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Where Lives Are Changed - Romans 12:1-2

Taught on | Topic: The Christian Walk | Keywords: change, transformation, metamorphosis, church, hope, response, grace, promise, surrender, discipline, discern, God's will

"When you're through changing, you're through!" So wrote American author Bruce Barton. It's true, isn't it? We're all changing, all the time, for the better or for the worse. But for the believer, the change is dramatic and eternal. Over the years, we've seen thousands of lives change for the glory of God here at Calvary. Such a privilege is both humbling and inspiring. Let's celebrate together as we consider what this change is all about and how it operates in us.

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10/4/2015
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Where Lives Are Changed
Romans 12:1-2
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
"When you're through changing, you're through!" So wrote American author Bruce Barton. It's true, isn't it? We're all changing, all the time, for the better or for the worse. But for the believer, the change is dramatic and eternal. Over the years, we've seen thousands of lives change for the glory of God here at Calvary. Such a privilege is both humbling and inspiring. Let's celebrate together as we consider what this change is all about and how it operates in us.
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Where Lives Are Changed

Where Lives Are Changed

The good, the bad, and the ugly--change is a natural part of life. Whatever you're going through or whatever season of life you're in, we want to go through it with you. We're here for you! Learn more about Calvary Albuquerque in our series Where Lives Are Changed.

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Outline

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  1. Change Is Possible (v. 2, "do not be conformed…be transformed")

  2. Change Is Personal (v. 1, "you therefore, brethren…present your bodies")

  3. Change Is Progressional (v. 2, "by the renewing of your mind")

  4. Change Is Practical (v. 2, "you may prove…[the] will of God")

Study Guide

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Connect Group Recap: October 4, 2015
Teacher: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: Where Lives Are Changed
Text: Romans 12:1-2

Path

"When you're through changing, you're through!" So wrote American author Bruce Barton. It's true, isn't it? We're all changing, all the time, for the better or for the worse. But for the believer, the change is dramatic and eternal. In this message, Pastor Skip teaches us what change is and how it operates.
  1. Change Is Possible (v. 2)
  2. Change Is Personal (v. 1)
  3. Change Is Progressional (v. 2)
  4. Change Is Practical (v. 2)
Points

Change Is Possible (v. 2, "do not be conformed...be transformed")
  • Change is the one thing that never changes, and it comes in many forms.
  • When there is a deep and profound change, it can result in a change of life—transformation.
  • The Greek word for transformation is metamorphoó, as in metamorphosis. It means to change from one form to another. Biblically, it describes the radical change of the inner person.
  • Because Jesus rose from the dead, change is possible. Church should be a place where change happens and produces hope.
  • Probe: Discuss the moment God first changed you. How did your life transform?
Change Is Personal (v. 1, "you therefore, brethren...present your bodies")
  • Change is a personal experience—the result of a personal response to God.
  • In this text, Paul made an appeal for us to apply what God has done for us ("the mercies of God"—what Paul described in Romans 1-11).
  • In view of what God has done for you, you are to present yourself to Him and let Him change you.
  • How does this happen?
    • Don't be changed by the world around you, but allow yourself to be transformed by God: human cooperation with divine operation.
    • This is your "reasonable service"; the most rational and logical thing you can do is turn your life over to the One who can change it—God.
  • Probe: How are Christians to cooperate with God in their life?
Change Is Progressional (v. 2, "by the renewing of your mind")
  • Renewal is the gradual conforming of your mind into a life marked by Christ; it is both an event and a process.
  • Renewal takes place in the mind. The heart is not opposed to the mind—it is the mind, biblically speaking (heart and mind are often used as synonyms in Scripture).
  • The renewal of the mind is how transformation happens; a mind saturated with Scripture is the place where lives are changed.
  • Transformation requires discipline: Bible study, prayer, fellowship, communion, evangelism, service, etc.
  • Probe: Spiritual disciplines are important. Which areas of discipline can you improve in?
Change Is Practical (v. 2, "you may prove...[the] will of God")
  • "That you may prove...[the] will of God" is a result clause; it is the result of a life saturated in Scripture, seeking and finding the will of God.
  • When we present our bodies to the control of God and allow the Word of God to renew and transform our minds, then we are able to discern the will of God.
  • God's will is good—the highest good; acceptable—that which pleases God; and perfect—developing in you a mature spiritual life.
  • Transformation isn't some mystical event, but the result of a renewed mind.
  • In which direction are you being changing and transformed—toward the world or toward God?
  • Probe: How can the church better celebrate the transformed life?
Practice

Connect Up: Take a moment to pray or sing, thanking God for His work in your life.

