Faithlife Sermons

What Your Life Could Be, Part One

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Sermon
Romans 12:1–3 ESV
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. 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. 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.
: 9-10
Romans 12:1–4 ESV
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. 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. 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. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function,
Romans 12:9–10 ESV
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
Sermon
Romans 12:1–5 ESV
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. 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. 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. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
Sermon
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Book of Romans in Three Sections
Romans 12 ESV
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. 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. 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. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 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. Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 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.” 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.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12
Book of Romans in Three Sections
Book of Romans in Three Sections
We begin a new series today on the third section of Romans…we have said that the book of Romans can be neatly divided into three sections—
Diagnosis and Deliverance, Continuing Struggle against Sin
is the diagnosis, by Paul of the human race. Paul shows us that none are righteous, that all fall short of the glory of God, in chapter one Paul shows that those outside the church fall short in chapter two he shows that those inside the church fall short as well. That we are all messed up.
That we are all messed up.
In chapters 4-11 Paul reveals the deliverer…he unpacks nothing but Jesus in every way he possibly can. That Jesus is the only answer not just for those who aren’t yet Christians but for those like Paul who continues to struggle against sin. Even as an old man Paul said I’m the chief of sinners. Martin Luther said if you aren’t the worst sinner that you know, than you don’t know yourself very well. is the diagnosis, 4-11 is the deliverer, and 12-16 the section we begin today is the description of what your life could be. And that is what I have entitled this series…what your life could be.
What Your Life Could Be
Most of us, all of us to some extent, are not nearly living the lives we could be living because we aren’t serious about nothing but Jesus. Some simply aren’t serious about it. You scoff at it. You think it is great for worship, but not for the practical. Or you think nothing but Jesus works for spiritual things, for practical things perhaps, but not for the big issues of life—like the death of loved one. Or big marriage problems. Or a relational issue. Or you think nothing but Jesus may work inside the church, but when it comes to outside the church, when it comes to cultural issues, politics, hot topic issues, nothing but Jesus is idealistic and not relevant. We are all like that to some extent. We think nothing but Jesus applies to this area of my life, the things that are either easy for me to do well, or a sin that is fairly easy to conquer, but not to this other area of my life, this secret area that no one knows about. We say nothing but Jesus but the minute our spouse crosses us, NBJ goes out the window. We say nothing but Jesus, but our hearts are dependent on what other people think of us, or our hearts are dependent on whether or not that person is my friend, or this person is trustworthy, or whatever, when we have everything we could possibly need in Jesus.
In other words, NBJ works when we are singing in Christ alone, your grace is enough, I surrender all, all I need is Jesus, Jesus be the center of my life, Jesus you are my all in all…on Christ the solid rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand….it works then, but it doesn’t work as much during the week. gives us a description of the NBJ life on the ground.
So over the next many weeks we will unpack and see what Nothing But Jesus means in our relationships, in our thought lives, at work, in cultural issues, what does Nothing But Jesus mean when it comes to the way we relate to others.
How we Relate to Others
Paul describes what a NBJ life will look like…and it has a lot to do with the way we relate to others. Martin Luther said that God doesn’t need our good works, but our neighbor does. Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was and he said love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.
Cain and Abel and Strangling Each Other
I was listening to a marriage and family counselor the other day and he used this excellent illustration—he said that many times families are a lot like the highly dysfunctional families in the Old Testament.
Think of Cain and Abel. The first two brothers. Cain was jealous of Abel so what did he do? He killed him. Even a family just one generation removed from their parents walking with God in the Garden of Eden killed each other. And we aren’t exactly like Cain and Abel instantly killing each other…but this counselor said the 21st century Cain and Abel families are families that all wrap their hands around each other’s necks, not enough to kill them, but enough to slowly kill them….over thirty years. So it is a thirty to forty year long slow painful death in many families.
These two verses are the thesis statement for the remainder of the book. If you don’t get the first two verses, you won’t get the rest of the book.
Living Sacrifice
Romans 12:1–2 ESV
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. 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.
Paul says something that would have shocked the first readers…he says “offer your bodies as a living sacrifice.”
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
2 Do not be conformed to this world,[a] 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.
[b]
Paul says something that would have shocked the first readers…he says “offer your bodies as a living sacrifice.”
