Today begins a two-part sermon series—based on the twelfth chapter of Romans—titled “Bringing Faith to Life.” Today we hear the author of Romans plead with his readers, “by the mercies of God, present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God…do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your minds…”
In modern times we have tended to over-personalize these words, seeing our relationship with God and our “living sacrifice” as private matters only. But Paul is writing these words to the entire Body of Christ, making clear that our “living sacrifice” involves taking part in the life and mission of Christ’s church by humbly serving where the Holy Spirit directs us.
John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement in England, once observed “there can be no holiness apart from social holiness.” He meant that while a “Lone Ranger” approach to living the Christian life might take us far in this world, but it cannot take us home. For our faith to truly come to life, we must humbly take our place within the whole Body of Christ. The Body of Christ is where true transformation occurs.