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The How-to's of Holiness - Part 3

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class=MsoNormal align=right style='text-align:right'>1) 2-10-08…AM…SBCThe How-to’s of Holiness – Part 3

Romans 12:1-3

Introduction:   Review from 2-3-08 sermon (v1)

  1. God expects sacrifice

    1. Remember the illustration of Abraham and Isaac      (Gen 22)

-          Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice the only son of the Promise was evidence of the faith he possessed that God would provide another way

  1. Paul is saying that sacrifice doesn’t only happen in death but realistically it must happen in life as well  
  2. But when we offer God the living sacrifice of ourselves, He does not destroy what we give Him but refines it and purifies it, not only for His glory but for our present and eternal good.[1]


Proposition:  We want to finish looking at this passage today by seeing that holiness requires transformation of the mind, and all holiness is to be sought after in humility.

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Transition:  With a positive attitude towards God described in v1, Paul now links a negative attitude towards the world

·         Paul laid out the goal we should be striving for in v1 (worship of God by being a living sacrifice)

·         Now Paul lays out for us some tangible ways to accomplishing our quest for holiness

Paul says first of all that…

1) Holiness requires transformation of the mind        v2

 

A-    If v. 1 speaks of a specific act in which we offer ourselves to God, v. 2 tells us of two ongoing activities that carry out the intention of being a living sacrifice. [2]

1-      Paul reminded the Galatians that the present age is evil (Gal 1:4). It cannot, and must not, serve as a model for Christian living. Its values and goals are in opposition to growth in holiness.[3]

2-      In our quest for holiness there are things that we are to do (v1) as well as things that we are to       avoid (v2a)

B-    Paul encompasses all that is to be avoided by commanding that we not be conformed to the world

1-      sυσχηματίζεσθε - be conformed to, be shaped by, live after the pattern of[4]

2-      The verb itself is passive and imperative, the passive indicating that conformation is something we allow to be done to us, the imperative indicating a command, not a suggestion.[5]

3-      The devastating factor is when Christians have been introduced to the life of the world to come; but still conform to the perishing world they have left.

Application: 

Ø      As believer’s we should have a different way of looking at things – ethically and morally our views and positions should be different and those who do not have the Spirit

What do I mean…?

How else can we be conformed to the patterns of the world?

1-      What about salvation?

·         Maybe you sit here today and you have been led to believe that all it takes to get to heaven is to be a good person

o       Let me ask you, “Would you consider yourself a good person?” (most people will say yes)

§         If you stand before the gates of heaven are asked why you should be let in how would you answer?”

·         How do you match up to God’s standard found in the Ten Commandments?  Exodus 20

 

§         Have you ever told a lie?  What does that make you?    Liar

§         Have you ever stole anything?      What does that make you?     Thief

§         Have you ever committed murder?          Looked at someone in anger?             Murderer

§         Have you ever committed adultery?  Lust?          Adulturer

 

·         By your own admission, you are a lying, thieving, murdering, adulterer at heart.  How do you think you will do in the Judgment Day when you stand before God?

·         Would you like to know how you could stand before God as a rigteous person?          John 3:16, Rm 6:23

If would like to know how – come see me after the service

How else can we be conformed to the patterns of the world?

2-   What about the field of brain disorders?[6]

·         Have you ever noticed how many people (even Christians) accuse the brain and make it responsible for bad behavior?

o       Ritalin has become the prescription for controlling a disobedient child

o       Mood swings from a bad day, fight with the spouse or a battle with the kids are now viewed as the result of chemical imbalances in the brain treatable by antidepressant medications

o       Being an alcoholic is not a choice but now a disease that one cannot control

o       Brain chemistry is considered the ultimate cause for almost every human problem

 

·         As believers we are not to blindly accept everything we hear but instead to see them through our theological glasses.

o       information we receive about the way the brain functions is to be processed just same as when we hear teaching on finances, parenting and gambling

o       we must view it through the lens of Scripture

 

·         we must be thoughtful, careful and prayerful as we hear and assess the latest scientific discoveries so as not to conformed to the thought processes of the world

 

C-    Rather than allowing the world to (sυσχηματίζεσθε) “squeeze you into its own mold” (Phillips), Paul told believers to be “transformed””[7]

1-      μεταμορφουσθε - inner change affecting the outward disposition

Illustration:            Remodeling – a new inside has changed the way the room looks

