THERE ARE CERTAIN IMPLICATIONS and responses called for from Christians after recognising the great God whom we serve, said Bishop Dr Robert Solomon in his sermon at the Closing Service of the 37th Session of Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference (ETAC), held at Tamil Methodist Church (Short Street) on Nov 10, 2012.
He highlighted four responses that were evident in Romans 12:1-8. The first response is consecration, as Paul urges Christians in the first verse to offer themselves as “living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship”. The Bishop said, “God prefers obedience more than sacrifices on the altar. The day that the self is put on the cross is the day that the living sacrifice comes alive.”
Consecrating ourselves to God leads to the second response of transformation, as mentioned in Romans 12:2, with the renewal and repair of our minds and the redirection of our energy and focus to the things of God. Therefore, the Church’s meetings, decisions and process would be different from those in the world.
The third response is discernment – which is the result of consecration and transformation, as signified by Paul’s use of the word “then” in Romans 12:2. Bishop Dr Solomon expressed: “I pray for ETAC that you may have the joy of discerning what is best.”
The previous three responses then lead to the fourth response of service, which is summed up in Romans 12:8 by the phrase “do it cheerfully”. That, said the Bishop, was a wonderful spirit – not because our Conference President or Board asked us to do it, but because God has asked us to do it.
He noted that the order was important – consecration and transformation before discernment and service.
“May this be the experience of the new President as he consecrates himself,” said the Bishop of the Rev R. Prabhu, who was installed as the new ETAC President later in the service. “May the Lord be honoured and glorified through the giving of ourselves in His presence.”