Romans 12:1, 2 - Surrender and Transformation.
Romans 12:1, 2 - Surrender and Transformation.
Romans 12:1, 2 (TEV) So then, my brothers, because of God's
great mercy to us I appeal to you: Offer yourselves as a living
sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is
the true worship that you should offer. Do not conform yourselves
to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly
by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know
the will of God--what is good and is pleasing to him and is
Romans 12:1, 2 (CWR) Therefore I plead with you, my brothers,
because of God's kindness and mercy toward you, offer your lives as
living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to Him. This is both reasonable
and the spiritual way to worship God. Don't pattern your life after
this world, but let God transform you from the inside out and give
you a new way of thinking. Then you will know what is good and
pleasing to Him and what is not.
The initial summary statement in these two verses is a marvel of
succinctness and insight.... A sacrifice is that which is utterly devoted to
God. The Christian walk is, therefore, a living devotion to God.
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]
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
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]
The greatest of all miracles is the transformation of one's
conduct and the renewing of one's "mind." [Jamieson, Fausset, And Brown
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). [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 this renewing work, till it is
perfected in glory. [Matthew Henry Commentary]
At 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
It is possible to avoid most worldly customs and still be proud,
covetous, selfish, stubborn, and arrogant. Only when the Holy Spirit
renews, reeducates, and redirects our minds are we truly transformed
(see 8:5). [Life Application SB]
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. [Barclay Commentary]
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 becomes the centre of life then we can present real
worship, which is the offering of every moment and every action to God.
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 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
WILL OF GOD
By the renewing of his mind the believer is enabled to know what
God would have him do. [SDA Commentary]
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]
Perhaps one of the most powerful and life-changing prayers we
can pray is the prayer of surrender we read about in this verse:
"Lord, I offer myself to you as a living sacrifice." When we yield all
of ourselves to God, he works and loves and thinks through us to
accomplish his purposes, which are far more than we could ask or imagine.
We experience enormous joy as God does his works through us. If we
try to live life in our own strength, we become empty and depleted.
But when we're continually offering ourselves to the Lord, he
continually fills us with his spirit of love, joy, peace, and patience.
Verse 2 is also an important part of the equation: we are to
couple that surrender to God with seeking his transforming work in us.
He makes us into new people from the inside out by changing the way
we think as our minds are renewed with his Word. As this happens,
we will know increasingly that good, pleasing, and complete will of
God for our lives. [Praying Through The Bible By Fuller re Rom.
Because he wants only what is best for us, and because he gave
his Son to make our new lives possible, we should joyfully give
ourselves as living sacrifices for his service. [Life Application SB]