Romans 12:1-2 (CSB) Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
Go back and read Romans 1 through 11. Everything that you just read in Romans:
- 1:16-17 The gospel is for believers alone
- 1:18-42 From the very beginning (Genesis 3), God gives us over to the consequences of our own sins
- 2-3 Whether Jew or Gentile, we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God
- 5:1-11 Circumstances of our lives do not determine our salvation
- 5:12-21 All who are born are destined to die but those born of God will live
- 6:1-14 Because we are saved, that doesn’t mean we get to sin all the more–that’s because our sins are buried with Christ in the grave
- 6:15-23 We are freed from sin
- 7:1-6 We are divorced from sin
- 7:7-25 Even when we are at odds with indwelling sin, God is still our salvation forever–and that is the indicator that you are saved to God. Unbelievers do not struggle with sin
- 8:1 For all of that, if we are in Christ, we have zero condemnation coming from God
- 8:2-3 Spirit sets us free because of what Christ has done for us
- 8:4-11 In the Spirit, we live, move, and have our being
- 8:12-17 We are the children of God
- 8:18-25 Christ is the only hope we can focus on
- 8:26-27 Spirit intercedes for the saints
- 8:28 All circumstances are redeemed by God for our good
- 8:29 We are being made to look like His Son
- 8:30 Because God has set his affections upon you from before the beginning, He will keep you till beyond the end
- 8:31 No one can stand against us
- 8:32 God grants us everything in His Son because of His Son
- 8:33 God has justified us
- 8:34 No condemnation because of the perfect life, death, burial and resurrection of Christ, who intercedes for us at the right hand of the Father
- 8:35 Nothing on earth can separate us from the love of Christ
- 8:36 Not even death
- 8:37 Because we are more than conquerors because of Christ who has conquered Satan, demons, sin, hell, and death.
- 8:38-39 Not even anything in the supernatural can separate us from the love of God that can only be found in Christ Jesus our Lord
- 9:1-13 Despite God’s great, immense, perfect, saving love, so many people will reject the gospel
- 9:14-29 Despite our rejection, God still saves
- 10:1-13 Our faith in God is our righteousness alone
- 10:14-21 Faith is brought about by the preaching of the gospel alone
- 11 People walk away, reject, disbelieve, or doubt the gospel of God; God still saves
brothers and sisters
Everything you just read in Romans thus far is absolutely true for those believe, trust, and obey the Lord our God.
in view of the mercies of God
This is God’s mercies on fullest display: our calling and our salvation.
I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice
Our response is simple: worship and love the Lord your God with all that you are and everything that you do.
holy and pleasing to God
It is because you are saved by God to God that only now are your works righteous and pleasing to God.
Ephesians 2:8-10 (CSB) For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.
this is your true worship
Anything that is antithetical to the gospel–legalism or disregard for the law of God–are not actual worship to God but sin in the eyes of God.
Only God is worthy to be praised, worship, and adored.
Where do you see God in the text? What does the text say about God?
Trust in God. Now, go and sin no more.
Do not be conformed to this age
Colossians 2:8 (CSB) Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elements of the world, rather than Christ.
The world, Satan, and sin are lying to you. Nothing they can offer is going to make you happy forever. And it might be good for a moment, but it always ends in death. Everybody thinks they have it figured out. God cuts through all of that. He does not lie. He does not breaks his promises that are in his word. God exhorts us: Listen to him and trust in Him. Keep your eyes on him.
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind
When you do so, your mind will change and began to think different. Sin might be indwelling and it will spring up. But those same sins years later will have a nil effect on you. Why? The Triune God dwells in you. The Father gave you his heart. The Spirit fills that heart. The Christ cleanses you from all your sins past, present, and future.
so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God
The more you dwell in God–worship, read, pray, thinking, meditating, help, love—the more you might discern the will of God.
Discernment is a gift of God. It is not a natural talent. It is a gift that needs to be exercised over and over again:
Hebrews 5:11 - 6:3 (CSB) We have a great deal to say about this, and it is difficult to explain, since you have become too lazy to understand. Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s revelation again. You need milk, not solid food. Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature—for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil.
Therefore, let us leave the elementary teaching about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works, faith in God, teaching about ritual washings, laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And we will do this if God permits.
The word of God says to feed on doctrine–the teaching of Scriptures–so that you might mature. You cannot physically mature without eating. You cannot mentally mature with reading, studying, learning, doing, and thinking. You cannot emotionally mature without counseling, healing, restoring, and acknowledging the feelings that you are feeling. Why would you spiritually mature without doing anything?
Cause our hearts to swell and give us new desires for you alone.