Connect In: Pray for a fellow Christian who you know is struggling, and ask God to give them the discipline needed to prove that which is good, acceptable, and perfect.

Connect Out: Pray for a coworker, neighbor, or family member who is not a Christian. Ask someone in your Connect Group to join you in regular prayer for them.

Detailed Notes

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  1. Introduction
    1. Change is the one thing that never changes
    2. No one can stop change; it happens around us and to us
    3. It can come suddenly or incrementally
    4. Transformation is an inward change that produces an outward change
  2. Change Is Possible (v. 2, "do not be conformed...be transformed")
    1. Metamorphoó = to transform
      1. Metamorphosis means to change from an immature form to a mature or adult form in distinct stages
      2. A profound, radical change to the inner you (see 2 Corinthians 3:18)
    2. Church ought to be a place where people hear that they do not have to stay the same
    3. People come to church because they want to enrich their lives
      1. Lives enhanced
      2. Hope of something different
    4. If Jesus can conquer death, He can conquer our dying hopes
  3. Change Is Personal (v. 1, "you therefore, brethren...present your bodies")
    1. A result of a personal response to God
    2. Mercies of God refers to the truths Paul explained in the previous eleven chapters in Romans
      1. Justified by faith
      2. Access to God
      3. Hope of heaven
      4. Shaped by trials and tribulations
      5. We have the grace of God
      6. We have the Holy Spirit living in us
      7. Both Jews and Gentiles have God's great promises
    3. Paul urged his readers to surrender their life to the God who can change it
    4. You cannot do the transforming on your own; allow God to do the changing
    5. The most reasonable thing we can do is turn our lives over to God
      1. Logikos = reasonable, rational
      2. Personal choice must be engaged in order that change may occur
    6. Must be a human cooperation with a divine operation
    7. If we truly surrender, the sky is the limit
      1. You may think you are unworthy, but God can do mighty works through your life if you let Him
      2. Sarah was barren, but God gave her a child and built a nation from him (see Genesis 17:1-18:19)
      3. Moses was not an eloquent speaker, but God used him to speak to Pharaoh and lead the Israelites (see Exodus 4:10-15)
      4. Paul was small in stature and had a small gait, but God used him to spread the gospel around the known world
  4. Change Is Progressional (v. 2, "by the renewing of your mind")
    1. Change is a process; it does not happen overnight
      1. The new birth is an event; growing up is a process
      2. Salvation, then sanctification
    2. The Bible uses the terms heart and mind to mean the same thing (see Proverbs 23:7; Matthew 9:4)
    3. It is acceptable for Christians to think (see Isaiah 1:18)
    4. We are to love God with all our mind as well as our heart, soul, and strength (see Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:17)
    5. To be changed, you must be saturated with the Scriptures
    6. Discipline
      1. Bible study
      2. Prayer
      3. Fellowship
      4. Service
      5. Evangelism
  5. Change Is Practical (v. 2, "you may prove...[the] will of God")
    1. God is always practical
    2. We will be able to discern the will of God
    3. God's will is good
      1. It is not always fun
      2. God causes all things to work for good (see Romans 8:28)
    4. God's will is acceptable
    5. God's will is perfect
  6. Closing
    1. In which direction is your life changing?
    2. Are you being shaped to God's will?

Greek words: logikos, metamorphoó

Cross references: Genesis 17:1-18:19; Exodus 4:10-15; Proverbs 23:7; Isaiah 1:18; Matthew 9:4; 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:17; Romans 8:28; 2 Corinthians 3:18


Transcript

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Hello, and welcome to this message from Pastor Skip Heitzig of Calvary Albuquerque. Skip's teachings are shared globally, and we're excited to hear how they're helping to empower others to live for Christ. If this message brings you closer to Jesus, we'd like to know. Email us at mystory@calvaryabq.org. And if you'd like to support this ministry financially, you can give online securely at calvaryabq.org/giving. Whatever season of life you're in, we want to go through it with you. In our new series "Where Lives are Changed," learn about how Calvary Albuquerque, and see how God uses Calvary to change lives. In this message, Skip considers what that change is about and how it operates in us. We invite you to mark your Bibles in Romans chapter 12 as Skip begins.

