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Pastor Brant Seacrist

September 30, 2018

"YOUR REASONABLE SERVICE"

TEXT: ROMANS 12: 1 Read vv 1 & 2
READING:  PSALM 144

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SUBJ: The presenting of ourselves in such a way that true worship is in everything evident which is a reasonable outcome of the great work of regeneration and conversion.

AIM: That we might understand and respond to the mandate to make this presentation and pursue ways to make the application.

INTR: We would at this point more thoroughly introduce the things foundational issue whereby we shall be enabled to serve in an acceptable manner. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: Hebrews 12:28.
1. We are to ever be reminded of the importance of Romans in every regard and so to embrace it as a complete message.
2. We would be careful that our understanding of the way of salvation is in both word and deed and thus being careful to act as those who have received the grace of God in Christ.
3. So, we would endeavor, as we continue, to remember what is referenced in “therefore.”

THESIS: The idea of presenting ourselves assumes that we are presenting what has been provided to us and in us in the marvelous work of regeneration and developed by a walk of faith.

I. The manner of Paul’s address
1. We note the affection with which Paul begins the exhortations that are to follow – the term brethren is one of tenderness, identity, and loving care.
1) We are reminded of earlier references to the Romans and the fact that Christian love spans miles and eternity.
2) That he is not talking down to them, rather that he is encouraging them in that which he had learned.
3) This was not the commands of apostolic authority (which Paul had) nor was there any threat made or implied – he had there good at heart.
2. He is exhorting them which is to be taken as more than a mere suggestion – thoughts such as invite, invoke, implore, and intreat are included as meanings.
3. But, he does not assume anything apart from acknowledging the basis upon which these things may be done:
1) By the mercies of God – certainly a matter of Paul’s confession, but would be essential to them as well.
2) But, it would also be a matter of mercy to enable them to respond in a God-honoring way.
4. Paul is the one who by the Spirit was coming alongside.

II. The matter of the exhortation
1. They (we) are to make a presentation
1) The thought here is of putting forth a sacrifice and is not unlike what was done in the Old Testament.
2) We are here seen as both the presenter and the sacrifice – Isaiah’s “Here am I. Send me”
2. The idea of sacrifices may seem strange to some, but as we think of Paul and the "sweet savor of Christ we understand more.”
1) In Hosea, the returning backslider was encourage to bring “The calves of our lips.”
2) We are to especially consider here: 15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. 16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Hebrews 13:15-16
3) And to see further, 21 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! 22 And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing. Psalms 107:21-22.
3. We are to present our bodies, not merely the fleshly portion, but as the under the direction of that new man who walks not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. 2 Corinthians 5:9
4. We would note three essential characteristics of sacrifice:
1) That it be living (not as the dead sacrifices of old). And, that we realize that we have been raised up to live in His presence – we are presenting what He has created.
2) That it be holy in all with which God has to do. It must be so and can be no less.
3) Acceptable unto God – fully agreeable with all that He has set before in terms and having come through the mediatorial work of Christ Jesus our Lord.

III. The Meaning of the sacrifice
1. The title of the great work of the Dutch theologian Wilhemus a`Brakel is derived from this passage – it is simply called The Christian’s Reasonable Service.
1) Of note is the fact that he devoted half of the work to the various points of theology and apologetics and the second half to such things as the Law and ethics.
2) It is not that all of that was an exposition of this verse only that the thought should be threaded through all we hold dear.
2. The idea is not that of being reasonable in the minds of men in that many would try to set a cap on what is expected.
3. The question what makes it reasonable and why it is to critical to us to know.
4. Reasonable here may well have been rendered logical and again we appeal to the “therefore.”
5. It has been well-stated that this might be characterized as sanctified reasoning:
1) We consider the blessings of providence, much of which was done before we had any idea.
2) The awareness of new life in Christ and the realization that we have been born again and so made aware of such blessedness and
3) Our identity with Christ and the attendant joy of serving Him and being partakers of the divine nature.
4) And so to be exercised in the understanding of His majesty and beauty.
6. And this brings us to the worship that is due Him and so the meaning of Reasonable Service – the worship of God in every aspect of our motions in Him.