Through God's mercy we are invited to be transformed by renewing our minds and conforming to His will, not the ways of the world; we must have a ready mind to follow God's perfect will for us, leaving behind our old sinful ways; true transformation comes when we submit to Christ's lordship over our lives and adopt a new identity as children of God.
Good morning ladies and gentlemen. Good to see all of y'all here this morning. Appreciate the invitation to come to be with you and the time that we have together and I look forward to and my wife, my sweetie, and I look forward to the time that we can be with all of you this week.
We have definitely appreciated our gathering that we had back a few years ago and look forward to even reacquainting ourselves with some of you, and in some cases maybe learning some of you that we've never met before. We appreciate very much Reagan and Stephanie and they have met, they're so dear to us.
They are a great example to all the people that we're around. Usually they work with us during the summer camp every year and they have definitely been one of the great rocks of what we do. And I know that you appreciate all that they do here and we we're gonna hold on to 'em as long as we can. And I'd say you probably wanna hold on to 'em as long as you can too.
But we look forward to our time together very much. I would like for you to turn with me to Romans chapter 12, if you have not already. And we're gonna talk about this subject on what I would hope that from our study together this morning and every evening, this week until Thursday night, that we will learn and understand a little bit more about how to find ourselves identified in a very godly spiritual way, more than the world likes to identify us.
Look at it from the standpoint of how scripture teaches us to to be transformed. That's gonna be our study and our tent throughout the time that we're together. So I'd like to let you read with me in Romans chapter 12 verse one, where it says, I beseech you, therefore brethren, and I must tell you, I'm reading from the American Standard Version by the mercies of God to present your body's a living sacrifice, wholly acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service.
And be not fashioned according to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
And as Reagan mentioned, we're discussing the idea of Romans chapter 12 all through our time together. But that doesn't mean we're just gonna stick with that one verse. There are other references that we will make from other places, and I guess maybe you wonder why it would be that. I would choose this subject at the beginning of every year, there's a tendency for people to make resolutions.
They want to make some changes from either the past year or maybe the past several years. They wanna make some kind of transformation in their life. It could be about where they're living. It could be about their weight, it could be about their health. It could be about so many different aspects of their life, even their language, maybe just overall spiritually, they wanna make some changes.
And I would say that by this time of the year, those promises vows, or even the word resolutions that people have made sometime have just faded in the distance. They've gone by the wayside, but some. Have made a very radical impact upon their life. Some of those transformations that have taken place in lives of people, some of us probably didn't ever think we would do it, and then there were other people that knew us that probably thought that won't ever happen.
You'll never see them doing anything different than what they've always done. But then when you think about the idea of transforming, I must include this idea of trans culture of which we're living in. This is kind of what brought me to look at this a little bit more. I have heard, and I'm sure you've heard so many messages, voices, articles, news reports.
It's just in inundated us. How there's people who want to change their biological nature, from male to female, female to male, and we just had all these voices of trans culture, trans this, trans this to where there's so much uncertainty that people have had in their life about things that they're hearing.
But if, if we are the people who were focused upon the world, In any way regarding changes, there's gonna be the possibility we're gonna be truly unsatisfied with it because all those things, a lot of times, are very temporary. And I must tell you, this idea of transgender trans culture is gonna be one of those things where a lot of people are gonna be.
And you've probably heard where people are so dissatisfied with that, and we shouldn't, they've never gone through the process and they're living lives of which they don't like. In some cases they don't like themselves to the point that they killed themselves. Now, I could, I could go through this whole series of lessons and compare and, and put side by side.
There's a lot of similar thoughts with transgender versus transforming scripturally, but I'm not gonna do that. And I, I've read through those and I, and I put in a, on a sheet of paper, transgender versus transforming, and there's so many similarities to that. But I'm not here to see what we can do to kind of form you into the identity of being transgender.
But I'm wanting us all to understand the identity of which we should be transformed by the will of God, which is found in Romans chapter 12 and in verse two, that's where our tension's gonna be focused. We're looking at this as God's choice of us. And when you talk about this idea being transgender, the identity that you're looking at here in Romans chapter 12 is greater than not the exception to biologically who you are, but it's the greater identity of who you should be in life rather than going through the dysphoria that so many people have found themselves in.
Now, what does that mean? Well, when you look at the book of Ephesians chapter four, and you look at verse 22 to verse 24, this, this is a matter of taking an old man and putting it away and coming into a new man, and the statement that is made here, this is not something that you create like a resolution or a vow or a promise that you make at the beginning of the year.
