Sunday, April 22, 2018
Winter/Spring Sermon Series: Experiencing God for Such a Time as this
Practicing Righteousness in the Body of Christ
Dictionary.com says - the quality or state of being righteous. righteous conduct. the quality or state of being just or rightful.
Merriam-Webster - acting in accord with divine or moral law: free from guilt or sin; morally right or justifiable.
The Bible says “righteousness” is God’s standard of purity or God’s own truthfulness and faithfulness. God is holy; therefore, He cannot tolerate sin.
I. Total Dedication to God - Vs. 1-2
Vs. 1 – Present bodies
as a living sacrifice – use body to serve and obey God
holy – set apart
acceptable to God – pleasing to God
spiritual worship – offering one’s whole life to God
Vs. 2 – Changed lives
be not conformed to this world – not formed or molded to
be transformed - changed
renewed mined – different thinking – eternal rather than temporal
allow testing – James 1
increase discernment – to be able to know when God speaks and moves
focus on God’s will – perfect and best for us
Believers respond to God and serve Him and others through commitment that is based soley on His Mercy.
Serving Christ is sacrificial and means it takes a daily decision to part company with our old self and the things of this world.
Believer’s must continually renew one’s mind to think the things of God.
Doing the will of God is well worth the effort because God’s will is perfect and always done with our best interests at heart.
II. Gifts of Grace - Vs. 3-8
Vs. 3 – Humility
do not think more highly of yourself – self observation
think with sober judgment -
assess self according one’s own faith
Vs. 4-5 - Many gifts – one body
one body - unity
many members - diversity
different functions -
one body in Christ
individually in Christ
part of each other
Vs. 6-8 – Various gifts
God has distributed spiritual gifts to every believer and provides the faith and ability to exercise those gifts.
Because spiritual gifts are rooted in God’s grace, there is no room for arrogance or feelings of inferiority among believers.
Spiritual gifts are to be used for others and because of the diversity of those gifts, they then bring unity to the body of Christ.
III. Marks of True Christian – A New-covenant Ethic - Vs. 9-21
Vs. 9-10 – Loving
abhors (hate) evil
hold on to the good
show honor to each other
Vs. 11-12 – Loving God
be fervent in spirit
be in prayer
Vs.13 – Practice Hospitality
help those in need
Vs. 14 – Be a blessing
bless those who hate you
do not curse them
Vs. 15-16 – Connect with others
Vs. 17-21 – Response to other’s actions
The key characteristic of the Christian life is love toward God, the family of God and even our enemies. If the enemies of God do not repent, we are not to take matters into our own hands. We are to leave that part to God. We love to them by not retaliating. Show kindness. We show love by devoting ourselves to God and loving others unselfishly.
It is through Jesus Christ that we can find righteousness that is acceptable to God. Christ not only takes away our sin, but He grants us perfect purity.
So then, the Body of Christ, has become His representatives here on earth.
2 Corinthians 5:20-21 “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”