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Pastor Brant Seacrist

September 23, 2018

"FROM DOCTRINE TO PRACTICE"

TEXT: ROMANS 12: 1-21
READING:  PSALM 143

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SUBJ: The transition from doctrinal studies to the study of the application of those truths in faith and practice and the need to be exercised therein.

AIM: That we might truly live as in the presence of the Lord with abundant evidence of His mercy and grace before others.

INTR: We would depart here from our normal method of exposition and rather make some general observations about the structure and order of the Roman Epistle.
1. There is in fact an abrupt change at this point as the emphasis shifts from the truths wherein salvation is declared to the manifestation of these things in our life and practice of faith.
2. There is a danger in neglecting this section (the tendency is to think we have understood all we need to know) in that we need both instruction and confirmation that we know Him who is the truth.
3. We are bound to declare the whole counsel of God and that includes “instruction in righteousness” such as Paul supplies here.

THESIS: To neglect that which is produced by the inspiration of the Spirit is to be found disobedient to the “heavenly vision.” It is in living that which the doctrine teaches that we have confirmation.

I. A review of what precedes (Romans 1:16 – Romans 11:36)
1. The all-inclusive therefore is embraced in the first verse of Romans 12 and should not be limited to the last words of chapter 11 (The doxology there is profound).
2. But, The Gospel has been thoroughly presented along with the teaching of all essential truth about the being and existence of God, the ruin of man, and the merciful provision for salvation.
1) After the introductions, the powerful Gospel statement is declared Romans 1:16-17
2) From there, the ruin of man is declared, and we see that “God gave them up” in 1:24,26, 28
3) And we note” Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Romans 3:20.
3. The remedy is declared in But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Romans 3:21.
1) And in that chapter, we learn of being freely justified and
2) That He is both just and the justifier of them that believe in Jesus.
4. Justification by faith is illustrated and explained in chapter 4
5. Life and righteousness are declared to be in Christ in chapter 5 and we are reminded there of: But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8. And, that Grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life.
6. In 6, we are taught to think as having received such grace as enables a life of worship and obedience – we learn of “newness of life” and to reckon ourselves dead to the world.
7. In chapter 7, we are shown the wrestling that occurs between the old and new natures.
8. In chapter 8, we learn of no condemnation and no separation – no condemnation to those who walk in the Spirit and no separation from the love of Christ.
9. And in chapters 9-11 the matter of Israel and the Gospel is reconciled in that all partake of the tree of life.

II. A preview of that last five chapters
1. In chapter 12, the issue will be relationships in the church and in all these the standard to which we are brought is Christ and all that follows would be impossible without that which has gone before and what is taught is learned before would be meaningless if no life followed.
2. In chapter 13, we are taught how to live under earthly governments and that so that the sovereignty of God will be acknowledged.
3. In chapter 14, we are taught how to deal with personal differences, knowing that the world is watching.
4. In chapter 15, Imitation of Christ in our interactions is taught and so bringing true humility to bear in every aspect of life and relationships.
5. In chapter 16, we read of endearing greetings and commendations of the operation of the grace of God.

III. A reasoning of the necessity of studying the rest
1. The tendency is to stop when we have covered all that we think we need to know and certainly that contained in especially the first eight chapters is profound.
1) It may be that we embrace those truths and think that is sufficient (James warned about being hearers and doers)
2) It may be that we see them as separate and presume on grace to deal with our concerns.
2. Martyn Lloyd-Jones presented five things that constitute a reason to study on. The following are strongly suggested by what he wrote.
1) We go on simply because the Scriptures do.
2) We go on because Christianity is not a teaching, it is a life (it is who we are and our conversation is in Heaven)
3) We go on because the things addressed there will certainly arise in our lives and if not properly addressed will certainly affect our worship and fellowship with God and each other.
4) There is an intimate connection between doctrine and practice; between what I believe and what I do as a way of life.
5) Because there is an adversary and he will delight if we neglect these things.