Now, would you turn in your Bibles please to Romans chapter 12, Romans chapter 12. Change is the one thing that never changes. Change is a law of life. And life is dynamic. It's been said that time stops for no man and no man can stop time. And no man can stop the change that time will inevitably bring. Change happens around us, and change happens to us. And that change can come in many forms. It can come suddenly, forcefully, or it can come slowly and incrementally. It can be like a tidal wave, it can be like a glacier, but it will come.

And technology changes us. I've said for a long time that we are becoming servants to these little devices, these mobile devices. These things change the way we live. They change the way we drive, I'll tell you that. Ever go up to a stop sign and look around at drivers and see how many are pulling that little phone up? Because, my goodness, it's been 30 second since I've looked at that screen. And it's important that I look at that screen before I leave this light. It just seems to have changed the way we do life, going to a restaurant, it changes relationships. I've seen whole families gathered around the dinner table, not talking to each other, but looking individually at their little screens. So we get changed by this.

Nokia, the phone company, put out a study and they said the average mobile phone user-- I don't know if you fall into the average category-- but the average mobile phone user will look at his or her phone once every six and 1/2 minutes, or 150 times in the waking hours of a single day. I'll tell you when this dawned on me that it changed me was the other night. Now, I've been noticing this for months, but the other night I'm in line and something happened to me. And I went home to look it up on the computer, and I realized that I have a condition. I have a syndrome. It is known as phantom vibration syndrome. It's a real condition. And phantom vibration syndrome is the condition whereby you perceive your mobile phone is vibrating when, in fact, it is not. So I'm in line at a restaurant, I was about to order some food, and my phone is vibrating. I need to answer it. And I reach down and I realized I don't have it. It's not in my pocket. It's not on my person. But my pocket was vibrating.

And this is a real condition. It is also known as-- I looked it up-- rings-iety. Isn't that a great term? You got rings-iety. So I thought at that moment, this item has changed my life. And look it, somebody's ringing me right now. Just to be funny I think, yes. Paul, got it. Thank you very little.

OK, so I want to talk to you about change, but not about technological change, not about outward change. I want to talk to you about what the Bible calls transformation. It is a heart change. It is an inward change that produces an outward change. It's a life change. It's being transformed the Bible calls it. Over the years, by God's grace, our fellowship here has been a place where lives have been changed. My life has been changed here. My life has been enhanced and enriched here. And it's really not about the place. It's really about the people. It's not about the real estate, it's about the community. It's not about some physical construction, but a spiritual connection where we connect in community with people who are pursuing the God who is passionately pursuing a lost world.

Last year my staff compiled for me a little list. I won't read it all. But a little list to keep this change in perspective. And it just proves how God uses simple people like us, but He can do some pretty monumental things. Place where life has changed. Since 1982-- and they sort of tabulated the altar calls over the years, the different church meetings, the outreaches we've done, the crusades, and events-- but since 1982, we have seen 82,000 salvations. 82,000 people come to make commitments in Christ. We've had the opportunity to baptize and disciple 16,000 individuals. We've sent out 1,000-- Yeah, I mean that's exciting. I want to give you time to respond to that. We've sent out 1,000 full-time and part-time missionaries to over 30 countries. We've had the opportunity to-- go ahead. We've had the opportunity to plant about 35 churches overseas and 35 churches in the United States. We've collected and distributed 1,000 truckloads of food in the last 20 years to families. And this is something we don't see or talk about as much, but 600,000-- 600,000-- visitors every month to the websites that we have here.

So I don't share that as a bragi-mony-- that's a testimony. That's what God can do through simple people who gather to honor His name. Well, Romans chapter 12, there are two verses at the very beginning of the chapter that I want to look over with you. And I want to give you four characteristics of this kind of change, this transformation. Let's look at Romans chapter 12 beginning in verse one where Paul writes, "I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."

The first characteristic of this change is pretty simple. It's possible. This change is possible. The very fact that the Apostle appeals and urges his audience. In fact, he gives them an imperative, a command, be transformed. The very fact that that is there shows that this change, this transformation is possible. Now I want you to consider the term "be transformed." Now the word in the original language-- I'm going to say it, you're going to recognize the English equivalent pretty quickly. The Greek word is metamorphoo. It sounds like metamorphosis. We get the word metamorphosis, our word, from the Greek word metamorphoo.

