Romans 12:1,2 - A Living sacrifice From Transformation.
SACRIFICE & CONSECRATION
Paul first appeals to Christians to consecrate their bodies to God. He then
calls on them to dedicate their intellectual and spiritual faculties (v. 2).
True sanctification is the dedication of the entire being-body, mind, and
soul [SDA Commentary]
A sacrifice is that which is utterly devoted to God. The Christian walk is,
therefore, a living devotion to God. This is accomplished through spiritual
transformation rather than conformity to the world. [Criswell SB mod]
We offer ourselves as living sacrifices when we dedicate our lives wholely
to God; body, mind and soul. Our daily dedication of our lives to God i.e.
our surrender and submission to His will in our lives will allow God to
transform us into the image of Christ. [Annotated SB mod]
God wants us to offer ourselves, not animals, as 'living' sacrifices--daily
laying aside our own desires to follow him, putting all our energy and
resources at his disposal and trusting him to guide us. We do this out of
gratitude that our sins have been forgiven. [Life Application SB]
Christian discipleship involves complete consecration to Christ and to His
cause. . . He called for a living sacrifice. No longer can God be pleased
with a slain beast or mere material things on the altar. He wants lives
sacrificed on the altar to Him. He does not want us to die for Him; He wants
us to live for Him. Holy living pleases God. Most of the problems we find in
trying to live the Christian life probably arise from trying to half live
it. [Disciple SB]
The Christian sacrifice is of the living man. The Christian worshiper
presents himself alive with all his energies and powers dedicated to the
service of God.
Christians are to present their bodies in the best condition possible. All
their faculties and powers must be preserved pure and holy, or else their
dedication of themselves to God cannot be acceptable to Him.
Sanctification includes both an outward separation from all the unholy
customs of this age and an inward transformation of the believer himself.
Elsewhere in the NT this change is described as a new birth (John 3:3), a
resurrection (Rom. 6:4, 11, 13), a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15).
True Christian service and living must begin with personal dedication to the
Lord. The Christian who fails in life is the one who has first failed at the
altar, refusing to surrender completely to Christ. King Saul failed at the
altar (1 Sam. 13:8ff and 15:10ff), and it cost him his kingdom.
The motive for dedication is love; Paul does not say, "I command you" but "I
beseech you, because of what God has already done for you." We do not serve
Christ in order to receive His mercies, because we already have them
(3:21-8:39). We serve Him out of love and appreciation.
True dedication is the presenting of body, mind, and will to God day by day.
It is daily yielding the body to Him, having the mind renewed by the Word,
and surrendering the will through prayer and obedience. Every Christian is
either a conformer, living for and like the world, or a transformer, daily
becoming more like Christ. [Wiersbe Expository Outlines]
TRANSFORMATION AND RENEWING THE MIND
Renewing of your mind. at the time of conversion the mind comes under the
influence of the Spirit of God. The result is that "we have the mind of
Christ" (1 Cor. 2:13-16). "The words, 'A new heart also will I give you,'
mean, 'A new mind will I give you'" . . . This renewing change, which begins
when the believer is converted and reborn, is a progressive and continuing
transformation, for our "inward man is renewed day by day" [SDA Commentary]
Conversion and sanctification are the renewing of the mind; . . . The
progress of sanctification, dying to sin more and more and living to
righteousness more and more, is the carrying on of this renewing work, till
it be perfected in glory. This is called the transforming of us; . . .The
great enemy to this renewal is, conformity to this world. [Matthew Henry
The greatest of all miracles is the transformation of one's conduct and the
renewing of one's "mind." [Jamieson, Fausset, And Brown Commentary]
We must be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. God must be served with the
spirit , under the influences of the Holy Spirit.
Whatever we do in religion it is pleasing to God no further than it is done
with our spirits wrought upon by the Spirit of God. And there must be
fervency in the spirit-- a holy zeal, and warmth, and ardency of affection
in all we do, as those that love God not only with the heart and soul, but
with all our hearts, and with all our souls. This is the holy fire that
kindles the sacrifice, and carries it up to heaven, an offering of a
sweet-smelling savour (Matthew Henry's Commentary)
True worship is seen as a presentation of the self to God. [New Bible
Our every act of obedience is worship! [Victor Bible Background Commentary]
True worship is the offering to God of one's body, and all that one does
every day with it. Real worship is not the offering to God of a liturgy,
however noble, and a ritual, however magnificent. Real worship is the
offering of everyday life to him, not something transacted in a church, but
something which sees the whole world as the temple of the living God.
We do worship God when we go to church, when we pray, when we raise our
voices in song. But we also worship God every day whenever we do anything
that pleases Him. Our hand on the arm of a hurting brother can be worship.
Our effort to do our job honestly and well can be worship. Stopping to
listen to an upset child, even though we're tired, can be worship.
Everything we do, when done with a desire to please our LORD, is worship.
[The 365-Day Devotional Commentary]
When Christ comes into a man's life he is a new man; his mind is different,
for the mind of Christ is in him.
When Christ becomes the centre of life then we can present real worship,
which is the offering of every moment and every action to God. [Barclay
WILL OF GOD
By the renewing of his mind the believer is enabled to know what God would
have him do. [SDA Commentary]
Those are best able to prove what is the good, and acceptable, and perfect
will of God, who are transformed by the renewing of their mind. (Matthew
Only when we are surrendered to Him will the world be powerless to squeeze
us into its mold, and will we be transformed and able to live out God's good
will. [Victor Teacher's Commentary]
Dedication gives the ability to discern God's will. [Ryrie SB]
It is only when the believer is thus dedicated to God that he can know God's
will for his life. God does not have three wills (good, acceptable, and
perfect) for believers in the way that there are three choices for
merchandise in the mail order catalogs ("good, better, best"). Rather, we
grow in our appreciation of God's will. Some Christians obey God because
they know that obedience is good for them, and they fear chastening. Others
obey because they find God's will acceptable. But the deepest devotion is in
those who love God's will and find it perfect. [Wiersbe Expository Outlines]
"Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind." This is a self-denying
way. And when you think that the way is too strait, that there is too much
self-denial in this narrow path; when you say, How hard to give up all, ask
yourselves the question, What did Christ give up for me? This question puts
anything that we may call self-denial in the shade. Behold Him in the
garden, sweating great drops of blood. A solitary angel is sent from heaven
to strengthen the Son of God. Follow Him on His way to the judgment hall,
while He is derided, mocked, and insulted by that infuriated mob. Behold
Him clothed in that old purple kingly robe. Hear the coarse jest and cruel
mocking. See them place upon that noble brow the crown of thorns, and then
smite Him with a reed, causing the thorns to penetrate His temples, and the
blood to flow from that holy brow. Hear that murderous throng eagerly crying
for the blood of the Son of God. He is delivered into their hands, and they
lead the noble sufferer away, pale, weak, and fainting, to His crucifixion.
He is stretched upon the wooden cross, and the nails are driven through His
tender hands and feet. Behold Him hanging upon the cross those dreadful
hours of agony until the angels veil their faces from the horrid scene, and
the sun hides its light, refusing to behold. Think of these things, and then
ask, Is the way too strait? No, no. 1T240,241