Two weeks ago we were in the first two verses of . Paul was saying that if you do not move in your relationship and in truth, your growth in your Christian life will be in question. This is true because we aren’t just a number. This big, awesome God is looking right at each of us. He wants a personal relationship with each of us. And in that relationship He wishes us to grow in our walk with Him. So we are asked to present ourselves as living sacrifices that a reasonable act of worship to God. Think about that. Nowhere in the Bible does it give a specific worship practice. Who we are, anywhere we are, and whatever we are doing is the worship.
The unique aspect of Christianity is that this sounds very individualistic. But there is also a flipside where we are to act in the same way as a group of like-minded Christians. As we Christians interact with the world, we come in contact with the world’s system which deviates from God’s truth. And we are to actively push back against the world who is against God as told in . Here is the hard truth pulled from is that you either chose to love the world or the Father. You cannot love both.
We are told to take a step back and look at this relationship with sober judgment, or right-minded thinking. We are fixed on God, and from there we have the perspective to see what God is doing with each of us. We are going take a look at this further, but it is interesting to think about all the nuances of what Paul is talking about. We each have unique faith with God, but the idea is that we are each to not try and have a faith like someone else. To leave behind our own faith and try to force ourselves to duplicate some other faith. It also means that we are not to try and force faith or God’s will into other places when God’s direction to do so is not absolutely clear.
So we will move forward next week with the Fruits of the Spirit. So in the next week take a step back, be sober minded, and realize that God has equipped you to worship right where you are.
12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (ESV)
4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (ESV)
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (ESV)
3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. (ESV)
12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. (ESV)