christ Brings New Life

A young woman was talking to a devoted Christian lady and said, “I would give the world to have your experience.” “My dear,” was the reply, “that’s exactly what it cost me. I gave the world for it.” (Source unknown) … More

Transformed

Paul now moves from the doctrinal part of his letter to the practical part. It has been said that “what we believe helps us to determine how we behave.” In order to be a happy fruitful Christian we must translate our learning into living. This is the missing link in the lives of many Christians today. People sit under good doctrinal teaching of the Word week in and week out and never put into practice anything that they learn. God wants us to offer ourselves, not animals as a living sacrifice, putting all our energy and resources at His disposal and trusting Him to guide us.

To have a right relationship with God we must start each day by yielding our minds, wills and bodies to Him (v. 2). Our mind controls our body, and our will controls our mind. Many people think they can control their will by “will power,” but usually they fail. This was what Paul was experiencing in Romans 7:15-21. It is only when we yield our will to God that His power can take over and give us the will power that we need to be a victorious Christian.

It is very easy to go to one of two extremes. We may “think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think” and become very proud of what we do and what we do not do (v. 3). This, in my opinion, is why many preachers and Christian workers today have fallen into immorality and other types of sin that have brought great reproach upon them and the church. On the other hand there is the opposite possibility. Because we may not have particular gifts and abilities, we develop an inferiority complex and think we are just a “dirty old rag for Jesus” and not capable of doing anything for Him. It is of little value to know the truths of the Word of God if the body is not surrendered so the life of Christ can show in the everyday affairs of our life. It is possible for a Christian to think he is spiritual, when actually he may be very sensual. This kind of person will not go to prayer meeting because it is too hot. He will not work in the slums because they are too smelly. In other words, he is a sensual Christian. This simply means that he is ruled by the senses.

Application

Sacrifice in the Old Testament was important, but God made it clear that obedience was much more important. God wants me to offer myself as a living sacrifice; daily laying aside my own desires to follow Him, putting all my energy and resources at His disposal, and trusting Him to guide me.

Romans 12:1-8 (English Standard Version)

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

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