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Now It’s Your Turn - Romans 12:1-2

Taught on | Topic: the surrendered life | Keywords: bodies, commit, lifestyle, minds, sacrifice, seizing, surrendering, will

The blessings of God and the work of Christ have been flowing like a dynamic stream for eleven chapters so far. He saves, He justifies, He promises, He gives peace, He works everything together for good in our lives, and He plans an epic eternity for us. So how should we respond to all of this? What is our part? That’s what the next five chapters of Romans are all about. The thrust of this next section is: Based on all that God has done for you, now it’s your turn!

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12/8/2019
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Now It’s Your Turn
Romans 12:1-2
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
The blessings of God and the work of Christ have been flowing like a dynamic stream for eleven chapters so far. He saves, He justifies, He promises, He gives peace, He works everything together for good in our lives, and He plans an epic eternity for us. So how should we respond to all of this? What is our part? That’s what the next five chapters of Romans are all about. The thrust of this next section is: Based on all that God has done for you, now it’s your turn!
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Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans

Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans

When the wrath of God meets the righteousness of God, where does that leave us? The apostle Paul says that we are marked by sin at birth but marked righteous at salvation. In this series through Romans, Skip Heitzig explains the essentials of Christian doctrine that can transform your thoughts, words, and actions. Move from sinner to saint, and from saved to Spirit-filled as you inscribe the essence of the gospel onto your heart and soul.

Outline

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  1. The Presentation of Our Bodies (v. 1)

    1. The Audience

    2. The Awareness

    3. The Appeal

  2. The Transformation of Our Minds (v. 2a)

    1. Negatively

    2. Positively

  3. The Apprehension of His Will (v. 2b)

Study Guide

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Connect Recap Notes: December 8, 2019
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Now It's Your Turn"
Text: Romans 12:1-2

Path

The blessings of God and the work of Christ have been flowing like a dynamic stream for eleven chapters so far. He saves, He justifies, He promises, He gives peace, He works everything together for good in our lives, and He plans an epic eternity for us. So how should we respond to all of this? What is our part? That's what the next five chapters of Romans are all about. The thrust of this next section is: Based on all that God has done for you, now it's your turn!
  1. The Presentation of Our Bodies (v. 1)
    1. The Audience
    2. The Awareness
    3. The Appeal
  2. The Transformation of Our Minds (v. 2a)
    1. Negatively
    2. Positively
  3. The Apprehension of His Will (v. 2b)
Points

The Presentation of Our Bodies (v. 1)
  • For some, the Christian life is nothing more than what he or she can get from it; there's little response to God's work on their behalf. After telling us what God has done for us, Paul outlined how we should respond: finding our purpose in living for Christ.
A. The Audience
  • Paul addressed this section to the "brethren"—that is, Christians—people within God's spiritual family. Paul consistently distinguished between Jews, Gentiles, and the church. We can't expect non-Christians to act like Christians; however, as Christians we should surrender to God's will in obedience and faith.
B. The Awareness
  • Paul's argument was based on the truths he previously presented. All are condemned by sin but can be made righteous by Jesus (Romans 1-3). We are justified by faith (Romans 4). We have access to God, the hope of heaven, and are shaped through trials (Romans 5). We are free from the law and sin and adopted as children of God (Romans 6-8). God will keep His promises to Jews and to Gentiles (Romans 9-11). Because of everything done "by the mercies of God" (v.1), Christians should live as though we've been justified and forgiven.
C. The Appeal
  • Our bodies were once used for the enemy (see Romans 3:13-18); but, as the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), our bodies are used for God's will. He uses Christians who walk His path, speak His truth, help the hurting, listen to broken hearts, and spread the gospel.
The Transformation of Our Minds (v. 2a)
A. Negatively
  • The Bible calls Christians to non-conformity. Paul was not referring to the physical world; creation points us to God. The "world" is not humanity; God loves people (see John 3:16). The "world" is an ethical system—ideas and people—opposed to God.
B. Positively
  • We must "be transformed by the renewing of [our] mind" (v. 2). Our minds matter to God; Jesus called us to love the Lord God with all our heart, soul, and mind (see Matthew 22:37). We can renew our minds by saturating them with the Word of God.
The Apprehension of His Will (v. 2b)
    • Each of us long for purpose, meaning, and a vision for life, and that can be found in God's will for our life. The will of God is good (see Romans 8:28). God is pleased when we pursue Him (see Psalm 37:4).
    • If we love God with our entire heart, mind, and soul, we want God's will to be our will. When we present our bodies to the control of God, our minds will be renewed by the Holy Spirit, and we will be able to discern the will of God.
Practice

Connect Up: Pastor Skip talked about God's will; in the Bible, we find three types of His will:
  • Perfect: what will be done, regardless of what people do or don't do. Prescriptive: what God wants for people and the world, based on what He prescribes. Permissive: what God allows, particularly when we don't follow His prescriptive will.
How do the various wills of God correspond to each other? In God's permissive will, He allows you to sin, but His prescriptive will is that you don't. In His perfect will, He conforms you into the image of Christ. What are some other examples that involve all three aspects of God's will?

Connect In: What are some practical things Christians can do to present our bodies to God and renew our minds in the following areas?
  • Exercise: how does this help in presenting our bodies for God's service? Education: how can proper education help renew our minds for God's glory? Entertainment/Eating: what types of entertainment and food are good for the mind and body, and what types are not so good? (Consider Romans 14:13-23. Please be respectful of each other's views.) Encouragement: when we serve others, we inspire and reassure them in God's compassion and grace. How does practicing encouragement renew the mind and body?
Connect Out: Pastor Skip explained what Paul meant by "this world" in verse 2. How would you articulate to an unbeliever that God is not against creation or community, but takes issue with elements of the ethical world? What are some of the ethical systems that oppose God? Here are some to discuss: naturalism (things arose without the aid of God), materialism (the material world is all there is), and atheism (belief that there is no God). What others can you think of? And how would you respond?

