This is the third of four sermons on the public means of grace as we seek to apply Paul’s admonition to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Praise and Prayer are God-given means of of exalting Christ and expressing our dependence upon Him. The content of prayer and praise is to be Scripture. This is the heart of the regulative principle applied in practical form: Scripture gives us everything we need for worship. Thus, teaching and admonishing happens even when we sing.
This sermon is the Deacon Ordination sermon for Eric Bertolotti, Brandon Granger, Randy Mallard, and Jason Pratt. As we consider the office of Deacon, we look to Christ as the perfect example of how to serve. Following His example, we willingly take up the lowliest of positions in order to see Him glorified in the church. As Deacons serve with this heart, practical needs are met, and the ministry of the Word and prayer continues unimpeded.
This sermon is the first of four sermons in a mini-series on the public means of grace. Romans 12:1-2 teaches Christians that we are to offer ourselves up to God as living and holy sacrifices. We are to no longer be conformed to this world. Instead, we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, thereby proving out the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God. The Word of God is , of course, central to this process of transformation, because the whole of Scripture testifies to the Person and Power of Christ.
“How can I know God’s will for my life?” Persons who ask this question usually think of God’s will in terms of a career, a mate, a school choice, a job choice, or a big financial decision. To rightly discern His will, we must go to Scripture to see how God reveals it to us. There we see two aspects of God’s will — His revealed moral will and His secret will of decree. Both of these aspects are a comfort to believers, and they guard us from thinking that we need a new revelation from God every time we face a big decision. As we ground ourselves in his Word and apply it to our lives, we will ultimately prove His will.
As Paul continues his transition to the ethical and moral instructions of Romans 12-15, he develops further in verse 2 what is entailed in being living sacrifices that are acceptable to God. First, to not be conformed to this world means we must be like Christ — striking a balance between being in the world but not of the world. Second, we must submit to and join with the Holy Spirit as He works both inwardly and outwardly upon us. We must pursue the Person and truth of Christ, praying for the humility to embrace that truth and glory in that truth when it is set before us.