Practicing Righteousness in the Body of Christ

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Winter/Spring Sermon Series: Experiencing God for Such a Time as this

Practicing Righteousness in the Body of Christ

Romans 12:1-21

Righteousness defined: 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

  • The mercy of God is the basis of Christian sanctification and service

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

  • The Christian life consists of doing the will of God by breaking from the old self and aligning oneself with Christ

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

  • God’s will is always in the best interest of His people

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

  • The body of Christ is both unified and diversified

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

  • God has given spiritual gifts to His people to be used in service to one another

Vs. 6-8 – Various gifts

  • differing gifts

  • according to God’s grace

  • use for His glory

  • for the betterment of others

  • Each gift is divinely proportioned with faith to use it

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

  • genuine

  • abhors (hate) evil

  • hold on to the good

  • brotherly affection

  • show honor to each other

  • Love God

Vs. 11-12 – Loving God

  • be zealous

  • be fervent in spirit

  • serve God

  • be joyful

  • be hopeful

  • be patient

  • be in prayer

  • Love fellow believers

Vs.13 – Practice Hospitality

  • help those in need

  • be hospitable

  • Love non-believers

Vs. 14 – Be a blessing

  • bless those who hate you

  • do not curse them

Vs. 15-16 – Connect with others

  • celebrate with those who are celebrating

  • weep with others

  • live in harmony with each other

  • do not be proud

  • live in humility

Vs. 17-21 – Response to other’s actions

  • no paybacks

  • do not be vengeful

  • be honorable

  • live peaceful lives

  • leave vengeance to God

  • feed your enemy if he is hungry

  • give him a drink if he is thirsty

  • overcome evil with good

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.”

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