Detailed Notes

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"Now It's Your Turn"
Romans 12:1-2
  1. Introduction
    1. For some believers, life has become nothing more than what they can get rather than what they can give away
      1. We're too often seizing when we should be surrendering; if you live that way, you'll be trapped
      2. Matthew 10:39
    2. In the first 11 chapters of Romans, Paul presented a litany of the blessings of God—"the mercies of God" (12:1)
      1. He's forgiven us, He's declared us righteous, He's made us His children, and He's given us promises (see Romans 8:28)
      2. He's also given us so much more—His own Son (see Romans 8:32)
    3. In the last five chapters of Romans, Paul explained how we should respond
      1. The Christian needs a purpose, a motive for living, and Paul gave it to us
      2. Because He died for you, you should live for Him
    4. Our response to God comes in three stages:
      1. The presentation of our bodies
      2. The transformation of our minds
      3. The apprehension of His will
  2. The Presentation of Our Bodies (v. 1)
    1. The Audience
      1. Paul was writing to the brethren
        1. Throughout the book of Romans, Paul distinguished between different groups—Gentiles, Jews, and the church
        2. In the first few chapters of Romans, he talked about the world, which is under the wrath of God
        3. In chapters 9-11, he focused on one group in particular—the Jewish nation
      2. We cannot expect unbelievers to live like this; these instructions are for believers
        1. Sometimes, as Christians, we try to impose our values on the unbelieving world; we want a Christian culture and a Christian society
        2. We cannot expect sinners to do much more than sin, but we can expect Christians to surrender
    2. The Awareness
      1. Paul appealed to believers based on their awareness of the truths he covered in the first 11 chapters of Romans
        1. Chapters 1-3: We're all condemned under sin—we're under God's wrath (see Romans 1:18)—but we can be made righteous by Jesus Christ
        2. Chapter 4: We are justified freely by faith
        3. Chapter 5: We have access to God, and the hope of heaven; He promises to shape us through the trials of life
        4. Chapters 6-8: We have been freed from the law, freed from sin, adopted into His family, and the Holy Spirit lives inside of us
        5. Chapters 9-11: Paul presented the promises that God made to the Jewish nation
        6. Chapter 12: This is the graduation chapter; Paul first provided the foundation, then focused on what our response should be
      2. It's healthy to think of the mercies of God on an individual level
        1. God's merciful to me
        2. How can I not serve a God who's done all these things for me?
    3. The Appeal
      1. The word present is a technical term—a Levitical word
        1. This is a word that was used of a priest who would present an animal to be sacrificed on the altar
        2. We are "a holy priesthood" (1 Peter 2:5)
      2. The idea of this is that as God's priests in the new covenant, we give Him our lives
        1. We worship with our lives
        2. Worship is an experience that should take place every single day as we present our bodies for Him to use
      3. Our bodies are to be "a living sacrifice" (v. 1)
        1. Paul's audience would have known and understood that Jewish sacrifices were not living—they were always dead
        2. This is a sacrificial lifestyle
          1. The problem with a living sacrifice is that living sacrifices tend to squirm off the altar
          2. As humans, we tend to be distracted by various allurements
          3. The idea is to present your body once and for all, but if you must, do it regularly
      4. Paul explained why our bodies are so important in 1 Corinthians 6:19
        1. The temple was not just a place where sacrifices were made; it was the community center
        2. Your body as God's temple becomes a base of operations for God to work His will through you
        3. Scripture is filled with examples of people who presented their bodies to God, allowing God to move powerfully through them
          1. Sarah's womb was barren, but she dedicated it to God, and God gave her Isaac
          2. Moses stuttered, but God called him to be a spokesman to Pharaoh and the children of Israel
          3. David was a simple shepherd boy, but God used him to defeat Goliath
          4. Paul presented his body to God and was used to spread the gospel around the world
      5. Our bodies can be a base of operations for God to work through; He wants to touch the world through you
        1. Our bodies were once a base of operations for the enemy; we surrendered, at one time, to the Devil and his work, even if you didn't see it as his work
        2. Romans 3:12-18
        3. Human depravity is expressed through human bodies, but, just like you allowed your body to be used for evil, let it now be used for God's best good
          1. Just as human depravity is revealed through the body, human spirituality is to be revealed through the body
          2. Just as Jesus took on a body to accomplish God's work, God uses our bodies to accomplish His work
      6. God has condescended to use human bodies to spread His message and do His work (see 1 Corinthians 1:27)
        1. Paul said this is our "reasonable service" (v. 1)
        2. The Greek word used here is logikos, which is where we get the English word logic
        3. The NIV translates this as spiritual
        4. True worship isn't singing songs or going through rituals; it's living an obedient life by presenting your body to God
  3. The Transformation of Our Minds (v. 2a)
    1. Negatively
      1. "Do not be conformed" (v. 2)
        1. The Bible calls us to be nonconformists
        2. Matthew 6:8
        3. "Don't let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould" (v. 2, PHILLIPS)
      2. This idea of nonconformity can be seen in the Old Testament, when God took the children of Israel out of Egypt and brought them into the land of Canaan
        1. Leviticus 18:33
        2. 1 John 2:15
      3. We are not meant to hate the physical world
        1. Psalm 24:1
        2. As believers, we are stewards of this earth and should do our best not only to treat it well, but to love it the right way—without letting it stand in the way of our love for God
      4. We are not meant to hate the human world (see John 3:16)
        1. Paul was referring to the ethical world
        2. The Greek word is cosmos, which refers to the ordered system of behaviors, activities, ideas, and people that are against God and under the control of Satan
        3. 2 Corinthians 4:4
    2. Positively
      1. "Be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (v. 2)
        1. Your mind is important to God
        2. Matthew 22:37
        3. It's vital to be a thinking Christian
        4. Struggle with real issues; if you have doubts, work through them—you'll be stronger for it
      2. How do you renew your mind?
        1. By saturating it in the Word of God
        2. Your thinking will be transformed
  4. The Apprehension of His Will (v. 2b)
    1. God has a specific will for your life
      1. He wants you to know His will, and He wants you to do His will
      2. Every true Christian wants to do God's will
    2. How do we discover God's will?
      1. Some people think God's will is revealed mysteriously—every weird sign must be from God
      2. God works supernaturally, very naturally
    3. A transformed mind will produce a transformed will
      1. When you present your body to God and your mind is renewed, you'll start wanting what God wants
      2. If you're presenting your body to Him and your mind is being renewed through His truth, what you want is going to be exactly what He wants
    4. The will of God is good
      1. God's will is always good, though it doesn't always feel good
      2. God's will isn't always fun, but it's always for our good (see Romans 8:28)
    5. The will of God is acceptable
      1. The NIV renders it as pleasing
      2. When you do God's will, it's pleasing
      3. It's pleasing to God, but it will also be pleasing to you because you're pleasing God
      4. When you delight in the Lord, He will plant within you a desire for the right thing—He'll give you the right desire (see Psalm 37:4)
    6. The will of God is perfect
      1. In Greek, the word for perfect is teleios, which means complete, full-grown, or mature; this is a mature satisfaction
      2. If you come to the end of your life and you're dissatisfied with it, it means you've been conformed to this world—you were living for yourself and not for God
  5. Conclusion
    1. If we love God, we'll want to do what He wants because He plants His desires in our hearts
    2. We should commit our days to Him every morning before our feet hit the ground
      1. It's okay to have a schedule and plans, but He may have other plans
      2. Commit the script to Him—live surrendered, not seizing
Figures referenced: James Montgomery Boice, J.B. Phillips

Cross references: Leviticus 18:33; Psalm 24:1; 37:4; Matthew 6:8; 10:39; 22:37; John 3:16; Romans 1:18; 3:12-18; 8:28, 32; 1 Corinthians 1:27; 6:19; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 Peter 2:5; 1 John 2:15

Greek words: cosmos, logikos, teleios

Topic: the surrendered life

Keywords: bodies, commit, lifestyle, minds, sacrifice, seizing, surrendering, will

Transcript

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Now It's Your Turn - Romans 12:1-2 - Skip Heitzig

[MUSIC PLAYING]

Hey, you all look so good. Nice to see you today. Merry Christmas. I love the ornaments in here. Of course that's going to be our theme for this year's Christmas Eve service. And you'll see why when you come to Christmas Eve service. So we welcome you today. Nice rainy day in no in December New Mexico is a place where snows in December, and then rains in-- or snows in November. Rains in December so that by January you can get your shorts out, and get out in the sun, and enjoy the warmth.

