Zion Baptist Church
Friday, July 21, 2017
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The Book of Romans
 
Practical Christian Service
Romans 12:1-21
 
July 14, 2013
Introduction:
     Paul, having set forth in the proceeding chapters the great doctrines of Christianity, proceeds now to instruct believers how they are to conduct themselves in every walk of life, for the glory of God.  In the Christian life, doctrine and duty always go together.  What we believe helps to determine how we behave.  It is not enough for us to understand Paul’s doctrinal explanations.  We must translate our learning into living and show by our daily lives that we trust God’s Word.  Mere head knowledge of Christian doctrine is cold and lifeless.  Mark 4:20, And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred. The practical emphases concerning the Christian walk are learn Biblical truth, take possession of the truth, and live the truth.  God’s Word is more than just a good book to read, it is our instruction book on how to live for the glory of God. 
     The Christian life is centered on building relationships.  If we have a right relationship with God, we will have a right relationship with the people who are a part of our daily lives.  Chapter twelve focus on four key relationships. 1. The believer’s relationship with God.  2. The believer’s relationship to the gifts of the Holy Spirit. 3. The believer’s relationship to other believers. 4. The believer’s relationship with unbelievers.
 
I.       The Believer’s Relationship with God, Vs 1-2
  1. V 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.  Romans 3:20 is the “therefore” that declared the whole world guilty before God.  Romans 5:1 is the “therefore” of justification by faith.  Romans 8:1 is the “therefore” of assurance.  Romans 12:1 is the “therefore” of dedication.
  2. “By the mercies of God.”  The word “mercies” is plural indicating an abundance of mercy.  God is rich in compassion, pity, and tenderness and He never fails.
  3. “Present your bodies.” The word “present” means to present once for all.  It commands a definite commitment of the body to the Lord.  Based on God’s mercy believers should use their bodies for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, 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? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. II Corinthians 4:10, Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
  4. “a living sacrifice.” The word “sacrifice” is connected to worship. Worship entails offering our bodies as a living sacrifice, which means dedication of the total person, body, mind, and will, to living for God’s honor.  Believers are to be different from the non-Christian society.
  5. holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”Holy” means set apart for the Lord’s use, “acceptable” means pleasing to God, and “reasonable” means that worship is an every day experience when we yield our bodies to the Lord.
  6. V 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.  The world want to control your mind, but God wants to transform your mind.  Ephesians 4:17-24, This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
  7. “but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  The world wants to change your mind by exerting pressure from without.  But the Holy Spirit changes your mind by releasing power from with in.  If the world controls your thinking, you are a conformer; if God controls your thinking, you are a transformer.  God transforms our minds and makes us spirituality minded by using His Word.  As we spend time meditating on God’s Word, memorizing it, and making it a part of our inner being, God will gradually make our minds more spiritual.    II Corinthians 3:18, But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
  8. “that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”  Many people think they can control their will by will power, but that usually fails.  It is only when we yield our will to God that His power can take over and give us the willpower that we need to be victorious Christians.  A mind dedicated to the world and its concerns will produce a life tossed back and forth by the current culture.  But a mind dedicated to God’s truth will produce a life that can stand the test of time.  We can resist the temptations of our culture by meditating on God’s truth and letting the Holy Spirit guide and shape our thoughts and behaviors.
 
