ADDRESS

20 Norman Spencer Dr
Auckland 2104, NZ

Romans 12 – How to Respond to the Calling? 罗马书 12 – 如何回应蒙召             

Friday, 10th December 2021

Rev Daniel Xi An Poon

Section One V1-2 To Offer

Paul was telling the Israelites and the Gentiles what kind of God our God is. By grace, we are chosen by God, He has already prepared for us before He called us, and as the ones being called by God, how do we respond? When God called Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, Abraham did not argue, but obeyed God’s Will and prepared to offer

V1 ‘I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.’ How to present our bodies as a living sacrifice? In Matthew 5:25, it says, ‘If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.’ God wants us to present our whole body, which belongs to the world, as a living sacrifice. Not just the flesh but everything the world has taught us, our values, our logical thinking, our knowledge… are we willing to lay down all these in front of the alter? To set apart, to burn and to let go. From the day we respond to God’s calling, to accept Jesus as our personal Saviour and to be baptised in front of the church, then we are to offer ourselves to God.

V2 ‘And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.’ To renew our mind is like what Jesus says in Luke 24:45, ‘And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.’ We need a new attitude, a new perspective, and a new way of thinking to enter this new life. When a baby is born, they come with nothing, they don’t feel ashamed, and they will simply receive everything they are taught. To be renewed is different to ‘to be updated’ or ‘to be upgraded’, because it is not built upon any original knowledge or any baseline data. To be renewed is to be completely turned into a new creation, we should not interpret God’s Word with the old ways we use to interpret the voices of the world. But to let the old-self die, the old is gone and the new is here!

In the Kingdom of God, we must learn to be like a child, to think simpler, to believe easier, to format the past old habits of the world, and to down the new life from the Heaven. God told Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, they had to let go of everything they knew, and to fully rely on God. They did not know where they were going, when God told them to go, then they would go; when God told them to stop then they would stop. Are we afraid of the unknown? Do we have the same faith to follow? On this path of following God, we also need to examine ourselves every day, to see if our old self has come back from our behaviour, our mouth, or our thoughts? Stop giving ourselves excuses, we can receive strength and victory in God. The devil will lie to us, it will continue to drag us back to our old life, therefore, we must offer our whole body as a living sacrifice. What is the life God has given to us? Paul was talking to the Christians in Rome, asking them to respond, not just to talk about it.

Section Two V3-8 To Focus

V3 ‘For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.’ We are called and we offered, but what is in our heart? When we come across the challenges and hardship, what is our focus? It’s easy for us to focus on our problems, but we must focus on our God.

V4-5 ‘For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.’ When we come together s one body in Christ, we will show God our unity. What is unity? It’s not just about coming together to do one project. We must first offer ourselves, let down our own thinking and mindset before coming into unity. Everyone has different gifts; we are not all to be pastors, teachers, or prophets. First, we must have our life right, because when our life is not right, everything we do will not be done with the right purposes. The gifts are given from God freely, not because of how good we are, therefore, we should focus on our gifts from God, for the purpose of the unity of the church.

If we want other people’s gifts, we are being prideful, because we don’t treasure the gifts we have, we don’t believe God has given us the best, and we want what God has given to other people. When God puts us in one place, to give our certain responsibilities, then we must believe God has His best intention and purpose for us. When we do, God will take care of everything else for us.

Section Three V9-21 To Action

V9 ‘Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.’ Our belief is not just a philosophy, but this is a lifestyle we can live out! When we love our brothers as ourselves, we see them as our own, we love on the surface as well as in our hearts. V10-13 ‘Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honour giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.’ Be joyful in hope, not until good things happen but to know God is in control and we can be joyful. Be patient in hardship, do not focus on the problem, but to see God is greater than all our troubles.