This is something that is created by God, created by God, not just biologically. But spiritually gives you an identity of who you should be as that new man that God creates here. This is a child of God. I think there's a lot to be said for people who would do this, make a radical changes. Like Paul the Apostle in the book of Acts, chapter nine, here he was the beginning of the chapter handing letters or with letters to go out and find somebody who was following the way.
And putting them in prison or leading them to the point of dying, killing, getting, having them killed, murdered. And then in the same chapter, all of a sudden you see this transformation of this man who describes himself in the book of one Timothy chapter one. I want you to listen to this, so therefore, if you think about anybody that could possibly be changed, It's not this guy, you're, you're not gonna put him in this list and say, okay, he's gonna be the one I'm gonna work on and get him transformed.
One Timothy chapter one talks about how he thanks God that he's able to do this and ing him to be appointed to this service. In verse 13, I was before a blasphemer or persecutor and injurious. How be it? I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly and unbelief. Now that phrase at the last, ignorant and unbelief, that's exactly what you're seeing in our trans culture and the grace of our Lord abounded exceedingly with faith and love, which is in Christ Jesus.
Faithful is the same worthy of Acceptation, that Christ Jesus came from the world as saved sinners of whom I'm chief. He made this radical change of what people never thought would happen to him, all because. God and his son Jesus. Marvelous, absolutely marvelous. This is, this is the transforming of individuals that need to be witnessed.
These are the things that need to be really identified. If you looked at the book, Romans chapter eight, and we're gonna talk a little bit more about this a little bit later, men, Romans chapter eight, if you look at verse 12 to verse 17. There is this idea of children and an idea of adoption and the idea of the father adopting the children.
There are a lot of children that don't know really who their family is and they wish they had a family, and in this case, the identity of God. Recognizing these people as his children, and he says, At the end of verse 16, that we are children of God and if children then heirs, heirs of God and Jordan heirs with Christ, he's placing an identity upon a transformed group of people that he adopts as his.
The people that are in the trans culture world sometimes don't know what.
What group they belong to, to whom they should be identified. There are numbers, and I don't know the exact numbers, but there are numbers of people. I say numbers of categories of which people put themselves in, identified. So if you're meeting somebody, in some cases you don't know how they identified themselves.
But this one right here, you identify yourself as the people that are members of the what? The body of Christ. That identity is such a wonderful thing. For those of us who are spiritually in Christ, Christians, child of the King, we are the people that are transformed. Having this identity in this disoriented world, this is who we are.
This is what we should be.
As we were having our class last night with the young people at Reagan and Stephanie's house, one of the things that I was asking them about, if you looked at the beginning of verse two of Romans 12, and you talk about the conformed people versus the second part of the verse about the transformed people, and I was giving them an understanding and asking them who would be the conform people versus the transform people.
It was easy for them to identify it, and it was easy, I believe. I hope that it was easy for them to identify who they should be,
and I thought, at least I hope and pray that we know who we are to be. We are transformed people that by the grace of God in the Book of Titus chapter 11, we see two verse 11. We see this God bringing his grace and instructing us. We should deny ungodliness and worldly lust, that we should live soberly and righteously in this present world.
That we will be the people who would do the good works they talks about in the book of Titus chapter two, so we could be the people who would avoid the possibilities of believer dysphoria. Let me just describe to you just a moment. Believer dysphoria is like, just take the word dysphoria, which is just a state of uneasy, unsatisfied life.
You're just generally, generally dissatisfied. So you believe there needs to be some kind of change adjustment, transformation, we would call it just for the context of what we're talking about. And it all happens because there is some tragedy that's happened in their life or. They've lost something, lost a relationship, lost a job, lost something, something of which they never thought they'd lose, or they see injustice, and when they see the injustice take place, then there's this dysphoria.
Something's not fair. Something's not fair.
When you see all these things of which really confuses you, even a matter of sinful consequences in your life, you thought this would be your pleasure moment, and you indulge in it so much. All of a sudden it just falls apart in your face. When you see all those things happen, when you thought everything was gonna be happening, you're gonna feel your way through life and everything's gonna be okay, and all of a sudden it falls apart.
You begin to be dysphoric, you become to be dissatisfied. And there are people that are Christians that are experiencing dysphoria Through all those same circumstances of which I just mentioned, it's not just age relative. It's not just a college student versus somebody that's retired, somebody's gone through a divorce ver versus somebody that's married.