Today, we're on the book of Romans chapter 12. If you would turn your bibles. And if we can get those lights on the side, that be great. Add a little bit more light in the corners. Romans chapter 12 this morning.

I remember hearing about how they catch monkeys in Africa. And I remember hearing about this. I wasn't quite sure if it was true. So I actually found a YouTube video of this. Not going to show it to you. But about how they catch monkeys in Africa by taking a coconut. Boring a hole in the coconut so that the monkey can get its hand in the coconut. But then they put like a piece of fruit in it. Like a little piece of a banana. so the monkey will reach his relaxed hand in the coconut, grab the fruit, and now he can't get it. The fist is too big to get through the hole.

Easy solution. You let go of the banana. But a monkey won't do it. So this works where they take the coconut, tie it to a tree, put a piece of fruit in it. Monkey goes up, grabs it, will not relax it. The hunter just walks up kind of nonchalant with a net ready to put it over the monkey. And the monkey just works harder to get that little fist out. But won't let go.

So you've got a monkey that's trapped because of its own greed. Now that little illustration I thought about that this week. I thought that there are what I would call Christian monkeys. Believers in Christ who act like those little monkeys grabbing a hold of some little prize. Life has become nothing more than what they get rather than who they are and what they give away. And when we should be surrendering, too often we're seizing. We're grabbing. And if you live that way, you'll be trapped.

Jesus said these words, "If you cling to your life, you will lose it. But if you give it up for me, you will find it." Now that's a setup for this transition I'm going to tell you about. For 11 chapters, the apostle Paul has been giving us a litany of the blessings of God. What he calls the mercies of God. Telling us all that God has done for us. He's forgiven us. He's declared us righteous. He's made us His children. He's given us promises like all things work together for good to those that love God or that are called according to his purpose.

And then he's given us much more. For He also reminded us that he who did not spare his son but delivered him up for us, how shall he not with him freely give us all things? So that's what God's done. Now it's your turn. For the next five chapters, the apostle Paul pivots and tells us what our response should be to those 11 chapters that he has given us.

So the next five chapters is about our response. What we are to give to God. He sets it up in the first two verses. Let's look at Romans 12:1 and 2 to get familiar. "I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies the living sacrifice, holy acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good acceptable and perfect will of God." And that's what we're called to do.

Without doing what we just read, without doing this, we're going to be like Christian monkeys. We're holding on to the allurements of life. And it's all about what we get rather than what we surrender. I was reading an article this week about a fascinating sport for years in America. And that's dog racing. Greyhound racing. Where they take these highly trained and very swift animals, the Greyhound dog, and they put it on a track. And they race it around.

Now that's a practice that has been outlawed in many states. Though it is practiced in these five states if you want to go grab a Greyhound race. Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Texas, and West Virginia. Essentially, they put these dogs on a track, and there is a mechanical lure-- like a fake rabbit that is on a track-- either on the inside or the outside of that track. And it goes around, and those greyhounds just chase it, chase it, chase it, chase it.

What I was reading about in this article, when it was still legal in Florida, the Greyhounds were in their little kennels ready to go. And the gates opened up. And then the gates opened up, and that rabbit took off-- that mechanical rabbit. There go the Greyhounds chasing it around the track. And it was all good until they made the first turn then there was an electrical malfunction. The rabbit stopped and exploded. Just poof. Just into thin air. Just died. This fake rabbit went up in flames. So you got to like a wire, and a few little shards of cloth, and smoke going up.

The dogs were so confused. They did not know what to do when that happened. Most of them just lay down on the track. One of them chased its tail round, and around, and around, and around. And the rest of them just barked. Howled at the crowds. Not one finished the race.

I think that life is like that. I think that a lot of people live their lives exactly like that they pursue their chosen rabbits. It might be a career. Could be an education. It could be a relationship. All of these things are goals that give people purpose, and meaning, and motivate them. The problem is when that is taken away, when that thing is gone, they lose hope.

Everything was wrapped up in that relationship. That career. Finishing this education. Now we all need a goal. We all need a purpose. The Christian needs a goal. The Christian needs a purpose. The Christian needs a motive for living. And so Paul gives us one right here.

If I were to sum it up, I would say here it is. Paul is saying this. Because he died for you, you should live for him. Now he's done more than died for you. He's done a whole lot more. But because he gave His life for you in death, so give your life for Him in life. Live for Him.

So it's your turn. It's your move. It is your response. Now we're only going to look at two verses. But I want to separate a few things, and drill down, and unpack some truths here. Because I want to show you that our response to God comes in three stages. The presentation of our bodies, the transformation of our minds, and the apprehension of his will. So let's just take each one.

We begin where Paul begins in verse 1 of chapter 12, the presentation of our bodies. He says, "I beseech you therefore brethren." And we don't talk like that today. We don't say I beseech you. You don't go to a restaurant and say to the waitress I beseech you for more coffee. Right? You could translate I encourage you. I'm encouraging. I'm coming alongside of you to encourage you in this. I beseech you or encourage you therefore brethren by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice wholly acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

First of all, notice the audience. He is writing to brethren. In other words, this chapter is addressed to and all about the Christian. Our spiritual family. Have you noticed during the book of Romans that Paul makes a distinction between different groups. Gentiles, Jews, the church. The first few chapters he talks about the entire world. All of us. Religious, non-religious all under the wrath of God. And then he talks about the grace of God, et cetera. But then chapter 9, 10, and 11, he has a pinpoint point, focus on one group in particular. And that is the Jewish nation.

Romans 9, 10, and 11. Past, present, and future of the Jewish nation. Now he's writing to believers. So we who are Christians, we pay close attention to this because we're part of this group brethren. Now I'm belaboring this point because I want to say this. Don't expect unbelievers to live like this. This is for believers. Sometimes I think we Christians try to impose our values on the unbelieving world. We want a Christian culture and a Christian society. That's called Heaven. You won't get it here.

