|Introduction:Personal story—what do I wish for?Rom 12:1Eph 1:3
||(Bill Strickland) “Last night I wrote out a list of the things I wished I could have. At the end of my list I noticed that it was comprised of all non-spiritual things (i.e. money, health, my children’s success in the world, my wife’s job, my job, etc.
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
- Romans 12:1 Or brothers and sisters
- Romans 12:1 Or your rational service
- Romans 12:1 : 1 Cor. 1:10; 2 Cor. 10:1; Eph. 4:1
- Romans 12:1 : Rom 6:13, 16, 19; [Ps. 50:13, 14; 1 Cor. 6:20]; See 1 Pet. 2:5
- Romans 12:1 : Heb. 10:20
- the first eleven chapters of Romans lists all the mercies up until this chapter. Some of these mercies are love, power, of salvation, grace, great kindness, forgiveness, propitiation (sanctification of God’s wrath—mercy seat), justification, confirmation to His image, divine sonship, indwelling of the Holy Spirit, glory, sovereign mercy, and hope, just to mention a few).
- “heavenly realms” (spiritual world) is non-dimensional contrasted against our dimensional view of Heaven and hell
- We are blessed with “every spiritual blessing”
- In reference to the two lists, which one would you choose? The one I wrote based on the world or the one the Bible calls the “heavenly realm”?
- “mind” comes more into play in the NT rather than the OT in which God had more of a national relationship with Israel. The relationship in the NT is more personal (mind)
- My priorities (lists) is the Gospel not being a successful father, teacher, provider, etc
- Gaining spiritual blessings put suffering into better perspective. Which is what we’ll turn to now
|2 Cor 1:3
- “Compassion” ESV uses “mercy”, οἰκτιρμῶν (grk) literally means ‘bowels of mercy’ i.e. opening yourself (insides) up to others, accepting the hurt and suffering which comes with serving. Story of his son who had his intestines completely removed and placed on the table during a long surgery. The gift of encouragement is “opening yourself up” carrying with it this type of “bowels of mercy” word picture.
- “despaired” ἐξαπορηθῆναι of life itself..(grk) meaning ‘no way out’
- bBut that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. Paul had to go to this length of being despaired so that he would experience what it is to rely on God
- Good idea to read Ps 69 when you’re in despair. Pray the Psalms back to God. Another is Ps 119 which I normally read every week
|Ps 77More ‘crisis of faith’ scripturesContinued
- Speaks of the crisis of faith. The word “muse” is where we get the word ‘music’, is the language of the soul
Ps 38, 39:10-13; Ecclesiastes 1:18 For with much wisdom comes much sorrow;
the more knowledge, the more grief. So, we must fear God and keep his commandments
- When you think about it suffering is a gift from God. But we don’t often think of it that way. We want to run away from suffering instead of embracing it.
- How do we know if we are saved if we don’t suffer?
|8 Reasons for Suffering—taken from John MacArthur
- To test our faith,1 Pet 1:6-7
- To wean us from the world, Jn 6:1-15 (feeding of the 5,000). When you begin to wean yourself from the world you begin to ache for heaven
- Call us to our heavenly hope (the unseen is the heavenly realm), 2 Cor 4:17-18 (good to memorize)
- To reveal to us what we really love (our priorities), Gen 22 (example of Abraham who was willing to sacrifice his son Isaac) and Heb 11
- To teach obedience, Heb 12:5. God never tempts but He does discipline His children
- To reveal His compassion, Ps 63:3
- To strengthen us for greater usefulness, in turn, enhancing our worship for Him, James 1:2-4
- To comfort others, Lk 22:13-the case of Peter