No Reserve, No Retreat, No Regrets

I. Our Decisive Commitment (12:1)

A. The Basis of the Commitment —The Mercies of God

“We owe an enormous spiritual debt to God—a debt we can’t begin to pay. There is no way we can make it good. The gospel tells us that Jesus Christ paid our debt, but it also tells us far more. It tells us that we are no longer enemies and objects of His wrath. We are now His sons and daughters, heirs with Jesus Christ of all His unsearchable riches…

“We can’t begin to appreciate the good news of the Gospel until we see our deep need. Most people, even people who have already become believers, have never given much thought to how desperate our condition is outside of Christ. Few people ever think about the dreadful implications of being under the wrath of God. And… none of us even begins to realize how truly sinful we are.”—Jerry Bridges, The Gospel for Real Life (17)

B. The Nature of the Commitment —Total, Acceptable, and Rightful

“This is as bold a call to total commitment as there is anywhere in the sacred writings. It applies equally to all – to the professor, to the preacher, to the pianist, to high schoolers – to everyone! It is for the entire Church. We must put away the medieval thinking that makes a distinction between clergy and laity – the idea that ministers and missionaries should have 100 percent commitment, but the laity is permitted 75 percent, or 30, or . . . The truth is, all believers are called to be totally committed to Christ.” —Kent Hughes, Romans (207)

II. Our Daily Resistance and Pursuit (12:2)

A. The Resistance: “Do not be conformed to this world…”

“Because secularism is in the saddle, it follows that the Christian mind is suspicious of fashionable current conformities.” Harry Blamires, The Christian Mind

B. The Pursuit: “But be transformed…”

“Do not be conformed to this age…” Pressure from outside in “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its mold…” (J.B. Phillips)
“…but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” Power from inside out “And we all, …beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another” (2 Cor 3:18)

“As we answer the call to commitment, we are called to voice a monumental ‘no’ to the schemes of this fleeting age and a determined ‘yes’ to the transforming work of the Holy Spirit in renewing our minds. The ‘no’ without the ‘yes’ will lead to a life of futile negation. The ‘yes’ without the ‘no’ will lead to frustration because Christ will not dwell in Satan’s house. These are not suggestions but are rather imperial commands to be obeyed by all.” —Kent Hughes, Romans (209)

C. The Process of Transformation: “…by the renewal of your mind.”

“Who is there tonight who can always see the shadow of the Cross falling upon his bank account? Who is there who has the mark of the nails and the print of His spear in the plans [of his] life, his love and devotion and daily program of intercession? Who is there who has heard the word of Jesus and is quietly, obediently, every day, as He has told you and me, taking up his cross to follow Him?” —Samuel Zwemer, missionary to the Muslim world

D. Our Resulting Experience: “the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

“If it were possible for me to alter any part of his plan, I could only spoil it.” —John Newton

“Suffering there was, intense and prolonged, for Borden was fighting the bravest fight of all his life. But he was not alone. Had not his prayer from childhood been that the will of God should be done in his life? There was no shrinking now… No reserve, no retreat, no regrets had any place in Borden’s consecration to God.” —Mrs. Howard Taylor, William Borden (235)