Romans 12:3-10      Measure Your Faith

Rev. David Holwick  I                                   50-Day Adventure

First Baptist Church                                         Week 4

Ledgewood, New Jersey                   [no week 3 due to emergency trip]

March 18, 2001

Romans 12:3-10


MEASURE YOUR FAITH



  I. There's something for us all to do.

      A. A week when I focused on my own family's needs.  (death of mom)

          1) Details on her last week.


      B. We arrive home only to find that many are in hospitals.

          1) Some are just as serious as my mom.

          2) Sometimes it seems so overwhelming.


II. Churches can make good hospitals.

      A. Ancient metaphor sees church as a hospital for sinners.

          1) Jesus: "I have not come to call the healthy, but the

                sick to repentance."

          2) Context shows that he considered ALL of us to be sick.

              a) Evidence in the church supports it!

              b) We have emotional, physical and spiritual problems.

              c) This means there is a lot to work with.


      B. The church should be a place of healing.

          1) Only the sick need healing.

              a) Sick people tend to focus on their own needs.

                  1> My mom wanted to be turned several times an hour.

                  2> (but when she no longer wanted to be turned, the

                        end was near.)

              b) Sick people aren't always fun to be around.

          2) But as healing comes, there is great joy.


      C. We have the privilege of serving others.

          1) It is a case of the sick helping the sick.

          2) None of us are perfect, but all of us can help.


III. Body language.

      A. Paul often describes a church as a body.

          1) It should all hang together.

              a) (even if we seem to be rejecting some limbs.)

              b) We do not have the option of amputation like the guy

                    in Australia.

          2) As Paul says in verse 5, we belong to each other.

              a) We should be devoted to one another.

              b) We should honor one another, even above ourselves.


      B. Each of us has a unique part to play.

          1) Our part is given to us by God.        12:6

              a) Everyone gets something.

          2) What we are given, we must use.


      C. These "spiritual gifts" are not limited to the supernatural.

          1) In Corinthians they focus on tongues and healing.

          2) Here, Paul emphasizes works of ministry.


IV. Areas of service.

      A. Prophesying.

          1) We associate it with predicting future events.

          2) It is more often the offering of guidance from the Spirit

                or God's word for the church in particular situations.

          3) It is a basic element in preaching, but is not limited

                to preachers.

          4) Seek to apply spiritual insight for others.

              a) In proportion to our faith - literally, "the faith."

              b) It must jive with the true of the gospel.


      B. Serving.

          1) Greek "diakonia" from which we get "deacons."

              a) Literally it means waiting on tables.

              b) Emphasizes the personal service we do for others.

          2) Note that it precedes the important gift of teaching.

              a) (we don't tend to value waiters that much.)

              b) Key statement about Jesus - he did not come to be served

                    but to serve, and give his life for others.


      C. Teaching.

          1) More general than prophecy.  Includes the whole will of God.

          2) Basic principles of Bible we can apply to life.


      D. Encouraging.

          1) The term depicts someone who is called alongside another

                as a helping companion.

          2) The Apostle John says the Holy Spirit will do this to us.

              a) We should also come close to others.


      E. Generosity.

          1) Paul emphasizes the spirit of giving rather than the

                thing given.

          2) The word carries the idea of giving without second thoughts,

                ulterior motives, or divided allegiances.


      F. Leadership.

          1) Be diligent.  It has a sense of urgency.


      G. Acts of mercy.

          1) Do it with cheerfulness.

          2) It is not a burden but an act of love.


  V. There is joy in serving others.

      A. Ancient Chinese proverb says, if you want to be happy for...


               An hour - take a nap.

               A day - go fishing.

               A month - get married.

               A year - inherit a fortune.

               A lifetime - help someone.

                                                                    #4276

      B. Ministry has healing powers.


         Years ago, Dr. Karl Menninger of the Menninger Clinic was asked,

            "If someone felt a nervous breakdown coming on, what would

                you suggest that he do?"


         "If you feel a nervous breakdown coming on, I would urge you

             to find somebody else with a problem - a serious one - and

                get involved with that individual."


         In helping him to solve his problem, then in reality your own

            problem is going to disappear.


         You're no longer thinking internally.

         You're no longer letting things gnaw at your stomach.

         You're no longer getting disturbed about yourself because

            you're not thinking about yourself.

         You're thinking about others.

                                                                    #6694


      C. It only works if you get involved.

          1) 50-Day Adventure focuses on ministry to other people.

              a) Anonymous acts of kindness.

              b) Doing what Jesus would do.

          2) It may not be what you expect in church.


             Evangelist D. L. Moody once said, "A great many people

                have a false idea about the Church.


             They have the idea that the Church is a place to rest in ...

                to get into a nicely cushioned pew,

                   and contribute to the charities,

                      listen to the minister,

                and do their share to keep the church out of bankruptcy.

             That is all they want.

             The idea of work for them - actual work in the Church -

                never enters their mind."

                                                                   #19152


          3) Make it enter your mind!


VI. What are you willing to do for Jesus?



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Although this sermon was part of a "50-Day Adventure," this sermon did

  not follow the ones in that series.


SOURCES FOR ILLUSTRATIONS USED IN THIS SERMON:


# 4276  "Chinese Proverb," from "Gunderson's Best Illustrations," by

           Rev. Glenn Gunderson, Pomona, California.


# 6694  "Menninger Quote," from Roddy Chestnut's illustrations.


#19152  "Work Never Enters Their Mind," quoted by Rev. Steve Bell in

           50-Day Adventure sample sermon, 2001, B.125.


These and 17,000 others are part of a database that can be downloaded,

absolutely free, at http://www.holwick.com/database.html

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Commentary used:


"New International Biblical Commentary: Romans," by James R. Edwards,

   Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, Massachusetts, 1992.




Copyright 2017 by Rev. David Holwick

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