Living Sacrifice=Living Killing
The word sacrifice literally means killing. Paul is saying offer your bodies as a living killing. Remember the last series we did on apparent contradictions…I said they are all through the doctrine of God…well here we go again. A living killing is a paradox. How is it even possible? The first readers of Romans would have immediately thought of the sacrifices they brought to the temple, for forgiveness of sins. They would bring an animal and the animal would be killed FIRST. And THEN sacrificed. The animal wasn’t alive when it was being sacrificed. The animal was killed. Think of the picture Paul is painting.
You ARE the Sacrifice
Here it isn’t a dead animal that is the sacrifice. We are the sacrifice. A living killing. It basically means, you are going to be alive…you are going to live your life…but if you are living the NBJ life, something is always being killed in you. Something is being purposely put to death. What is that thing being put to death?
The thing being put to death is clear—it is you. A living killing. You are both living and being killed. It’s an incredible paradox. But that is the whole ball game of what it means to live a Nothing But Jesus life. The act of self-forgetfulness. The act of self-sacrifice. Paul says THAT is the essence of a nothing but Jesus person.
When Paul says in verse 2, do not be conformed to the pattern of this world he is saying that the pattern of this world is to be self centered, to be entitled. The pattern of this world is turning inward, the NBJ life is turning outward, offering your body as a living sacrifice.
And so Paul piles it on to show us what it means to be a living sacrifice. First,
See Yourself for What You Are: Faith as Gift
Look at verse 3:
Romans 12:3 ESV
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.
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
First, offering yourself as a living sacrifice is to see yourself for what you are. And we see what we are by seeing how we were saved. Paul says here, that even the faith we have to believe in Jesus was given to us by God. Even our faith is a gift. The faith that God has distributed to each of you. Not the faith you mustered up…but the faith God gave you. The only thing we bring to our salvation is the sin that required our salvation. That should cause us to be sober about ourselves. To be self-forgetful. And when we are sober about ourselves we become living sacrifices. Think about how this one thing alone could change marriages. To think of ourselves with sober judgment. Think about how this one thing alone could change relationships. Instead of thinking that I deserve something from you…instead of needing to extract something from you, I think of myself with sober judgment. Think about how this would change the times that you are easily offended.
First, offering yourself as a living sacrifice is to see yourself for what you are. And we see what we are by seeing how we were saved. Paul says here, that even the faith we have to believe in Jesus was given to us by God. Even our faith is a gift. The faith that God has distributed to each of you. Not the faith you mustered up…but the faith God gave you. The only thing we bring to our salvation is the sin that required our salvation. That should cause us to be sober about ourselves. To be self-forgetful. And when we are sober about ourselves we become living sacrifices. Think about how this one thing alone could change marriages. To think of ourselves with sober judgment. Think about how this one thing alone could change relationships. Instead of thinking that I deserve something from you…instead of needing to extract something from you, I think of myself with sober judgment. Think about how this would change the times that you are easily offended.
Just one example of how this plays out…so many times our relationships are messed up because you just won’t admit when you are wrong. Paul says view yourself with sober judgment. See your wrongs.
When You Don’t Apologize
When you have wronged someone, especially someone close to you, and you don’t apologize, and you argue your points, and you don’t listen to those close to you, you are placing a tremendous burden on the person you wronged. You are asking them to do what is almost impossible. And you are hardening them towards you and towards others. It’s extremely cruel not to seek forgiveness, and to do it rather quickly and unequivocally, when you have blatantly wronged another. The person you wronged may give in to your argument and may make peace with you, but it is something they will carry with them the rest of their lives, when you could have easily taken responsibility and alleviated that burden. People are generally very quick to forgive if the apology is a full stop apology. It’s sad this doesn’t happen more!
When we won’t apologize we are thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to and we aren’t applying sober judgment to ourselves. And ironically that doesn’t make our lives lighter and freer but more burdensome. Both for us and those we won’t apologize to.
A living sacrifice thinks of themselves with sober judgment.
A living sacrifice also loves in a certain way…Drop down to verse 9:
Let Your Love be Genuine
Romans 12:9 ESV
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
We gloss over verses like these. But let the weight of these words sink in. Paul is saying the NBJ life is a life where your love is genuine.
We gloss over verses like these. But let the weight of these words sink in. Paul is saying the NBJ life is a life where your love is genuine.