July 21, 2013
II.       The Believer’s Relationship to the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, Vs 3-8
  1. V 3, For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faithThe book of Romans was written to the members of the local church in Rome.  The “renewed mind” referred to in verse two begins with an honest evaluation about oneself and what our role is to be in the local church. It is not wrong for believers to recognize gifts in their own lives and in the lives of others.  But it is wrong to overrate ourselves and try to perform ministry that we have not been called to perform.  It is also wrong to underrate ourselves and not perform ministry that God has given us the necessary gifts to perform.  God’s grace gives the gifts and the believer must accept and exercised these gifts by faith.  Since our gifts are from God, the believer cannot take credit for them.  All we can do is accept them and use them for the glory of God.  1 Corinthians 15:9-10, For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.  The “measure of faith” refers to God’s sovereignly given gifts referred to in verses six through eight. These gifts are not the result of intense prayer or spirituality.  Instead, God simply gives every believer certain gifts so that he can strengthens the ministry of the local church.   1 Corinthians 12:11, But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. 1 Corinthians 12:18, But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. When individual believers in the local church know their gifts, accept them by faith, and use them for God’s glory, then God can bless in a wonderful way.
  2. Vs 4-5, For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Every believer needs to know his place in the local church. New believers are Christians but by themselves are not a church. So the challenge of the local church is to take individual believers and incorporate them into the ministry of the local church, based on their spiritual gifts. God has given gifted men to the church for the purpose of bringing the saints to maturity and then equipping them to do the work of the ministry.  Ephesians 4:12, For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: As individual believers mature, the local church is built up, en­couraged, and comes to spiritual maturity. God gives a believer a spiritual gift and when he uses that gift he is a minister or administer of God's grace to others.
  3. Vs 6-8, Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. Spiritual gifts can be defined as, An ability, that is given by the Holy Spirit to every believer at the moment of salvation, and when developed, it will enable the believer to perform a function in the body of Christ with ease and effectiveness. Notice several elements in this definition: 1) Spiritual gifts are given at the moment of salvation. 2) All believers have at least one spiritual gift.  3) A spiritual gift is given in an undeveloped form. 4) To be used effectively, a spiritual gift must be developed. 5) When a spiritual gift is developed, a believer will enjoy using his gift and he will be effective when he uses it.
  4. In the Greek language, there are several words used for spiritual gifts which teach us that, 1) Spiritual gifts are a gift given by God to believers, 2) These gifts are to operate under the control of the Holy Spirit who will energize them with divine power, and 3)  when used, the gifts will be visible and will be used to serve others.
  • charis­ma which means, "a [divi­ne] gratui­ty" or a "a [spiritual] endowment."  The Greek word charisma comes from the root word charis which means "a [free] gift" and the word char which means "joy" or "ful­fillment.”
  • pneumatik­on which means, to be "con­trolled by" spiritual things­ (I Corinthians 12:1)­.
  • diakonia (trans­lated "administrations" in I Corinthians 12:5) which means, "to serve."
  • energeo (translated "operations" in I Corinthians 12:6) which means, "energized by God."
  • phanerosis (translated "manifestation" in I Corinthians 12:7) which means, "visible."
  • domata­ (Ephesians 4:8) which simply means, a "gift."
  1. Spiritual gifts are irrevocable and must be pursued and developed.  Romans 11:29, For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.  1 Peter 4:10, As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Some gifts may become dormant because a believer isn't using their gift.  This seemed to be what Paul had in mind when he said to Timothy to "neglect not the gift."  I Timothy 4:14, Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery and to "stir up the gift" II Timothy 1:6, Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.    Allow­ing gifts to become dormant is one of the ways we can, "quench the Spirit." Ephesians 4:30, And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
  2. The list of spiritual gifts in verse 6-8 is not complete.  Other spiritual gifts are listed in I Corinthians 12:8-10; 28-30, Ephesians 11, and I Peter 4:11. Spiritual gifts include the speaking gifts of prophecy, evangelism, pastor-teacher, and teachers.  Service gifts are mercy, service, giving, administration, and exhortation.
 