So all these circumstances that are happening cause us to sometimes be doubtful of our own faith, of our own faith. Book of Romans to me seems to be a very key moment of which when you go through what is stated, when you see the Gentiles in chapter one and all of their problems, that they don't believe in God and they change the God and they do this and they do this.
And they've become this and become this. In other words, like verse 28 says, they have a reprobate mind, and then you get the Romans coming in and they're creating such believer dysphoria because they're hypocrites and they're teaching this, and they're believing and they're doing this, and people don't have any idea of what I'm supposed to do spiritually.
Then you can understand why dysphoria takes place in the city of just like it would in 2023 in the city of Lukin, Texas.
And when you talk to somebody about becoming a Christian, transforming their life into the will of God, they look at you and say, there's people that I know that say they're believers that don't really live that life, so they don't want to be part of a dissatisfied life already. They've already witnessed that hypocrisy, but then those people that already are believers are experiencing this doubt and dysphoria as to whether or not this idea of being a Christian is what they shouldn't really stick with and continue in this.
So from Romans chapter one about the Gentiles Seromas chapter two with the Jews, then here comes God and gives you the answer. In chapter three, it says, everybody sinned and comes for the glory of God. And he comes along and tells you in chapter four, people need to have faith just like Abraham, as he points to the Jews Father Abraham.
And then he comes along in chapter five, talks about grace and now sufficient that grace is regardless of how terrible the sin or how abundant the sin. Based upon what Romans Chapter five talks about in verse 60, verse eight, Jesus Christ coming to the world because of God committing his love toward us. And then in chapter six, talks about obedience, talks about salvation through that means of baptism in the first five or six verses of the chapter.
And then he talks about how it is that we even become the, be the people who were obedient to the way of righteousness that was delivered in Chapter six, verse 1617. And then he talks to all of them and says specifically to the Jews in chapter seven and chapter eight and says, all of you, people that are Jews need to understand this old law, this law that you've been a part of, needs to be removed and you need to find yourself adopting into the law of Christ because there's no condemnation in chapter eight, verse one to them that are in Christ Jesus.
Oh, and that sounds so good. In a dysphoria, no condemnation. That sounds like great things to think about.
One of the things about the Romans need to be understood in chapter nine through 11 is that there is a place where God wants all of his people to be. And those Gentiles have been grafted in among the Jews, and the Jews are gonna be part of the Gentiles and they're gonna be in this because of the mercy of God.
And not only that, how could anybody in chapter 11, verse 33 to verse 35, figure out all this except God, who can trace his past, who can understand his judgment, who's gonna be his counselor to put all this together with a board of directors and say, this is what we need in our society. And then you embark upon Romans chapter 12.
The first thing that you see in Romans chapter 12 is that we find ourselves being commanded and illustrated through scripture how God wants us to live, not the beliefs of the world. And the first thing you will notice is the invitation. This invitation that you see in Romans chapter 12 is very simple.
I beg you, I beseech you some versions. Even use the word I urge you. The new American stand renders it that way. And there's been a lot of people that have begged us. A lot of people have urged us. A lot of people have asked us to do certain things for them. Husbands, wives, wives, husbands, parents to children, children to parents and, and we, and that.
That's really not something that's unusual for us. We've been begged a lot. We've been urged a lot. In many instances, we don't mind doing it as long as it's within our capability. And in some cases we might not be too too much of a problem with it because we want to do it for them. We want to do it for them.
In this urging here that you see in the book of Romans chapter 12, there's something about this that needs to be understood in this. This is not what pleases Paul. This is what pleases God. Now do know, if you were to read the context of this whole book, Romans chapter nine, in the first four verses of Romans chapter nine, he does wish that he would have all of his people that he mentions in Romans chapter nine to be a part of this group.
These people known as the people of God he knew.
It would be so great if they all did, but he said in verse three, I wish that I myself were anathema from Christ for my brethren's sake, my kins mother, according to the flesh. It wasn't as urging because I wish everybody was part of the same thing that I did and I was doing. That would be great. But he says it because he's doing it.
He knows what it is that God will provide for him and for them. In other words, he's, he's using himself as a reference here. He knows it's by faith that they need it just as much as he does. He pleads from his own knowledge of the mercies of God. And that was something I just mentioned to you in the book of one Timothy chapter one.
1216. By the virtues of God, he was able to be this minister. He was able to do this service. He was able to be a Christian. He was able to have all these blessings in Christ Jesus. So as you hear this invitation, as you hear what's stated, you're not one of these people that's accepting this invitation, just so you won't feel guilty anymore.
