Renewal (3rd Discipleship R)

Renewal
Romans 12:1-2

Review: Relationship
How did you do with your reconciled relationships this week?
How did you share that with someone this week?

Introduction:
The theme of Paul’s letter to the Romans is “justified by grace through faith”; in other words, Paul lays out the plan of salvation. In chapters 1-8 Paul presents the doctrine, in chapters 9-11 he deals with the special case of Israel, then in chapters 12-16 Paul looks at the practical application of salvation.




Theme verses: 1:16-17
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

See also Philippians 3:8-9
What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ -the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.

Righteousness is used often in the New Testament – with three Biblical uses of the word:

…of God. This refers to the characteristic of God Himself. God does not live up to a standard, rather whatever God does is right.
…of the demand for us to live up to the righteous standards of God. (Romans 3:10, 23)
…of the gift that is accounted to the person who believes in Jesus Christ. (Romans 3:21-22)

Where do I see myself relative to these?

Why does it matter?

What does Romans 8:1 say to me?




Romans 12:1-2

1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God -this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is -his good, pleasing and perfect will.

“Therefore” is the transition from doctrine to practice. It means “In light of everything that I have written.”

See also
Titus 3:5-6
2 Peter 3:18
Philippians 1:6

According to Romans 12:1 what are Christians to do?

What is the basis of that urging?

How does that relate to my worship life (in actual practice)?

Conforming: What are some examples of conforming to the world?

Some misunderstand Paul, that he is advocating “removing” the mind. But Paul writes that the transformation occurs by renewing the mind. How do I renew my mind?

What does Paul tell us in Titus 3:5-6 about this process?

A book was written about 40 years ago, entitled The Half-Known God referring to the Holy Spirit. Is that still true for me?

When Paul says that “you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is,” the Christian discovers the truth of God’s promises and purposes. What does that say to me about living out the renewal of my life in Christ?


Conclusion: Let’s R.A.P. Up!

Renewal:
Renewal is the living out and growth that God works in the life of the Christian. It can be painful as old habits, conforming patterns are hard to break. Why is renewal an ongoing process?

Attitude:
Do I look for “renewal fixes”? What is my attitude about renewal personally and in worship? (See John 4:24)

Purpose:
“Therefore” I have read what God desires: to offer my body as a living sacrifice.
What can I do this week in the renewal process?

Have I done that?

How can I pursue this with others at my church home?

Relationship (2nd of Discipleship R’s)

Relationship

Ephesians 4:20–32

Review: Reconciliation
How did my new understanding of reconciliation help this week?
How did I share that with someone this week?

Introduction:

The theme of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is found in the phrase “in Christ.”
Theme verses: 2:8–10




Ephesians 2:8-10 (HCSB)
8 For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— 9 not from works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are His creation—created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.

How many times do I find that phrase (“in Christ”) in Ephesians (or similar phrases, i.e. “in Him”)?

chapter 1
chapter 2
chapter 3
chapter 4
chapter 5
chapter 6

What is Paul trying to say by this emphasis?




Ephesians 4:20-24 (HCSB)
20 But that is not how you learned about the Messiah, 21 assuming you heard Him and were taught by Him, because the truth is in Jesus: 22 you took off your former way of life, the old man that is corrupted by deceitful desires; 23 you are being renewed in the spirit of your minds; 24 you put on the new man, the one created according to God’s [likeness] in righteousness and purity of the truth.

In these verses Paul contrasts the “old” and the “new”.
What stands out in these verses for you?
What is that new self like?
What does it mean to “put on the new self”?




Ephesians 4:25-32 (HCSB)
25 Since you put away lying, Speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, because we are members of one another. 26 Be angry and do not sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and don’t give the Devil an opportunity. 28 The thief must no longer steal. Instead, he must do honest work with his own hands, so that he has something to share with anyone in need. 29 No rotten talk should come from your mouth, but only what is good for the building up of someone in need, in order to give grace to those who hear. 30 And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit, who sealed you for the day of redemption. 31 All bitterness, anger and wrath, insult and slander must be removed from you, along with all wickedness. 32 And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.

Paul addresses specific issues that affect Christians in their walk “in Christ.” Notice that these are in relationship to other Christians.
What are some of these issues?
What is the connection between talking and relationships (v. 29)?
How do I grieve the Holy Spirit?
Ephesians 4:32 is the key verse. What stands out for me in this verse?
What is the hardest part for me?

Conclusion

Relationships:
What is the key point in beginning or restoring relationships?
How can Ephesians 4:32 help me?
Attitude:
Am I putting on the new self in Christ?
Daily?
Do I look at relationships as flowing out of my reconciled life?
Purpose: How are my relationships with others? Spouse? Children? Parents? Siblings?
Paul addresses these areas in Ephesians 5:22–33, and 6:1–4 and flow out of this text.

What does Romans 12:19 say to me about our life together at our congregation?
About relationships with others in the Church? Outside the Church?