Metamorphosis means to change from one form into another form. Or as the dictionary says, "To change from an immature form to a mature or adult form in distinct stages." That's a metamorphosis. So a tadpole has a metamorphosis into a frog. It goes through distinct changes to go from an immature to a mature form. A caterpillar undergoes a metamorphosis to change into a butterfly. So used here in this text, in the Greek New Testament, it describes a profound and radical change of the inner you. That's the transformation. It's the same word Paul used in 2 Corinthians 3:18 when he wrote, "We are being transformed--" metamorphosis "into his likeness with an ever increasing glory." It's that inward, profound change that occurs.

All of that to give you this principle. Church ought to be a place where people hear that change is possible. Church ought to be the one place people get the message, you don't have to stay the same. You can change. There can be a transformation. It is possible. Even if you've failed, if you've fallen, and if you have faltered, change is possible. You may have committed your life to Christ and blown it, then recommitted your life to Christ, then blown it again. Then recommitted the month later and then did it again. And so you might be at a place where you think, I'm ready to give up. It's over for me. You need to know there is a God in heaven, and there are God's people on earth who are committed to your transformation. It is possible. Change is possible.

And too often that is absent from many churches. I was reading an article online. And I read a lot of them, because I like to do research. But it was the title of this article that got my attention. Listen to the title. It says, "The Church is not Dying. It's Failing." That's the title of the article. Here's part of it. This author says, telling why people don't go to church anymore, "It's not that people aren't interested in God. They're hungry for God. But many have just gotten tired of the petty squabbles, or the obsession with the way it used to be. Many people never see the point in going to church, because it's not a place that enriched their lives."

What got my attention in that article is the motivation that brings people to church. They want to enrich their lives. They want their lives enhanced. They want to know that there's hope of something different. That something is being added to their lives. That's why I always want the music, and the message, and the meeting together to have that overall messaging of there is hope. Things can change.

There was a pastor-- he's retired now-- of a very large and pretty famous church in America, First Baptist Church in Houston. The former pastor, John Bisagno, years ago, when he was candidating to be the pastor of this church. He said, I walked into this building, this church building, where I was being invited. And I noticed was poorly lit. And there was a small group of people huddled together, and they were singing. But listen to what he writes, he said, "They were singing some old, slow, funeral type song that was so depressing."

Now this is written by now-retired pastor. He's much older, good speaker, but much older than he was when he candidating for this church, but he's saying that about that experience years ago. Then he writes, "Later on the same day, I'm walking in downtown Houston. And I walk into a jewelry store. It was a grand opening for a jewelry store. And he said this place was well lit, there was somebody at the door who shook my hand with a smile, welcomed me in. There was an atmosphere of celebration and joy that permeated that store. It was very, very open, very exciting, very friendly." And he said this, "After attending both the church and the jewelry store, if the jewelry store had offered an invitation, I would've joined the jewelry store."

Listen. We serve the living Christ, who rose from the dead. And if He can conquer death, He can conquer your dying hopes. This change is possible. Second characteristic, this change is personal. It has to be something that you are involved in and that happens personally with you. Please notice in our text, Paul writes in verse one, "I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service."

You see, this change is a personal experience. It is a result of a personal response to God. Let me unpack this verse. Let me unpack this thought a little bit further. Paul says, I am beseeching you. That just means I'm appealing to you, I'm begging you, I'm urging you. I beseech you, therefore, brethren. And we've told you this many times, right? Whenever there's a therefore, you have to find out what it's there for. So you don't begin a thought with a therefore, you are referring back to a previous spot. So he has just said 11 chapters-- 11 chapters-- of doctrine, of truth.

In chapter 12, he goes, therefore, right? I appeal to you, therefore, brother. And when he uses the term the mercies of God in our text, that's a banner phrase to describe all of the 11 chapters he had just wrote about. Now, I won't spend much time in it, but let me just give you a sampling of what the first 11 chapters are about. In the first 11 chapters of Romans, Paul says you have been justified by faith, you have access to God, you have hope of heaven, you are shaped by your trials and tribulations, you have the overflowing grace of God, you have the Holy Spirit living inside of you, and whether you are a Jew or Gentile, you've got God's great promises. OK, so those are the mercies of God. Based upon all of that which God has done for you, I am begging you, I am urging you, present your life to the God who can change your life. That's the thought of this passage.

Now how does this happen? How does it happen? Well, this is where the language and grammar is most helpful. I mentioned that this is a command, it's an imperative. It's an appeal, but when he says don't be conformed, be transformed, it's in the imperative mode or the command mode. However, it's a certain kind of an imperative. It's called-- listen-- a passive imperative. You're going, oh goodness, I'm in English class now suddenly. But a passive imperative means this: it means that someone or something else besides you on the outside of you is the one doing the changing, doing the transforming. And who would that be? That would be God. So here is how the passage is translated from the Greek language. Don't allow the world to conform you to itself. Or I love the JB Phillips translation. "Don't let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but allow God to remake you" or transform you. Be transformed by God. You can't do this on your own.

