An Offering Acceptable - or Not?
Date: 17 May, 2018
Text: Romans 12:1-2
Title: Sacrifice Acceptable - or Not?
ill. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyaho - dinner with Jamapaneze Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe. Celebrity Chef, Segev Moshe presented desert inside artfully crafted shoes.
A Japanese diplomat expressed his dismay to Israeli news outlet Yedioth Ahronoth.
“There is no culture in the world where you put shoes on a table,” the unidentified diplomat told the Hebrew-language paper, according to the Times of Israel.
“What exactly did the illustrious chef Segev think to himself? We can’t understand what he was trying to say here. If it is humor, then we don’t think it is funny. I can tell you we were offended on behalf of our prime minister.”
exp. Let's assume that it was done in ignorance - if so - how could someone be so ignorant of the Japaneze culture expecially someone who is hosting a meeting between heads of state.
app. I wonder today - how may Christians are ignorantly giving to God that which offends Him.
6 A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?
7 Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible.
8 And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts.
9 And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the LORD of hosts.
10 Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.
question: How could Israel have become so ignorant of what God expected? Rather than pleasing God with what they were offering - THEY WERE OFFENDING HIM.
WE NEED TO OFFER GOD AN ACCEPTABLE SACRIFICE. What have you given to Him this past week? If He were to tell you as plainly what He thinks about it - what would He say?
Our text: Romans 12:1-2. Paul tells us what kind of sacrifice is acceptable and how we need to go about giving that sacrifice to Him.
I. Give a surrendered sacrifice.
1 I beseech
exp. Paul doesn't command this sacrifice.
ill. Jesus - to the multitude - Luk 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
ill. Offerings are to be free will.
2Co 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
exp. Paul doesn't command - Paul challenges us to step up to this opportunity to sacrifice.
ill. When Mary offered the spikenard - she didn't have to - some protested - but Jesus was very pleased that Mary chose to give Him such a wonderul gift.
app. You will never give God that which is pleasing to Him if you do so grudgingly.
II. Give a personal sacrifice.
you therefore, brethren, .... that ye present.... your reasonable service....
ill. Jesus gave us a personal gift.
Joh 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
Joh 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
Mat 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
Joh 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
exp. Jesus gave us a personal gift.
ill. Mac giving a present from him to Katie - he had no idea what was in the bag. He is only a little guy. However, the older kids generously gave personal gifts to my wife. They love doing that individually. Why? Because it is a personal gift.
ill. There have been times when my wife purchased a gift for us for someone else - when they thank me for it I smile and act as if I knew about it. (Why - because it really wasn't a personal gift.)
app. What are YOU giving to Jesus? When we do our annual financial report on church and missions giving - do you have to smile and act as if you are participant. When we give a ministry report - do you have to smile and act as if you were involved. You say, "Pastor, that's personal." Yes - it is - GOD KNOWS WHAT you are giving him.
III. Give a proportional sacrifice.
by the mercies of God,
exp. Paul doesn't need a who list of arguments - He just says - Sacrifice because God sacrificed.
note: If we knew first hand the price Jesus paid - we would fall on our faces and weep. Oh, the mercy of God that would spare me God's wrath BUT TAKE EVERY PAYMENT FOR MY SIN FROM THE BROKEN BODY OF GOD'S SON.
ill. Would it stir your heart to hear an illustration of a free born man taking the place of a slave? Suppose this slave was in the most wicked of positions with a cruel master. Would you want me to tell you that the slave was forever indebted to the merciful act of his substitute? How would you want the story to end?
app. You and I are living that story. 2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
exp. Am I a proud man to dare command as my right those words - "Jesus be sin for me!" OH, THE MERCY OF GOD! GOD MADE HIM BE SIN FOR ME!
app. Won't you consider giving God a proportional sacrifice today! He gave everything for you!
IV. Give a precious sacrifice.
that ye present
exp. The verb present and the noun, present, are spelled the same.
note: As you present this sacrifice - you are offering to God a "present."
ill. Those of us who are parents, have had those, "Awe" moments when a little child comes in with a bunch of ragged weeds for his mom. A mother will often say, "That is soooo precious!"
exp. What we are giving to God is precious and is more so because it is given by us.
ill. In the story of the 10 lepers - only one gave God anything precious - God was robbed FROM RECEIVING WHAT ONLY THEY COULD GIVE.
exp. If everyone in our church what God wanted them to given - HE STILLS WANTS A PRECIOUS PRESENT FROM YOU.
app. Are you holding back from God today something only you can give? Give a precious sacrifice.
V. Give a fleshly sacrifice.
exp: God wants OUR FLESH TO BE SACRIFICED TO HIM.
1.) Because we can't obey God and the flesh.
Romans 8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
2.) Because we can't please God in the flesh.
Rom 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
3.) Because God's will can't be accomplished in the flesh.
Gal 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
exp. Giving a sacrifice of our body to Jesus will not happen without a consistent conscious decision to wakl in the Spirit and die to the flesh.
Romans 5:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
exp. Mortify means to put to death to kill.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
ill. Paul's example
1Co 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
app. How are you putting the flesh on the altar? What have you killed? (what appetites, what desires, what passions, what ambitions....) Give a fleshly sacrifice.
