Last week Helen and I had the privilege of speaking at a weekend away for Wheatley Community Church. It was such a fun weekend getting to know them better, and serving them. We were certainly grateful for the way they welcomed and embraced us as a family, and I also loved the opportunity for me and Helen to minister together. God was very present and it was a joy to talk and pray with many people over the course of the weekend.
Over four sessions we worked our way through Romans chapter 12, unpacking Paul’s teaching about recommitting ourselves to Him, to one another, and to the mission He’s called us to.
Should you fancy a listen, here are the four sessions:
1. Living Sacrifice (Romans 12.1)
We started with an overview of the book of Romans, before unpacking a single image that Paul uses to describe the Christian life. In response to the gospel we are to give ourselves as living sacrifices. I sought to explore the significance of sacrifice in ancient worship, and then showed five ways in which Paul re-interprets it through the lens of Christ. Listen here.
2. Renewal of the Mind (Romans 12.2)
Paul tells the Romans not to be conformed to the pattern of the world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. In this talk, I looked at how Romans 1 defines the human problem as one of misdirected worship, which makes our minds futile. I then showed how giving ourselves back to God in worship leads to us having renewed minds, so we can live the life for which God created us. We looked at a four step strategy for renewing our minds: Recognise the lie; Reject the lie; Replace it with truth; Receive it by faith. Listen here.
3. Playing our Part (Romans 12.3-10)
In this talk, Helen looked at how Paul develops the body metaphor, applying it to the whole church. We are not just bodies that make up one society, but members that make up one body. Helen talked about the value each of us has, how we can identify our gifts, and how we should use them in service of one another. Listen here.
4. Fire and Fuel (Romans 12.11-12)
In the final session, we talked about what it means to ‘keep our spiritual fervour’, living lives set on fire by the Spirit, and regularly fuelled through Scripture, prayer, community and a relationship with the Spirit. I spoke about the need to not simply be ‘open to’ the Spirit but to ‘eagerly desire’ the Spirit, and the gifts he gives. Listen here.
We had originally intended to try and cover all of Romans 12 in the weekend, but didn’t make it right through. So lest you think I was dodging the difficult stuff at the end, here’s a talk I gave on Romans 12.17-21 and leaving room for the wrath of God. Enjoy!
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