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.
(Romans 12:1 NKJV)
Some dictionaries call this word: divine service. Others say: Service for hire or as a slave. But it is connected to the word "reasonable", or logical. So we can say that God wants us to give a reasonable service, or a logical service. As a Christians, it is logical for us to serve Christ.
Worship is how we present ourselves before God.
We want to discover today how we can spend time presenting ourselves before God. There are three different ways in which I can present myself to God in worship.
I CAN GIVE GOD MY BODY (12:1) - It is a TOTAL Presentation
The Bible says here that we are to be "living" sacrifices. In the Old Testament, the priests presented a dead animal as a sacrifice. The animal sacrifice was burned up. It was in essence, a holocaust.
The purpose of that sacrifice was for PROPITIATION - or complete destruction of sin.
The purpose of a living sacrifice here is for PRAISE.
That means that every day is a worship experience when we yield our bodies to God. We can worship God with our bodies by following the instruction in these verses. Here are three characteristics of how I can present my body as a worship vehicle to God.
My body is a living organism. While, I have died to sin, I am alive in Jesus Christ. I have a new life in Jesus Christ, and that should be evident. I should die to my past behavior and live differently to God.
Holy means to "be separate." Being separate means to set aside my sins and place myself ready to do what God wants me to do.