Living Sacrifices! Romans 12:1-8

Text: “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I but Christ liveth in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”
Galatians 2:20.

Good morning, self-sacrificed Christian!  You have been bought with a terrible price from the slave-market of sin and Eternal death.  Therefore, you realize you are no longer your own, to do whatever your own human nature lusts to do.  You and I have been bought by God, by the Cross of God the Son, to glorify God daily in all we say and do.  This is what it means to serve God as a living sacrifice.      (1 Corinthians 6:20) (Hebrews 9:12)

Verse one of today’s selected Scripture portion exhorts us to present our bodies as living sacrifices in God’s service.  Verse two instructs us how to do this.  The Lord will never instruct us to do something without also revealing to us how we can achieve His will, and providing the power necessary to accomplish the task.  What joy it is to know this fact of our Christian faith.   (Psalm 34:8-22)

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto Me...unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

We Christians are instructed here to ‘ not conformed to this world...’.  Think it through, beloved!  What is the Lord teaching us?  It is profitable to ask such questions during Bible study, for only by asking such questions shall we ever receive the answers we require.  (Matthew 7:7-12)  (James 1:5)

All it means is that, we are not to take the standards of acceptable practice the worldlings all around us conform to and set them up for our standards of daily behaviour.  What is totally acceptable for the worldling to do, or say, or desire, is NOT necessarily acceptable for the Christian person.  Our standard is set by the Lord Jesus Christ, and further set forth for us in God’s Holy Word.  All, therefore, that is not CHRISTLIKE, is sin.  All sin is, of course, unacceptable to Christ, and is thus unacceptable behaviour  for the Christian. 

“But as He which hath called you is Holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (complete way of life).  Because it is written, ‘Be ye holy; for I am Holy.’”(1 Peter 1:15-16) (1 Peter 2:11-12)

How are we, therefore, to escape being slowly worn down; gradually corrupted; by the worldly standards all around us?  Listen on, dear friend, listen on.

We are to be transformed DAILY, by the renewing of our minds.  We are to be reminded DAILY, of God’s perfect standard of behaviour by a DAILY study of His Word. 

God’s will for us is found only in His revealed Word (i.e. our Bibles).  Therefore, when we study the Word, we are continually reminded of God’s will for us, and our faults and failings; our human, natural, shortcomings; are more clearly revealed to us and we are more able then to continually sort ourselves out in prayerful striving against sin.

In this manner, our Bible becomes for us a Spiritual mirror, a mirror in which we can see our sins; a mirror which we can daily use to make personal comparisons between our worldly conformities and our Christlikeness.  (1 John 1:8-9) (John 15:3) (Ephesians 5:25-27)

If we become proud, the Bible will very soon humble us again.  God gives grace to the humble and resists the proud.  The sin of self-righteousness is also checked by a reading of the Gospels. 

Humankind’s standards are quickly rebuked, when once one learns of the absolute perfection of the altogether lovely, and sinless, Lord Jesus. 

Remember, God richly blesses the Christian who tries to be a living sacrifice for Him.  Hallelujah!  What a Saviour!  Amen.

Thought:  Sacrifice self - sanctify self - serve the Saviour.

An Overview of Chapter Eleven Romans 11:1-36

Text:  “But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.  Wherefore?  Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law.  For they stumbled at that stumbling stone.”                                                                                                                                     Romans 9:31-32.

           “The Stone (Christ Jesus) which the builders (the Jewish Nation) refused is become the Head Stone of the corner.”
                                                                                                                 Psalm 118:22.

Good morning, Bible-taught Christian!  Not for you the modernist myths, nor the liberalist lies - your faith is based on the infallible Word of God.  Therefore, you shall never be moved away from the truth.  Hallelujah!

Serious Bible study is a must for all who would be certain of the hope God has given us of His Salvation in Christ Jesus the Lamb of God.  Men’s opinions might sound wonderful and easy to listen to at times, but only the Word of God Himself can dispel all dread and doubt. 

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.”                           (2 Timothy 2:15)

Chapter eleven of the book of Romans is an overview of God’s dealings with the Jewish Nation - the Nation through which God chose to reveal Himself to all mankind.  Let us look, briefly, at this overview.

In this great historical chapter of Paul’s epistle to the Romans, Paul, at all times under the full inspiration of God the Holy Spirit, takes us time and time again back into the past; quoting a number of Old Testament Scriptures to support his points.
(2 Peter 1:21) (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

His main theme in this chapter is God’s dealing with the Jewish Nation, and he is here assuring us that God has not rejected His people forever, but will in fact, in the fullness of time, resume His Sovereign work among them.  “...’Hath God cast away His people?  God forbid...” (V.1)

If one was looking for a perfect example to illustrate what the Lord God is revealing here in Paul’s letter reference the Jewish Nation, one would only have to look briefly at Christ’s dealing with the fig tree in Matthew 21:18-20.

Here we see Christ coming to a fig tree which bore all the ‘leaves’ of outer form or profession, yet, when He sought for some ‘fruit’ He could find none.  So, being God incarnate, the Creator Lord God, Christ cursed the fig tree with the terrible words: “Let no fruit grow on thee henceforth forever.” 

