What Does God Expect from You? 1

17 July 2022 AM – Romans 12:1 – Rom2022 – Scott Childs
Introduction: The best time to find the answer to this question is while you are young. Looking back on a life that is nearing the finish line is a bit late. Ask yourself, what DOES God expect from me?
Transition: In Romans 12:1, Paul begins to answer the question, “What does God expect from you?” This was not just for first century Christians in Rome. It equally applies to every Christian today. Look at it with me.
  1. Paul begins with the motivation.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God.
a.          He was beseeching brethren
1)         He is addressing Christian brethren. This only applies to Christians. An unbeliever cannot do this.
2)         Paul’s address is in the form of an urgent plea. The word translated “beseech” is the common Greek word parakaleo, which means to call to one’s side in order to admonish, exhort, beg or entreat. He is saying, come close and listen up. I have something very important to tell you.
b.         God’s mercies ought to motivate.
1)         It is interesting that Paul presents the motivation before he even states God’s expectation.
2)         He said, I am admonishing you on the basis of the mercies or compassions of God. These mercies are all the good things we have because we are in Christ.
3)         Paul ended Romans 11 with that great doxology of praise to God for his wise and knowledgeable judgments and ways in planning and providing a way of salvation from sin’s judgment in hell. God’s mercies or compassions given us when we trusted Christ to save our souls ought to motivate us to do as He desires.
4)         Look at your sinful record. Ponder what you would be now if Christ had not saved you. Think of where you would have spent eternity without Christ. You will never be motivated to serve the Lord until you clearly see the pit from which He has rescued you.
5)         Chorus: After all He’s done for me
2.        Paul states God’s expectation.
You must present your body a living sacrifice.
a.          Paul exhorts you to present your body.
1)         Before coming to Christ, we used our bodies for sinful purposes and pleasures. Now our bodies belong to Christ. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1Co 6:19-20). He dwells in our bodies (Rom 8:9). Wiersbe
2)         At the Judgment Seat, God will judge you according to what you do in your body. (2 Corinthians 5:10) “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” What you do in your body DOES matter!
3)         Christ purchased your body with His blood. He is now asking you to present it to Him. The word “present” is the same word translated “yield” in Romans 6:13, 19. This presentation must be voluntary. He is asking you to surrender to do His will in your life.
4)         Perhaps you have been to a party where you felt obligated to give a gift, but you really did not want to. God is asking you to give him your body willingly in thankfulness for His many mercies to you.
b.         God wants your body as a living sacrifice.
1)         First Century Christians were familiar with the Old Testament sacrifices. (Leviticus 1:1-5) “And the LORD called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man of you bring an offering unto the LORD, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd, and of the flock. If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD. And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him. And he shall kill the bullock before the LORD: and the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall bring the blood, and sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.” The sinner had to cut the throat of his sacrificial animal himself. He watched the blood flow. He saw the animal die. He had to skin the animal himself and cut it in pieces. He watched and smelled as the priest burned that animal on the fire. He did all this to cover his sins until Christ could pay for them on the cross.
2)         Christ was the final blood sacrifice for sin, but God is asking you and me to present our bodies to Him as a living sacrifice. He wants the sacrifice of our life, not our death.
a)         It is dying to our selfish desires to live for God.
b)         It is denying self and submitting to God’s plan for your life.
c)         It is a costly and permanent choice.
3)         J. Vernon McGee makes this good point, “In the sixth chapter, the way to Christian character is to yield to Him. Here yielding is the way to Christian consecration and conduct. … By an act of the will we place our total personalities at the disposal of God.” Thru the Bible, Ro 12
3.        Paul points out God’s qualifications.
Holy and acceptable unto God.
a.          Your sacrifice must be holy.
1)         God required that blood sacrifices be without blemish. In the book of Malachi, God rebuked His people for offering blind, lame, and sick animals as sacrifices. God wants us to give Him our best.
2)         To be holy is to be set apart from sin unto God.
3)         Because our living sacrifice is still alive, we must seek to keep lives free from sin day by day for the rest of our lives. How can we live holy lives?
a)         This begins by having a flourishing relationship with God through daily Bible reading and prayer.
b)         It includes obeying all that we know God has commanded us to do.
c)         It entails keeping our lips guarded and minds pure.
d)         It includes fulfilling our marital roles as a loving, leading, wife-perfecting husband or a submitting, completing, respecting wife (Eph 5:22-33).
e)         It includes obeying our parents.
f)          It involves separating from worldly activities, carnal music, God-dishonouring TV programs and corrupt Internet viewing. Yes, holiness involves separation!
b.         Your sacrifice must be acceptable unto God.
1)         This further qualifies “holy”. Our standard for what is holy must not be the world’s standard or even a good person’s standard. It must be God’s standard. The word “acceptable” actually means “well-pleasing”.
2)         Get to know God’s character and then test all that you do by His standard. (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22) “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.” Do only what is well-pleasing to God.
4.        Paul reminds of your obligation.
This is your reasonable service.
a.          It is your service.
1)         This service is service for hire or of a slave for his master. If you hire a plumber, you expect and deserve proper work from that plumber. The same is true here.
2)         Presenting your body a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, is your dutiful service. To do right, you really have no other option.
b.         It is reasonable.
1)         This word reasonable pertains to the reasoning faculty. It is intelligent and rational.
2)         Dutiful service is the only kind of service that makes sense after all God has done for us.
Conclusion: So, what does God expect from you? After all the great mercies God has given you, He expects you to yield your body, that is your entire earthly life, as a living sacrifice to His will, living a holy, obedient, well-pleasing life which is your reasonable service to Him. This is not just for super Christians. It is for every Christian. This verse is for YOU this morning. Will you present your body? Perhaps you have in the past, but later stopped yielding. Present your body anew. (John 13:17) “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
Song: I Surrender All – 394