Keep Fueled and Aflame
Big Idea: The Apostle’s letter to the church in Rome could have been written personally to Northside Church. Its practical advice can simply be summarized “keep healthy in your soul”.
Scripture: Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Romans 12:11 MSG
The Church in Rome, Italy was likely started by somebody who had been in Jerusalem during the Passover when the Holy Spirit fell in power. Rome was the very heart of Pagan Caesar worship. A person who greeted another by saying “Jesus is Lord” rather than “Caesar is Lord” was subject to a charge of Treason. Polytheism was acceptable, but no exclusive worship of another god. So I want you to know that no one speaking by the Spirit of God will curse Jesus, and no one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:3 ESV
Paul wrote this letter to the Churches in Italy to clarify both, what we believe as followers of Jesus, and how we should behave as Christian citizens. In the first half of the letter, he teaches sound doctrine and in the second half of Romans, about practical living.
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 ESV
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them:
if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving;
the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
Romans 12:2-8 ESV
Let love be genuine.
Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
Love one another with brotherly affection.
Outdo one another in showing honour.
Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
Live in harmony with one another.
Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.
Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. Romans 12:9-17 ESV
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God,
for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on
his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:18-21 ESV
Communion: Once a month, we celebrate what we call “Communion”,
or “The Lord’s Supper” or “Eucharist”. It’s one of the two ordinances
that Jesus commanded us to practice. Baptism is one and the other is
the regular celebration of Communion. The reason that we practice
this is to remind ourselves that everything we enjoy as Believers —
God’s love and Forgiveness, his power to live a godly life, as well as
his peace and joy, is rooted in the fact that Jesus paid the debt we
each owe for our sin. Through his death on the cross, we have free
access to an eternal relationship with God.
But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.
When you come together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat.
For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes
hungry, another gets drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat
and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate
those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend
you in this? No, I will not. 1 Corinthians 11:17-21 ESV
For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the
Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink
the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord.
Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 1 Corinthians 11:22-28 ESV
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