WHAT IS TRUE SPIRITUALITY? Q. How do you go beyond religion and church programs and legalism and performance orientation and compartmentalized lives to a grace-filled, authentic relationship with Christ?
#1. True spirituality begins with an accurate picture of God. "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God, and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us, is that it did not know Him." 1 John 3:1
"Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. This, then, is how you pray. Pray, 'Our Father who is in heaven, holy is your name.'"Matthew 6:8-9
God's dream for all of His children is to make you like His Son.
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. Romans 8:28-29
#2. True spirituality is built on the principle of relationship. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul, your mind and your strength, and love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 22:37
4 though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more:5 circumcised on the eighth day,of the people of Israel,of the tribe of Benjamin,a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law,a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal,a persecutor of the church;as to righteousness under the law, blameless.Philippians 3:4-6
7 Butwhatever gain I had,I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because ofthe surpassing worth ofknowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake Ihave suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain ChristPhilippians 3:7-8 9 and be found in him, not havinga righteousness of my own that comes from the law, butthat which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith--10 that I may know him andthe power of his resurrection, andmay share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,11 that by any means possible I mayattain the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:10-11
12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14
#3. Romans 12 provides us with a relational, grace-based pathway of true spirituality.
5 Key Relationships and the Romans 12 Biblical Responses
1. Relationship with God àSurrendered to God “. . . 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.” Romans 12:1
2. Relationship with the world à Separate from the world’s values “. . . Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind . . .” Romans 12:2
3. Relationship with yourself àSober in self-assessment “. . . Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment . . .” Romans 12:3-8
4. Relationship with believers à Serving in love “. . . Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves . . .” Romans 12:9-13
5. Relationship with nonbelieversà Supernaturally responding to evil with good
“. . . Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good . . .” Romans 12:14-21
Warning – Romans 12 is not a “try hard” moral code to live up to; but a faith response to what God has already done for us.
At the end of the day, the pathway to true spirituality laid out in Romans 12 is a response to what Paul tells us about in Romans 1-11.
- Romans 1-3: SIN – Our problem that separates us from God. - Romans 4-5: SALVATION – God’s solution in the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. - Romans 6-8: SANCTIFICATION – Living your new life in God’s power and growing progressively in Christ-likeness.
- Romans 9-11: SOVEREIGNTY– Living in confidence because God is in control and keeps all His promises.
Personal Application Questions:
1. Would you like to receive everything your heavenly Father has planned for you by becoming a Romans 12 Christian?
2. Have you personally taken the step to be “all in” in your relationship with Christ?
3. How does surrender and being separate from the world’s values prepare you to get God’s best for your life? see Psalm 84:11
4. What “next step” would help you fulfill God’s dream for your life?
5. Who could help and support you as you take that next step of obedience?