Don't expect unbelievers to act like believers. If you want a Christian culture, you have to have a culture filled with all Christians. And trust me, even that is imperfect. But if you want a Christian society and a Christian culture. Be an evangelist. Win them to Christ. That should be first and foremost.

But when it comes to imposing my belief system and value system, I will evangelize. But I will not expect the secular culture to adopt the Christian lifestyle. I do not expect sinners to do much more than sin. That's my expectation. I expect sinners to sin. And they're really good at it. But I expect Christians to surrender.

And that's who he's writing to. He's going to say to believers I want you to present your body. This is for us. Now that is based on an awareness. So we go from the audience now to the awareness. Paul is making his appeal. He is basing it on their awareness of certain truths. Truths that he is already covered in 11 chapters.

He says it this way. "I beseech you therefore brother and by the mercies of God." OK. So he's saying keep all that I have told you in 11 chapters in mind when I tell you this next commandment. Be aware of this. One translation says with eyes wide open to the mercies of God. Now we have spent 22 weeks in the book of Romans so far looking at the mercies of God.

Let me give you a few of them. First of all, Paul says we're all condemned under sin. We're under God's wrath, but we can be made righteous by Jesus Christ. That's chapters 1, 2, and 3 of Romans. Then he says you are justified freely by faith. Just believing in Jesus Christ. That's enough to make you justified before God in the same way Abraham was. And God accounted it to him for righteousness. That's Romans chapter 4.

Then he goes on to say we have access to God anytime day or night. We have the hope of heaven. And between now and heaven, we have life. And even in the worst part of life, the trials of life, God promises to shape us through the trials of life. That's chapter 5. In chapters 6, 7, and 8 Paul says we are slaves who have been freed spiritually speaking. We are freed from the law, freed from sin, we are adopted into his family. We have the Holy Spirit living inside of us.

Then chapter 9, 10, and 11, Paul says, look at all the promises God made to the Jewish nation of which he'll keep all of them. So chapter 1 through 11, that's the composite aggregate mercies of God. I beg you, I encourage you, I beseech you therefore brethren by all of those mercies that you live this way. Because of all that God has done for you, live like this.

Live as though you've been justified. Live as though you are forgiven. Live like you are bound for heaven. So chapter 12-- get this part-- becomes the graduation chapter. That's why the word therefore is there. It's there for a reason. It is a transition. Here's what you should know. Here's the basis and the foundation. Therefore do this. Therefore live this way. So it's the graduation chapter.

Chapters 1 through 11, Paul's taking us to school. Giving us the foundation. Now he puts the cap and gown on us and says, go get a life. Go get a job. Now it's your turn. In response to all that, do this. The mercies of God therefore present to us and provide spiritual incentive and moral dynamic.

I think it's healthy to think of the mercies of God to us individually. I'll give you an example using my own life. If I were to review the mercies of God, it would be something like this. I was an aimless teenager in Southern California experimenting on way too many bad things. Until in 1973-- yes, it's been a long time-- God reached down from heaven and saved my soul. That's a mercy. That's God's mercy to me.

Then I bounced around a few churches for a while. By God's great mercy he placed me in a Bible teaching church with a godly pastor named Chuck Smith who took me from Genesis to Revelation. And gave me a great foundation in the word of God. That's God's mercy. Then I think I was alone. And in 1981, God provided incredible life's companion. Christ centered, God centered woman named, Lenya-- mission minded to come alongside and be my life's mate and companion.

Then when I was wondering about what I was going to do, my future, I felt that God laid it on my heart to come to this crazy place called Albuquerque, New Mexico. Way back east. I'm going back east. That's what I told people to Albuquerque to go start a bible study. And what God has done with that. All of those things for me are the mercies of God. God's merciful to me. And when I look at that, and I take inventory personally, here's my bottom line conclusion. How can I not serve a God who's done that? Those are his mercies. So that's the first. The presentation of our bodies.

Now look at the appeal of that in particular. "I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God that you present your bodies." You get the idea. Right? Here, God. Here's my body. Here I am. Here's my life. I'm presenting it to you. Present your bodies living sacrifice wholly acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. Now notice the word present. OK. It's a technical word. It's a technical word for the priesthood. It's a priestly word. It's to Levitical word.

It's a word that was used of a priest in the Old Testament, who would present an animal to be sacrificed on the altar. So he would take the animal, lay hands on it, bring the animal to its death. And that animal would be consumed on an altar. It's a very apt word because you know that Peter says we are a royal priesthood. First Peter chapter 2, verse 5. We are a royal priesthood or a holy priesthood.

So the idea of all of this is as one of God's priests in the new covenant, I give him my life. I am worshipping with my life. So worship is an experience that should take place every single day as I present my body to him for him to use. Something else I want you to notice. And it's the word living sacrifice. Present your bodies a living sacrifice.

Now this is where it gets different because those who would read this originally and who knew about Jewish sacrifices would know that sacrifices when they were brought to the temple, and when the priests offered them, they were never living. They were always dead. Priests would kill the animal. Let the blood out. Drain the blood. Placed the carcass on an altar. The fire would totally consume it as a whole burnt offering.

But here he says, no, it's the New Testament. It's not a dead sacrifice. It's a living sacrifice. It is, in other words, a lifestyle that is sacrificial. Now here's the problem with the living sacrifice as opposed to a dead one. Living sacrifices have a tendency to squirm off the altar. If it's dead, no problem. It's not going to move. If it's a living sacrifice, could be problematic because it goes like this, God, I like I give you my life. I dedicate my life to you.

Well, just a minute there's this cool thing over here. There's this allurement. I'm going to go. Oh. wait, wait, wait, wait. I re-dedicate my life to you now, Lord. Oh wait, wait. I'm going to go do-- again, here I am. I'm rededicating my life again. You know that tendency. We have a tendency to squirm off the altar.

So the idea is to present your body, and do it once for all. But if you need to, do it regularly to him. So what does that mean to present your body? Why does God care about your body? I'm bringing this up because I've heard how Christians sometimes talk about the human body. They deprecate their body. Body is an important man. The spirit is really important. Do whatever you want with your body. It's the spirit that's important. You're going to get a new body anyway.

Let me tell you something. In 1 Corinthians chapter 6, Paul tells you why your body is so important. He says, it is a temple of the Holy Spirit. If it's a temple of the Holy Spirit, the temple is not just a place where sacrifices were made. It was the community center for everybody. OK. It was the base of operations for the community in Jerusalem.

Your body as God's temple is to become a base of operations for God to work his will around you. And the scripture is filled with great examples of people who presented their bodies to God. And God moved powerfully through them.