VI. Give a painful sacrifice.
a living sacrifice,
exp. Spiritual death is painful.
ill. Abraham and Isaac - Genesis 22:9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
exp. How willing are you to be bound and to allow the Father's knife to put your flesh to death?
ill. Drying out lure - hooking trouser leg and putting it into my finger - going to GP - had to allow him to push it the rest of the way through to cut it off - he numbed it first.
app. You won't be able to do it - but God will help those who willingly put there flesh on the altar. It may seem impossible to you - but God will help you. You WILL NEVER GIVE GOD WHAT HE ACCEPTS UNTIL YOU PUT YOUR BODY ON THE ALTAR.
VII. Give a pure sacrifice.
ill. Malachi's rebuke to the children of Israel was given because the sacrifice that represented Jesus Christ was UNLIKE THE PURITY OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. And the world saw it!
Mal 1:11 For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.
12 But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible.
exp. The heathen nations laughed at what Israel gave to their God. They gave so much more to their false gods....
exp. Our life represents the Lord Jesus Christ to the world. What do the heathen say about God based upon your sacrifice?
Mat 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
app. Believer - if it isn't holy. It isn't what God accepts.
VIII. Give a presentable sacrifice.
acceptable unto God,
exp. Not acceptable unto Paul. It was to be acceptable unto God!
ill. When I was growing up, I remember getting ready to go out with my family and hearing my mom or grandma say, "You can't go out like that. You are not presentable." It is an old way of saying, "Your hair is messy. Your shirt is untucked. You have dirt on your face." When you are going out - YOU OUGHT TO BE READY TO BE SEEN. The more mature you get - the MORE AWARE YOU OUGHT TO BE OF THAT NEED - AND HOPEFULLY NEVER GET CALLOUSED TO IT.
exp. If you are going to give it to God - you had best get it "presentable" first. If you are an older believer - this ought to be a habit - you should never grow out of this.
ill. Jesus instruction about worship - Matthew 5:23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
app. Is your sacrifice ready - WILL GOD ACCEPT IT?
IX. Give a normal sacrifice.
which is your reasonable service.
exp. Jesus sacrifice was exceptional - OUR'S IS NOT.
ill. Would it embarrass you if you served me at McDonalds and I reacted in the following way? Upon receiving my order, I hushed the whole restaraunt and proclaimed my praise and unbelief at the fact that you took my order and served me? Why? Because EVERYONE expects you to serve me because I am a customer and you are a McDonald's employee.
exp. You are not a GREAT CHRISTIAN if you sacrifice. You ought to sacrifice BECAUSE you are a christian.
Luk 17:10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
app. If you aren't sacrificing to God as this passage declares you should - you are not a NORMAL Christian! God would shake His head and marvel to think that His children are so unreasonable.
X. Give a principled sacrifice.
2 And be not conformed to this world:
exp. The principles of God's Word are principles of non conformity to the world.
ill. Great to have Boyd in our service last Sunday. Glanced at Google maps for Baptist Churches in Glasgow. As I clicked on their pages - I wasn't shocked - I was disturbed. If I couldn't read I would have thought I accidentally clicked on a nightclub webpage.
exp. GOD SAID NOT TO BE CONFORMED TO THE WORLD!
1 John 2:15-17
15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
app. Are you conformed to this world? It sounds like this, "But everybody does that." "Even these good churches are doing that." "I don't think God...." Take a STAND ON BIBLICAL PRINCIPLE AND GIVE GOD A SACRIFCE ACCEPTABLE.
XI. Give a pleasing sacrifice.
but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,
greek word - metamorpho - where we get metamorphosis. A COMPLETE CHANGE.
ill. I enjoy caterpillars - but I marvel at butterflies. If it wasn't for the fact that we can see this happening IT WOULD BE UNBELIEVABLE.
ill. Carl Lubin - grace of God has so changed Carl's life - he has been 'TRANSFORMED.'
app. Are you a butterfly or a caterpillar. Are you like Jesus Christ or like the world? Don't defend your ungodliness - LET GOD CHANGE YOU INTO A PLEASING SACRIFICE.
XII. Give an empowering sacrifice.
that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
exp. The sacrifice empowered them to know beyond doubt (prove) the good, acceptable and perfect, will of God. Without which - they were in spiritual darkness.
ill. Have you ever had a "light goes on" moment?
ill. Mom and dad - dad had an appointment for the dog and for himself. Mum asked dad about his Dr.'s appointment (dad told her about the vet) and said, "He said to sprinkle flea power around the bed."
exp. They got their wires crossed - but when the light went on everything made sense.
2 Peter 1:
5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off,
app. Christians who have not put their life on the altar in the ways which we have considered this morning - do not know the joy of being able to discern and know the mind of God. Give an EMPOWERING SACRIFICE.
Prime Minister Netanyahu (if ignorant) ought to be ashamed to have insulted the prime minister of Japan.
Are we insulting our Lord this morning? Do you know that you are offering Jesus is what He desires?
1.) A surrendered sacrifice.
2.) A personal sacrifice.
3.) A proportional sacrifice.
4.) A precious sacrifice.
5.) A fleshly sacrifice.
6.) A painful sacrifice.
7.) A pure sacrifice.
8.) A presentable sacrifice.
9.) A normal sacrifice.
10.) A principled sacrifice.
11.) A pleasing sacrifice.
12.) An empowering sacrifice.