A small group Bible study based on a Sunday morning sermon at Gateway Community Church Perth, I thought others might be able to use
“Our refusal to conform to this world’s values… must go even deeper than the level of behaviour and customs—it must be firmly planted in our minds—‘be transformed by the renewing of your mind.’ It is possible to avoid most worldly customs and still be proud, covetous, selfish, stubborn, and arrogant. Only when the Holy Spirit renews, reeducates, and redirects our minds are we truly transformed.”
12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. NIV
12 1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognise what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you THE MESSAGE
12 And so, dear brothers and sisters,] I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. NLT
12 1-2 With eyes wide open to the mercies of God, I beg you, my brothers, as an act of intelligent worship, to give him your bodies, as a living sacrifice, consecrated to him and acceptable by him. Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity. JB PHILIPS
USE ANY OR ALL THE QUESTIONS BELOW
What if anything did you feel God say to you, and us as the church on Sunday through these verses?
Read the four translations above several times, which one phrase stood out to you most? Why do you think you were drawn to?
When Paul speaks about “GOD’S Mercy” he means the way that God has treated us. Read the following verses from Romans that describe GOD’S mercies to us, Romans 3:23-24, 5:6-8, 8:1-2, 8:31-39, what one word sums up your response to GOD’S mercies? What response does Paul call for?
Why do you think Paul reminds us of GOD’S mercies before he asks us to present our lives to God as a living sacrifice ? Which part of your life are you most tempted not to offer to God wholly and entirely as a living sacrifice ?
Chuck Swindoll commenting on this verse said “The problem with living sacrifices is that they keep crawling off the altar.” What do you think he meant? Is he right? How do people “crawl off” the altar?
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed” …. If you had to explain that sentence to a new Christian how would you do it? how would you explain how it happens? How do we live fully for God in our “front line” without conforming to the values of the world that surrounds us there? P
We want Gateway to be a church where people are entirely consecrated to God (living sacrifices) are living an alternative lifestyle (do not conform & test and approve GOD’S Will) and are being radically changed into the likeness of Jesus (be transformed) ….. What practical steps should you as a believer take to see this happening in your life? What should we do as a community do when we are together in worship, small groups etc to encourage and enable us to become the kind of church Paul envisages here?
Given all we have discussed and what GOD’S Word has said, what should we pray for?