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 chapters 1-11 are rich in theology. Paul talks a lot about faith, how faith works, why faith is enough, how the gentiles have faith in a similar way than the Jews who have the law, God’s sovereign election, and God’s plan for redeeming Jews and Gentiles. We take a strong turn from theology to application in Romans chapter 12. This is how a good theology works. Theology explains what we believe to be true about God but if we believe those things about God, then our actions will indicate it as well.
This part of Romans Paul lays out practical ways that our belief in what he has demonstrated about God in Romans 1-11 show up in our lives. If we believe that God is sovereign over nations, we’ll submit to those in an authority over us (when they don’t contradict the Word of God). If we believe that God is the one that has lit the spark of belief in our hearts, we’ll press in to him knowing that he has a plan and a purpose for us. If we believe that we are set free from sin, we will flee sin when it pursues us and walk in the power of the Spirit of God.
Ultimately if we believe that God is good, that He has a purpose in sending Christ to free us from sin, and has given us faith to respond to Him, then we will respond by letting Him move and work freely in our lives. This is why Paul talks about presenting ourselves as a living sacrifice. We are offering ourselves back to God in an act of worship as a right response for all He has done. We are trusting Him to continue His work in us. We pressing into Him and allowing Him to change our thoughts and desires to be more like His. We are treating one another in a way that He would desire us to treat one another.
Father, thank you that you not only teach us truth about you in your word, but you also demonstrate how to live out that truth in our lives. Give us grace today to respond to you in a way that glorifies and honors you. Give us guidance and wisdom according to our differing circumstances how we can honor you as living sacrifices. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.