So here you are. You're the person. And the transformation is promised you, but you make it personal by allowing God to do the changing. I was reading an article a few days ago, USA Today newspaper, about a group of scientists in Germany that are developing a rubber tire that will repair itself. Wouldn't that be fabulous? Your get a flat tire, you don't have to get outside the car and change it. Right now you do. So what happens is the scientists say, we have vulcanized rubber for our tires. It's quite durable, and it's quite elastic. But it can tear and it can puncture. When that happens, you have to stop the car, get out of the car, jack it up, take the tire off, take it in and get it repaired, you plug it or you patch it.

But a group of German scientists are building a rubber call renewable rubber that if you get a flat tire, it will repair itself at room temperature. And the scientists, the German scientists, say it is a superior mechanical product. That sounds so German. We have a superior, mechanical product. That's great. But until that happens, you still have to be the one that gets out of the car and jacks it up and gets it fixed. And the idea here is simply this. You present yourself to God, your body to God, your life to God. And you say, God, I have a flat tire and I can't fix it myself. I don't have the renewable rubber to do this. I need you as an outside source. I will allow that to happen. I'm presenting myself for you to do this. But I need you to bring transformation to my life.

Now Paul says, when you do this, it is your reasonable service. Notice in verse one, "which is your reasonable service." Reasonable is the Greek word logikos, logical, rational, reasonable service. The most reasonable thing you can do is to turn your life over to the God who can change you. It's the most rational, reasonable thing you can do. So the church, then, ought to be a place where personal choice is engaged for change to occur. This is why we give an altar call many times in our services. We allow people to make a decision to follow Christ. It's a chance for people to clearly respond to God.

We believe there is a divine operation, but there must be a human cooperation with the divine operation. That's why Paul says, God can transform you, but you need to be the one to present your body to Him. Now when you do this, if you truly do this, if you say here's my life, here are my hands, my mouth, my feet, I want them to be Yours, I want you to do your work through me, I'm presenting my body to you. When you do this, the sky is the limit. Because you might think you don't have much to offer, or that your life is broken or you failed, but the Bible is filled with stories of people who have presented their bodies to God and God has done what could not be done on their own. For example, the womb of Sarah was barren, it could not produce children. But when that womb was presented to God by her husband Abraham, it produced a nation. The mouth of Moses, Moses says, I can't talk. I lack the eloquent capability to speak to people. And yet, God used that mouth to be the spokesperson to Pharaoh and to the children of Israel for their deliverance out of the Egypt. The feet of Paul the Apostle-- history tells us Paul was a wee little man, a short little man. He probably had a very, very small gait. And yet he walked around the world at that time, and spread the gospel to the lands of Asia Minor and Rome, et cetera. Present your bodies as a living sacrifice.

Choice is possible, or change is possible. Change is personal. Here's the third characteristic. This change is progressional. It doesn't happen overnight. It's a process. Look at verse two. "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed." Then it says, "by the renewing of your mind." That's a process. The renewing of your mind. The best Greek scholar-- one of the best-- RC Trench, says this means the gradual conforming more and more into that spiritual world. In other words, the process. You know, it's important that you understand that this transformation is both an event and a process. An event and a process. Birth is an event, growing up is a process. The new birth is an event. You come to Christ, you are saved. In a moment of time, you believe in Him, God places you in Christ, sealed and secured, ready for heaven. You didn't do anything. You don't know much, but that's the event.

Now comes the transformational process. The first is salvation, the second is sanctification, getting holy, being changed into his image inwardly. So the first is like a tidal wave. The second is like a glacier. Something happens instantly, but then there's that slow, steady process. I talked a minute ago about caterpillars and tadpoles, metamorphosis. Transformation is to change from one form to another in distinct stages. So you don't get instant frog, right? It's not like instant frog. Add water and instant frog, unless you're in a bath tub and you have little sponge things and instant frog. But in real life, no instant frog. You have to go through distinct stages of eggs, larvae, pupa, imago or the fully formed butterfly. There's distinct stages, and it takes weeks-- sometimes months. Same with a tadpole turning into a frog. There are distinct stages of growth. So that's the renewing process. There's no instant Christianity. That, too, is a process.

