Different: Session 1- The Choice
Central Theme: Choosing to live sacrificially
Objective Statement: We should choose to live sacrificially for Christ because of these 3 compelling reasons.
- It’s a new year, and it’s time for something new.
- People often feel that way this time of year.
- Usually we eat and party in December, and with the turn of the new year we realize we need to reflect on some things that need to change.
- We make resolutions and set goals and those things can be good.
- Today I’m going to try to convince you on making a different kind of choice.
- And the theme of the next few weeks is “Different”.
- Now when I was a kid, I was worried about being different.
- I wanted to fit in.
- I wanted people to like me.
- Back in the day there were all kinds of things that people did to fit in.
- Basketball Shorts- When I played basketball the style was to have long baggy shorts. I played at a Christian school where the uniforms they gave us were from the Larry Bird Era. It looked like we were wearing diapers to play basketball. It was awful. I’ve been noticing now the shorts are getting shorter again. Styles change.
- Terminology changes- I was a youth pastor for almost 8 years, and then I went to a new church and wasn’t doing youth anymore. I realized that I wasn’t cool when I used a term that I had heard and I thought I knew what it meant, but when I said the term all the kids gasped!!!
- None of us like not fitting in.
- There is a sense where it is perfectly acceptable to want to understand and adapt to the culture that we’re in, but there is a part of the culture that we should reject.
- The problem is that if you try to fit in to every fad and culture today, you’re going to find yourself in a dark place spiritually, morally, and relationally.
- If you are going to live for God in this culture, there will be a sense in which you will have to go against the flow.
- You’ll have to make the intentional choice to be different.
- You’ll have to think differently. You’ll have to act differently.
- And there is good news to all of this. God wants to transform us. He wants to make us different.
- He doesn’t want for us to be different through behavior modification.
- He wants us to be different by being transformed!
- Normal isn’t working.
- Normal people have marriages and relationships that are in tatters.
- Normal people in our culture are living lives without meaning.
- Normal people find themselves at odds with God.
- Many normal people are on their way to hell.
- Over the next few weeks, I want to show you God’s plan for making you different.
- I’m not going to sugar coat this.
- I want you to choose to give your life to Christ.
- If you are not saved, we want you to get saved. We do not want you to go to hell. We want you to have a relationship with Jesus.
- If you are saved, we want you to commit to lifelong transformation. God saved you. He has gifted you. He has an incredible plan for your life. He didn’t save you just so that you would go to heaven. He saved you and He wants to continue to transform you. He wants to make you different.
- In this series we are going to do a deep dive on Romans 12:1-2.
(1) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (2) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
- And so that leads me to that other choice I was talking about.
We should choose to live lives of sacrifice for Christ. And we should do it for these 3 compelling reasons.
- The choice is to give your life to Christ. Why should we give our lives to Jesus?
REASON #1. Because of what God has done for us.
“Say “what he’s done””
(1) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
- Chapter 12 verse 1 indicates a transition that Paul is making in his letter to the Romans.
- Paul almost always started out with a greeting, then a thanksgiving section, and then teaching or doctrine in all his letters. Once he was done with the doctrine he would then go on and talk about the application. Right believing should always lead to right living.
- He says, “therefore”, which means that he is about to say what he is about to say because of what he has just said. :)
- What did he just say... In the first 11 chapters He talked about the “mercy of God”! What God has done for us!
- Let me show you just a few sections to summarize…
(18) For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
(19) Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
(20) For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
- Before we were saved we deserved God’s Wrath.
Rom 3:23 “for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,
- We deserved God’s wrath because of our sin.
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
- Sins penalty brings death.
- God’s gift gives us life.
(6) For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (7) For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. (8) But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (9) Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
While we were God’s enemies, he gave His own son and made him the object of His wrath so that we wouldn’t have to face the judgement of our sins.
(22) Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: (23) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (24) Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
- We are made right with God because of the price that Christ paid no matter who we are or where we come from.
(9) That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
(13) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
- We deserve wrath.
- We deserved judgement.
- We were God’s enemies.
- We were without hope and far from God.
- But because of God’s love and mercy we have been adopted, and loved, and set free, and changed, and forgiven and redeemed and sanctified...and one day we’ll be glorified!!!
- This is God’s mercy towards us!
- I have a son... (as you can see from the pictures that his proud Aunt put all over your retreat booklets)... and he is the coolest kid in the world. The kid almost never stops smiling. He loves monster trucks... it’s the first thing he says to me every day...”Daddy, Monster Truck”. I love that kid so much.
- And if our plane was going down over the pacific with 1 parachute left and the choice was between you and him to live and I had to make a choice, I hope you can swim! I’m not giving up my son!
- But look at God’s mercy to us:
(31) What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (32) He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
- Isn’t this incredible?
- This leads me to the second reason 2...
We should choose to live sacrificially for Christ...
2. Because of what God deserves from us.
“Say “what he deserves””
Which is your reasonable worship…
The Greek work is “λογικός”. “logikos”
From G3056; rational (“logical”): - reasonable, of the word.
- The idea that Paul is conveying here is this— In light of all that God’s done, living for Him just makes sense.
- The logical response to an infinite Creator and Redeemer is to live the way He wants us to live!
- God deserves every honor, worship and sacrifice we can give to him. He just does.
- This logic flows out of Biblical teaching all over the place... for example...
1 Corinthians 6:18-20
(18) Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
(19) What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
(20) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
- Now their is a danger in a potential attitude that could come from this thinking- that God deserves it, and that it is mere duty. It’s a labor that we “have to do” rather than what we “get to do”.
- And so that leads me to the third response...
We should choose to live sacrificially for Christ because of these 3 compelling reasons
Reason 3. Because of what God desires for us.
Say “What God Desires”
(2) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
- God’s will for us is not bad...It’s good.
- It’s not for our harm but for our good.
- When God says “don’t”, we should hear “don’t hurt yourself”.
- Parents, we get this don’t we. We want good for our kids and not evil. And so that means being for them means being against some things that they want to do.
Psa 119:1 ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. Psa 119:92 Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction.
(7) The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. (8) The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. (9) The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. (10) More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. (11) Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
(8) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast. (10) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
What would your life look like if you chose to consistently live out the gospel every day?
It would look like living sacrificial lives of worship to God. Why should we live like that?
· Because of What God has done.
· Because of What God deserves.
· Because of What God desires for us....
So let me ask you...
- Have you accepted God’s gift of salvation? God has done so much for you... Have you accepted His free gift of salvation?
- Are you living a life that is consistently living out the gospel?
- Is the habitual repentance of sin, and giving up wrong things for the Lord?
- Are you bold about your relationship with the God with others?
- Do you live like someone who understands what God has done, what he deserves and what he desires for you?