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Noon Day Bible Study
Rev. Dr. Howard L. Woods, Jr.
Rev. Dr. Howard L. Woods, Jr.
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
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Why Should I Be Involved In Church?

Christ Brings New Life - The Gifts In Action

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

Serious and devout consideration of the mercies of God, as they have been set forth in chapters 1– 11, leads to only one conclusion—we should present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God. Our bodies stand for all our members and, by extension, our entire lives.

Total commitment is our reasonable service.

It is our reasonable service in this sense: if the Son of God has died for me, then the least I can do is live for Him.

“If Jesus Christ be God and died for me,” said the great British athlete C. T. Studd, “then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for him.”

Isaac Watts’ great hymn says the same thing: “Love so amazing, so divine, demands my heart, my life, my all.”

Reasonable service may also be translated “spiritual worship.” As believer-priests, we do not come to God with the bodies of slain animals but with the spiritual sacrifice of yielded lives. We also offer to Him our service (Rom. 15:16), our praise (Heb. 13:15), and our possessions (Heb. 13:16).

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Secondly, Paul urges us not to be conformed to this world, or as Phillips paraphrases it: “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold.” When we come to the kingdom of God, we should abandon the thought-patterns and lifestyles of the world. What are your thoughts?

The world (literally age) as used here means the society or system that man has built in order to make himself happy without God. It is a kingdom that is antagonistic to God.

The god and prince of this world is Satan (2 Cor. 4:4; John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). All unconverted people are his subjects. He seeks to attract and hold people through the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life (1 Jn. 2:16).

The world has its own politics, art, music, religion, amusements, thought-patterns, and lifestyles, and it seeks to get everyone to conform to its culture and customs. It hates nonconformists—like Christ and His followers.

Christ died to deliver us from this world. The world is crucified to us, and we are crucified to the world. It would be absolute disloyalty to the Lord for believers to love the world. Anyone who loves the world is an enemy of God.

Believers are not of the world any more than Christ is of the world. However, they are sent into the world to testify that its works are evil and that salvation is available to all who put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

We should not only be separated from the world; we should be transformed by the renewing of our mind, which means that we should think the way God thinks, as revealed in the Bible. Then we can experience the direct guidance of God in our lives. And we will find that, instead of being distasteful and hard, His will is good and acceptable and perfect.

Here, then, are three keys for knowing God’s will. The first is a yielded body, the second a separated life, and the third a transformed mind.

Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.

Paul speaks here through the grace that was given to him as an apostle of the Lord Jesus. He is going to deal with various forms of straight and crooked thinking.

First he says that there is nothing in the gospel that would encourage anyone to have a superiority complex.

He urges us to be humble in exercising our gifts. We should never have exaggerated ideas of our own importance. Neither should we be envious of others.

Rather, we should realize that each person is unique and that we all have an important function to perform for our Lord.

We should be happy with the place God has dealt to us in the Body, and we should seek to exercise our gifts with all the strength that God supplies.

Romans 12:4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function,

The human body has many members, yet each one has a unique role to play.

The health and welfare of the body depend on the proper functioning of each member.

Romans 12:5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.

That is how it is in the body of Christ. There is unity (one body), diversity (many), and interdependency (members of one another).

Any gifts we have are not for selfish use or display but for the good of the body.

No gift is self-sufficient and none is unnecessary. When we realize all this, we are thinking soberly (12:3).

Romans 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;

Paul now gives instructions for the use of certain gifts. The list does not cover all the gifts; it is meant to be suggestive rather than exhaustive.

Our gifts differ according to the grace that is given to us. In other words, God’s grace deals out differing gifts to different people. And God gives the necessary strength or ability to use whatever gifts we have. So we are responsible to use these God-given abilities as good stewards.

Those who have the gift of prophecy should prophesy in proportion to their faith. A prophet is a spokesman for God, declaring the word of the Lord. Prediction may be involved, but it is not a necessary element of prophecy.

In the early church, writes Hodge, the prophets were “men who spoke under the immediate influence of the Spirit of God, and delivered some divine communication relative to doctrinal truths, to present duty, to future events, as the case may be.”

There can be no inspired, prophetic additions to the body of Christian doctrine today since the faith has been once for all delivered to the saints (see Jude 3). Thus a prophet today is simply one who declares the mind of God as it has been revealed in the Bible.

Strong says: All modern prophecy that is true is but the republication of Christ’s message—the proclamation and expounding of truth already revealed in Scripture.

Macdonald, Farstad Grady Scott, Hindson, E.E.