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Welcome to Refinery Life Australia.

Today we start a new series titled The Spiritual Struggle for the Renewal of the Church.

We need to cooperate with the Father God, who would prune out those branches, attitudes, ambitions, and actions that are counter productive, so that the church might bear much fruit.

Today we are talking about Renew My Church To Ministry.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, we thank you for life with al its privileges and joys.

We thank you for giving us the power to work and earn a living.

We come today bringing tithes and offerings as an indication of our desire to dedicate ourselves completely to you.

Help us that we might dedicate our bodies as living sacrifices of devotion to you, that others may see the beauty of your holiness and come to hunger for a knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Bless these tithes and offerings today so that others will come to know Jesus as Saviour and Friend.

In Jesus name we pray.

Amen.

Text

Romans 12:2 AMP

Dedicated Service

2 And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].

Scripture Reading

Romans 12:1-6 AMP

Dedicated Service

12 Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. 

2 And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].

3 For by the grace [of God] given to me I say to everyone of you not to think more highly of himself [and of his importance and ability] than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has apportioned to each a degree of faith [and a purpose designed for service]. 

4 For just as in one [physical] body we have many parts, and these parts do not all have the same function or special use, 

5 so we, who are many, are [nevertheless just] one body in Christ, and individually [we are] parts one of another [mutually dependent on each other]. 

6 Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to use them accordingly: if [someone has the gift of] prophecy, [let him speak a new message from God to His people] in proportion to the faith possessed

Ephesians 4:7-12 AMP

7 Yet grace [God’s undeserved favor] was given to each one of us [not indiscriminately, but in different ways] in proportion to the measure of Christ’s [rich and abundant] gift. 

8 Therefore it says,

“When He ascended on high,

He led captivity captive,

And He bestowed gifts on men.”

9 (Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had previously descended [from the heights of heaven] into the lower parts of the earth? 

10 He who descended is the very same as He who also has ascended high above all the heavens, that He [His presence] might fill all things [that is, the whole universe]). 

11 And [His gifts to the church were varied and] He Himself appointed some as apostles [special messengers, representatives], some as prophets [who speak a new message from God to the people], some as evangelists [who spread the good news of salvation], and some as pastors and teachers [to shepherd and guide and instruct], 

12 [and He did this] to fully equip and perfect the saints (God’s people) for works of service, to build up the body of Christ [the church];

Introduction

God’s plan for the church is for each person to present themselves as a living sacrifice, not conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewing of the mind, fully demonstrating God’s will.

Further, it is God’s will that all members of the body function according to the measure of faith God has imparted to them and minister as the grace of God directs them.

So the prayer goes on.

“Renew our church! Make it a church where every member of the body answers the call to the ministry of believers.”

What does this mean?

Look at it from two view points.

  1. Scriptural understanding of a universal ministry.
  1. Romans 12:3-6.
  1. Paul spoke of the grace given to him.

2. God has given all believers a measure of faith to express but not all to the same degree.

3. All believers are members of the body of Christ, but not all have the same function.

However, all believers have a ministry.

4. All believers have gifts given to them by grace, but not all have the same gift.

This Scripture passage calls us to be renewed in our minds toward the church because God has given every member of the body a call to ministry.

We are not to think more highly of ourselves, rather we are to think more soberly.

B. Ephesians 4:7-12 adds to this concept. 

  1. Every believer is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. (Ephesians 4:7)

Every Believer!

This compares with Romans 12:3.

2. God gives some gifts to believers so they can prepare other believers for ministry.

Paul said that God gave different believers different roles to fulfil, Ephesians 4:12 says, [and He did this] to fully equip and perfect the saints (God’s people) for works of service, to build up the body of Christ [the church];

God gives gifts not to be hidden or neglected, but to fulfil His purpose.

Are you building the body or hindering it?

Furthermore, Ephesians 4:7-12 agrees with the passage that says all believers have been created in Christ Jesus for good works, (Ephesians 2:10) and with the truth that all believers are priests, (Romans 1:6, 1 Peter 2:5-10).

Although our gifts and ministries may differ, no believer is exempt from serving God to build up the body of Christ.

Therefore, as Christians, let us know our gifts, our ministries, let us value our gifts as precious from the Lord, let us accept them with spiritual satisfaction, and let us use them to fulfil Christ’s gracious calling!

2. Practical application of a universal ministry.

Since Christians form a universal ministry, several practical applications can be made.

  1. Christ is the head of the church, ministering through His body.

Just as He ministered on earth, He now ministers through us.

B. If we confine ministry to the pastor or the church staff, we miss God’s plan for the church.

This confines too many people to a work that is too big to be done.

C. Everybody is a servant, not a spectator.

We must leave the stands and get on the playing field.

We must leave the balcony and get on the stage.

All are players, God is the coach!

All are actors, God is the director!

D. There will be a price to pay.

We must die to self and live in obedience to God’s perfect plan.

This is why Romans 12:1 precedes 12:3.

Commitment calls for a living sacrifice!

E. If we are to go into battle, we need to be trained and equipped.

Troops need to be trained.

All believers are to be part of the crew, God has no passenger list, that is, no one should be merely along for the ride.

Conclusion.

There is nothing significant about me, but I have decided to identify myself with something that is greater and would last longer than I will.

Ive given myself to the Lord Jesus Christ and His church and will.

As I think back on this decision, I know I have not made a mistake about it.

All that is worthwhile to me know is wrapped up in that decision.

My pray is that is true for all of us!

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us

2021 IS A YEAR OF REFORMATION

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