“Wrestling With Romans”
A Life Consecrated to God (Chapter 12 Verses 1-8)
This is the hinge point, ‘therefore’ because of all that Paul has said thus far, now he says, this is the outworking of it all, what you must do, how you must live in the light of these things. I beseech you, he says (v1), no command, it’s not needed. Why? Because of the grounds of his appeal, the mercies of God. All the mercies Paul has been pressing upon us, the mercy of no condemnation, the mercy of no separation, the mercy of adoption, the mercy of reconciliation, the mercy of life in the Spirit, and of course we could go on. Who needs commanding in the light of all this? Can a person who is not moved to godly living after all this, really be a Christian? The appeal? To offer our bodies as living sacrifices. It is our bodies that come in contact with sin power in this world, our eyes see things they shouldn’t, it is our feet that take us places they perhaps shouldn’t go, our hands are used for sinful purposes. Well, says Paul, instead, now in the light of all God’s done for you, offer the parts of your body up for righteous living, use them for good and for God, for holy purposes. It’s as living sacrifices he wants them though, not dead ones, not as slain on an alter, but living, alive in Jesus for evermore, living for him. This is how we worship God. Worship is more than singing songs, more than meeting together as Christians in Church, good and proper, and part of our worship as that is. No Christian worship is a life given over to God completely, to worship God with every part. In the garage, the office, at the kitchen sink, or in the shop, where ever we are we belong to him, and what ever we are doing, it is, or should be done for him, to his pleasing – that’s worship.
The world’s pattern (v2a), is not ours, because it’s in the grip of the evil one (1John 5.19; 2Corinthians 4.4). Through our being inwardly transformed, in our minds, we are to be outwardly conformed to a life-style that pleases God. Our minds are renewed through the reading of the Scriptures, daily bringing all our judgments, and decisions to the yardstick of his word. As we go on our minds are permeated with that word and we begin to think, almost automatically, in God’s ways, thinking his thoughts after him. Thus we instinctively make biblical and godly decisions concerning our daily living. But everything must be tested, because of our fallenness, our judgments are faulty, therefore we need the straight-edge of the Bible every time. That is, if we are to be a Spirit-led people (Romans 8.14).
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1997)