As a Living Sacrifice
Romans 12:1 ESV
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
Believing in Jesus Christ is not some decision we make once in our lives to receive Jesus Christ into our hearts, and then business goes on as usual with us still living to please our flesh, doing what we want to do, while claiming that heaven is our eternal destiny when we die.
For, when we believe in Jesus Christ with God-persuaded faith, which is gifted to us by God, and is not of ourselves, we die with Christ to sin, and we are reborn of the Spirit of God to new lives in Jesus Christ, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
So, now our lives are no longer our own to be lived however we want, for we were bought back for God (redeemed by his blood) so that we could now honor God with our lives. For Jesus died on that cross that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us.
So, what Paul was teaching here in Romans 12 was not an add-on to our faith. It is what our faith was to be all about from the very beginning. For, Jesus said if anyone would come after him, he must deny self, and take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him.
And when we call Jesus our Lord, it is not a mere title before or after his name, but it means he owns us, and we are now his possession, and our lives are now to be for his glory and praise. He is now the master of our lives, so our lives are now to be lived for him, and not for self.
And this, too, goes back to the fact that when we believe in Jesus, our old self is crucified with Christ so that we (self) no longer live, but Jesus Christ lives in us, and his life is to be lived out through us. We are still living physically, but the old “me” is now to be put to death daily.
And this is our spiritual worship of God that every aspect of our lives on this earth is to be given over to our Lord, and that we are now to live holy lives which are to be pleasing and acceptable to God. We are to serve him with our lives, and not serve ourselves. This is the worship that he desires.
Not Conformed to World
Romans 12:2 ESV
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
We, as followers of Jesus Christ, are called to be holy. And holy means to be set apart for God and to be separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being made into the likeness of Jesus Christ. So, we are not to be conformed to (like) the world, but to be like Jesus.
For, when we are conformed to the world, we follow, and we obey, and we imitate the world. But we are to follow and obey and imitate (be like) Jesus Christ, and we can’t do both at the same time, for the one is opposite of the other. Thus, if we are like the world, we will NOT be like Jesus.
So, we are to be transformed by the renewal of our minds. And to be transformed means we are changed. We aren’t the same as we were before. We don’t think and speak and act all the same ways we did before we believed in Jesus, because we have been reborn of the Spirit of God.
For, when our minds are renewed, they are given a fresh new start with new thinking and believing and attitudes, etc. Oh, it doesn’t mean we won’t have to daily put the old self to death. We will. For, it will try to resurface. Daily we will have to say “No!” to the flesh and “Yes!” to our Lord.
But when our lives are transformed and our minds renewed of the Spirit of God in the birthing of our new lives in Christ Jesus, our thinking will change, as will our attitudes, and our desires, and we won’t want what we wanted before, but now we will want to please the Lord with our lives.
And as we grow in our walks of faith, we will learn to discern the will of God for our lives, which is what is good and acceptable and perfect, because that means that it is also what is pure, honest, moral, upright, and godly. And the longer we walk with our Lord, the more we will discern his will and we will want to do his will, and we will be doing his will in his power.
Truly he will be our Lord and Master, and our lives will be given over to him and to his service, and he will be the one directing our steps, and not ourselves. Our desire will be to please him and not to please the world.
[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Gal 2:20; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15; Jn 6:44; Heb 12:1-2; Tit 2:11-14]
The Great Redeemer
Lyrics by Francis Foster, 1915
Music by Samuel W. Beazley, 1915
How I love the great Redeemer
Who is doing so much for me;
With what joy I tell the story
Of the love that makes men free.
Till my earthly life is ended,
I will send songs above,
Then beside the crystal sea
More and more my soul shall be
Praising Jesus and His love.
He has purchased my redemption,
Rolled my burden of sin away,
And is walking on beside me,
Growing dearer day by day.
That is why I sing His praises,
That is why joy is mine,
That is why forevermore
On the everlasting shore
I shall sing of love divine.
Glory be to Him forever!
Endless praises to Christ the Lamb!
He has filled my life with sunshine,
He has made me what I am.
Oh, that everyone would know Him,
Oh, that all would adore!
Oh, that all would trust the love
Of the mighty Friend above
And be His forevermore.
He is everything to me, to me,
He is everything to me,
And everything shall always be;
I will never cease to raise
A song of gladness in His praise;
Here, and in the world above,
My soul shall sing of saving love;
Life and light and joy is He,
The precious Friend who died for me.
Caution: This link may contain ads