Romans 12:1-2 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. 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.”
Romans 12:1-2 NIV
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
God’s mercy to us was in sending his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to the earth, to be born to a human mother, conceived of the Holy Spirit, to live on this earth, to preach repentance and obedience as necessary components of believing faith; to die for our sins in order to deliver us from slavery to sin, to be raised from the dead, to ascend back to heaven, then to send his Holy Spirit to indwell the lives of those who are true followers of Jesus Christ.
In view of what Jesus Christ did for us on that cross, we who believe in Jesus Christ are to give our lives to Jesus as living sacrifices. We are to surrender our lives to the Lord to now be his possession, and for him to now be our Lord (Owner-Master). This means our lives are no longer our own to be lived however we want because Jesus, in his death, by his shed blood, bought us back for God (redeemed us) so we’d now honor the Lord with our bodies.
Now we are to live holy lives pleasing to God, and holy means to be separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being made into the likeness of Jesus Christ, if indeed that is what is taking place in our lives. So we are no longer to be conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but we are to be changed in mind and in behavior of the Spirit of God so that we now live holy lives in obedience to our Lord and no longer in sin.
And this is our true and proper and spiritual worship of God. For singing songs and lifting hands may or may not be true worship of God depending on whether or not our lives are truly given over to the Lord as living sacrifices to him and if we are truly walking according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh. But by walking in holiness and in obedience to our Lord we learn to discern and to do the will of God for our lives.
[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
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Near the Cross
Hymn lyrics by Fanny J. Crosby, 1869
Music by William H. Doane, 1869
Jesus, keep me near the cross;
There a precious fountain,
Free to all, a healing stream,
Flows from Calvary’s mountain.
Near the cross, a trembling soul,
Love and mercy found me;
There the bright and morning star
Sheds its beams around me.
Near the cross! O Lamb of God,
Bring its scenes before me;
Help me walk from day to day
With its shadow o’er me.
Near the cross I’ll watch and wait,
Hoping, trusting ever,
Till I reach the golden strand
Just beyond the river.
In the cross, in the cross,
Be my glory ever,
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.
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