Can there be any greater exhortation for Christian living than Romans 12:1-2? Paul calls upon all of us (brothers) to present our bodies to God as a living sacrifice and to renew our minds (daily) in commitment to Him.
These are verses filled with power for our relationship with God and our conduct toward one another. Today, we will examine verse one: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.”
Next week we will look at the remainder of the passage calling for believers not to be placed in the world’s mold but rather to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
Paul “urges,” a strong word indicating a mixture of entreaty and authority, all believers to present their bodies as living sacrifices to God. This is the reasonable or rational service to God.
In the preceding chapters, Paul wrote about Jews and Gentiles and how the Gospel came to the Jew first and then to the Gentile. In this passage, he used the broader term “brother” to describe those who should present their bodies to Christ.
One of the errors of the practice of Christianity has been the division between clergy and lay people or between the “more religious” and the “less religious,” as if there are two standards of conduct before God. This has no place in Christian living. All of us are called to holiness and commitment. Each one should examine ourselves to see if God is pleased with how we live.
The whole ground of holy living revolves around the mercies of God. In Hebrew, blessings and mercies are always plural. God’s mercies are new every morning. His blessings are unceasing.
Another issue of our faith is the motivation for holy living. Paul’s ends the argument at this point. We do not have to be righteous before God; we want to be holy because of God’s great mercy bestowed on us in Christ.
Recently, I talked to a new believer who is suffering very difficult physical problems. This is what he said, “but it’s nothing compared to what Christ did for me.” Because of the mercies of God, present your body to Him as a living sacrifice.
Over the next few weeks, please memorize these two verses, pray them to God and meditate on them. If you would like an example of how to do this, please click here. You will find help for this important spiritual discipline.
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