What a terrible rejection from the son of God upon the fruitless fig tree!  What a terrible lesson for the Jewish Nation!  What a terrible lesson for you and for me!  

“Ye are cursed with a curse; for ye have robbed Me, even this whole Nation.”  (Malachi 3:7-9) (Matthew 21:19)

Can we not hear God’s Word echoing in our hearts in relation to this story?  “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew His not.  He came unto His own (the Jewish Nation), and His own received Him not.”  (John 1:10-11)

What a sad and deadly rejection!  The Jewish Nation rejected their long awaited Messiah, and as a consequence, were rejected by Him - for a terrible season.  But, praise God, that is not the end of the story.

Romans chapter eleven teaches us that there is still hope for the Jewish Nation and that a ‘...remnant according to the election of grace...’ shall be saved - after God has finished calling in His chosen Gentiles. (Romans 11:5)

“For I would not, brethren (the Jewish Nation), that ye should be ignorant of this mystery (new revealed truth), lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness (to the Gospel of Christ) in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.” (Romans 11:25)

In chapter eleven of Romans, we are taught that the Jewish Nation rejected their Messiah Jesus, and in return He rejected them - for a season. We also learn why this happened.  It happened in order to offer Salvation to the Gentile Nations for a God-ordained season, and this to make the rejectionist Jews jealous, that they too might seek their Saviour in the end times.

We Gentiles are clearly seen as ‘...the wild olive tree...’ grafted into God’s Eternal Plan of Salvation.  However, Israel alone are the ‘...good olive tree...’, and thus, we are called to pray for National Salvation for the Jewish Nation.  (Romans 11:13-24) (Romans 10:13)

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; they shall prosper that love thee...for my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, ‘Peace be within thee.’”  (Psalm 122:6-8) 

Our God is a Lord God of infinite grace.  Praise His great Name!  And because He is, He will deal graciously with all those whom He will choose to redeem today, and in the latter days ahead.  Hear again His gracious Voice:  “And so all Israel (all whom God elects to be saved) shall be saved; as it is written, ‘There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.  For this is My covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.’”  (Romans 11:26-27)

Even from this brief overview of chapter eleven of Paul’s epistle to the Romans we can see the goodness of God down through the ages; we can have even more confidence (faith) in His ever-kept promises to His people; and we can gain much encouragement to worship and serve Him, and Him alone.  What a Friend we have in Jesus - the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Thanks be to God.  Amen.  (Hebrews 13:8)

Thought:  Jesus loves and accepts the vilest rejects.  Sinners just like me!

Universal Preachers Romans 10:12-21

Text:  “Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain...”                               
John 15:16.

           “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”
Romans 10:14.
Good morning, universal Christian preacher!  You may not be called to pastor a church congregation.  You may not be called to go to a Theological Seminary to study for a full-time ministry.  You may never be afforded an ecclesiastical title; nor seek or receive a position of organizational authority within a church group.  However, you are most definitely called be a universal preacher of God’s Good News to sinful man - that’s the plain truth of the matter.  All Christians are universally called by God to share the Gospel of Salvation in Christ Jesus alone.  Praise God for the utter privilege!  Amen?  (Acts 1:8)

“And He (the risen Christ Jesus) said unto them, ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.  He that believeth (trusts and keeps on trusting in Christ Jesus) and is baptized (the outer public sign of what has already taken place, Spiritually speaking, inside) shall be saved; but he/she that believeth not shall be damned.’”  (Mark 16:15-16)

Today there are millions sitting in unregenerate darkness merely because they do not know they are lost and headed ultimately for a Christ-rejecter’s Hell.  This is not a popular fact in this day of Liberalism and Modernistic watering down of God’s Bible messages - but it is a most vital message for every Christian to teach and to faithfully preach. 

“For the Son of man (Christ Jesus) came to seek and to save that which was lost!” (Luke 19:10) (Matthew 18:11)

I truly believe that, there are more Christians today who are willing and able to instruct the unlearned on how to save words on a computer programme than there are Christians who know how, and are willing, to share with the unsaved God’s one way of Eternal Salvation.  Some Christians would be hard put to know how to share their faith with others.  Worse still, some Christians seem totally unwilling to share the treasure of God’s free Salvation, even with  their closest neighbours and friends!  Isn’t that a sorry state of affairs in the universal Church of Christ Jesus today?   Now, hear the Voice of your Lord God and mine:

“Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in Heaven.  But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father which is in Heaven.”  (Matthew 10:32-33)

There can be no ‘secret Christians’ in the true Kingdom of God, for selfishness is a religion all of its own.  Men and women worship the great Self; and the Lord God is a jealous God indeed.  (Exodus 20:3)

‘But, I am a naturally shy person!’, I hear some cowards bleat, ‘How, therefore, could I preach to others, or witness for the Lord?’  You can lift your telephone-book, highlight ten numbers in your local area; give them a ring; tell them you are not selling anything, but want to give something to them for FREE.  Then tell them about Salvation in Christ alone.  You don’t even have to look into their eyes while you preach the glorious Gospel message, and invite those interested to come with you to church on Sunday.  Take a chance for Jesus, He took every risk for you and me.  Venture a step forward to witness for Him - and the Spirit of God will enable you to run a mile in His power, and to Christ’s glory. 