I think, for example, of Sarah in the Old Testament. Sarah's womb was barren. But when her body was dedicated to God, presented to God, by Abraham and Sarah, God filled it with Isaac. I think of Moses. God called Moses to be a spokesman. Moses said, you got the wrong dude. I can't even speak. I stutter. I stutter. God says, you're just the one.

You present your body to me Moses, and you watch what I'll do with it. And he did. And he became not only a spokesman for Pharaoh To Pharaoh, but for the children of Israel and giving the law of God. Think of David. The hands of a simple shepherd boy who was used to toe chasing lambs around the desert. But when his body was presented to God, those hands holding a sling and a stone brought a giant down to the earth named Goliath.

Think of Paul's feet spreading the gospel around the world because he presented his body to God. So your body and my body can be a base of operations for God to work through. He wants to touch the world through you.

Now your body was once a base of operations for the enemy. It was in full use. You surrendered at one time to the devil basically to do his work. Although you didn't see it as his work, you saw it as chasing that rabbit around, or grabbing a banana. It's all about getting stuff. This is cool. This is fun

But at one time, it was a base of operations for evil. I want you to see the difference. I want to compare something. If you don't mind, keep your marker here, or a finger here, or a ribbon there in chapter 12. Go back to Romans 3. Just a few chapters. Go back. Romans chapter 3. I don't mean we're going to read a few chapters. I mean just go back a few chapters.

Romans 3, verse 12. "They have all turned aside. They have together become unprofitable. There is none who does good. No not one." Now watch this. Watch what he does with these parts of the body. "Their throat is an open tomb with their tongues. They have practiced deceit. The poison of asps is under their lips whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood. Destruction and misery are in their ways. And the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes."

Human depravity is expressed through human bodies. And in the same way, just like you allowed your body to be used for evil, now let it be used for God's best good. Present your body to God. Just as human depravity is revealed through the body, human spirituality is to be revealed through the body. Feet that walk in God's paths. Lips that speak God's truths. Hands that reach out to help in God's name. Ears that listen to breaking hearts with the heart of Christ. Mouths that spread his gospel around the world.

Just as Jesus took on a body to accomplish God's work, God uses our bodies to accomplish his work. I sometimes get this thought. I've told this to you before, but I sometimes just sort of sit back, fold my arms, and marvel that God who without us could get the job of evangelism done. He could use angels. And they would do a much better job. Trust me.

I mean, just think. If you just hang a eight trillion watch speaker system from the moon, and broadcast to the earth via an angel, I think it'll get everybody's attention. But God has condescended to use human bodies to spread his message, and to do his work. The foolish things of the world Paul calls it in 1 Corinthians chapter 1.

So think how exciting your life can be tomorrow if you wake up with this thought. God can use my body today. I'm going to give it to him. I'm going to surrender it to him. I'm going to present it to him. Today and every day I'm going to wake up with that thought.

Now Paul says when you do that it's logical. It's your reasonable service. He would assess that at the end of verse 1, a living sacrifice, holy acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. Smartest thing you could ever do. "Logikos" is the word reasonable. We get or were logical from it. Rational, reasonable, logical. Some translations translate it spiritual. Like the new international version, which is your spiritual act of worship it says.

I like that. I think it's a fair translation. I like the idea that says true worship isn't singing songs are going through rituals. It's living an obedient life by presenting your body to God. But I do like and prefer the translation logical, or rational, or reasonable. So let me put it together for you this way. Because God has been so good, so merciful, so abundant in his provision, the smartest thing, most logical, thing most rational, thing most reasonable thing, and hence the most spiritual thing I could do is say, here God. Here's my body. Use it.

That makes the most sense. Based on his mercies I should do that. So that's stage number one. The presentation of our bodies. Stage number two is the transformation of our minds. Our thinking. Verse 2. "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Do you notice there's two parts to that? There's a negative and a positive? Don't do this, but do that. Don't be conformed. But be transformed.

So on the negative side, do not be conformed. I love the fact that the Bible calls us to be nonconformists. I've always been one. And when I found this verse, I said, yes. I love it. Don't go with the flow. Jesus on the Sermon on the Mount told his disciples don't be like them. Referring to the world-- unbelievers. Do not be like them.

Now JB Phillips takes verse 2, and translates it this way. Don't let the world squeeze you into its own mold. Very powerful rendition. Don't let the world squeeze you into its own mold. Don't go with that flow. Any dead fish can float downstream. Stand up and stick out for the right reason.

Now that's not easy to do. It's easier said than done. One of our greatest fears as human beings is to be rejected by the group or a crowd. We want to fit in. We want them to like us. We do want to say, excuse me, but I disagree with you all. And so we conform. But this idea of nonconformity is a principle goes all the way back to the Old Testament where God was taking the children of Israel out of Egypt and bringing them into the land of Canaan. There were unbelievers in Egypt. There was unbelievers in Canaan.

So God said in Leviticus 18, "According to the doings of the land of Egypt where you dwelt, you shall not do according to the doings of them. Nor according to the doings of the land of Canaan where I am bringing you. You shall not walk in their ordinances." don't be like the rest of the crowd. John, in 1 John chapter 2 put it this way. Do not love the world. Now here Paul says, don't be conformed to the world. John says, don't even love the world, which has brought a lot of angst to some believers. I've had that-- what does it mean, don't love the world?

Am I supposed to hate trees, and grass, and the earth? I look at him and go, I hate that. Why are you doing that? Well, the Bible says, don't love the world. No, we are to love the physical world. Psalm 24 says the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof. And as believers we realize I'm stewards of this earth that God put me on. I need to do my best not only to treat it well, but to love it the right way. Not to let that stand in my way of love for God. But certainly I'm not to hate that world.

In fact, I think as believers we have a greater appreciation for physical nature because it points to God. For the life of me, I don't understand how an unbelieving scientists can do it. They make some cool discovery, and it's like, oh, look at this beautiful accident. This random occurrence. Isn't that awesome. This fortuitous occurrence of accidental circumstance. Wow. It has no meaning at all.

As a believer we go, that has great meaning. My father, my creative father, made this. And it points me back to Him. So when the Bible says, don't love the world, it doesn't refer to the physical world. When the Bible says, don't be conformed to the world, it's not speaking of the physical world. Second, it's not referring to the world of human beings. The Bible says, for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. We are to love people as well as the physical surroundings.

But when he uses the term world here, and when John uses it in 1 John love not the world, it refers specifically to the ethical world. The ethical world. It is the word cosmos, which means to order or to arrange. We get our word cosmopolitan from that word. It means the ordered system of behaviors, activities, ideas, and people that are against God. All under the control of Satan because the Bible puts it this way, "Satan is the God of this world who has blinded the minds of those who believe not."

We're not to be conformed to that. We're not to be the Greyhound chasing the rabbit around and around. Now look at the positive side. Don't be conformed to this world, but be transformed. Metamorphosis a total radical change by the renewing of your what? Mind. Your mind is important to God. Your mind is important to God.