2-      He uses the present tense: “Continue to let yourselves be transformed.” Accordingly, this transformation must not be a matter of impulse: on again, off again. It must be continuous.[8]

3-      The verb used is in the passive voice. Paul does not say, “Transform yourselves,” but “Let yourselves be transformed.”[9] – progressive sanctification is a work of the HS

4-      the imperative mood. We are commanded to allow the Spirit to do his work within their hearts and lives. Our duty is to co-operate[10]

D-    Paul says that this renovation is done in the mind

1-      As the seat of emotions and affections; of thinking and feeling; of morality, “mind” is equivalent to the heart[11]

2-      The transformed and renewed mind is the mind saturated with and controlled by the Word of God.[12]

3-      Only the mind that is constantly being renewed by God’s Spirit working through God’s Word is pleasing to God.[13]

4-      The mind renewed enables us to discern the will of God.[14]         v2b

 

Acts 17:11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. [15]

Transition:  Paul goes on to show us that…

2) Holiness requires humility              v3

 

A-    Paul was fully aware of the devastating consequences of pride in any group of believers. [16]

1-      Contrary to the popular false belief, it’s not “those who help themselves” whom God helps, it’s those who humble themselves

2-      Humility is honestly assessing ourselves in light of God’s holiness and our sinfulness

3-      The real issue is not if pride exists in our hearts, but where it exists and how pride is being expressed in our life.

B-    Pride gets in our way of being able to discern properly between God’s standard of right and wrong

C- Thankfully, God is merciful with our pride-drenched hearts

Conclusion:                 Success in Holiness[17]

1-      Success is a word that is often talked about within the 21st Century culture

It is talked about in reference to…

-          the business world

-          the family

-          personal success

-          the church

-          what constitutes success is constantly changing in today’s world

2-      Holiness is foundational to true success

-          No one can be regarded a success who is pursuing a life that is contrary to God’s will.

-          The pursuit of holiness is essential if we are ever to know anything of real success.

Ø      many have tried to be a Christian while living a secret life of sin and they eventually are always found out to be the hypocrites and fraud they really are.

James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.[18]

3-      Your success as an individual is judged by how obedient you are to God’s commands of holiness

-          How obedient are you in pursuing after holiness?

4-      The success of SBC will only be as great as the obedience of it’s people to God’s commands

-          not size, now buildings,

- Remember that God expects us to not allow the world to squeeze us into it’s mold, but to be continually transformed by constantly pursuing after holiness.


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[1]John MacArthur, Romans (Chicago: Moody Press, 1996, c1991, c1994), 146.

[2]Robert H. Mounce, vol. 27, Romans, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1995), 232.

[3]Robert H. Mounce, vol. 27, Romans, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1995), 232.

[4]Barclay Moon Newman, Concise Greek-English Dictionary of the New Testament. (Stuttgart, Germany: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft; United Bible Societies, 1993), 176.

[5]John MacArthur, Romans (Chicago: Moody Press, 1996, c1991, c1994), 150.

[6] Welch: Blame it on the Brain; Introduction

Phillips J. B. Phillips, The New Testament in Modern English

[7]Robert H. Mounce, vol. 27, Romans, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1995), 232.

[8]William Hendriksen and Simon J. Kistemaker, vol. 12-13, New Testament Commentary : Exposition of Paul's Epistle to the Romans, Accompanying Biblical Text Is Author's Translation., New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953-2001), 406.

[9]William Hendriksen and Simon J. Kistemaker, vol. 12-13, New Testament Commentary : Exposition of Paul's Epistle to the Romans, Accompanying Biblical Text Is Author's Translation., New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953-2001), 406.

[10]William Hendriksen and Simon J. Kistemaker, vol. 12-13, New Testament Commentary : Exposition of Paul's Epistle to the Romans, Accompanying Biblical Text Is Author's Translation., New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953-2001), 406.

[11]Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary : New Testament, electronic ed. (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000, c1992, c1993), G3563.

[12]John MacArthur, Romans (Chicago: Moody Press, 1996, c1991, c1994), 150.

[13]John MacArthur, Romans (Chicago: Moody Press, 1996, c1991, c1994), 150.

[14]Robert H. Mounce, vol. 27, Romans, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1995), 233.

[15]The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Ac 17:11.

[16]Robert H. Mounce, vol. 27, Romans, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1995), 233.

[17] Hughes: Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome: Chapter 8.

[18]The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Jas 1:22.

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