June 1, 2003


Romans 12:1-8


   Paul's sorrow had turned to joy. He overflowed with praise and exploded with the doxology, "Oh the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God, how unsearchable were His judgments and His ways past finding out." To Paul God had revealed His purpose of the ages, to bless the Gentiles now and bring them to "fulness" during Israel's unbelief, after which He would restore Israel to their position of covenant blessing and thus show His mercies and grace to the whole world of undeserving sinners. Who, but God, could ever have thought of such a plan?

   Based upon these mercies, the Apostle comes down from the heights of God's sovereignty, predestination, and foreknowledge to tell us what all this means in our daily lives. He beseeches us to present our bodies a living sacrifice to God and sets forth this to be our reasonable, logical, intelligent service. We have already met the same word here translated "present," where it reads "yield." Paul explained that "to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness" (Rom. 6:16). And therefore "as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness" (Rom. 6:19).This is what it means to present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God. What a far more glorious sacrifice! We do not present dead animals, but living Christians--body and soul, doing God's will from the heart, meeting the righteous requirements of the law by "walking not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit [our new nature]"!

   We are not to be "conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewing of our mind, that we may prove (experimentally) what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" Rom. 12:2). Best of all, God assures us that such sacrifices are "acceptable" to Him. They are even better than merely acceptable, for the word really means "well pleasing." Just think how bodies that had been previously yielded to wretched sinful practices can now be yielded, presented to God in devoted, service with transformed minds such that He will be well pleased," proving the good...acceptable, and perfect will of God."


Ivan L. Burgener