Look back through the Epistle for the mercies of which he speaks. Note —I. How vain are all other attempts at curing conformity to the world! It is not without meaning that Paul says, "Present your bodies." The word he uses is not "carcase," but "living body"; which includes all the powers of intercourse and exertion.3. In these bodies we should carry about the marks of the Lord Jesus Christ. Where the common food is eaten with thankfulness and in the consciousness of His presence, it is holy as the Lord's Supper. Here, again, the primitive Christian would have a stronger feeling than we can have. The religion of Christ appeals to all our highest faculties. Now there can be no doubt at all about one thing. There were two kinds of offerings under the Law — the one of expiation, the other of oblation; and two orders of priests — the high priest who went in alone every year into the holy of holies, and the ordinary priests who ministered daily at the altar. There is no need in this generation to preach against asceticism. Why do two human beings give themselves to one another? )LinksRomans 12:1 NIVRomans 12:1 NLTRomans 12:1 ESVRomans 12:1 NASBRomans 12:1 KJVRomans 12:1 Bible AppsRomans 12:1 ParallelRomans 12:1 Biblia ParalelaRomans 12:1 Chinese BibleRomans 12:1 French BibleRomans 12:1 German BibleRomans 12:1 CommentariesBible Hub. THE GENTLE ENFORCEMENT OF THIS GREAT MOTIVE FOR CHRISTIAN SERVICE. )Your reasonable serviceOur reasonable serviceJ. Now, it is not a bad thing that we should have to do with the physical world; but what effect is our bodies producing upon this world? The natural imbecility of reason in a fallen creature has been much overlooked; and her appropriate province in revealed religion much misunderstood by many of the disputers of this age. This priestly service of sacrifice shall be acceptable to God. Repentance — not like the repentance of the sailor in the time of storm, who throws his goods overboard, and in the time of calm wishes he had them back, but it is a repentance unto life which gets rid of all sin and joyfully leaves it behind. And this is what the soul means when it gives itself unto God, that we may become one with Him, that our hearts may beat in sympathy with His, that our wills may keep time with the Divine will, that we may help in the accomplishment of His plans. PAUL "BESEECHES YOU BY THE MERCIES OF GOD" TO PERFORM IT. )An acceptable presentHomiletic Magazine. But if we are true to the teaching of Christ, and insist that consecration to God means the highest love to God and the purest love to men, need we fear that the most enlightened sages can gainsay that doctrine? The sacrifice to be offered must be —(1) Holy. So with God (Isaiah 43:24).III. Here lies our worth and our good, in giving ourselves "a living sacrifice" to Him, of, through, and to whom are all things.2. The words are equivalent to "yourselves in the body." To these the apostle cries, "I beseech you," etc.2. Let me once be conscious that I love God and delight in Him, I have no more to doubt then. The misfortune is, that he applies to the wrong object: instead of trusting to the Rock of Ages, he leans on a feeble reed that will break under him, and wound the hand that reclined upon it, More especially will this appear when we consider that the God on whom we depend is a Being in whom every perfection centres; whose benevolence inclines Him to communicate happiness, and who has given us a rule of faith and conduct which, if we observe, He has solemnly promised that He will make all things to work together for our ultimate and greatest good. Turn aside and see how the priests used to act. So in Christian labour it is self-sacrifice that gives the last touch and excellence and glory to our work.(W. We give to those who deserve well of us — especially if they have done or suffered much on our behalf. Rowland Hill once said, "Because I am in earnest men call me an enthusiast. I can do many things here on earth in the service of God and my fellow-creatures, which I could not possibly do if body and soul were separated from each other. "Here am I," it mutters, "so far away from Him who made me, without any beauty of form, or richness of colour, or sweetness of smell! The misfortune is, that he applies to the wrong object: instead of trusting to the Rock of Ages, he leans on a feeble reed that will break under him, and wound the hand that reclined upon it, More especially will this appear when we consider that the God on whom we depend is a Being in whom every perfection centres; whose benevolence inclines Him to communicate happiness, and who has given us a rule of faith and conduct which, if we observe, He has solemnly promised that He will make all things to work together for our ultimate and greatest good. How to estimate ourselves.