Jesus said, "You are to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, strength." So if you've never heard this before, hear it now. It's OK to think as a Christian. In fact, it's mandatory. It's vital to think as a Christian. Be a thinking Christian. Some churches seem to have a sign that's invisible. But implied please check your brain at the door. Don't think critically. Don't bring up questions. Don't struggle with real issues. No, struggle with real issues.

If you have doubts, work through them. I've done it plenty of times. And I've come out the other end much stronger for it. James Montgomery Boyce said this, "People aren't thinking anymore. Brain cells are seriously under exercised. Contemplation has become an old fashioned word with little place in our fast paced, high tech world for thinking we have substituted entertainment. The substitution has been so effective that many of us believe that entertainment actually makes us think.

We think of ourselves as being the best informed generation in history because of television. Add to that now since he wrote it social media. But TV is not informing us. It's merely entertaining us. And there is a difference. So we're told to renew our minds. How do you renew your mind? And you know the answer to this. How do you renew your mind? Hold it up. Hold it up. How do you renew your mind? Hold it up high.

By saturating it in the word of God. God has given us his word, his values, his template. Saturate your mind in the word of God. A while back, it was I think second service on a Sunday morning. And I know this because a person came up to me afterwards. They were sitting behind a couple who was as I was teaching through the Bible-- maybe they were visitors. Surely they were.

But this woman said to her husband almost aghast, almost in an unbelieving tone, she went he speaking to me, goes he believes this literally. He's believing the Bible. He's taking it literally. I'm glad she picked up on that point because I actually do believe it literally. Grammatically, historically, et cetera. Renew your mind. You're thinking. Transform your mind by saturating in God's mind, which is conveyed in his word.

Now when you do that, when those first two are done, a third will follow. The presentation of your body, followed by the transformation of your mind, will lead to the apprehension of God's will. See how verse 2 continues? That you, or literally, so that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. Do you know God has a will? God has a will generally as well as specifically for your life.

He wants you to know his will. He wants you to do his will. And I've discovered every true Christian wants to do God's will. It's as natural as any child growing up. You come to a point after you get saved where you say, what does God want me to do in this life? What is His plan and purpose for me? I want to know God's will. It's one of the most often asked questions I get. How do I discover God's will?

The problem comes-- and some people think God's will is revealed mysteriously. It's going to be really weird. That's God. Is a weird enough? OK, it's God. Every weird sign has to be from God. So God is going to speak to me through an audible voice, or he'll spell letters out in the clouds, or an angel will be hitchhiking at the on ramp and tell me God's will.

I've discovered I've never had any of those things. But I have seen God work in my life supernaturally naturally. Very naturally. Very normally. But at the same time, the mystery of it is God is supernaturally working. Don't be like the guy who he went on a diet. He was very, very serious about his diet. So serious that he's decided he is going to reroute his normal way to work because the normal way to work was by a bakery where he'd stop every day and load up on donuts. So he goes I'm not going to do that. I'm going to just drive a different way. So he did.

But one day he comes to the office with this humongous coffee cake. Everyone in the office, come on, what happened? You made a commitment. We want to help you keep the commitment. He goes no, no, no, no, no. He goes, first of all, I accidentally drove by the bakery. I forgot my routing. And I just accidentally went by there. But then I thought, maybe this is God's will for my life. So I prayed. And I said, Lord, if it's your will that I go inside the bakery and buy that beautiful coffee cake in the window, I pray you provide a parking space right up front. And he goes and wouldn't you know it, the eighth time around the block there it was.

A transformed mind will produce a transformed will. You will want what God wants. When you present your body, when your mind is renewed, you're going to start wanting what God wants. That's why I'm going to boil down God's will to something very simple. OK. You'll understand what mean in the context of it. Love God and do whatever you want. You go, well, that's a little weird. No, it's not. It's actually very true because if you love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, if you're presenting your body to him, if your mind is being renewed in his mind through his truth, what you want is going to be exactly what he wants.

So love God, and do what you want. There's something about God's will that Paul says here in verse 2. He says, first of all, it's good. Did you notice that? That you may prove it is that good. You know God's will is always good. Doesn't always feel good, but it is good God's will isn't always fun. It's not always pleasurable, but it's always, always, always good. Romans 8:28, "God works all things together for good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose."

Then the will of God is acceptable. Notice that next word, acceptable, what does that mean? The NIV renders it. It is pleasing. When you do God's will, it's going to be pleasing. Who is it going to please? It's going to please God. It is going to please God, but it's also going to be pleasing to you to please God. It's going to please you to please God. The Bible says, in Psalm 37, "Delight yourself in the Lord." You know the rest of that verse? "And he will give you the desires of your heart." Don't misquote that. It doesn't mean just don't be delighted in God, and God will give you all your little heart's desires. No, it means that when you delight yourself in the Lord, He will actually plant within you a desire for the right thing. He'll give you the desire.

Finally, he says the will of God is perfect. That you may prove what is a good, acceptable, and perfect will of God. The word perfect, cool word. Teleios. It means complete. It means full grown. It means mature. I take it to mean a mature satisfaction. The experience it says, ah. I am satisfied with my life. Listen, if you come to the end of your life, and you are dissatisfied with it, it means you've been conformed to this world. If you come to the end of your life, and you are dissatisfied, it only proved that you were living for yourself and not for God.

I have never yet met somebody on their deathbed who said, I committed too much to God. I should have been more selfish in my life. More time for myself. I've never met a person who's said that. If you're dissatisfied, it means you've been living for the wrong reason. So we present our bodies to the control of God. Our mind is renewed by the spirit of God in the word of God. And then we are able to discern the will of God.

If we love God, and do what we want because he plants those desires what he wants in our hearts. Now, as we close, I just want to say that I have practiced this generally for years. That is, when I am in my bed, and I wake up early in the morning-- sometimes I wake up early, like today 4:30. Just my eyes were open. I'm up. So I do the normal thing. Take the dogs out, get my wife coffee later. Not at 4:30. She wouldn't have it. But I get up.

Before I get up, my eyes are open. And I generally say, Lord, I commit my day to you. Before my feet hit the ground, I'm just committing my day to Him. Then get up, get coffee, grab my Bible. Open it up to get my mind renewed in His word. Renewed in His thinking. Then I commit my plans to Him. I yield my plans.

I have a schedule like y'all. I've got appointments. But I yield my schedule to Him. And I say, God, you have editing rights over my script. You know what I mean by that. I have my plans. But they may not be His. He might say, no. I'm going to actually splice this part of the reel. Throw it out, and put this. This is what you're going to face today. I don't want that. Yeah, but I do. And I want you to go through it.