Now please notice the text. Where does the renewing take place? Your mind. By the renewing of your mind. And sometimes the Bible refers to your mind as your heart. Just the inner you as opposed to the outer shell, the outer you. The inner you is your heart or mind. And sometimes the Bible uses them as meaning the same thing. I'll tell you why this is important. Because I've heard-- I don't know how many times for how many years-- well meaning believers say things like this, what we need is not more head knowledge, but heart knowledge. And that sounds very spiritual, I suppose. It just happens to be a false dichotomy. It's wrong thinking. As if it's not what you know, it's how you feel. And if you know a lot but you don't feel a lot, it's not good. But you know, the Bible uses the term the heart and the mind to mean the same thing.

Jesus said to his enemies, why are you thinking evil plots in your heart? Proverbs 23, "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he." So don't have the mind as opposed to the heart. It is the same thing. It's the renewing of your heart or the renewing of your mind. Your mind matters to God. And I want to tell you, I want you to hear it from this pulpit, it's OK for Christians to think. It's really OK for Christians to think. Why do I have to say that? Because I have been in some places where it's sort of this unwritten rule, please check your brains out the door. Come in and have some emotional experience that's divorced and devoid of logic, and then go out and live a normal, logical life once again.

Not so. Don't do that. Think through, reason through issues that provide you with a basis for truth. God said, "Come now, let us reason together," says the Lord. Jesus said, "You're to love the Lord your God with all of your mind, as well as your soul and your strength." So this is the reason we believe when you come to church, you need to be saturated with the word of God. This is why we do exposition, this is why we look at verbs and nouns and phrases, and you look at the text, because we believe there's power in the text itself. Power in that it's transforming. Your mind is exposed to truth. The mind of the Christian saturated with the scripture is the place where lives are changed. You want your life changed? Your mind is transformed as you're exposed to truth every day, every week, every month. Now I warn you. It sounds good. It's all good to preach about. This takes discipline.

Here's the hard part. It you want to be good at something, you have to be disciplined at something. If you want to play guitar or violin or you want to be good at sports, it will take hours every single day for you to practice that over and over again to become good at it, become an expert at it. It's not like, I want to be a great lead guitar player, famous in a rock and roll band. And I have two days to do that. It's not going to happen. You can't expect results without the discipline. And there are spiritual disciplines that need to be talked about. The discipline of Bible study, the discipline of prayer, the discipline of fellowship, the discipline of service to sacrifice, the discipline of evangelism. All of that will renew your thinking, your heart and bring transformational change. So this change is possible, it's personal, it's progressional.

And here's the fourth characteristic. It's practical. God is always practical. The lessons of scripture are ever and always practical. Notice the end of verse two, here's how practical it is. "That you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God." Paul didn't just throw that in because, oh, this sounds good, let me write that. Notice the word that. Everything after the word that is called a result clause. It could be translated in order that or so that. In other words, if you do this, that will happen. So there's a presentation of your body to God. There's a transformation of your mind that results in the apprehension of God's will. That's the idea behind the text.

One of the most frequent requests I have heard by believers over the years is, how can I know the will of God? I just want to know God's will. Is there a way I can know what God wants? I want to know God's will. And unfortunately some believers actually think it's some mystical experience to discern the will of God, so I'm going to be really quiet and I'm going to ask God to speak to me and I'm going to hear an audible voice anytime now. And OK, here I am, God, and waiting for that audible voice. And I'm praying and I'm still waiting for that voice. If you wait long enough, you may actually hear something. And it may not be the voice of God. You might become delirious. I'm not saying God cannot audibly speak to you, but more often than not it's going to come by the process of exposing your mind to the word and truth of God and the result of that is going to be you'll prove what is the good and perfect and acceptable will of God. You'll be walking in the will of God. One follows the other. We present our bodies to the control of God, our minds are renewed by the word of God, we're then able to discern the will of God. So the Church out to be a place where we celebrate what change produces, and that is you are living, walking, moving in the will of God.

Now as we're closing this off, please notice something about God's will. Maybe you've never noticed before. Look at the first adjective. It's good. Verse two, "that you may prove what is that good." You know that the will of God is always good. It's not always fun. It doesn't always feel good. In fact, some of you have wondered, what on earth would God ever allow this suffering to come in my life for? This isn't good. It doesn't feel good. But just wait, hold on, it will be good. Because God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. That's a promise. It's good. His will is always good.

