Text: Romans (Chapters 11-12)
OBSERVE: Within these two chapters we read about the following:
INTERPRET: By the end of chapter 11 we understand that all people, both Jew and Gentile, are unified in a common need for salvation. We also come to understand that the answer to this need is the same for us all; Jesus Christ. Paul also explains in chapter 11 how God has been faithful to his promises to Israel.
In the next chapter (12); Paul begins his practical instructions for holy living. Here Paul is saying; if you believe this glorious gospel, then this is how believers should live in thankfulness. In the first few verses, we read that real worship is much deeper than merely a church gathering. Paul gets to the fuller dimension of worship when he calls the readers to be living sacrifices, which is their “spiritual worship.” To be a living sacrifice is to live in a way of openness and availability to God’s Will that will clearly show how much we are trusting in the loving sacrifice of Jesus.
Paul then touches on some of the ways in which the Holy Spirit gifts us for ministry to each other in the building up of the church. Paul’s primary points in this passage are that what God establishes in life he will equip for growth; and that as his church we have the spiritual tools we need to live in Christ-centered harmony and power.
APPLICATION: The Holy Spirit is not simply sitting on a pew in a church building waiting for us to visit. Rather, the Spirit has occupied our bodies; which means we can worship God at all times. In addition, everyone plays a part in the life and ministry of the church. We are all in service to God and only Jesus plays a starring role. We have all been graced with different gifts and we all are essential to the life of the church.
Together we are to be one family and are to be unified through humility and love for one another. While doing so, we are to use our diverse gifts to serve one another in building up God’s church. We are to be living sacrifices – this is true and proper worship.
REFLECTION: Are you living in a way that reflects thankfulness for the loving sacrifice of Jesus. Are you open and available to God’s Will? Are you using your diverse gifts to serve others and build up the church?
PRAYER: Lord Jesus; you are the Savior of every tongue, tribe and nation. Help me to live a life of thankfulness in which I can truly present my body as a living sacrifice; holy and pleasing to you. I ask that you reveal my spiritual gifts and help me to use these diverse gifts to serve one another to build up your church. This is the true and proper worship that I desire. AMEN.
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.