You're not accepting this invitation. So you keep all these people off your back that are trying to get you to change and be somebody you don't really want to be. And if I, if I, if I change, then I'll quiet in the crowd. This is not an invitation to accept because you wanna make up for lost time. This is an invitation that comes as a result of God extending it to you to be transformed by his will.
I must tell you, it does not come at a convenient time for you whenever God is asking you to change and this invitation is extended. He's just saying he either has the ears, let him hear what the Spirit says, and I want you to very pay very close attention to this. This is an invitation from the voice of God to you.
This is him offering transformation for you. It is, it is not. Okay. Sometimes a tendency for us, when it comes down to transformation, we listen to ourself. You know, I, I've, I've got to lose weight. I've got to lose weight. I've got to lose weight. I've got to change this. I've got to change jobs. I've got to study more.
I've got to worship more. I need to do this. I need, you're just talking to yourself, and that becomes a predominant voice of your transformation. I got to do what I need to do. I want to do I, I should do all this, but listen to this invitation. In other words, I'm asking you as well as I'm asking myself, hear the invitation from God's voice.
Let his voice be the most predominant voice in the means of transformation. That's why it comes up in verse two and says, don't be conformed to the world.
Have you ever thought about, being changed biologically. Nobody thinks about that unless somebody comes up and ask them, do you want to change your gender? For the person that's a Christian? Change? That whole mentality to come up to somebody and say, have you ever thought about being a Christian? Have you ever thought about being transformed? Oh, yeah, I know I need to be going to church. No, it's, it's more than that. It's he that has the ears, let him hear what the spirit says. It's just like Jesus saying in Matthew, chapter 11 coming to me, all you labor and heavy land, I'll give you rest.
Hear this invitation. Don't self-talk yourself into putting off something. Listen to this and you'll understand that the value of this matter of change comes from the mercy of God. This invitation comes from God's mercy. That's exactly what you're seeing here, but, but what's the motive most often for people to transform anyway?
Oh, I'm just having a hard time in my life right now. I just wish things were so much better. I'm so tired, I'm so unhappy. I am one of these people that just wishes that I could some way get rid of all these demands in life that I've been, that's been thrown in my face.
I just wish I could do something to get rid of all these problems. I, I just wish I could do something to change. That's the motive. So, so here's, here's the thing about this, this part right here in the matter of transformation is different than saying, I just wish I'd get rid of all my problems. I just wish I, things would be better.
I just, I wish, I just wish, I just wish I wouldn't so tired anymore of all the things I'm hearing rather than allowing this invitation. That comes from the voice of God, be that which brings you into the lordship and the headship under the submission of Jesus Christ. In other words, the mercy of God, the mercy of God.
Think about it that way. That changes the whole dynamic of this. So therefore, when you think about what's going on here, this transformation is coming from the mercy of God. Before the verse even Sta states it. As I mentioned to you earlier, the conclusion of the book of Romans chapter 11, as he begins to wind down his discussion of everything he's done to bring these people together, Jews and Gentiles, for in time past you were disobedient from God, verse 30, but now have obtained mercy by their disobedience.
Then he says again, even so, have these also now been disobedient, that by the mercy shown to you, they also may now take mercy. For God has shut up all under disobedience that he might have mercy upon all. And as a result of him bringing this to a conclusion and then talking about the depth of the riches of God's wisdom, in verse 33 to verse 36.
Then he comes in and he says, I beg you by the mercies of God, he just couldn't. He just flows right into this and says, the mercies of God. And every one of you that are in this room this morning who are Christians, have experienced the mercy of God. Now, would you use the invitation of God? That's here in Romans chapter 12 verse one, to a person that you're trying to help bring to Jesus and say to them, I don't want you to do this for me.
I want you to listen to God's invitation, and by his mercy, be what he asking you to be.
And you can tell them this. Mercy is for the helpless. This mercy is for the hopeless. This Mercy is for the believer. And you could go to Romans and I lo, I love to use Romans as a, as a means of conversion of people because it just puts everything out out there very plainly because in Romans you will see the con, the summation in chapter three of the Jews in the Gentiles and says, there's none righteous, no, not one.
We've all seen. It comes for the glory God. So we're all on the same platform. But then the mercs of God come along and they provide us so much in Romans chapter five through Jesus Christ. And here's this one. In Romans chapter 11, you say, oh man, this is wonderful. But the transformed for his glory. That's why this is done.
