Present Yourselves

 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:1-3

I appeal to you therefore…. Therefore! Let’s recap what that therefore is therefore: Now that Paul has pointed out and we have seen and experienced the mercy of God and Jesus has given us His righteousness. God has given us power through the Spirit that lives within us and nothing can separate us from His love. Now what? Now we present ourselves as a living sacrifice!

This is the way of the new self. A life that is yeilded and surrendered to God.

We can’t save ourselves but by the grace of God, He can and He did.

We can’t work hard enough to be righteous but by faith in Jesus’s sacrifice – His death justified us and our faith is counted as righteousness. Romans 4:5 to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness…

We don’t have the strength to live right but the Spirit of God within us does. So we yeild!

Paul says here, “I appeal to you….by the mercies of God” and what He means is — because of all that I have said in the last 11 chapters which has been an overwhelming expose’ of God’s mercy toward us — because God has been so good to us in that He has made a way for us and saved us. He has provided everything we would need to become righteous in His eyes….yield!

present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship...

Paul takes us in this chapter on how to live a life of mercy but before we get there he says present yourself. This is about worship to God. This worship is first. Give yourself to Him first. Before we can become those who are full of mercy our into the world and those who do good, we must first, as John Piper puts it, “give ourselves away in worship to God.” Without worship to God as our first act – all our acts of mercy and our doings just become social agendas.

Paul gives us a few things we must do first:

  1. Present your bodies as a living sacrifice: Notice that he is not speaking of paying for our sin – Jesus did that already. So this is something different. This is about what we do in our body. How we act, move, go, and do we are to let these be the expression of who our God is. Let what you do in your body show that Christ is your God and King. Let that expression be holy. Romans 6:13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. If holiness is what you are expressing: let what you see, say, and do show who Jesus is. This is how you express worship!
  2. Do not be conformed: There is a way of this world and culture that desire to conform you to its way of being. Resist it. This is not who you are and it is not who Christ is. Resist it.
  3. Be transformed by the renewal of your mind: Transformed is the opposite of conformed. Our thoughts are not to be like the worlds thoughts. For the Bible says in Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. The battle is for your mind. They way you think and what you think – matters! It either conforms your life or it will transform your life. We must be careful that we do not live only by how it feels or by only being concerned with going and doing. I like how David Guzik  puts it, “He is a God of powerful and passionate feeling and He commands us to be doers. Yet feelings and doing are completely insufficient foundations for the Christian life. The first questions cannot be “How do I feel?” or “What do I do?” Rather, they must be “What is true here? What does God’s Word say?” Renewing our mind means letting the Word of God inform our thinking, which in turn will also transform our feelings, going, and doing.
  4. That by testing you may discern: What are we testing? The world and it’s culture. We are testing the things that are trying to conform us. Testing even our own thoughts and feelings. Do these line up with what the Word of God says? Paul says that when we do this we will discern (to distiguish between, to have eyes to see distinction) what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

God’s mercy, Christ’s sacrifice, and the Holy Spirit’s power within us has done everything we would need to be right in God’s eyes. Yet that does not leave us with nothing to do. Paul gives us a clear outline of what to do and soon we will see how living this way changes everything.

Renewing the mind is a kind of thinking that moves us forward in God’s will and way.

We are not focused on what was – the old has past- but on what can be – and the new has come. We focus on what God is building rather than what the world and its culture is tearing apart.

Resist and Renew your mind.

Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…

Thanks for Listening,



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