(#399) Romans 12 - Do You Think More Highly of Yourself Than You Ought to Think?


Welcome To


a Christian Church

Rory Clark



Good Morning!


Welcome to Barah Ministries…a Christian Church with worldwide impact serving the Gilbert, Mesa and Chandler AZ communities…my name is Pastor Rory Clark.  At Barah Ministries, our God is the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 



Do You Think More Highly of Yourself Than You Ought to Think?


We continue our study of the third passage in Romans, Chapter 12…we look specifically at the first verse of that passage…Romans, Chapter 12, Verse 3…



For through the grace given to me by God (the grace gift of being an apostle…Paul’s spiritual gift), I (Paul) say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think…but to think so as to have sound judgment…thinking in line with the measure of faith given to you by God (your spiritual gift).


In this lesson we’ll learn that there are many among us who think they are better than others because of race.  The bible paints a different picture.  Deacon Denny will take the offering.  And then as we do every month, we’ll celebrate the Lord’s Supper…we look back to the Cross to remind ourselves what the Lord did for us there…and this month we ask ourselves, based on what God has done for us there, do you take a stand for God in the world?  We close the lesson as we always do, by providing the gospel message to anyone who wants to have a relationship with the Sovereign God of the Universe, the Lord Jesus Christ.



Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ

Enjoy the Singing of His Praises



June Murphy


Whenever we need to take a stand for God, He never expects us to do it alone.  He is right there with us every step of the way.  Here’s Song Worship Leader June Murphy to praise our Lord with the song, YOU RAISE ME UP.



Let us pray...


Almighty God and Father…thank you for Your Word which influences our thinking in such a way that we know all of Your creatures are created equal in your eyes…thank you for helping us understand that the categories of the world…Jew…and Greek…and black…and Hispanic…and white…and yellow…defining people by skin color or national origin…while these designations that may be great for marketing, they do not represent the way You look at us…thank you for seeing us as priests and ambassadors and saints…holy and blameless and righteous and acceptable because of our attitude toward Your Son…


Help us to keep on seeing ourselves as you see us, and help us to take a stand on Your Son’s behalf and to be a light in this lost and dying world…

We ask this through the power of God the Holy Spirit…in Christ’s name...Amen.



Do You Think More Highly of Yourself Than You Ought to Think?


The bible recommends against it… Romans, Chapter 12, Verse 3…



For through the grace given to me by God (the grace gift of being an apostle…Paul’s spiritual gift), I (Paul) say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think…but to think so as to have sound judgment…thinking in line with the measure of faith given to you by God (your spiritual gift).


One of the ways that people think more highly of themselves than they ought to think is by letting themselves feel superior because of race.  This malady is called “supremacy” … an ideology of domination and superiority.  It states that a particular class of people is superior to others, and that it should dominate, control, and subjugate others…in fact, that it is entitled to do so. This class of people can be supposed as superior because of age, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, social class, or ideology.  The bible simply does not support this thinking.


The God we worship is a WHOSOEVER God according to John, Chapter 3, Verse 16…


JOHN 3:16

“For God the Father loved the world unconditionally…and He loved all mankind so much…that He gave His uniquely born Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (100% God and 100% Man in one person forever)…and WHOSOEVER believes in Him shall not perish…but instead will have eternal life (the resurrection life).”


God has always welcomed anyone and everyone to salvation…that is…  WHOSOEVER believes in the Lord Jesus Christ is saved.  In addition, our God loves the worst among us and died for the worst in us…Romans, Chapter 5, Verse 8…



But God the Father demonstrates His own unconditional love toward all mankind, in that while we were sinners (as ungodly, unrighteous unbelievers), Christ died instead of us.


Even, and especially when we were SINNERS, perhaps despicable in His sight because perfection abhors sin, God the Father was rich in mercy and in the unconditional love with which He loves us…and His mercy and His love were more important to Him than our sin… so much so that He provided a sacrifice for us through His Son to take away our sin, and to restore the possibility of relationship with Him.  In Acts, Chapter 10, Verses 34 and 35…


ACTS 10:34

Opening his mouth, Peter said:  “I most certainly understand now that God the Father is not one to show partiality…”


ACTS 10:35

“…but in every nation…the man who trusts God the Father and the man who does what is right (by obeying God the Father’s requests) is welcome to Him.”


In God’s eyes, we are all the same…our God is the true embodiment of the ideal that “all are created equal.”  The idea of “no partiality with God” come to mind because we are celebrating Black History Month in the United States, an annual celebration of achievements by black people and a time for recognizing the central role of blacks in United States history.  It is not my desire to make light of this, but I do wonder what month is White History Month, because I would like to celebrate it with equal vigor.


