Summary: We should make the transformation to be more like Jesus.
Romans 12:1-2 - Total Transformation
Presentation is everything. Presentation is defined as - display; a visual representation of something. You and I, if we know Jesus Christ, are a presentation to the world of Jesus. You and I are on display. We visually represent Jesus Christ.
We should make the transformation to be more like Jesus. We should not end up being the type of people that the world thinks Christians are.
What we BELIEVE should determine how we BEHAVE.
So Paul begins to say in this chapter that because of God’s mercies, because God has been so good to us in the way he has saves us, we should present ourselves differently than we did before. In these verses, Paul reminds us that our first presentation is to God.
As in all of Paul’s letters, he concludes with a list of duties based on the doctrines that Paul has discussed.
What we BELIEVE helps us to determine how we BEHAVE:
We must translate our LEARNING into LIVING and show by our daily lives that we trust God and His Word.
The key idea in this section is about RELATIONSHIPS.
If we have a right relationship to God, we will have a right relationship to the other people who are part of our lives.
This is why Paul begins this section about relationships with worship. Paul wants to begin his application with how we relate to God. In chapters 1-9, the emphasis has been how God relates to us. Now Paul shifts to how we should relate to God. He turns the responsibility away from God and toward the Christian.
The passage begins with a "therefore." When you see a "therefore" in the Bible, you need to what it is "there" for. This is the fourth "therefore" in the book of Romans:
Romans 3:20 is the "therefore" of CONDEMNATION, declaring that the whole world is guilty before God.
Romans 5:1 is the "therefore" of JUSTIFICATION, declaring that we now have peace with God.
Romans 8:1 is the "therefore" of ASSURANCE, declaring that we do not have to worry about eternal security with God.
Romans 12:1 is the "therefore" of DEDICATION, declaring how we can serve the God that we follow.
First, a definition of worship. Worship is not singing. Because you can sing to a melody that has nothing to do with God. We sing nursery rhymes, we sing country songs, we sing anthems to countries and they have nothing to do with God. So worship is not really about singing. You can worship God by singing. But singing is not necessarily worship.
So we need to expand our understanding of worship. Worship is more than just music. Here is the simple definition of worship in Romans 12:2
Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship.
(Romans 12:1 HCSB)
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.