Summary: Romans chapter 12 is really a commentary on how Christians ought to behave. Apostle Paul moves theology to practice. He gives guidelines for living as a redeemed people in a fallen world. Since we have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ; saved by
Walking Upright in a Fallen World
Romans chapter 12 is really a commentary on how Christians ought to behave. Apostle Paul moves theology to practice. He gives guidelines for living as a redeemed people in a fallen world. Since we have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ; saved by His grace and empowered by his Holy Spirit, we should offer ourselves to God. Paul is calling for absolute surrender. Today, there are many teachings on total commitment. There is a great difference between total commitment and absolute surrender. Commitment is an act of the human will, while surrender is the act of giving the human will. Paul suggests that we present ourselves as living sacrifices to God as those dead to sin but alive unto God. Paul has skilled guide us to this point. How can we walk upright in a fallen world? How can live a Christian life and not conform to the walk and way of the world? Paul calls on each of us to take personal responsibility for our actions. He makes his appeal based on all the mercies that we had received from the hand of a loving God. In the early chapters of Romans, Paul has proved to us the depravity of man and man’s inability to save himself. But God loved the world that He gave his only Begotten Son that we might be redeemed and brought back into a right relationship with God.
Since God has redeemed us, justified us and reconciled us to Himself, Paul pleads with us to give ourselves to God and his service out of a heart of love and gratitude. Observe that Paul does not give us a command, but a heartfelt pleads for absolute surrender. He does not demand or command us to surrender out of compulsion. God desires our sacrifice as loving sons and daughters not driven servants or slaves. There is a different in the way one interact with servants and the way one interact with sons. In Christ, we have been received the family of God as sons. Paul pleads with us as believers on the grounds of our new relationship with God as our loving Father. Paul uses the kind favor of the Father as his leverage of persuasion for our surrender. God is looking for compulsory service, He desires willing submission. God could force us into compliance to His will for He is stronger than we. God could command and demand our praise and worship, but He simply invites us to come, to give and to surrender to Him. Paul calls for a response of heartfelt gratitude. Since God has been so good to us, the most reasonable thing we can do is to give ourselves to God. Christ willingly gave himself for us, so we should willingly give ourselves for Him. Paul calls it a reasonable thing, a rational thing and the only sensible thing we can do. The believer should possess a single-minded devotion to God in devoted service, holy pursuits, and good deeds. Their love for God should be the motivation for all their service. Recently, a minister was sharing this idea with his congregation and he quoted the lyrics of a song, “It wasn’t the nail that hail Him (Jesus) to cross. If He had come down, my soul would still be lost.” The songwriter concludes that, “It was love that held Jesus to the cross.” Then he asked his congregation, “What holds you to your cross?” The idea was, If Jesus’ love for us held Him to his cross, then our love for Jesus should be our motive for bearing our cross.
Paul lifts several ideas for consideration in our text, Romans 12. If we are going to be successful in walking upright in God in a fallen world, we should give God our bodies, minds and service. First, consider the thought, “Give Your Body to God.”
Offer Your Body to God
Romans 12:1 ¶ I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
When Paul mentions the word "sacrifice", his audience understood perfectly what he was talking about. Animal sacrifices were an intricate part of both Jewish and Gentile culture. The animals selected for the sacrifice were those without spots or blemishes. Once the animals were carefully selected and inspected, they were placed in the hands of the priests. The priest would receive the animal and using a special knife would let out the blood catching it in a basin. Every parts of the sacrifice would be used. The blood, the fat, the flesh, the hide and hoofs were used until nothing remained. The blood was sprinkled to atone for the sin, the fat would be burned as a sweet savor to the Lord, the meat was roasted for a fellowship meal and the hide and hoofs were burned outside the camp. Even the ashes that remained had a purpose. When the sacrifice was over, everything had been consumed.