By Garry Knighton
Church of Christ/North - Shreveport, La.
FOUNDATION PRINCIPLES OF CHRISTIAN DEDICATION
It is the desire of our God that we all become dedicated to His cause.
God does not like and will not tolerate one of His children sitting on the top
of the fence leaning one moment toward Him and the next toward the world.
That is not dedication.
You can tell dedicated people by just observing their lives and most important
interests. (Dedication shows).
We would all like to be dedicated people, but some of us lack the knowledge it
takes to be dedicated. Some lack the concern. Some lack the encouragement of others.
We need to set in our minds today that before God we must be dedicated people.
We do not have an option in this matter.
Today, let's lay down some "Foundation Principles of Christian Dedication."
THE GROUND OF DEDICATION... GOD'S MERCY - v. 1a.
Therefore - covers 1:16 - 11:36.
When you understand what God has done in your behalf, then you will begin to be dedicated.
A cure for sin - the gospel 1:16.
Brought us a realization of sin - 1:18-3:20.
Instructs us to understand Grace - 3:21-5:51.
Arranged for our Sanctification - 6:1-8:17.
Left us motivation to serve - 8:18-39.
We must realize that without God's mercy we would still be in our sins and hell bound.
What is mercy? - (a disposition to be kind and forgiving).
Mercy and justice are different.
Mercy can be rendered. (Salvation is a gift.)
Justice must be met. (It was met at the cross).
THE CHARACTER OF DEDICATION - v. 1b.
It is voluntary.
One cannot be forced to serve in the Lord's army.
Our service to God is by invitation... of the gospel - II Thess. 2:14.
One serves God out of love.
It is complete.
Notice the emphasis on the "Presentation of the bodies."
The body is external and it is important that it be part of our presentation before God.
I Thess. 5:23 - "And the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and
soul and body be preserved entire, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Our dedication must be more than intellectual. We must use the totality of our being in
service to God.
It is sacrificial.
Under the O.T. they would sacrifice dead bodies of animals to God. (Life was taken and it ended).
God does not want a one time thing; what He wants is a life time dedication.
We are to learn day by day how to use our bodies to serve God.
He is not speaking of "dying" for Christ.
Some "Ascetics" misunderstood this in 3, 4, 5th centuries.
Sacrifice has always been viewed as worship.
What Paul is saying is that we should worship God with every action of our bodies.
It is practical.
Present your bodies for service.
Our dedication must be practical in order for us to share it with the people of the world.
People are not impressed with how much a man knows as they are about how he can relate what
he knows to the everyday life's of others.
It is a lives and Logical service.
It is a thought through belief in what God has done in your behalf, which stimulates you to obey Him.
Not in what you feel - (Subjectivism).
Our dedication is based on what we have come to understand.
THE DEMAND OF DEDICATION - v. 2a.
"Be not fashioned according to this world,..." "age"
Every age of man thinks that their age has arrived.
In fashions, etc.
We must refuse to fall into the mold of the world.
We are influenced by the course of our age.
Dedicated sons and daughters of God must not be affected by the courses of this world.
"BUT, Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind..."
We need to have our mind "restructured" by God's ways.
God's word can restructure the minds of men.
THE EFFECT OF DEDICATION - v. 2b.
That you may prove the will of God.
This is to have lived with the Word of God and to have experienced it until you know it works.
"I know that God's precepts are good because I have lived and walked in them."
The information that you learn by study becomes a reality through everyday experience.
Are you dedicated to the service of God or are you just along for the ride?
We must remember that God will not tolerate His children unless they walk in a dedicated manner before Him.
Don't you want to express your desire to become a dedicated child of God today?
Dedicated people are the only kind of people who ever finish a task.
Will you be allowed to finish your journey to Heaven?
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