Then notice the second. It's acceptable, or it's pleasing. That's what the NIV renders it. It's pleasing. It'll please God, and in pleasing God, it'll satisfy you. It's pleasing. The third thing it is it's perfect God's will is perfect. It means mature in this version. Transformation will make you mature. It'll grow you up. God's will is good, it is pleasing, and it will mature you, it will grow you. So once again, back to what I stated at the beginning, change is the one thing that never changes. It's always a part of our life. My question to you is, in closing, in which direction is your life changing? Are you being squeezed into the world's mold? Or are you being shaped into God's will? Where's the change happening? What are you more like?

Do you remember Sir Isaac Newton? Not that you knew him personally, but you remember reading about him in school, right? Sir Isaac Newton. And you remember the laws of motion that he is famous for. Now, I'm going to state his first law of motion, and you'll remember it probably from grade school or high school, whenever you learned it. Sir Isaac Newton's first law of motion is this. Everything continues in a state of rest unless it is compelled to change by forces impressed upon it. Now listen to that again in terms of what we just shared in our text. Everything continues in a state of rest unless it is compelled to change by forces impressed upon it. What forces are impressing you the most?

You live in a world with its own forces, its own values, its own songs, its own movies, its own messages. And exposure to all of that changes your messaging and your values and you and I have a tendency to be like what we hear and what we see. That's all around us. That's why we need the balancing pressure of renewed minds, presented bodies, and living out the will of God by the Spirit of God and the truth of God in scripture. What is impressing you?

Father, as we close this service, this is the best way I know how to do this. Just to bow our heads in prayer. This is the best opportunity to respond logically, reasonably. It's only reasonable that we present our bodies to you just now. Our hands, our mouths, our feet, our very lives themselves. You placed us in Christ, that's the event. We're growing to be more and more like Christ, that's the process. So we give you once again these bodies. Some of us a failed. We have blown it. We're broken because of things. Only you can fix the flat. Only You can get us up and running again and going. And so we don't want to allow ourselves to be conformed to this world. We want to allow ourselves to be shaped into your will, which is always good, and acceptable, and perfect. So as we present our bodies and our minds have been transformed as part of an ongoing, lifelong process, we pray that we will leave and walk in your will. I close by praying for those who have come, and they've struggled. Or they've struggled in their thinking about life itself, their purpose of life. They're wondering, is there anything more than what I've already experienced? Is there a change that is possible? I pray, Lord, you would convince them that there is. That there is hope, that no matter what the past has brought, that no matter what they have done themselves, that all can be forgiven. Their name can be written, so to speak, in the Book of Life, they can have eternal life, enjoy it right now as they're fitted for heaven.

If you've gathered today, if you've come today, maybe the invitation of a friend, maybe it's the first time you've come, maybe you've come many, many times before, and you have been a willing observer up to this point. You observe, you make an assessment, you leave. Come again, observe, make an assessment, leave. But never in that time have you ever stopped to personally ask the Lord to be the Lord of you. You have never presented your life as a living sacrifice to Him, asking Him to forgive you, asking him to place you in His kingdom. And I would say today is the perfect time to end that. And instead of being simply an observer, to be a willing participant in His glory in His kingdom.

So if you've come, it's as simple as this. You want to give your life to Jesus. If you want to know life and forgiveness and a new start and let His plan, His will, be what generates hope for you and gets you out of bed every day. You want things to change. Now's the time for you to give your life to Christ. If you've never done that personally, if you've never asked Jesus to be your Savior and Lord, or if you did something at some point in the past, but you walked away from Him, you're not living for Him, today, maybe it's you just need to come back to Him.

I want you to raise your hand up in the air. I'll keep my eyes open as we're praying. Just raise it up and keep it up so I can see it. Raise it. God bless you, right up here to my left, right up in front. Yes, ma'am. And in the middle, and in the middle again. To my left. Couple of you right over here to my far left in the family room. And again, in the family room, a few of you over there. Anyone else raise your hand up. Are you sure that you're a saved man or woman? Are you sure that you are ready to meet God? God bless you toward the back, in the balcony.

Father, for people all around this auditorium, this campus. I see the hand, you see the heart. I see the outward, you know the person inside and out. And what's more, Lord, you love, deeply care for, deeply concerned about, each and every person. What they've gone through, what they're going through, what they're facing. Lord, I pray that there would be a sense, a renewing sense to them, a sense of hope is they leave today, as they place their lives in your hands. In Jesus' name, amen.