Well, that's not good. No, it is good. I doesn't feel good. But it is good. So I commit my script to him, and I give him editing rights over it. That is better than being a Christian monkey. Of having a hand in the coconut, grabbing a hold, not letting go. I want it. I want it. I want it. Live surrendered. Not seizing.

His way is always better than your way. So Father, we want to conclude this little study in Romans 12, that exaltation that Paul gives-- that instruction that he gives. We want to close by doing exactly what he said we should do. Here we are, Lord. There are thousands of mouths, and hands, and eyes, and feet at your disposal. We present our bodies to you for you to use to reach a world. To reach a community.

We pray, Lord, that as we do that. And as you renew our mind, we would just walk in and discover what your will is, which is always good. And always pleasing to you. And always satisfying to us. And so, Father, we commit on this Sunday, this Lord's day, this first day of the week, our Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday all to you for you to do what you want to do in us, and through us, and for us ultimately. Which is always for good in Jesus' name, Amen.

How will you put the truths that you learned into action in your life? Let us know. Email us at mystory@calvarynm.church. And just a reminder, you can support this ministry with a financial gift at calvarynm.church/give. Thank you for joining us for this teaching from Calvary Church.

Additional Messages in this Series

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5/5/2019
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The Heart and Soul of the Gospel
Romans 1:1-7
Skip Heitzig
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Today we embark on a thirty-two-week journey through the book of Romans. Considered to be Paul the apostle’s magnum opus, this book is largely responsible for igniting the fires of the Protestant Reformation and the Wesleyan Revival. As Paul introduced himself to the church at Rome, he got right to the heart and soul of the matter—the gospel—the good news that presents Jesus Christ as God’s great answer to the pressing need of the human race.
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5/19/2019
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Unashamed!
Romans 1:16-17
Skip Heitzig
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Standing up for and speaking out about our faith in Jesus Christ can sometimes feel awkward and intimidating. Often our message is not received with glad faces or with open arms by the people we work with and live next to. As Paul was planning to visit Rome, he expressed eagerness rather than hesitation to herald this message. Why was that? The apostle gives us five reasons for his readiness and enthusiasm.
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5/26/2019
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Is God Mad?
Romans 1:18-32
Skip Heitzig
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The Wrath of God Is Revealed God is full of love, right? Right! That’s the good news. And Paul gets back to that theme and develops it fully in the chapters ahead. But first, there’s some bad news. Like a powerful prosecuting attorney, Paul made the case as to why we need the good news of Christ. God’s grace is necessary because of our guilt. In this section, we learn about the wrath of God—an attribute that many people can’t wrap their heads (and hearts) around.
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7/7/2019
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Four Mistakes Religious People Make
Romans 2:1-11
Skip Heitzig
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Jesus was not a religious leader. He was a righteous leader. And He was often confronting the religious leaders of His day. Likewise Paul found many enemies among the religious elite of his day, among both Jews and Gentiles. After announcing his theme of good news in Jesus, Paul promptly plunged into the bad news of God’s wrath—a subject that religious people sometimes love (but for all the wrong reasons). Paul tells us some of their most common mistakes.
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7/14/2019
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Hypocrisy Gets an Audit
Romans 2:17-29
Skip Heitzig
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All businesses, corporations, and individuals have blind spots. Auditors can help by giving a clear and unbiased reading of practices and procedures, and then give appropriate recommendations for change. Here, Paul played the role of auditing the hypocrite—the one who has spiritual style but no substance. Let’s consider the assets, the deficits, and the net appraisal of the one who wears a spiritual disguise.
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7/28/2019
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The Advantage of Having the Bible
Romans 3:1-8
Skip Heitzig
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Those who have been raised in a home with spiritual foundations and the teaching of Scripture have an edge over those who were never exposed to such benefits. The advantage of having access to the Bible is enormous, but it is not a fail-safe. Paul addressed the Jews who were caretakers of God’s own words, and much can be applied to anyone who has the advantage of revealed truth but fails to take it to heart.
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8/4/2019
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How Prisoners Go Free
Romans 3:9-26
Skip Heitzig
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Freedom is a huge word for the Christian believer. Picture yourself nervously standing in a courtroom before a judge who has just read the pile of evidence against you. Just before the gavel strikes the bench proclaiming your guilt, a piece of evidence strikes his gaze and he unexpectedly announces your innocence. You can now go free! Here Paul explains how any person anywhere can find hope and freedom because of the gospel.
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8/11/2019
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Old Age; Young Faith
Romans 4
Skip Heitzig
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Our skin may wrinkle but our faith never has to. Abraham’s faith was vibrant and youthful even when he was nearing one hundred years of age. As Paul points to the patriarch Abraham as an example for justification by faith, we can learn what it means to believe God through all the ages of life. How vibrant is your Christian faith? Have you let cynicism and doubt choke out your confidence in God?
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8/18/2019
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Our Benefits Package
Romans 5:1-5
Skip Heitzig
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Why is being a Christian so great? Every unbeliever you meet is asking that question as they observe your life. What are the benefits of living with a committed faith in Jesus? After explaining what it means to be right with God by believing in Christ, and after illustrating that principle with Abraham, Paul gives a short list of some of the benefits of a saved life.
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8/25/2019
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Unrivaled Love
Romans 5:6-11
Skip Heitzig
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Modern wisdom continually tells us, “Love is a verb,” rather than a sentimental feeling. Love is a commitment that involves action. For the first time in the letter to the Romans, Paul introduced the word love and a very singular kind of love—God’s love for us. Wanting to show how secure we are in this salvation, he described the greatest demonstration of love—its proof, its provision, and its product.
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9/1/2019
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A One-Man Show
Romans 5:12-21
Skip Heitzig
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Just one person can do a lot of damage, and conversely just one person can do a lot of good. Paul here showed the effect that Adam brought on by his rebellion and the effect that Jesus bought with His blood on the cross. One caused death. One conveys life. One brought guilt. One bought the gift of grace. The big question is, have you received the gift?
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9/8/2019
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Don’t Look Back
Romans 6:1-7
Nate Heitzig
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9/15/2019
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Winning the War with Sin
Romans 6:11-14
Skip Heitzig
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There is not a person I know who doesn’t struggle with sin. Evil thoughts, bad habits, immoral impulses, and recurring temptations all rear their ugly heads, leaving us exhausted and disappointed in ourselves and wondering if any deliverance is possible. This struggle is real. The war can be fierce. How can we believers (who still have our old natures) win in these battles? Consider this four-step strategy.
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9/22/2019
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The Struggle Is Real
Romans 7:14-25
Nate Heitzig
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9/29/2019
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Safe and Secure
Romans 8:1-11
Skip Heitzig
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As the old saying goes, “It’s always darkest before the dawn.” That’s certainly true of Paul’s authorship of this book. He closes chapter 7 on a low note, only to crescendo to a swelling high point in chapter 8. “Don’t despair! You’re in secure hands and you’re safe,” Paul tells us. He reminds us of four facts that should settle every heart.