It’s difficult to stay joyful in hope and to stay patient in tribulation; therefore, Paul also said we must continue to pray steadfastly, then our faith will be firm, we will rely on God more than relying on people. Furthermore, Paul mentioned here to distribute to the needs of the saints, do we see the needs of our authority? Do we really love them? If we cannot love our authority, then we cannot love God. Bread of Life Christian Church in South Auckland is a church of hospitality, we love all the pastors and visitors, and accommodate them welcomingly. Our church needs to grow, to be stronger in God, and to build up a bigger team. Let us be willing to take the responsibilities as the body of Christ, to pray for the revival of our church, to see the blessings come to our congregation, and to give God our best.

V14-16 ‘Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.’ May God give us a compassionate heart, not to look down on others, but to love one another.

V17-19 ‘Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.’ Have faith in God, do not let the world overcomes us, but overcome the world in the presence of God and the help of the Holy Spirit. Do we believe God will take vengeance for us? We are not here to fight for ourselves, but to work in partnership with God, to believe God rules and reigns in our lives, in our families, in our church and in our community. We are the ones being called, so be willing to offer, to focus and to action. Don’t let the Word of God stays in our head our knowledge, but to stay in our heart so we can live it out!

罗马书 12 – 如何回应蒙召             

2021年12月10日 星期五

潘锡安牧师 

我们的生命是属于谁呢?当我们认识神的属性的时候,我们要如何回应蒙召?

一、要摆上 v.1-2

当神呼召亚伯拉罕献以撒的时候,亚伯拉罕毫不犹豫的带着儿子上山献祭,他有一颗全然为主摆上的心。

V1 “慈悲”原文是“怜悯”。保罗劝我们“将身体献上,当做活祭”- “身体”指的是“全身”(马太福音5:29),我们所有属于世界的东西(不仅是肉体)都要摆上,包括我们价值观、是非观 – 我们要愿意将这一切摆在祭坛上烧尽。我们信主得救的就是蒙召的人,我们要愿意将过往的是非对错献上,这是“理所当然的”,不能用过去的软弱当借口。当我们带人信主的时候,我们要教导他们,如今我们有新的生命了,过去的价值观都要放弃。承认耶稣基督是我们个人救主的时候就是在回应神的呼召。

V2 “心意”的原文出于 路加福音24:45 :“于是耶稣开他们的心窍,使他们能明白圣经”。我们的思维模式、价值观、想法、态度要更新而变化。新生儿出生后不会因为赤身露体而觉得羞愧,人长大后才开始意识到“不好意思”。我们被罪控诉,所以觉得羞愧。“更新”跟现在的电脑手机的软件更新是不一样的,不是在旧有的程式上面加新的东西,而是指从完全的“没有”变成“有”。我们要放下自己旧有的思维态度,让旧事死亡、过去,一切才变成新的。当我们用旧有的思维模式来尝试明白天国的真理,我们是看不懂的,唯有回转像小孩子一样,谦卑顺服、舍己利他,才能明白天国。当神说话的时候,我们只需要单纯去相信,就看得懂听得明圣经了。神叫我们走,我们就走,不要害怕。我们每一天都要“察验”自己是否又活出了旧的习惯,我们所想、所言、所行是否符合天国的价值观:先神后人再大地?当我们回应蒙召的时候,我们要将自己的“我”放下,不要把自己的过去当作软弱的借口,因为我们已经受洗接受耶稣,是可以靠主得力的。我们要相信,要宣告,唯有摆上自己才能在生命中彰显神的荣耀。

二、要专一 v.3-8

V3 “恩”指的是神给他的恩典使他能够站在这里跟大家说话。我们能有成就,不是因为靠着自己的能力经验,而是都是有神的恩典。我们看到神的恩典,就不会过着doing的生活,不会“看自己过于所当看的”。有“恩典”是因为我们本来“不配”,当我们看到这一点后我们的态度就不一样,我们就不会放大、抱怨生活中的问题,而是凡事感恩。在狂风暴雨中我们能看到神,别人也能看到我们的神,这才是真正的“信”。保罗对我们说”不要看自己过于所当看的,要照着神所分给各人信心的大小,看得合乎中道”。我们看自己要承认自己本来就是不行的,但感谢主,“靠着那加给我力量的凡事都能做”。我们经历神不是在一帆风顺的时候,耶稣在海上面对风浪时可以斥责风斥责海,周围的人就看到神。

