Romans 12:1-2 The Change that Jesus Brings Note the phrase "reasonable service" \\#1\\. The word reasonable denotes something that is logical and obvious. Perhaps even noting something mutually considered, discussed, and agreed to. Yet, neither in this text nor anywhere in the Bible is there a discussion between mankind and God on what our reasonable service is. Instead, God tells us what He expects from us and tells that what He expects IS reasonable. Such a tactic would suggest that weóall of usówere totally lost, totally undone, totally hopeless. What does God consider reasonable? Let me share some verses. 1. Change in behavior Ephesians 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 2. Change in affections Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 3. Change in our very being 2Cor 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. There is a theme in all of these texts. Do you see it? It is that our life will be changed. All of these verses (and many others) point to the fact that a Christian is to be a changed person. They say that if we are in Jesus Christ, we should be a new creature, with new affections, having a new mind, and walking a new course. The problem is that sometimes Christians resist this change. Iím not certain why some do but they do. Maybe they are not taught. Maybe it is there old rebellious nature, rising to the surface before they realize it, but the change is supposed to be there. For a few moments, can I give you some reasons why you should let the change take place? I. We should be changed because it is natural. A. There are laws in this physical world that we live to which we must yield. 1. Gravity is going to pull you down. 2. Time is going to wear you out. 3. Energy is going to run out on you. B. We need to understand the physics of the spiritual world. 1. Christians and lost people have different natures. What is natural for the Christian is not natural for the unsaved person and what is natural for the unsaved person is not natural for the Christian. 2. We have different values, mindsets, goals, and masters. 3. All of these differences have changed us. C. This is so because God, through the person of the Holy Ghost, has literally moved into our being. 1. This was prophesied on the Old Testament. Ezekiel 11:19 And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: a. Typically, the use of the word "flesh" would be a negative thing to imply carnal, worldly. b. However, here it means soft and tender toward God. c. It is being contrasted to having a heart of stone. b. Part of the change is that God will give us a heart tender to Him. 2. It is the reason such radical new phrases were coined to describe the salvation experience. John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. D. The Holy Spirit of God who is within us gives us abilities and powers beyond our own. 1. When He came in, He literally rewired the way our minds work. Romans 8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 2. Elsewhere, Paul says is by the work of the Holy Spirit that we are enabled to live out the truth of the New Testament. 2 Corinthians 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. 3. With the Holy Ghost living inside of you, you should have been changed. It is what He does. a. Zacchaeus-No one had to tell him to fix the wrongs he may have done with his money. b. Demonic of Gadara c. Saul of Tarsus - rethink his theology II. We should be changed because we love Him. A. This one should not require much convincing. 1. Preaching is geared to persuade or convince. 2. We use the Bible, Godís Book of Truth, to try to change peopleís minds about things. B. If the love of God has been poured into you, you should love God back and be changed. 1. This thought is not predicated on me quilting or shaming you. 2. Rather, it is based on the power that the love of God has on those who have received it. 3. Two Bible verses. 1John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us. John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 4. If God has loved you, helped you, given to you, you should be changed just because you love Him. C. Has God loved you? 1. Was Jesus loving you when He left heaven to come to earth? 2. Was Jesus loving you when He walked among us for 30 years? 3. Was Jesus loving you when He was arrested, beaten, mocked, and crucified? 4. Was Jesus loving you when they whipped the flesh from off His back, pressed the thorns in His brow? nailed the spikes into His hands? D. Then it is reasonable that you love Him! III. We should be changed if we want Godís presence. A. Do not discard Godís presence. 1. With Godís presence comes five others aspects of God which most every human being will desire at one time or another. a. Power - Even wanted God to "fix" something? b. Purpose - Why? c. Peace - Forgiveness from Him or another d. Provision - Money, raise? e. Protection 2. You cannot have one of Godís miracles unless you have God. B. If you have studied very much in the Bible, you should know God is a holy and sinless God. 1. That is not Godís choice. That is Godís character. 2. God does not just choose to be separate from sin. His nature demands that He be separate from sin. C. That is the reason God insists His people be pure and holy. 1Peter 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 1Thessalonians 2:12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory. 1Thessalonians 4:7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. 2Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy callingÖ. 2Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 1Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: 4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; 5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: IV. We should be changed because we want to serve God. A. I note that this is actually the topic of Paul, "reasonable service." His point is that if you have been changed, you should want to serve and that is just reasonable. B. There are three types of service. 1. No service - You arenít doing anything. 2. Carnal service - You are doing what you think is reasonable. 3. Reasonable service - You are doing what God thinks is reasonable. C. Because of Godís holy nature, you must be changed to render reasonable service to Him. D. If you want to serve God, you must let the change God is working in your life take place. 1. Do you want to hate sin and love righteousness? 2. Do you want Godís peace? 3. Do you want to be a witness for God? 4. Do you want to talk to God? 5. Do you want to have a purpose for life? 6. Do you want to understand the Word of God? E. We understand that we are just vessels of clay and that we are never going to be perfect, but for God to use you, you must give God something with which to work. V. We should be changed because it is best for us. A. I mentioned eariler, that Godís tactic indicates we come from a totally lost, totally undone, totally hopeless position. 1. We do. 2. For some, this might be where the rubber meets the road. 3. There is an obvious problem with living the old life after we are saved. 4. The old life leads to the old problems! B. For most of us, the old life, with all of its failures and problems, is what God used to bring us to the realization that we needed Him. 1. The wages of sin for a saved person is same as the wages of sin for a lost person. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is deathÖ. 2. You may not lose your soul, but sin still leads to misery and unhappiness. Give Them All To Jesus Words and Music by Phil Johnson and Bob Benson, Sr. Are you tired of chasing pretty rainbows? Are you tired of spinning round and round? Wrap up all those shattered dreams of your life And at the feet of Jesus, lay them down. Give them all, give them all, give them all to Jesus Shattered dreams, wounded hearts, and broken toys. Give them all, give them all, give them all to Jesus And He will turn your sorrows into joy. VI. We should be changed because it is commanded. Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? A. You simply canít be right with God and not be changed by Him. Luke 6:47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: 48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. 49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.
B. Some think character does not count, but it does. 1. Not because it tells others what kind of Christian you are. 2. But because it tells you.
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