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Scripture

Romans 12:1-2

Open your mind and heart as you read the passage of Scripture aloud and then again quietly to yourself. Listen for God’s word to you. Spend some time in worship.

 

 

Observation

The book of Romans has played a part in the lives of many great influencers of the Christian faith –
Augustine, Martin Luther and Charles Wesley to name a few. Each one of these had their lives changed
when reading Paul’s letter to the Roman Church. Samuel Coleridge, the English poet, said Paul’s letter
to the Romans is “The most profound work in existence.”
The first two verses of chapter 12 describe the foundation for the Christian life. Paul appeals to his
readers to follow this way of living. Every Christ-follower has a choice to make in the way they live
and they make this choice because of the mercy God has offered them. The only thing we can offer to
God in return is ourselves. God has commanded us to do this and He makes it possible for us to do so.
Now that the Old Testament system of animal sacrifice no longer exists Paul urges those who follow
Christ to offer their own bodies to Christ. In other words, to allow our will to determine what our
bodies will do rather than allowing our bodies to determine our actions. In this way we can offer an on-
going sacrifice to God.
There were strict regulations in the Old Testament that made an animal acceptable for sacrifice. Paul
says the sacrifice we will make will be made holy and acceptable to God by God Himself as we make
the choice to offer ourselves to Him.
Paul continues by warning his readers against following the popular culture of the day. Such a culture
is ungodly and must be resisted. Those who follow Christ must think differently. Life should not be
lived by feelings or even by action. Whilst God does not condemn either, neither is a foundation for
Christian living. Rather than asking how I feel or what I must do, the questions should be what is true
here, what does Scripture say? The same still holds true for 21 st century living.
As we ask these questions, our lives draw closer to God’s intention for us and our pattern of thinking
changes. Then, as a result of this transformation, our way of life changes and begins to reveal God’s
good, acceptable and perfect will to those around us.

 

Icebreaker:

What do you think about when you consider the word sacrifice? What is the greatest sacrifice
you have experienced (given by you to someone you know or received from someone you
know)? What did it mean to you?

Application

  • What are some of the mercies God has given to you? Brainstorm together and make a list. How
    does this exercise make you feel about the sacrifice Paul encourages you to make?
  • To worship God in the way Paul suggests involves our time, talent, treasure and touch. How do
    you use each of these in worship? Which is the greatest challenge for you? Why do you feel
    this way?
  • What is the one thing you are not yet willing to lay at the altar? Briefly share why you think this
    is so.
  • What does the reforming of your mind mean to you? Are you willing or reluctant to go through
    this process of allowing God’s wisdom to guide you? How do you think your life might change
    if you do?
  • What does it mean to surrender our will to God? What concerns (if any) do you have in
    surrendering to God’s will?
  • In his sermon, Similo said the will of God is good and we should not be afraid of it. It is
    pleasant and will result in joy and fulfillment. It is perfect and nothing we can do will improve
    it. To live in His will is a blessing. Do these attributes of God’s will change your answer to the
    previous question?
  • How can the group help you with the struggles you have mentioned during this session?

Prayer
Pray for one another in regard to the issues that have been raised during your discussion time, and in
regard to other needs of the group.

Service
Make a conscious effort this week to worship God, to follow His wisdom and to surrender to His will
in the way Paul describes. Report back next week as to how this has impacted your life during the
week.

 

Bibliography

Romans Chapter 1

Romans Chapter 12

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