I’ve been on the planet since 1955, and in that time I have “progressed” from being “colored” to being a “Negro” to being an “African American” (a term I despise) to being “Black.” The troof?  I have always thought that race is most ridiculous division in the history of mankind. Although I know my God had right intentions in creating the races, I am just as certain His enemy has always had designs on perverting it, just as he perverts everything that is of God. 


When I had to fill out the paperwork for the birth certificates of my two

sons, under race I put “human” … they are members of the human race. I am ecstatic that God chose to make me a “minority” ... a term designed to make me feel inferior.  I don’t feel inferior.  I am a “minority,” it seems, because I choose to use critical thinking skills that tell me that judging a person by the color of his skin is a seduction right from the pit of hell.  I wish all thoughts about race would go right back there...to hell. 


Both prejudice and partiality have been a part of human history from the beginning.  It started with Cain and Abel, and as history progressed it kept on being fostered, even with The Jewish Race.  The Jews are God’s chosen people…a specialized racial species.  Satan, the enemy of God, convinced them to think more highly of themselves than they ought to think.  So instead of considering themselves God’s people that were chosen for four-hundred and ninety years of evangelism…at Satan’s inspiration, they chose to think that if you were not Jewish, you were not chosen…and many in The Jewish Race formed a prejudice against The Gentiles.  Today, prejudice manifests itself in divisions of all sorts…racial divisions, gender divisions, and social divisions.  Since the time when unrighteousness was found in him, Satan put a wedge between the Creator and creatures, and his sin has manifest divisions everywhere.  However, Galatians, Chapter 3, Verses 26 to 28 make it clear…



For you believers in Christ are all sons of God the Father through your faith in Christ Jesus.



For all of you who were baptized into union with Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.


As believers in Christ we wear the white robes of righteousness in God’s eyes…what a great thing to be clothed with!  Therefore…



There is neither Jew nor Greek (no racial distinctions)…there is neither slave nor free man (no social distinctions)…there is neither male nor female (no gender distinctions)…for you are all one, in union with Christ Jesus.


Under no circumstance can a believer in Christ believe that God sponsors

racism or supremacy.


Human distinctions are completely insignificant in the Plan of God.  First Corinthians, Chapter 12, Verse 13…



For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.


The baptism of the Spirit is the only distinction that matters.  It gives an eternal status that is available to all…WHOSOEVER.  Ephesians, Chapter 2, Verse 13 and 14…



But now in union with Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off (The Gentiles) have been brought near by the blood of Christ.



For the Lord Jesus Christ Himself is our peace, who made both groups (Jews and Gentiles) into one group, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall…


So let’s not be petty.  Let’s not think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think…and by the same token, let’s not think more lowly of ourselves than we ought to think.  Instead, let’s see each other through the eyes of the God who is not one to show partiality.


Let’s take a music break…when we come back we’ll take the offering and we’ll celebrate The Lord’s Supper.




Casting Crowns



Do You Take a Stand for the Lord?


Let’s begin the next portion of our lesson by giving you a chance to make an offering.  If you are benefiting from the work of this ministry, then we ask you to contribute to the continuation of the ministry with any gift, large or small, helping us to keep on providing the truth to those who might not otherwise be able to hear it.   Please welcome up Deacon Denny Goodall for one of his always excellent offering messages.



Deacon Denny Goodall




LUKE 10:38

Now as they were traveling along, Jesus entered a village…and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home.




LUKE 10:39

She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word.




LUKE 10:40

But Martha was distracted with all her preparations…and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone?  Tell her to help me!”




LUKE 10: 41

But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things…”




LUKE 10: 42

“…but only one thing is necessary…for Mary has chosen the good part… which shall not be taken away from her.”




Dave McClure, Instrumental



Do You Take a Stand for the Lord?


What did the Lord Jesus Christ accomplish at the Cross?


Today…just as we do every month…we celebrate the Lord’s Supper…a meal of remembrance.  It’s a way for us Christians to show our love for the Lord Jesus Christ.  We eat, by breaking bread…we drink the cup, by tasting the fruit of the vine…and we look back to the Cross.  I hope those of you in the non-resident congregation are joining us by getting your own bread and your own cup, so that you can enjoy the communion elements with those of us in the resident congregation. 


In this celebration we obey the Lord as outlined in First Corinthians, Chapter 11, Verse 26…



For as often as you believers in Christ eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim (to the whole world) the significance of the Lord’s death until He comes again.


As believers in Christ we ask ourselves…what did the Lord Jesus Christ accomplish at the Cross?  Perhaps more importantly, what do the Lord’s accomplishments at the Cross means to each of us personally?


The Lord took a stand for you.


Because of His work at the Cross, the Lord Jesus Christ gave us the opportunity to stand for something.


Do you take a stand for the Lord?


