"A Living Sacrifice"
Romans twelve can involve a lifetime of study, and therefore my comments on this chapter will not be exhaustive. My study of this chapter is ongoing.
Often times words lose their value with us with overuse. Let us look more closely at the vocabulary of the first two verses of this chapter that we may gain a deeper understanding of it:
Beseech — This has the ideas of to call near and intreat. This is a plea in earnest.
Therefore — What is it THERE FOR? All of Chapter eleven expresses what grace has brought about. The outcast has been included. Therefore, we must do….
Brethren — He speaks to those that have been blood bought and born again. Not, the Israel of Isaac of the spiritual Israel.
Mercies of God — It is by the mercy of God that we would be hearing such a plea. Had it not been for God's mercy shown on the road to Damascus, Paul could not make such a plea. He does not make the plea because he is better than everyone, but because of God's mercy is he qualified to make such a plea.
Bodies — In the mortal body we must glorify God. Not just someday and for now do the best that we can. …We should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.—Titus 2:12
Living Sacrifice — The flesh must be crucified. Our will must be crucified. We offer alive, but God thoroughly will purge us as long as we remain on the altar.
Holy — Our lives ought to be light to those that wander in the darkness.
Acceptable unto God — fully agreeable; well pleasing In this age full of men pleasers, we must seek our approval from God. What does He think about a direction you take? To be accepted by this world is to be rejected by Him. We cannot be agreeable with the flesh and this world and at the same time be agreeable to God. There must be a clear line of alliance defined. Who will you side with?
Reasonable service — His yoke is easy, but any requirement God could make of us would pale in greatness to what He has provided for us.
Conformed — Conform to the same pattern; fashion self according to;
Transformed — metamorphosis; change; This is the miraculous work ofGod.
Renewing of your Mind — Our mind is made new by the Word. Replace our carnal thoughts with What saith the Lord.
Good, Acceptable, & Perfect Will of God — This is not God's three wills, but three adjectives of God's one sovereign will. He is not double-minded.
The following instructions are given for the Believer to follow. Again, a lifetime could be devoted to their study. This chapter is rich, but I will be content for now to simply list the different thought presented. They are categorized respectively, God's gifts to man, and man's return responsibility to God for what God has given.
GOD HAS GIVEN SO MUCH TO HIS PEOPLE:
Dealt to every man the measure of faith
One Body in Christ
Proportion of Faith
GOD's PEOPLE ARE RESPONSIBLE TO ACT ACCORDINGLY:
Giving with Simplicity
Ruling with Diligence
Show mercy with Cheerfulness
Let Love be without Dissimulation
Abhor that which is evil
Cleave to that which is good
In Honor Preferring one Another
Slothful in Business
Fervent in Spirit
Serving the Lord.
Rejoicing in hope
Patient in Tribulation
Continuing Instant in Prayer
Distributing to the necessity of Saints
Given to Hospitality
Bless them which Persecute You; Bless and Curse Not
Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
Be of the same mind one toward another.