This is where the law of God is deep. Play out what Paul is urging. A friend really offends you. Hurts you. Some of you are there right now. How will you respond? Success from the world’s perspective and even the church’s many times, is don’t say bad things about them. Don’t gossip about them. When you see them make sure you smile. Fake it. Be the bigger person. Maybe even do something nice for them. Don’t defriend them on FB. Well, maybe it is understandable to defriend them on facebook…but wait a little bit for things to cool down. Or just hide them on FB. And people who are nice, who are long suffering in that way, those people become role-models. That’s success in our world, even in the church. Someone hurts you, someone offends you, don’t give them the cold shoulder, don’t talk about them, be the bigger person.
Do you see what that is? As admirable as it is to respond that way, and it is admirable, that response doesn’t come anywhere close to what Paul is saying the NBJ life looks like. Paul says let your love be…what? Genuine. Not fake.
Because to respond the way I described, which is actually a pretty good response…most people don’t even come close to responding that well…if you think you can respond that way and be pleasing to God, you have a very low view of the Law of God. Because this is Law…let your love be genuine.
We do this for all of our behaviors…we set up our own Law, our own standard and we say, if I meet this, that is good, that is admirable…and that is just slavery in another form. Paul is saying, this is what your life can be. Let your love be genuine. Not fake.
So that person who you can’t stand…the sound of their voice, the way they talk about you, the way they betrayed you, whatever it may be, the damage they have done in your life, Paul says, success isn’t just smiling at them, not talking about them, and being the bigger person, success is genuinely loving them. Wow. Let your love flow from inside of you. And ironically a life of genuine love, even for those who hurt you, is a lighter life, a less burdensome life, a freer life. You wouldn’t think it is…you would think that real freedom is getting back at someone. Extracting something from them. Plotting. But the fact is loving genuinely, even those who don’t like you, is freeing. It’s a lighter way to live. For you and for them. How much energy and how burdensome is it to fight and to continually not like a person. And continually think about ways of getting even with them. And continually putting on a fake smile so you will seem like the bigger person when the reality is you are burning up inside. Paul says to offer your bodies, offer your very self as a living sacrifice. To forget yourself.
Outdo one another with brotherly affection
Romans 12:10 ESV
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
Verse 10—outdo each other in brotherly love. Make it a competition not to see who can one up the other, but who can love the other the most. Think about the impact that alone would have in the family. Would have in marriages. We aren’t even close to doing that in relationships and families. Bringing peace to some marriages, to some relationships would be as difficult as brokering peace between Palestine and Israel. Think about extended families…don’t just tolerate each other? Outdo each other. See it as a competition to see who can be the most loving to the other.
10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
Verse 10—outdo each other in brotherly love. Make it a competition not to see who can one up the other, but who can love the other the most. Think about the impact that alone would have in the family. Would have in marriages. In relationships. Think about extended families…don’t just tolerate each other? Outdo each other. See it as a competition to see who can be the most loving to the other. We aren’t even close to doing that in relationships and families. Bringing peace to some marriages, to some relationships would be as difficult as brokering peace between Palestine and Israel.
Make no mistake we do kill each other. Why? Because we think more highly of ourselves than we ought to.
I was listening to a marriage and family counselor the other day and he used this excellent illustration—he said that many times families are a lot like the highly dysfunctional families in the Old Testament.
Think of Cain and Abel. The first two brothers. Cain was jealous of Abel so what did he do? He killed him. Even a family just one generation removed from their parents walking with God in the Garden of Eden killed each other. And we aren’t exactly like Cain and Abel instantly killing each other…but this counselor said the 21st century Cain and Abel families are families that all wrap their hands around each other’s necks, not enough to kill them, but enough to slowly kill them….over thirty years. So it is a thirty to forty year long slow painful death in many families.
Make no mistake we do kill each other. Why? Because we think more highly of ourselves than we ought to.
Lighter Life=Life of Sacrifice
What about when the other person is absolutely wrong?
Romans 12:14 ESV
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
Nero Persecution and Local Persecution
Nero Persecution and Local Persecution
Remember who Paul is writing to. These were Christians who had actually been persecuted by Rome. Many times we think of persecution in the time of the early church in terms of the big stuff, of the horrible things Nero, the emperor and emperors after him did to Christians. He would literally paint them with tar, bury them in the ground, light them on fire, and use them as torches, as light for his nighttime parties. Horrible unthinkable persecution.
But that wasn’t the only kind of persecution—because most Christians were able to escape the really brutal stuff which many times was localized. It was the micro persecution. It was the fact that the local authorities would hold it over them that they were Christians and accept bribes for keeping it quiet. It was the local Jewish authorities who shut them out of the temple and out of their legal way of worshiping God. It was their families who had disowned them because they had turned from the religion of their upbringing. It was systemic persecution that was a huge problem.
