Romans 11:32 For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all… 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 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, pleasing, and perfect will.
Definition of “present”: technical word used for offering an animal sacrifice in Jewish Law.
Definition of “worship”: refers to the temple service worship that includes offering animal sacrifices and is led by the priests. Note: 1 Peter 2:9,10 refers to believers as priests.
The “therefore” of Romans 12:1 refers back to the statement in Romans 11:32 specifically and to the first eleven chapters generally. In the first eleven chapters Paul taught that both Jew and Gentile are saved by God’s mercy. As Robert E. Lee stated when asked if a black and white should kneel side by side at the rail altar during the Civil War, “All the ground is level at the foot of the cross.” God had mercy on both the Jew and Gentile, neither deserved salvation. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross makes each person who believes perfect in His sight (Hebrews 10:14). Christ was the sin offering for the sins of all the people in the world who individually believe that He died on the cross for his/her sins.
In view of the mercy God has extended to every believer, the Apostle Paul encourages us to offer ourselves as living sacrifices holy and pleasing to God. We cannot present ourselves as a sin offering since the offering for the sins of the world needed to be perfect. Jesus was the sin offering for the forgiveness of sins once for all. We present ourselves as an offering to God in recognition of God’s goodness, His provisions, and to show our complete devotion to God. We can offer ourselves to God because we have been made perfect in Christ by repenting of our sin and believing the gospel. As perfect sacrifices we are to be obedient to God’s will. We are commanded to not let our thoughts and actions be shaped by the world, but be in accordance with God’s will. We renew our mind to think and act in accordance with God’s will by learning the Word of God, the Bible.
When we offer ourselves as living sacrifices we are presenting ourselves to God to accomplish His will of seeking and saving the lost, the people who have not had their sins pardoned. We are presenting ourselves to God to accomplish His will of helping every believer be mature and complete in Christ.
Are you offering yourself as a living sacrifice to God? Are you letting the world shape your thinking and actions or are you renewing your mind in the truth so you can live a transformed life that displays Jesus to the world of lost people?