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. –Romans 12:1
Romans 12 is an explosively practical chapter which chronicles how the life of the person following Christ ought to be lived. In the coming weeks, we’ll dive into each verse, and have a better understanding how we might, in the here and now, bring honor and worship to God.
That journey begins with Romans 12:1, and a key to understanding 12:1 is reading Romans 1-11, a doctrinal powder keg that explores who God is and our position in Him and to Him. At the end of all this philosophical, theological discourse, Paul decides to shift gears from mental understanding to practical living—as should always be the case with good doctrine. We train our hearts and minds to inform our actions, and here Paul tells us it is time for that transition with the all-important “therefore.”
In light of EVERYTHING I just said, Paul could be paraphrased, do this. Commit to these things!
So if God is our Father, our Savior, our Hope, our Life, our escape from sin and death, we should THEREFORE commit ourselves—our whole selves—to his service. Our lives, in short, should be committed to serving God. He is incredibly worth it—Romans 1-11 tells us all the ways this is true—and so let’s get going!
Get going doing what? An astute reader might here query. And for good reason, for this is the very notion that will keep us reading and exploring what it is to present our bodies as a living sacrifice. In coming verses, we will take the abstract and intellectual, and turn it to the practical, tangible activity.
I hope you’ll check back in coming days as we explore the rest of this punchy, life-giving, purpose-inducing chapter.