Romans Chapter 12:1,2
Before we study this verses first we read the first verses: “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. 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”.
These words come from the apostle Paul who was inspired by God. Paul didn’t receive the message of Grace not of men but by revelation of Jesus Christ. We can read this in Galatians 1:11,12: “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ”
Verse 1: Here in Chapter 12 verses 1 and 2 we see the practice in the daily life. We see here in these verses the will of God. First it begins with I beseech you therefore, brethren. To whom is the apostle speaking here? He is speaking in the first place to brethren in the Lord Jesus Christ who are in Rome because the epistle is written to the believers at Rome, and for the whole body of Christ, also for us as members of this body of Christ, the heavenly Church. We see in Chapter 1: 7: “To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ” To beseech is not a command or direct somebody else. It is to ask or to call somebody. The brethren are the saints in Rome like you and me, members of the body of Christ I Corinthians 12:13!!! Before we were in Christ we didn’t have any hope and were without God in this world, enemies of God and in wicked works. Ephesians 2:11, 12. Thanks be unto God Who had reconciled us to Him through the redemption of Christ , the gift of grace!! By the mercies of God. To translate this word mercies it means compassions. What God already did for us: we are justified from all things, baptized into Christ and seated with Him in heaven and more blessings we have in God and now the practice in our lives: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God. It is God’s will, not our old own will because from ourselves we do not good things. We can see this in Romans chapter 3:12:”They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one” This is the natural man and is still with us. However we can now say that we are in Christ and we can now walk in the good works which God hath before ordained. Ephesians 2:10. What we have to do? We have to present our bodies. If we in the daily life present our bodies to Him that loves us, God has the whole man because the man consists of soul, spirit and body. It is thus to present yourself to God, to let Him work through you. It is like Paul, the apostle who was a slave of Jesus Christ and served God till the end of his life in Rome! We have to yield the inner man to His will and not to do our own will!!! This is always our daily fight! We want to please God and to do His will and then the old nature comes and doesn’t want it. In Romans 7:19: “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do”. A living sacrifice! What does this mean? This is God’s will for today that we live a life of sacrifice for Him day by day! The apostle Paul was living example for this. He suffered a lot for Christ. All this we can read in 2 Corinthians 11: 22-33. Once he was stoned, 3 times he suffered shipwreck, a night and a day he was in the deep, in weariness, in painfulness, in hunger and thirst, in cold and nakedness. For us as believers of the body of Christ who live in Western countries like the Netherlands, USA, Germany we cannot imagine what the apostle Paul went through with the Lord. And still he had the love of Christ that constraineth him and his fellow labors to bring to the people in that time the gospel of the grace of God Acts 20:24! We have no hunger, nakedness, being in the deep of the water! In this world there are countries where brothers and sisters are persecuted because of believing in Christ! Maybe they don’t know the gospel of Grace and the Word rightly dividing. Still they are suffering so much! Last I heard the story of a sister in the Lord Jesus Christ from North Korea, who is now living in South Korea who suffered for many years and was persecuted in 10 prison camps there. Since 2 years she is now living in South Korea and lives in freedom now. And I heard that there are more than 50.000 brothers and sisters who are persecuted in North Korea and most of them live in concentration camps! What we only can do for them is to pray!
A living sacrifice, to sacrifice ourselves for Him! Holy: this means apart for God. We as members of the body of Christ are apart in Christ, in God! And as we are a living sacrifice for Him than it is also acceptable unto God. That is God’s desire because He loves us so much that He wants that we live in our daily life with Him. Our example is the apostle Paul. He is the living example for a living sacrifice! And he says to us:”Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” 1Corinthians 11:1. As a slave for Christ the apostle exhorted Timothy and also us in 2 Timothy 2:3:”Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” The last of this verse is: which is your reasonable service. It is a divine service. This is far more than religion! It is a service for God and that every day of our life! It is a logic service for Him.
Verse 2: The next verse, verse 2 begins with: And be not conformed to this world! What does this mean? In Galatians 1:4 we read the following text: “Who (that is Christ) gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father”. This was the purpose of God! To deliver us from this present evil world, that’s why gave Himself through His Son Jesus Christ for our sins! Now in Christ we have the forgiveness of sins Ephesians 1:7, Colossians 1:14 through His blood on Calvary shed for us! Our position is in Christ! We read in Ephesians 2:4-6:”But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved); And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” This is our position in Christ!!!! What a wonderful God we have, we are delivered through Him from this present evil world!!!! Think about it, delivered, freed from this evil world. We are no part of it anymore, we are in Christ!!! So be not conformed to this world. God says here be different. Modern believers or Christians today think that to win the lost for Christ they have to adapt themselves to this world. But here in this verse it says be different. First it begins with our mind and later the behavior from us. First we have to learn why we have to be different from other people (in our thinking and behavior, daily life). Because God want’s this!! He had delivered us from this present evil world and now He asks us to be different! To be different from what? Be different from this evil world!!! Do not the same things what people in this world do! An example is to drink a lot of alcohol in bars! If people in this world see that we behave ourselves different from them sometimes they can be impressed with our testimony. But be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. The word transformed comes from the Greek word metamorphoo or metamorphosis. It is being changed. A verse for this we can find in 2 Corinthians 3:18: “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. It is in the daily life to let the Spirit of God rule in our hearts by His Word!!! It is to put off the old man with his deeds and put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him!!! Read Colossians 3:9, 10. If you in the daily life present yourself for God a living sacrifice and so be different form this world than you know that the will of God is good and perfect for our happiness temporal and also eternal. So it have to be in our daily life with God and we can pray that in our own weakness we let God to work in us through His Word and that He will use us for His glory and purpose!!!!