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10/6/2019
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The New You
Romans 8:12-18
Skip Heitzig
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Most people love new stuff: a new car, a new set of clothes, a new puppy, a new haircut, a new adventure. But the best new thing you could have is a new you! Being a Christian isn’t a temporary reformation but a total transformation. When the Holy Spirit gets hold of a person’s life, He begins the process of a total makeover—changing you from the inside out. As a Christian believer these are among the changes you can expect to see.
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10/13/2019
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The Steady Hand of a Caring God
Romans 8:28-30
Skip Heitzig
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The world to many people seems to be a random place where anything can happen. But a believer can (and should) step firmly onto the soil of life. Why? Not just because God exists, but also because God cares! There is not a single atom nor molecule out of place in God’s universe; His hands and heart are steadily controlling your every breath. Let’s examine some of the richest truths about the quality of care from a loving God.
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10/20/2019
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A Midterm Exam: Five Questions to Test Your Understanding
Romans 8:31-34
Skip Heitzig
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In the middle of any given course or semester, a test consisting of questions is given. This does two things: it measures the student’s grasp of the course materials, and it helps identify any areas that need work. Right in the middle of his sixteen-chapter book, Paul gives his readers a series of questions to jog our spiritual memory and face some wonderful realities about the love of God. Let’s consider five questions in these verses.
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10/27/2019
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For the Love of God
Romans 8:35-39
Skip Heitzig
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Can anyone really comprehend unconditional love? Perhaps the love that parents have for their children is the closest to unconditional love from a human point of view. But life’s circumstances certainly can challenge the idea that God loves us unconditionally. We’ve all heard about God’s love, we’ve sung about it, and we’ve affirmed it with our “Amens!” But as Paul closes out this section of Romans, he moves us into a fixed and secure confession that no matter what life can throw at us, we need never doubt God’s love for us.
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11/10/2019
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God, the Jew, and You
Romans 9:1-26
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We now come to the third major section of Paul’s letter to the Romans that reveals God’s plan for Jew and Gentile. The early church in Jerusalem was entirely Jewish, but by this point, in most other parts of the world, it had become predominantly non-Jewish. But if God made so many promises to the Jewish nation, does that mean those promises are all now annulled? How does Israel’s rejection of Jesus as Messiah fit into God’s sovereign strategy, and where do we fit in?
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11/17/2019
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Salvation: Reverse Engineered
Romans 10:1, 14-17
Skip Heitzig
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Right in the middle of Paul’s great trilogy about Israel (Romans 9, 10, and 11), he gave an expanded view of how salvation operates. These are the seven components that make up the journey for anyone (Jew or Gentile) who comes to know Christ. Evangelism always begins with God’s sovereign election, but it also involves human cooperation. It takes both someone who will transmit the gospel and someone who will receive it.
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11/24/2019
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God’s Plan for Israel—and the World
Romans 11:25-27
Skip Heitzig
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Can God be trusted? More to the point, can God’s promises be trusted? If He promised to the Jews a kingdom, won’t their rejection of Christ cancel out His promises to them? Wouldn’t that mean that God is finished with Israel as a nation? Does their blindness forfeit God’s blessing? Today we’ll get the big-picture view of Israel, the church, and the kingdom age, and I think you will have a few loose ends tied up about God’s future plan for the world.
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12/15/2019
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Made for Purpose
Romans 12:3-8
Nate Heitzig
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The beauty of God's creation is evident all around us, yet nature is not God's greatest work; mankind is God's greatest masterpiece. It's estimated that to write down one person's DNA blueprint would require 200,000 pages. And God knows every sentence on every page. For the Christian, there's a custom design—a purpose in life to partner with God through gifts from the Holy Spirit. Pastor Nate Heitzig explains how believers can find their purpose in Christ in this message from Romans 12:3-8.
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12/22/2019
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Exercise for Your Soul
Romans 12:6-8
Nate Heitzig
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Americans seem obsessed with fitness and exercise, yet the U.S. is one of the most obese nations in the world. It’s similar in the body of Christ—many Christians are idle, preferring to sit around rather than exercise our spiritual gifts. The key to both spiritual and physical health is balancing exercise and rest. In this teaching, Pastor Nate Heitzig discusses why God gives certain gifts to each member of the body of Christ as well as how those gifts are given so that the entire body might grow and be strong.
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1/5/2020
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Love Is a Verb
Romans 12:9-21
Skip Heitzig
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Perhaps the most overused (but under-practiced) word in human language is the word love. We use the word for everything that includes a mild liking of a meal to having intense affection for another human. Paul is far more practical, knowing that love will show itself in the form of action. Love is a verb. He shows us how the hallmark virtue of Christianity, love, is shown among other believers and in the world, even when they hate us.
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1/12/2020
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The Christian and Government
Romans 13:1-7
Skip Heitzig
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There has always existed a tension between God’s people and human government, especially when we are not in favor of those who are in power. We may find it hard to “render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s” (Matthew 22:21) while being faithful to God. The Christians in Rome were no different when Paul wrote this letter. Let’s consider five principles that form a practical theology for Christian believers in relationship to secular human government.
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1/26/2020
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Wake Up Call
Romans 13:11-14
Nate Heitzig
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We are a fallen people living in a fallen world. Romans 3:10 says "none is righteous." There is evidence all around us that Jesus is setting the scene for His return, and Romans 13 is Paul’s call for the church to prepare for that event. Jesus Himself told us to "occupy till [He] comes" (Luke 19:13, KJV). In this message, Pastor Nate Heitzig explores the apostle's wake-up call to believers and helps us understand how we can effectively occupy until Jesus returns.
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2/2/2020
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Acceptance, Judgment, and the Essential Point of Nonessential Points
Romans 14:1-6
Nate Heitzig
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Today it seems that the church has become known for being judgmental and critical, not just toward unbelievers but even among fellow Christians. That's why we must focus on our commonality in Christ alone. In Romans 14, Paul addressed two groups of Christians—Gentile believers and legalistic Jews—who were causing division and friction among the early church. In this teaching, Nate Heitzig shares how to navigate the nonessential points of our faith while embracing unity in the essentials.
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2/16/2020
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The Cure for "I" Disease
Romans 15:1-6
Skip Heitzig
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Selfishness is part of our basic human nature. It is the default position for every human being. Left unchecked, everybody would focus on himself and live only to please himself. But redemption brings with it a different lifestyle—one that is focused on others, patient with faults, and motivated by a sense of unity in the church. Let’s consider a fourfold strategy to counteract selfishness and promote harmonious living.
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There are 29 additional messages in this series.