GO BOLDLY: TRANSFORM
It seems that we have been talking a lot about transformation this year. Our last sermon series was Transforming Commitments. In our current series Go Boldly the sermon for this week is Transform. Transformation at times involves change, uncertainty, fear, and missteps! As we experience life, we find ourselves recognizing the need for transformation but powerless to create it. The great and enduring power of the Gospel is its power to transform our lives. It is the risen Christ who proclaims, “Behold, I am making everything new!” (Revelation 21:5) This week we turn to Romans 12:1-12. The Apostle Paul understands the power of transformation because he experienced it on the road to Damascus through a blinding light. He was changed in an instant but he continued to be transformed by the power of God. In this passage we find a map to move out of the ways of death to the power of new life. We think that if we work harder, do more, and clean up our act then we will be transformed. Instead of transformation, we find ourselves empty and exhausted! This path to new life begins with accepting the grace God has offered to us in Jesus Christ. It is a gift that we do not deserve and cannot earn! This may not sound transformative but it has filled generations of believers with hope, peace, joy, and love. Paul in these words show us how grace can empower a transformation that will help us go boldly in our world and future! As you read Romans 12:1-12 it is our prayer that you will sense the power of God’s grace sharing the light and goodness of the presence of our risen Lord!
Romans 12:1-12: 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 conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is– his good, pleasing and perfect will. 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. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. 9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (NIV)