V4-5 我们每个人都不一样,但在主里要合一。现在的人所讲的合一可能指的是一起做一件工程,但圣经里的“合一”是不会分门别类的。我们不会在合一的教会中不认同彼此的领受,不然身体就会生出癌细胞。“合一”是在同一个水流中,一个身体的脚若往前、手却要往后,这个身体就动弹不得。我们若带着自己的想法进入教会,没有学习“摆上”,就没有真正的“合一”。我们现在所在乎的“自由”其实就是当初亚当夏娃要吃分辨善恶树上的果子的“自由”,这不是圣经所宣导的。

V6-8 每个人的恩赐都不同,当我们不是牧师的时候,不要以为自己是新约“祭司”就当自己是牧师 – 因为牧师是有权柄的。我们若有恩赐说预言,就要“照着信心的程度说” – 我们自己生命达到什么程度,我们的预言就到什么程度,不然会很危险。当我们生命不对的时候,我们做什么都不对,就算能说预言那又如何呢?预言是说给别人听的,而别人都会从我们的生命看我们是如何跟随神。恩赐是神白白给我们的,我们可以去渴慕。凡事都当“专一”,要专注在神给我们的那一份恩赐上,不要羡慕别人有但我们自己没有的恩赐,陷入分辨善恶树。神将我们放在一个地方,我们就在那里专一,若我们不满意却想要跑到另一个地方,我们其实是骄傲。若是自己的选择我们就要自己扛责任,若跟从神,神就为我们负责。

三、要行出来 v.9-21

V9 我们的信仰不是一个帮助人的理念,而是能够活出来的生命。当我们知道有些人是不好的时候,我们不要用“传福音”为借口一直跟他们混在一起,要懂得适可而止。

V10 当时的人见面的礼节是“亲嘴”- 我们爱弟兄是否愿意有这样亲密的心,还是表面很好,心里却怨恨咒骂那人?

V11 殷勤不是由早到晚的doing, 而是“不可懒惰”- 懒惰就是在该做事的时候不做事,比如该晨祷的时候却赖床,没有“攻克己身叫身服我”。只要不懒惰,就可以成为殷勤的人。”心里火热” – 当权柄吩咐我们做事的时候,不要抱怨,而要感恩自己能有服事的机会。

V12 在事情还没有发生的时候我们就要喜乐,在“患难中”还相信神依然掌权。我们不要将问题放大,而是将神放大。我们若只看到自己的问题,让“患难”成为我们的山洞,我们就永远“不行”,要看到神能够,要恒切祷告。当我们祷告的时候,神已经听到了,但“恒切祷告”是帮助我们,因为我们信心软弱,我们会担心,唯有在祷告中才能将心里的一切小剧场交托给神,让我们信心坚定。当问题重复出现时,我们就祷告,就不会倚靠人大过倚靠神。

V13 我们对待神是否只是从神那里拿东西?神渴慕我们与他互动,这才是真的爱神。我们对待我们的牧者是否也只是doing的角度却没有爱?我们看到牧者要像看到神一样去招待。我们是否看到身边传道人的缺乏之处?是否愿意去“款待”我们身边的传道人?能否去供应牧师师母,让他们可以专心传道、牧养神的教会?我们要茁壮成长起来,愿意奉献给牧养我们的牧者,因为“工人得工价是应当的”。我们不要只看到自己的问题,要相信神的供应。

V14 耶稣基督在十字架上 已经做了最好的“爱”的榜样。

V15 我们要有怜悯的心,不要论断别人。

V16 不要看不起别人。

V17-20 要相信神掌权,他是看顾我们的神,在我们的敌人面前为我们摆设筵席,所以要相信他所说的“申冤在我,我必报应”。

V21 我们不要让世界胜过我们,而是在神的同在中,在圣灵的帮助下活出神的良善和爱,我们就能胜过恶。

我们蒙召的人,要摆上、要专一、也要身体力行行出我们的信仰!