Romans 12:1 “Therefore I exhort you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice – alive, holy, and pleasing to God – which is your reasonable service.”
In view of who God is and what God has done for us…we are to present our bodies to God as a sacrifice. In this passage Paul paints a picture of what it means to “die to self” (Matthew 16:24). If we want to come to Jesus we must deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him. In other words, Paul calls us to dedicate ourselves without reserve to God.
Why? We must look back to the previous 11 chapter of Romans to see the reasons. The Christian life is not based on ignorance but knowledge, and the better we understand Biblical doctrine (Romans 1-11), the easier it is to obey Bible duties (Romans 12-16).
Present your bodies…ALIVE
- We were once dead in our trespasses & sin. Now we are made alive in God through Christ.
Present your bodies…HOLY
- We were once slaves to sin. Now we are righteous through faith in Christ.
Present your bodies…PLEASING
- We were once enemies of God because of sin. Now we are at peace with God through the work of Christ.
John Stott wrote, “All true worship is a response to the self-revelation of God in Christ and Scripture, and arises from our reflection on Who He is and what He has done.” As we understand what Christ has done for us on the cross (theology); we are therefore to live our lives in complete submission to Him (practicality). As Bishop Handley Moule said at the end of the 19th century, we must “beware equally of an undevotional theology and of an untheological devotion.”