July 28, 2013
III.      The Believer’s Relationship to Other Believers, Vs 9-16
  1. V 9. Let love be without dissimulation.  Love in this case is love that enables all the members of the church to function in a healthy, harmonious way.  The greatest proof of the gospel message and of the reality of Jesus’ love is the love believers show each other. Philippians 2:2-8, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
  2. V 9, Abhor that which is evil, means to express your hatred of that which is evil.  When something is going on in the local church that is wrong, the church needs to have the fortitude to stand for what is honorable.  The members of the local church need to have the backbone to express their hatred for that which is evil and take the necessary steps to correct the wrong.
  3. V 9, cleave to that which is good.  Cleave means to stick like adhesive tape, to be welded or cemented together with the good things.  The believer should always be identified with good things rather than shady or questionable practices.  The local church must be open in her dealings and focused on her mission.
  4. V 10, Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another. Members of the local church are to love each other as family.  They should love the brethren in the faith as though they were brethren in blood.  It is a self-sacrificial love that involves an act that deliberately seeks the best for another.  God’s people should love to fellowship with other believers.  Christian fellowship is much more than a pat on the back and a handshake.  It means sharing the burdens and the blessings of others so that we all grow together and glorify the Lord. 
  5. V 11, Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.  When the believer ministers to others it is an act of serving the Lord.  Believers should not offer their services half-heartedly or in a lazy manner.  Instead the members of the local church are to serve eagerly and in earnest.
  6. V 12, Rejoicing in hope patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.  When satanic opposition and discouragement come each member of the local church needs to be an encouragement to each other.   We cannot permit our zeal for the Lord to grow cold.  We know who holds the future, which should cause us to be a church of prayer.
  7. V 13, Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality, means sharing the necessities of life with needy believers.  A humble attitude and a willingness to share are the marks of a Christian who truly ministers to the local body.
  8. V 14, Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. A believer should not persecute another believer, instead when we disagree we need to seek God’s will together to resolve the problems.
  9. Vs 15-16, Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Believers of the local church should not be afraid to share the joys and sorrows of other believers.  Being of the same mind doesn’t mean uniformity of thought but having the mind of Christ, understanding and living the will of God.  We do not need to be wise in our own opinions.  Proverbs 26:12, Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.
 
Aug 4, 2013
IV.     The Believer’s Relationship with unbelievers, Vs, 17-21
  1. V 17, Recompense to no man evil for evil.  The believer should expect evil if he is going to serve God.  However, but he must not play God and try to avenge himself.
  2. V 17, Provide things honest in the sight of all men.  There is nothing that can hurt the cause of Christ more that a dishonest Christian.  The non-Christian is more concerned if you can be trusted, do you pay your honest debts, and are you a person that they can depend on, than they are about your doctrine.
  3. V 18, If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. The believer’s aim should be to “live peaceably.”  But sometimes peace is not within our control; this is why Paul limits the command.  Do the best you can.
  4. V 19, Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.  God who is sovereign can convert even a Saul who persecuted the Lord’s church.  God is the judge and the administrator of wrath.  The believer’s role is to display God’s grace and love in our lives.
  5. V 20, Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.  Freed from vengeance, believer’s can give themselves to mercy, even toward their enemies.  By acts of kindness, the believer will “heap coals of fire” on their enemies, perhaps bring shame and repentance to them.  It is possible for an enemy to become a friend.  This is the phenomenal power of God’s love. 
  6. V 21, Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.  God has given the believer the “good,” which is the Holy Spirit.  The believer is to walk in the Spirit. Galatians 5:16, This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. Galatians 5:25, If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
 
Conclusion:
     In the Christian life, doctrine and duty always go together.  What we believe helps to determine how we behave.  It is not enough for us to understand Paul’s doctrinal explanations.  We must translate our learning into living and show by our daily lives that we trust God’s Word.  Mere head knowledge of Christian doctrine is cold and lifeless.  Mark 4:20, And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred. The practical emphases concerning the Christian walk are learn Biblical truth, take possession of the truth, and live the truth.  God’s Word is more than just a good book to read, it is our instruction book on how to live for the glory of God. 
     The Christian life is centered on building relationships.  If we have a right relationship with God, we will have a right relationship with the people who are a part of our daily lives.  Chapter twelve focus on four key relationships. 1. The believer’s relationship with God.  2. The believer’s relationship to the gifts of the Holy Spirit. 3. The believer’s relationship to other believers. 4. The believer’s relationship with unbelievers.
 
 
 
 
Created and Researched by Pastor Dennis Baker
Zion Baptist Church
3485 New Baumgartner Rd. - St. Louis, MO 63129 - Phone: 314-846-1867