Not to make you feel better, not to remove the unhappiness. Not to this, to quieten all the demands of other people. This is for God's mercy. This is for you because I believe if we had a very serious understanding of what God teaches, then we would know that really what we deserve is judgment. Really what we deserved is to be taken out, back and beaten.
Really, we deserve to be experiencing the wrath of God, not his mercy. No, no, no, no. Not his mercy, but God chose it. Anyway, so let me just, as we begin to wrap up this class this morning, I just want to ask you the question, are you ready to be transformed? If I, let's say for example, I waited for, Let's see about another couple hours, and I ask everybody to show of hands how many of you're ready to go eat lunch Now if you eat breakfast, some of you probably are ready, ready to eat, and I don't wouldn't want that to be a distraction.
But if, how many of you're ready to eat lunch? And and a lot of people would say, yes, I'm ready to go eat lunch. But then some people, instead of just saying, just affirming that, they'll say, well, where are we going to, where are we going to eat? What are we gonna eat? So they wanted all the details, not just they're ready, but where and what They wanna know more information 'cause they're not just gonna go anywhere.
They're not just gonna go anywhere to eat. What must I do to be saved? That was the question.
Acts chapter two. Acts chapter 16, what must I do? Then when they were told, well, I don't know if I wanna do it that way. I'm not too sure that that's the way that I want to change my life. Are you ready to be transformed? Right? Or do you want all the particulars and then you can figure out whether or not you want to eat it or not.
There are some people that were ready and some people weren't. In the book of Matthew chapter four in verse 20, there's four fishermen, verse 20 and verse 22 that dropped their nets and when and followed Jesus. That doesn't say anything about where they're going to go. They do know they're fishermen of men.
In the case of Luke chapter eight, nine verse 61, it's okay. I've got to say bye to everybody in the house first, even in John six, verse 60. This is a hard saying. Who can understand this? Who? Who can hear this? I mean, this is, this is radical, but then Acts chapter eight, verse 37. Only needed to know one thing.
What hinders me? I'm ready. And then there was king of grip in Acts 26 verse 28. Almost almost. It persuaded me to be a Christian, but the readiness of mind, the Book of Acts, chapter 17, verse 11, when they heard it was spoken, they had a ready mind to whatever was spoken. They were ready to receive it. Ready to receive it.
Not one hesitation. So therefore, that's very identical to what you sign, find in Romans chapter 12, verse two. They the transformed with readiness of mind. They're ready to follow the good, perfect, acceptable will of God.
Doesn't matter. It doesn't matter where I go, doesn't matter what you want. I just want to be transformed because you invited me by your mercy
most often. Here are the three categories. A readiness. One is there's just no problem like the rich. Ruler that came to Jesus asking him, what good thing shall I do to have eternal life? In other words, if there's a second option out here physically or another alternative to what I'm already, what's going on, I'm really to do that.
But the thing about it is when it comes down, down to the readiness of the transformation, when somebody starts digging really, really deep into your life, God does, and he gets down to the nitty gritty of everything that's going on and reaches way down in there and he goes too deep. Then you resist it.
Or like this man, you turn away and you cry yourself to sleep. Or maybe some people say there is a problem, but it's not that big a deal. With King of Griping, the Book of Acts, chapter 26. Paul even said, king. I know you know, I know. But he said, almost that persuades me to be a Christian. It's not that big a thing.
But then there's some people like the Book of Mark chapter nine and Mark chapter Nine's case. There is a moment by which his father. He's looking for wishing for the heaving of his son. There are disciples that are there and they can't get rid of this dumb, evil spirit in this son. Even the question is asked, verse seven 17 rather, teacher, I brought thee under thee.
My son, who has dumb spirit. Takes him, he dashes him down, foams grinds his teeth pines away. Speak to the disciples. They can't cast him out. So how long is this gonna go on? How long is this gonna happen? How long is it gonna take place? He says there's a problem here. He recognizes it, but he knows, or it is gotta be a lot more work here because he mentions, Jesus says all things are possible to him.
That leaves. The father of the child cried out and said, I believe, help thy my unbelief. There's got, there's more work to be done in this. He is wanting to know, I want you to just tell me how, where do I start? What's the first step? Where do I need to, what do I need to do? That's a ready person that's wanting to be transformed into identity.
That God wants him to have in a disoriented world. Listen to that message. But how do I know I'm transformed?
Well, we'll talk about that in our worship service the next hour. Thank you very much for your time this morning.