Paul said don’t just tolerate it…but pronounce a blessing on those who persecute you.
Lighter Life=Life of Sacrifice
You are thinking, I thought the NBJ life was a life of freedom…of a lighter burden…now you are saying that the NBJ life is offering yourself as a living killing…which is it? Everything inside of us, and everything in the world screams that a life of freedom is getting, is receiving, is entitlement…when the reality is that those things, getting, receiving, extracting from people the things that make you happy, pursuing your own happiness isn’t a life of freedom at all, but it is a burdensome, tiresome, wasted life. The writer of Ecclesiastes understood this. He had it all…wealth, power, fame, wisdom, relationships, children…and he came to the end of his life and he said its all meaningless…it’s all vanity. It’s like chasing the wind. It’s like being constricted, it’s enslavement. Paul says the real life of meaning, of freedom, is to offer yourself as a living sacrifice.
So for the rest of chapter 12 and really the rest of the book, Paul unpacks what a living sacrifice looks like…he provides a description of the NBJ life. He describes what our lives could be if they are gripped by God’s radical grace.
I haven’t said this in a while, but if I stopped the sermon right now, you would have gotten some practical advice…but if you listened carefully and did a serious self evaluation, you would see that you fall way short. If I stopped the sermon here there would be no hope.
Jordan Peterson
There is a psychologist who is also a college professor. His name is Jordan Peterson. He has become a youtube sensation. He is not a Christian…he is agnostic. And he has gained popularity I think because he calls it as it is. And he is intrigued with the Bible not because he thinks it is true but because of the lessons and the truth it contains.
And young men especially are following him in droves because he gives this great advice. I heard him on an interview and the interviewer asked him to give a summation of the message that has made him so popular. And so he said, life is hard. People are depraved. People are going to let you down. Life is going to be very challenging both because of the nature of life itself and also because of you, because of people around you. Basically he was saying that the problem with the world is what Paul said the problem with the world is in . His answer sounded a lot like . And that message is resonating with people because it’s true. This world is hard. This life is tragic and miraculous at the same time. And the way he described it was so good, was so spot on…it really resonated. He said that because this life is hard we have to take responsibility. And that every action of every one of us makes an impact in some way. A lot of what he said sounds a lot like what we just studied. Love authentically. See yourself clearly. And as he is talking you are thinking, yes, yes, yes, he is so right. And then he stopped and the interview said. And? So how do we correct the problem? And Peterson laughed and said, well…truth. And then he went into a bunch of great practical advice.
It was like he had articulated , he had well diagnosed the human race. But then he skipped over , because he doesn’t believe that stuff, and went right to , the stuff we are supposed to do. He had no segue from the problem to the solution.
You need to set up a schedule. He went into a list of great things. He said that he polled his college students and found that each of them waste 4 hours a day. He said he did a study on their efficiency and found that most people could be 20-50 times more efficient than they are. That we can’t imagine how efficient efficient is. All true stuff. But something was missing.
Romans 3:21–24 ESV
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
He had all kinds of great advice. He said that with marriages he just tells people you need to reset. You need to stop being so selfish. You can either have pain of fighting or you can start over, believe the best, get over yourself, stop hurting each other and try to fix things. All good stuff. But something was missing. Everything he was saying was true. His diagnosis of the human problem was right on. His description of what our lives could be if we were to live the right way was right on. But he was missing something…
So if I were to stop here, I would be no better than worldly psychologists as helpful as they can be. Paul says
It was like he had articulated , he had well diagnosed the human race. But then he skipped over , because he doesn’t believe that stuff, and went right to , the stuff we are supposed to do.
So if I were to stop here, I would be no better than worldly psychologists as helpful as they can be. Paul says
So if I were to stop here, I would be no better than worldly psychologists as helpful as they can be. Paul says
Romans 12:1 ESV
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.
I Urge You
I Urge You
And look at what else Paul says, he says, I urge you. He doesn’t say I command you. He says I urge you. The people he is writing to are already famous for the Gospel. They are already NBJ people. Paul said as much in . But Paul is saying this is what the next level could be. This is what your life could be. This is the freedom you could have because of NBJ. And he urges them because he doesn’t have to command them. He urges them because love and not law compels right behavior. He urges them because he is appealing to a greater motivation.
2 Corinthians 5:14–15 ESV
For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
Therefore
If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice that I make can for Him could be too great.
