Our Response to God
The Gospel of Christ is also the transformation of our life, thinking and social relationships. This is how then we must live, because the Gospel is the transforming and converting power of God, because it transforms fallen social relationships by virtue of the dynamics of love, which is the fulfillment of the law! By what Christ has done, must affect our lives and attitudes, and the people around us. Christianity is an offering to others in gratitude, by what Christ has done. Pleasing ourselves is not the goal of the Christian life as so many pursue. We are to follow Christ and be imitators of His character, so it transforms our character. We are to do this through love and acceptance of others as Christ did with us, that we did not deserve.
We have been saved, not of any effort or reason on our part except by faith, so now what do we do with it? We are to take it to the streets in how we live to ourselves, others and even our enemies. Yet, most Christians respond with a rear end firmly planted in a pew that goes nowhere in service or glory to Christ. They hold on to a will that will not allow conviction or change to their routine or life. Thus, church is just a club for comfort and not a "huddle" to strategize and put forward how to play the game of Christian life from receiving our orders from the Coach. We need to know that Christ calls us to change our minds like we change the oil in the car. To be a, "devote themselves to him; and avoiding conformity to the world" Christian. In other words to be changed person so we can be a change agent to others. Not to be infected by the word, but to help it along to His purpose. We cannot do that when we are poured out to our will and desires only and not to our Lord. So that we can be: "to be conformed to his holy will"… "to think humbly"… "to exercise faithfully"… "to mutual love, diligence, patience, hope, prayer, hospitality, compassion, and condescension" …. "and becoming conduct towards all men"! Our devotion to Christ must be rooted in the mind and then let the doctrine translate it to the feet and the rest of our bodies in between, the body of us as a human being and a body of believers in relation to all those around us, our duty.
· I beseech you/ I urge you, Paul's main concern was whether his teaching would be applied, or just studied, or ignored. The apprehension was that Christians would turn out like Pharisees, having the knowledge, but ignoring the application. The irony as that many of us are! Being a living sacrifice is a key aspect into maturity, and growth in the faith. The purpose of doctrine and study of His Word is not just the knowledge, (which is very important), but it is what we do with that knowledge that is our supreme goal.
· Brethren/ brothers, meaning in Christ, we as Christians are to be deep friends that are bonded as family.
· Present /offer, our relationship with the Lord must be transparent and not secretive (unless you live in a closed Muslim country)!
· Mercies of God, flows from our obedience and trust and gratitude for what our Lord has done and for who He is (Luke 10:36-37; Eph. 4:23); they are the compassion for the needy, and the lost. Our lives must be motivated by who we are in Christ and nothing else!
· Living Sacrifice, for the ancient Jews, this meant to praise God as a continual lifestyle of worship. This motive continues and refers to the fact that we belong solely to God, not to ourselves or anything else (Rom. 3:25; 6:12-17; 8:13; John 15:13-15; 37-38; 1 John 3:16), His shed blood paid for us! That you are truly have dedicated your right to yourself to Christ! That we give Him are all. It is easy to die for a cause, but are you willing to live for Him? In perfect obedience, so your life is poured out, that your strength is gone and you rely on His?
· Reasonable service/Rational/Spiritual act of worship means to think right without distractions or personal agendas; this means our judgments must be logical and concise upon God as Lord and Motivator.
· Service meant the work of the priests in the Temple, holy before the Lord. In context, this refers to being a sacrifice and extending mercy to others, this is a part of our worship to Christ, part of who we are and must be. As the Jews placed a lamb on the alter, as Christ was our Lamb, we should place ourselves on the alter too. Not because we have too, or to earn something, but because we are dedicated to live for our Lord.
· Prove, when we allow God's standard to be our "carrot on a stick", then our paths will be straight. So that every aspect of our life is governed by our Lord, in perfect harmony.
The proof test of Christ work in you is this: Do you use people, or serve them? Do you just gather information, or do you apply it? When we become a Christian either by birth in a Christian family or through evangelism as an adult, a time must come when the reality of who we are in Christ hits home in power and conviction. To completely change the black dirty oil of the mind with the new golden anointing oil of His love and precepts. This will transform into a practical application of our faith just does not happen on it own; something wondrous must take place within us to transform us so we can. In other words, we must become the people of God in order that we are capable and wiling to do the work of God.
Remember we are never to separate theology from practice. Theology is the 'who' and 'why' that translates in to the 'do' and 'be' of life. The question is well we be dedicated to our Lord or to ourselves?
For information and studies on God's will, see our God's Will channel.
1. How is your church affected by new theories and ideas of doing church?
2. When you worship Christ (in church or at home in your devotions), what is going on in your mind?
3. Is duty something that comes to your mind when you leave church on Sunday?
4. How important is duty to you and your faith?
5. Why do you think Paul never separates duty from doctrine?
6. If a non-Christian asked you what you do with your faith, how would you respond?
7. What life style do you think Christ has called you too?
8. How have you responded to His call?
9. Why would you conceder not responding?
10. Every aspect of our life is to be governed by our Lord, in perfect harmony. So does this scare you?
11. How can being 'governed' by Christ be your greatest comfort?
12. The incentive for us to surrender our will to Christ is that His way is better than ours! Is this incentive exciting to you or a put off?
13. Has Paul's fear become a reality in your church or life? If so what can be done about it?
14. Why would being a living sacrifice be a key aspect into maturity, and growth in the faith?
15. What is the difference between cultural and duty verses devotion and lifestyle?
16. The proof test to being a mature Christian is do you use people, or serve them? Do you just gather information, or do you apply it? So what does this proof text say about you?
17. What does the word "Living Sacrifice" mean to you? Does this word scare you, why? How can you get over it?
18. What does the word "Mercies of God" mean to you?
19. Do you give Him your all? If you love Jesus you will find a way to make Him real in all aspects of your life? How can you make this more so?
20. What can you do to make a commitment to have a Christian mindset away from our selfish nature and or the world over to His character?
©1998, 2001, 2005 Richard Joseph Krejcir, Discipleship Tools www.discipleshiptools.org