“Give, and it shall be given unto you...” Hallelujah!  Go for it!
(Luke 6:38)

‘But, what will I tell the unsaved, what is my message?’, I hear some cry.  Your message is contained in our Bible passage for today:  “For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord (Christ Jesus) SHALL be saved.”  Universal preachers need no other sophisticated message.  (Romans 10:13)

‘But, how will telling people that help to get them saved?’, is often the next thing we hear.  Well again, the answer is already contained in our Bible passage for today:  “Faith cometh by hearing (with the heart), and hearing by the Word of God.”  It’s as basically simple as that. (Romans 10:17)

After reading this Scriptural message, there is no longer any excuse not to preach the Gospel of Christ and Him Crucified for our sins.  From this day forth, why not receive the full blessings that God had prepared for His church; why not try some preaching/witnessing for Him? 

The joy one receives after such faithful obedience is more than worth any risk of embarrassment or rebuke.  Why not try it today and see?  You are called to be a universal preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Bless your heart.

Thought:  Silence isn’t always golden - sometimes it’s just plain yellow!
(See the doctrine of Faith on my Basic Christian Doctrines section

Zeal, Without Knowledge? Romans 10:1-11

Text: “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.”
Romans 10:2.

Good morning, Christian unashamed!  You can sing with the hymn-writer, ‘I’m not ashamed to own my Lord, nor to defend His cause; maintain the honour of His Word, the glory of His Cross...”.  Praise the Lord!

How can you sing such sentiments?  Why are you unashamed of what you believe?  How did you become so fully persuaded in your conscience that you are indeed a child of God, and on your way to Heaven?  The answer?  One way only. Read on, beloved friend, read on. 

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you FREE...” (John 8:32)

“...for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.”   (2 Timothy 1:12)

So often in my travels I meet Christians and church-goers who are full of zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.  In other words, they want so much to know and serve the Lord God, but seem pulled this way and that by ‘...every wind of doctrine...’; and tossed about like corks on a constant sea of doubt, faithlessness; and luke-warm commitment. (Ephesians 4:14)

Zeal of God, enthusiasm to know God and to know how to serve Him best, is a wonderful thing to possess.  However, if that zeal is not firmly instructed from the Word of God, then it can lead the individual, and groups of individuals, into a merry maze of extreme, and often bizarre practices.  Unashamed Christian soldiers in the army of Christ Jesus must always travel the road of Salvation guided by God’s Map alone - His own infallible Word. 

“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”  (Psalm 119:105)

But, how does knowledge of God’s Word help the Christian to be strong in his/her beliefs and sure in his/her practices?  What does study of our Bibles do to help us maintain certainty and full persuasion amid so much all around us that would cause us to constantly fall into confusion and doubt?  Read on, beloved friend, read on - there is good news for you today.  Praise the Lord God of Good News! 

“As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.“ (Proverbs 25:25)

“Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me (Christ Jesus); for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”  (Matthew 11:29)

Faith in God is the key to a life of unashamed witness and testimony to the greater glory of the Lord Jesus.  “...Without faith it is impossible to please Him...”  (Hebrews 11:1;6)

In order to please God and to be fully persuaded in ones beliefs and daily Christian practice - one must, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.”  (2 Timothy 2:15)

We need that unique substance, faith, if we are to even commence in a fully committed relationship with God, in His Son Christ Jesus.  So, how do we obtain faith?  Well, again the Word of God gives us the vital knowledge:  “Faith cometh by hearing (reading) and hearing by the Word of God.”  (Romans 10:17)  What could be more easier understood than that?

For example.  We come into a room and sit immediately down upon a chair we have never seen before, having faith (confidence) that the chair will indeed hold our weight, and not allow us to fall to the floor.  Right?

Okay.  Now the more we study the chair, how it is made; what materials it is made from; if it is jointed or welded together, etc., the more confidence (faith) we will have to sit, or even stand up on, that chair.  Right?

Now bring the above illustration into the Spiritual realm.  If the great Object of our faith (confidence) is the finished work of Christ Jesus upon the Cross at Calvary, then it follows that the more we study and learn about Christ, His Person and His Work of Atonement, the more faith (confidence) we shall have to put our full trust in Him.  Hallelujah!  What profound simplicity indeed!  Bless the Lord, oh my soul!  Amen?

With the above exposition in mind therefore, we can now more clearly see that, while zeal for God is wonderful, zeal WITH KNOWLEDGE is what is required for the Christian to be unashamed in his/her daily life of service to the Master.  Knowledge of God’s Word makes the vital difference.

Go to then, Christian, study God’s Word, gain the necessary knowledge to be totally unashamed of what, and of Whom, you believe.  Amen.

Thought:  Make sure your zeal is supported by true, Scriptural knowledge of Christ.

(For help in understanding the 'knowledge' Christians need to have, please click on to the Basic Christian Doctrines section on our website