Summary: We are to present ourselves to God as a living sacrifice surrendered totally to Him for His use and glory.
I. The Exhortation.
“I beseech”—This word is a strong word meaning to beg, to implore. It carries a much stronger thought than merely asking for something or making a casual recommendation.
II. The Motive.
“By the mercies of God.” All of us have been recipients of God’s mercies. His mercies are more than we can ever number. “In grateful recognition of what God in His infinite compassions has done for you in pardoning you your sins and receiving you back into His favor through Christ, I exhort you to make Him a complete consecration of your bodies as a living sacrifice.”
III. The Sacrifice
“Present” means to yield. It carries the idea of putting oneself under the total control of God. This is an act of the will in which one’s entire being is surrendered to the whole will of God.
Paul describes the living sacrifice in Galatians 2:20. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
When my will and my desires and my carnal sinful nature is crucified with Christ, it is then that I can truly live. When my old carnal self is dead, I am then enabled to become a “living sacrifice.”
God demands that the sacrifice be holy. That is why my old carnal nature must die. I can never present a holy sacrifice to God as long as I am still in control of my life and living my own way. My self-will must be crucified with Christ in order for me to present a holy sacrifice to God.
When I have presented my body a living holy sacrifice, then that sacrifice is acceptable to God. Until I reach that point of complete consecration to God, my sacrifice is not acceptable to Him. He want all of me or none at all. I must give Him every part of me. This includes my will, my fleshly desires, my money, my family, my job, and whatever else I have.
When all is under his control. Then I have given him the acceptable sacrifice.
Christ gave all for me. He left the splendor of Heaven, knowing that He would be yielding His body to be beaten and hung on a cross. He knew that this was the only hope of our salvation. He was totally surrendered to the will of the Father. He prayed in the garden the night he was arrested and asked the Father to let this bitter cup pass from Him. Then He added “nevertheless, not my will but thine be done.”(Luke 22:42)
Anything less on our part than presenting our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God would be utterly unreasonable. It is perfectly reasonable that God would demand of us such a sacrifice when Christ gave all of that and more for us. This is indeed our reasonable service. It is perfectly logical. Anything less would simply not make sense.
IV. The Transformation
B. Be not conformed to this world.
Philips trans. Says, “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its mold, but let God remold your minds from within.” Do not allow this world’s philosophies to take root in your heart. Materialism, Darwinism (evolution), Atheism, and all kinds of other ideas are calling for your attention. Do not be deceived by them. The world also has a philosophy that has been creeping into the churches that says that Christians should not be involved in shaping the culture. They discourage voting and running for office or being involved in any part of our government. This philosophy is false. We need to regard our blood bought freedom as priceless and defend it with our blood if necessary.
A. Be transformed.
This carries the thought of a one time transformation that continues on. It could be stated “be transformed and go on being transformed.”
When a sinner comes to Christ for salvation, if there is no change or transformation in that person’s life, then he really did not get saved. When God saves a person, He gives him a new mind, a new world view, a new heart, and a new lifestyle. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”