Encouraged to live differently

MONDAY

Chapter 12 is a crossroads in the Book of Romans.  The first 11 chapters of the book unfold the beautiful doctrine of justification by faith alone. But Chapter 12 begins a shift from doctrinal truth to practicing the implications of the doctrinal truths coming before it.  And verse 1 is the bridge between these two sections in the Book of Romans.  This week we will focus on just two verses – Romans 12: 1 and 2 – as we see how those who are justified by faith in Christ’s work should live.

 
NAU Romans 12:1
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

 
NIV Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God– this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer 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.

 
KJV Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

 
The Apostle Paul begins by encouraging the readers of the Book of Romans to live differently than they did before their justification by faith. When he says ‘I urge you’, it is interesting to note that it is not a command. In fact, the Greek word could be translated ‘I strongly encourage’ and has the meaning of ‘to call to one’s aid in order to produce a particular effect such as either comfort or exhortation’.  In this case, Paul is calling those who are justified in Christ to present themselves as living sacrifices to God.

What does Paul mean by being a living sacrifice and how can that be accomplished? We will find out tomorrow. But for today, we are to respond to this call with a willing heart to comply.

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