Some Sermon Ideas on a Transformed Mind

2005

 

With regard to having a transformed mind, I would preach from Romans 12:1-2: "Therefore, I encourage you brothers to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, which is your appropriate worship. And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you can demonstrate the will of God--the good and pleasing and complete will of God."

After just finishing teaching an online course for Asbury on Romans, my head is echoing with the richness of this verse. Here are just some thoughts that somewhat might piece together in some way into a sermon:

1. The "therefore" makes it clear that this verse is the logical conclusion of the teaching that Paul has been presenting in the preceding chapters. In particular...

2.
...presenting your bodies as living sacrifices relates directly to things Paul has said in Romans 6 and 8 about not letting sin reign in your mortal bodies (6:12, I believe), about being a slave to righteousness (chapter 6) and about the hope we have as we await the resurrection and the redemption of our bodies (see 8:11). Our obligation in the meantime (8:12) is not to let our flesh rule.

3. The word for worship (latreia) has connotations of sacrificial systems. In other words, this is our priestly duty--to offer ourselves as the sacrifice to God.

4. When Paul says not to be conformed to the world, therefore, it also has all these connotations as well.

5. But more particularly, Paul spells out what transformed thinking is in the chapters that follow. It involves not thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought. It involves not repaying evil with evil. It involves respectable behavior toward those in authority over us.

6. Most of all, it involves love, which Paul spells out in Romans 13 as the essence of God's righteous requirement. Love is the ultimate transformed mind.

7. Romans 14-15 continue to play out this transformed mind by showing that Christianity is not about me exercising my freedom or getting my rights. Rather, it's about building up others.

This is truly rich stuff, and you could easily pull out a whole sermon series from it.