Let's stand to our feet. Here, we're going to close with a song. And as we close, those of you who raised your hands, I'm going to ask you to do something now. I'm going to ask you to put those hands that are attached to your feet in motion. And I tell you what I'm going to do. Jesus often in the New Testament called people publicly to follow him. I'm going to give you an opportunity to make a public commitment to Christ. I believe it does something for you, inside of you. So some of you are in the family room. I'm going to ask you to come to the door that's in the family room on the front to the right, and stand up here. If you're in the auditorium and you're in the middle of a row, just find the nearest aisle, come right now and stand right up in the front. I'm going to lead you in a prayer before we close. Lead you in a prayer to make Jesus your Savior and your Lord. Just stand right up here. If you're in the balcony, please come down the steps. And we'll wait for you to come. We want to stand and we'll stand with you.

We don't do this to embarrass you. You feel a little embarrassed standing up here? Good. You should feel accepted and loved. We want you to feel loved. We consider you a part of us. And we're glad that you've made this commitment to stand up here. And we stand with you. Anyone else? I'll give you just a few more minutes. If you're in the balcony, or in the back, or in the middle of a row, or outside, a pastor will lead you if you're outside to stand here or in the overflow room. But come and join the group of people who need God. Anyone else?

For those of who have walked forward, I'm going to lead you in a word of prayer. And as I pray this prayer, I'm going to ask you to pray it out loud after me. I want you to say these words that you're about to say, say them from your heart, from inside of you. You're saying these to God, you're saying them out loud. Pretend that nobody else is standing next to you, pretend you're not in a room filled with people. It's just you and God. You're doing business with Him. You're giving him your life. Let's pray together.

Say, Lord, I give you my life.

Lord, I give you my life.

I know that I am a sinner.

I know that I am a sinner.

Please forgive me.

Please forgive me.

I'm sorry for my sins.

I'm sorry for my sings.

I believe that Jesus died on a cross.

I believe that Jesus died on a cross.

That he shed his blood for me.

That He shed His blood for me.

And that He rose again from the grave.

And that He rose again from the grave.

I turn from my sin.

I turn from my sin.

I turn to Jesus as my Savior.

I turn to Jesus as my Savior.

I want to live for Him as my Lord.

I want to live my life for Him as my Lord.

I need your help.

I need your help.

I need you to help me with this change.

I need you to help me with this change.

In Jesus' name,

In Jesus' name,

Amen.

Amen.

Congratulations.

As we spend more time with God, He will change us and conform us to the image of Christ. Has the Lord used Calvary to make an impact in your life? Let us know. Email mystory@calvaryabq.org. And just a reminder, you can give financially to this work at calvaryabq.org/giving. Thank you for joining us for this teaching from Skip Heitzig of Calvary Albuquerque.

Additional Messages in this Series

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Date Title   Watch Listen Notes Share Save Buy
10/18/2015
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With One Another
Acts 2:40-47
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
Every week, sixty U.S. churches close their doors. The church should never need a reason to gather other than Jesus Himself, and it's at church where we learn how to be a vibrant and effective body of believers. As we study the early church in the book of Acts, we discover that as believers, we can't survive or thrive without fellowship.
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11/1/2015
completed
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We Pursue God...Through Worship
Acts 2; Revelation 4-5
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
We live in a world of narcissism—"It's all about me!" To offset our self-worship, we need sovereign worship—"It's all about Him!" As we look at both the early church and the eternal church, we discover the cure for our self-centered culture.
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11/8/2015
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We Pursue God...By the Word
Acts 2:42
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
In a world where biblical illiteracy is rampant, Christians must learn to love the Word. Why? The Word of God does the work of God by the Spirit of God in the lives of the people of God. As we unpack Acts 2:42a, we see the biblical vision of Calvary Albuquerque and discover three decisions we need to make concerning Scripture.
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11/15/2015
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To The World
Acts 2:47
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
The word gospel means good news—and to the Christian, the gospel of Jesus Christ is the best news. For some, however, it is the best-kept secret. As we study the early church in Acts 2, we find out what happens when the called ones become the sent ones.
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11/22/2015
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We're Here for You
Acts 2:43-45
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
In an age of low-commitment Christianity, the church is viewed skeptically and is seen as too intrusive. We in the church have an important role to play in changing people's minds, and that comes from making ourselves available and saying, "I'm part of those who belong to Christ, and I am here for you." As we wrap up this series, we discover four steps we can take to improve our availability.
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There are 5 additional messages in this series.