Therefore
But also notice that Paul starts chapter 12 with the word, therefore. In other words, because of what you have just heard. Because what I have just shared is true. Because you believe what you have just heard. And what have we just heard? We have just heard chapters 4-11 which is an exposition on NBJ. Paul has just unpacked NBJ in every way possible. And Paul is saying that is the key, that is the only fuel to being a living sacrifice.
Romans 3:21–24 ESV
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
In View of God’s Mercy
In View of God’s Mercy
And then he adds, in view of God’s mercy. And the word for view there is to view from all angles. To look into the heart of what he has said. Paul is saying ponder what I just shared about God’s mercy. If you immerse yourself in that mercy, your life will begin to look like what I am about to describe. Paul is saying ponder deeply NBJ:
*That because of what Jesus did in his life, death and resurrection, that we don’t have to live under condemnation. That there is therefore now no condemnation. If there is no condemnation than we don’t have to extract acceptance and love from others. But we can be a living sacrifice.
*That because of nothing but Jesus because of what he did in his life, death and resurrection, we have freedom from the law of sin and death.
*That because of nothing but Jesus, we can be spiritually minded. That we can live in the supernatural instead of always dwelling in the natural.
*That because of nothing but Jesus, the Holy Spirit of Jesus dwells in us.
*That because of nothing but Jesus we don’t have to live under the power of our earthly bodies and what feels good. That we can be led by the spirit of Christ and not be our emotions.
*That because of nothing but Jesus, our older brother, the true loving gracious older brother, who doesn’t sit at home sulking when younger brothers, like you and I come home, but he is the one who runs to us, brings us into his family, adopts us as his own, and brings us to the father. That we are sons that we are daughters. That we are joint heirs with Christ.
*That because of nothing but Jesus the Holy Spirit of Christ helps us in our weaknesses, that he prays for us, that he puts into words our prayers that we can’t say.
*That because of NB J, we are declared exhaustively forgiven and fully justified. God cannot love us more, and will never love us less. We can’t add to God’s love for us by our good works; and we can’t diminish his love, by our foolishness and failures.
*That because of nothing but Jesus all things work together for the good of those who love him. That God is working all things, especially our salvation, for good, because he wants to see Jesus glorified in heaven by each of us being conformed to the image of his son. That our final destination is to be free from sin, because of Jesus, because of good Friday. And when we are finally free from sin, we will be with Jesus and like Jesus.
*That because of nothing but Jesus there is not only not condemnation but there is no separation from the love of God. That nothing can separate us….we can’t separate ourselves from God, trials can’t separate us, enemies can’t separate us, disappointments can’t separate us, nothing, nothing, nothing can separate us from the love of God. Because it is God who holds us firmly in his grip, not us. Salvation is of God not of ourselves.
Don’t Move on From Gospel
In other words, there is no moving on from the Gospel, the Gospel isn’t just how we begin our Christian lives, it is what fuels our Christian walk, the gospel isn’t just the ABC’s of life, but the A to Z. The Alpha and Omega. Jesus isn’t just the author of our faith, but the perfector of our faith. He doesn’t just start a good work in us, he finishes the work that he started. The Gospel isn’t just the overture, it’s the whole opera. The Gospel is the appetizer through the desert, it’s the whole of our lives. It doesn’t just save us, but compel us to find out what our lives could be.
One preacher said the problem with a living sacrifice is the sacrifice always wants to wander down off the altar. Why? Because it’s hot up there. It’s intense. It’s painful. It’s sacrificial. The NBJ life is a life that is freed from yourself.
Palm Sunday
When Jesus Jesus offering himself going into Palm Sunday.
Today is Palm Sunday. Jesus enters Jerusalem and the people love him. The people celebrate him. And they should have. He was perfect. He HAD loved authentically. He didn’t need a sober view of himself because he was God. But a few days later, it was Jesus who offered himself as a living sacrifice.
2 Corinthians 5:14–15 ESV
For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
Jesus became a living sacrifice. And that is what most compels us to live the NBJ life.
But he became a living sacrifice. And that is what most compels us to live the NBJ life.
If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice that I make can for Him could be too great.
Love so amazing so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.
Tasting of the blood before hand. Saying, I will do it anyway.
Pauls’ segue is
I may use this verse somewhere:
Romans 3:21–24 ESV
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
Romans 3:21–25 ESV
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.
Romans 3:21–23 ESV
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
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