Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that believers are called to respond to God’s mercy by loving people. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to respond to God’s mercy, by loving people.
Read Romans 12:1-2
I. The Surrender of Self. In our Sunday School material Paul calls on his readers to consider the mercy of God. Because God has been so merciful, he urges them to give their bodies as living sacrifices.
This will call for being transformed into God’s will, instead of simply conforming to the world. In so doing, they will see God’s good, pleasing, and perfect will.
- Siblings in Christ. Notice in vs. 1 that Paul urges his siblings. First, as believers, we should love one another as siblings in Christ. We should not be friendly strangers, in our own church.
Second, loving someone should lead to our urging them to live a godly life. Living by God’s will is the best thing we can do. Anything less leads to unnecessary stress in our lives. Let’s work on developing sibling love for our fellow believers.
- Responding to God’s mercy. Notice in vs. 1 that the God’s mercy should prompt us to offer our bodies as living sacrifices.
First, think about how good God has been to you. We can start with being saved from Hell, so we can have eternal life with God.
We can add more food to eat than we need, more clean clothes to wear than we need, and a safe shelter over our heads, which places us well above many people in this world. We can add the immaterial blessings of peace of mind, joy of heart, and hope in God.
Second, God has been so merciful to us that it should just make sense to us to give our bodies/lives to Him. Think about how to whom much is given, much is required.
Think about how since God has already been so good, how much more can be expected, if we totally obey His will. Let’s work on responding to God’s mercy with total obedience.
- Being transformed, instead of conforming. Notice in vs. 2 that believers are called to transformation, not conformity.
First, think about how we are to be in the world but not of the world. Our purpose, values, and vision for living should not be a simply duplication of what the world urges us to pursue.
Second, transformation calls for renewing our minds. This calls for prayerful study and obedience to God’s word. Obeying God’s word will often call for denying our preferences (i.e., denial of self). Let’s work on being transformed to God’s will, instead of conforming to the world’s will.
- God’s perfect will. Notice in vs. 2 that God’s will for our lives is good, pleasing, and perfect. Think about how God already has a marvelous plan for our lives. All we have to do is discover and obey His will, and we will see that God’s ways are best for us.
Now, think about how there are ways that seem right to us, but they end in death. In other words, any way that is not of God is leading us to death, but God’s ways are leading to life and that more abundantly. Let’s work on pursuing God’s perfect will for our lives.
II. The Law of Love. In our Sunday School material Paul talks about how his readers should only owe the debt of loving one another.
The commands regarding no adultery, no stealing, and the like are summed up in the command to love neighbors as self. Love is the fulfillment of the law.
- Financial debt. Notice in vs. 8 that believers are urged to let no financial debt remain outstanding.
It is tearful to see how many people owe more on their credit card debt with double digit compounding interest than they have in any kind of investment with compounding interest.
This means they are going out the world backwards. As believers, we should work on earning high, spending low, so we can invest.
This includes paying off our debts to avoid interest payments, so we can have more to invest for financial priorities like retirement, homeownership, education, etc. Let’s be wise stewards of our finances.
- Loving people. Notice in vss. 8-10 believers should feel the need to continuously love people. Loving people is the fulfillment of the law.
First, there is a difference between loving a person and like them. Love is about being kind, whether you want to be or not. Think about customer service at a restaurant or bed side manner in a hospital.
Like, on the other hand, has to do with what you enjoy. God is calling us to love one another, even when we don’t like one another.
Second, since love is the fulfillment of the law, a person cannot be disciple or mature Christian without loving people.
This means you can have a great Sunday School and worship attendance records, but without loving people, you are still lacking one of the greatest parts of being a Christian. Let’s work on loving people.
Conclusion: Let’s work on responding to God’s mercy, by loving people. God has much for those who obey His will.Please click here to let us know, if this has been quality and helpful information for you (i.e., make sure you let us know the name of the article). Feel free to share your questions and comments about the article as well.