Through His work at the Cross, the Lord gave us many gifts.  He gave us a “so great salvation.”  He gave us His Word…a series of written promises concerning the power His unconditional love, forgiveness, and grace is able to provide for us.  Now He wants to know, “What you stand for?”  Do you take a stand for the Lord?  As we begin our consideration of how we are using our spiritual gift, we have to make note of this.  In Matthew, Chapter 5, Verses 13 to 16 the Lord Jesus Christ says…



“You believers in Christ are the salt of the earth…”


God made His believers “salt” through His work on the Cross.  Salt makes you thirsty.  A great believer in Christ influences others to be thirsty for a relationship with Christ.  A great believer in Christ leads others to be thirsty for the Word of God. 



“…but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.”


Rock salt is the kind of salt that is trampled underfoot…it melts snow but it is not good for much else.



“You believers in Christ are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden…”



“…nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket…but a person lights a lamp and puts it on the lampstand, and the lamp gives light to all who are in the house.”


Do you take a stand for the Lord? 


Salt is a preservative as well.  On planet earth, our temporary residence here in Satan’s kingdom of death and darkness, believers in Christ preserve a nation and the individuals in it with their light.  Believers are influential because God gives us light.  Matthew, Chapter 5, Verse 16 the Lord exhorts His believers to…



“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your God and Father who is in heaven.”


I get to meet a lot of famous people, and quite often people ask me, “Who is the most famous person you have ever met?”  My answer is Jesus Christ.  As a result of meeting Him, my life changed and I have never been the same. 


God the Father chose us believers in Christ to be in union with Christ, His Son, before the foundation of the world…Ephesians, Chapter 2, Verse 10…



For believers in Christ are God the Father’s workmanship, created to be in union with Christ Jesus for good works, which good works God the Father prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.


The Lord Jesus Christ worked for us on the Cross, and God the Father gave us believers works to do as well.  If you are a reflection of the Lord Jesus Christ, others will see a difference in you and will be attracted to it.  Your influence on this world will be evident.  First Corinthians, Chapter 3, Verses 11 to 15…



For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.



Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones (the quality work given to us by God the Father)…or if any man builds on the foundation with wood, hay, straw (the valueless work we do, built on Satan’s false doctrines that deceive us)…



…each man’s work will become evident…for the (judgment) day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire…and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.



If any man’s work which he has built on the foundation remains, he will receive a reward.



If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss…but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.


Do you take a stand for the Lord?


If I asked you…what do you stand for?  What is special about you?  In the hall of records in heaven, what will be the legacy next to your name?  What is it that people should remember about you?  What is the one thing that makes you distinctive?  What mark does your life leave?  What does your life say?  Does it even make a difference that you are on the planet?  What sums up your life? … if I asked you these questions you’d get all tied up in your underwear because that is a hard set of questions to answer.  They all boil down to one question…Do you take a stand for the Lord?


Lucky for us, God considers our legacy to be His responsibility…so a better question is…what is God showing the world through each of our lives?  Author and evangelist Austin Sparks had this to say about taking a stand for the Lord…



We may be very ordinary people and we may never choose to make any kind of impression or any kind of mark upon history.  But that need never be the case with anyone who comes into touch with the Lord Jesus Christ.



Relatedness to Him immediately creates for you an eternal significance. Because of our relatedness to the Lord Jesus Christ, we take on a significance that has impact.



The simplest, the weakest, among us is given a meaning and a value by God, far beyond anything this world could ever comprehend.


Do you take a stand for the Lord?  You are salt…you are a light…God made you significant.  Barah!  The Lord made something from us nothings.  By having come into touch with the Lord Jesus Christ, you are significant.  With Christ, everything boils down to one thing.  What is your one thing?  What is your life’s contribution?  What will people remember about you?  Are you salt or are you good for nothing?  Are you a light in this dark place? 


When we look back at the Cross during the Lord’s Supper Celebration, we are reminded to stand for something the way our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ took the ultimate stand for us.



Enjoying the Elements


Obeying God’s command, we keep on celebrating CHRIST and His Cross on a regular basis…we eat to remember who He is as a PERSON…we drink to remember His WORK on the Cross…the voluntary sacrifice He made at on our behalf as our sin substitute.  We are grateful for what God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ have done for us.  First Corinthians, Chapter 11, Verses 23 and 24 say…



For I, Paul, received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you…that the Lord Jesus Christ on the night in which He was betrayed took bread…



and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is, and keeps

 on being My body, which is broken for you…keep on doing this celebration

 for the purpose of remembering Me.”


When we eat the bread during the Lord’s Supper Celebration, we remember the Lord Jesus Christ AS A PERSON. 


