Grasping the Concept of Lent
Paul in Romans 12:1-3 provides a great challenge to those who have confessed Jesus Christ as Lord. He calls upon those who have embraced the Gospel of Jesus Christ, experienced justification (5:1-11) and now live under the authority of the Holy Spirit (8:1-17) to offer themselves as sacrifices unto God.
Paul declares that as a result of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ those who confess him are now called to submit themselves as instruments of God’s will through consecration. This consecration involves the intentional yielding of oneself to the desires of Jesus Christ. This offering or intentional yielding of one’s self now takes on the character of the offerings/sacrifices in the Old Testament. Because of Jesus Christ, the offering of one now is “holy” and “acceptable” as was the requirement of the lamb used in the Old Testament sacrifice system.
What is the key to one’s willingness to make such a sacrifice? What aids greatly in one’s ability to embrace sacrifice and service as a lifestyle? The key is found in Romans 12:2. In v. 2, it is shown that the worshiper who serves and sacrifices must have a transformed mind. The idea of transformation is twofold. First, it is grounded in a full embrace of the process of inner change, and second it rejects the world system, which contradicts the will of God. This means that doing the will of God is inexplicably linked to one’s willingness to endure the process of change, which results in the offering or sacrifice of oneself.
The Lenten Season is powerful because is provides the individual an opportunity to begin transformation with the support of a communal setting, the church. During this period and beyond, the idea of sacrifice and service are important concepts that we can make plans to pursue. During this season of repentance, self-denial, and prayer, we should strive to find meaningful ways to live out our faith. The Lenten Season allows us to seek out ways to redemptively involve ourselves in our community and the world through the local church. Thus, in a world that can be ruggedly individualistic, we now find communal participation through the Lenten Season.
The transformation of our minds from a self-directed orientation to one that seeks service and sacrifice will lead us to engage in acts of compassion and mercy. The rejection of a societal pathos of selfishness and over indulgence will lead to a new understanding of worship. In the end, the authentic spirit of sacrifice birthed from a transformed mind leads to a fresh and exciting life of service, which is true worship.
Our Vision – Come Join Us Today
We will utilize all our resources to provide a Christ-centered setting where people in this community can be redeemed to a personal relationship with Christ, reconciled to God and his people, restored to wholeness, to well being, and revived for a full life involved in service to others. In this church you can be redeemed, reconciled, restored, and revived.
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