An Urging to Surrender All
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.”
This is a strong encouragement, an exhortation, and an urging (insisting upon), so this is not a casual recommendation nor a mere suggestion. This is not optional for the follower of Jesus Christ. For this urging is based off the mercies, grace, and compassion of God in sending his Son, Jesus Christ, to die on a cross for our sins so that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness (Rom 6:1-23; 1 Pet 2:24; Eph 4:17-24).
We are to present (give as a gift or as an offering) our bodies (our physical bodies and our lives, our persons) to the Lord Jesus (to God) as a living sacrifice. This has to do with us surrendering our lives to Jesus Christ and us forfeiting ourselves (denying self) and us dying daily with Christ to sin and to self and us walking in obedience to the Lord and to his commands, for this offering to God must be on his terms, not ours (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 8:1-17).
And this sacrifice of our lives to the Lord Jesus is to be holy and acceptable to God, which it will be if it is on his terms and not on our own terms. And to be holy is to be separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being conformed to the likeness of Christ by God’s Spirit and via our submission and obedience to our Lord. We, as followers of Jesus, are to stand out as different. We are not to immerse ourselves in our culture.
And this sacrifice (surrendering) of our lives to the Lord, if it is genuine, and if it is according to God’s terms and not ours, and thus it is holy and acceptable to God, it is also our spiritual worship of God. For worship of God is not just singing a bunch of “praise and worship songs” in a “worship service.” We can sing songs to our hearts’ content and never truly ever be worshiping the Lord in the way that he requires of us.
For, if our lives are not surrendered to the Lord Jesus, and if we are not living holy lives, acceptable to God, but if we are still living like the world, for self and for self-pleasure, while just mouthing worship of the Lord, then that is not true worship. It may feel like worship when our emotions get all stirred up over the music, and we may confuse emotional experiences with true worship of God, but it is not worship unless our lives are surrendered to the Lord Jesus and unless we are walking in his ways and in his power.
Not Like the 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 not to be conformed to the world. We are not to be identified with the world, having the same character as the world, following the same patterns, following its ways, adapting to the culture, following the crowd, and living in agreement with the attitudes, philosophies, culture, and mindset of the ungodly of this world.
Yet, that is what the modern-day altered gospel message, which is being taught widely in today’s modern “churches,” is following. For Christians are marketing the gatherings of the church (or what is falsely called church) to the people of the world, and thus they have altered their gatherings to make them more appealing and acceptable to the world, and they have done the same with the gospel so as not to offend the people of the world.
And so the majority of the church, at least here in America, has gone the way of the world and they are trying to attract the world to their gatherings by becoming more like the world and not so “righteous” in order to not offend the people of the world. So, the word “sin” is barely mentioned or it is changed to say something less severe like, “I messed up.” It is almost like “I spilled a glass of milk” or something treated more like an accident.
And instead of teaching that we must die with Christ to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, and that we are to follow our Lord Jesus in obedience to his commands, they have largely removed submission to Christ, obedience to his commands, and the forsaking of our sins from the gospel message so as not to offend, not only the people of the world, but worldly professers of faith in Jesus who want to hold on to their sin.
So, as long as anyone is not willing to die to sin daily and to follow Jesus in obedience to his commands, then he is not willing to surrender his life to the Lord as a living sacrifice, set apart from the world and unto God, and so he is also not able to worship the Lord in truth, either. For, he is still holding on to his old life of living for sin and self, and he is giving himself permission to live that way by adopting the cheap grace gospel, which okays that.
And thus he can’t be transformed of the Spirit of God in the renewing of his mind because his mind is still set on the flesh and on the world and on pleasing the flesh and not on pleasing God with his life. And so there is no evidence to show that he is a true follower of Christ because he is not spiritually discerning what is the will of God for his life, for he has chosen to follow the teachings of humans and to reject the teachings of God/Jesus.
But as followers of Jesus we carry Jesus within us in the person of the Holy Spirit, and our lives are to be surrendered to the Lord to do his will and to go wherever he sends us and to do whatever he commands, even if it means that we stand out like a sore thumb (an expression), and people think we are weird, and they don’t understand us, and so they falsely accuse us of evil when what we are doing is really the good God has given us to do.
Breath Of Heaven (Mary’s Song)
Songwriters: Amy Lee Grant / Chris Eaton
I have traveled many moonless nights
Cold and weary with a babe inside
And I wonder what I’ve done
Holy father you have come
And chosen me now to carry your son
I am waiting in a silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now
Be with me now
Breath of heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven
Lighten my darkness
Pour over me your holiness
For you are holy
Breath of heaven
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