When we drink the cup, we remember THE WORK the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished on the Cross.  First Corinthians, Chapter 11, Verses 25 and 26 say…



In the same way the Lord Jesus Christ took the cup after supper,

representing His death on the Cross, saying, “This cup is a new testament… forged with My blood…keep on doing this celebration…and as often as you drink it…do so for the purpose of remembering Me.”



For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup (as part of the Lord’s Supper Celebration), you proclaim (as a reality and you announce the significance of) the Lord Jesus Christ’s death (on the Cross and His resurrection from the dead) until He comes (again in the second coming).


As you enjoy the bread and the cup, enjoy the memory of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as well. Now and always, let us keep on giving thanks that we are loved unconditionally and accepted fully by THE LORD WHO IS ALWAYS THERE…the One we can depend on…and let’s keep on being transformed by His life and His death and His resurrection and His Word… and let’s enjoy His unconditional love Day by Day…and that’s the name of our Lord’s Supper song.







Make the Most Important Decision of Your Life


The closing moments of our study are dedicated to anyone listening or reading or watching who does not have a personal relationship with the Sovereign God of the Universe, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  We want you to know that GOD WANTS YOU. 


All of us are born with a problem…in God’s eyes we are SINNERS because at the moment of physical birth, Adam’s sin is imputed to us…Romans, Chapter 3, Verse 23 says…



…all creatures have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…


Romans, Chapter 3, Verse 10 says…



…it is written “There is no creature who is righteous, not even one…”


God deals only one way with sin…Romans, Chapter 6, Verse 23…


ROMANS 6:23a

For the wages of sin is spiritual death…


Sin and its resulting spiritual death would make it impossible to have a relationship with a perfect God if He had not stepped in to handle the problem.  Fortunately for us creatures, it is not God’s will that any of us remain SINNERS in a state of spiritual death.  God wants to make you a SAINT.


This is the gospel message… the “good news” … it is a message of forgiveness for sin through the atoning work of Jesus Christ at the Cross.  The gospel message announces God the Father’s rescue plan of redemption for those who will trust in His divine Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.   Through His work on the Cross, the Lord reconciled us to God the Father by tearing down the barrier between God and His creatures.  Ephesians, Chapter 2, Verses 14 and 15…


EPHESIANS 2:14-15a

For the Lord Jesus Christ Himself is our peace…who…broke down the barrier of the dividing wall//by abolishing in His flesh the enmity between God and all mankind…


What is the essence of the gospel message…this good news for SINNERS?  Paul captures it perfectly in First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verses 1 to 8…



Now I (Paul) make known to you, brethren, the gospel message which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand…



…by which also you are saved…if you hold fast the word which I preached

to you (about the Lord’s resurrection from the dead), unless you believed in



If the Lord Jesus Christ wasn’t raised from the dead, He is no different than anyone else who came to the earth, and our faith in Him is pointless.



For I (Paul) delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures…



…and that He was buried, and that He was resurrected from the dead on the third day according to the Scriptures…


…and that Jesus appeared to Cephas (Simon Peter), then to the twelve.



After that Jesus appeared to more than five hundred believers in Christ at one time…most of whom remain alive until now…but some have fallen asleep (they have died physically)…



…then He appeared to James (his half brother), then to all the apostles…



…and last of all, as if to one untimely born, He appeared to me (Paul) also.


The Lord Jesus Christ not only died for our sin, but also He was resurrected from the dead, and a great cloud of witnesses verified both of these absolutely true historical facts.  God does not expect us to take anything on “blind faith.”  Instead we place our faith in absolutely true events and in an absolutely real and living person, the Lord Jesus Christ.  His resurrection from the dead proved that He is God.  Colossians, Chapter 2, Verse 9…



For in Jesus Christ all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form…


Death could not contain the Lord.


As a result of the Lord Jesus Christ solving the sin problem, right where you

sit, right now, you can have eternal life…the resurrection life.  John, Chapter

1, Verse 12 says…


JOHN 1:12

…as many as received Him, to them Jesus gave the right to become children of God the Father, even to those who believe in His name…


Ephesians, Chapter 2, Verses 8 and 9…



For by God’s grace you have been saved through faith (in Christ for salvation)…and that grace and that faith and that salvation are not from the source of yourselves…it is the gift of God….



…therefore, being saved is not as a result of works (deeds you have done in self-righteousness)…so that no one may boast (about saving himself).


You cannot save yourself.  You cannot work for your salvation.  Acts, Chapter 16, Verse 31…


ACTS 16:31

“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and everyone in your household who also believes.”


Heed the warning in John, Chapter 3, Verse 36…


JOHN 3:36

“He who believes in the Son has the resurrection life right at that moment… but he who does not obey the command to believe in the Son will not see the resurrection life…instead the wrath of God (the Lake of Fire) abides on him.”


We welcome WHOSOEVER into a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.




June Murphy




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