(J. These mercies are also the only motive power that will be strong enough to lead to this consecration of ourselves to Him. In the ages of persecution, Christians must have felt that they were indeed presenting themselves victims in the cause of God and truth. Hence the prohibition thereof in the Decalogue. Butts there the renewal of the mind? It is enough, however, that the service is dictated by reason in response to a reasonable demand. You tell me you cannot come to Him. THE DUTY ENJOINED. There must be something more than thinking of God, than admiring the greatness of God's works, than even acknowledging that God is kind; and what that is we have in this verse.4. It is our reasonable service, which has been understood to point a contrast between the Christian sacrifice and those made prior to the Divine command, or those which are superstitious, or mechanical, or carnal. "You had better put it in the pulpit," said he, "for it is awful cold up there." Surely as the morning sunrise drew a note from the stony lips of the statue, which storm and thunder could not awaken, His pleading voice will bring an answer that could not have been won by any commandments, however rigid, or by any threatenings, however severe.(A. THE LEADING MOTIVE OF THE GOSPEL.1. "(2) A "holy" sacrifice — i.e., solemnly set apart for the Divine service. Baxendale.Pousa the Chinese potter, being ordered to produce some great work for the Emperor, tried long to make it, but in vain. The "sacrifice" here is the life indwelt, kindled, inspired, transformed by the fire of the Holy Spirit. "Think now," said I to myself, "if she should say, 'Well, I suppose it is my father's will, and I must submit to it,' should I not answer, 'Nay, it is dead against your father's will? Seneca says, "There is no grace in a benefit that sticks to our fingers."2. Now there is no need to depreciate outward forms of oral worship. Something God will care to receive. A life, a worship, consecrated from the low, narrow, impure influences which dry up our better thoughts; a life set on higher aims, a life which has within it something at least which recalls the world to the sense of the saintly, the heroic, the heavenly, the Divine! Now that you may be living sacrifices, it is necessary that you should be daily cleansed, bound, and burned.II. He has knowledge; he has a perception of the beauty of the system, but he has not tasted and seen. It is firm as the mountains — free as the air-boundless as the ocean — durable as the pillars of heaven — and efficacious in its operations, as the sun shining in the greatness of his strength.II. Every thoughtful mind rises above being satisfied with external rites. Something worth giving. It is a service or worship rendered by the inner man, transacted by the mind or reason, and thus, as indicating the part of our nature which performs it, is reasonable. )An acceptable presentHomiletic Magazine. And this sacrifice will become visible in the sacrifice of the body, when in all common actions we have a supreme and distinct reference to His will, and do, or refuse to do, because of the fear and for the sake of the Lord. Now, that is something for which to be thankful. Then, in verse 2, the Christian is called upon to change. Not to authority, freedom, popularity, fear, but to truth. "Acceptable unto God" is not only praising God in the church, but praising Him with the melody of our daily words and actions, helping the helpless, and keeping ourselves unspotted from the world.(W. Now, what is the nature of that influence? Not that we are to love our friends less, but we are to love God more. Consecrated earnestness is needed in Church and Sunday-school work and by seeking sinners.II. "If you please, sir, I haven't money enough to pay my fare. Creatures who have no souls do it. THE TERMS USED. I would give Him the best buildings, singers, preachers, but unless we give Him living service all else is but the painted flower. So with respect to anything that is doubtful with regard to the expenditure of time or money. In an instant he was in the sea, and soon both were again on deck. DIVINE MERCIES PROMPT THE CHRISTIAN TO BECOME A SACRIFICE UNTO GOD.1. You are to present your hands by keeping them from violence and fraud, and putting them to honest work. ACTIVE SERVICE. (b)Adopting His will as the role of our activities.2. The offering of ourselves, and the carrying out of the vow, are two different things. Major Prophets And what a pure earthly love is able to accomplish for a man, shall not the love of God in Christ accomplish for us?2. He will have to pass through much monotonous drill before he is fit for service; and if ever called into the field of battle he will have to endure fatiguing marches and brave death itself. My brother, revere thyself! — thy glorious destiny! )The consecrated bodyW. Wherefore? Here lies the secret of his power (2 Corinthians 12:9; Philippians 4:13).Conclusion:1. Cut him off from certain things at which society is shocked, and there is your Christian: a creature with his heart hungering for the world as fiercely as ever. (1) Now and then circumstances may come in which it is Christian duty to put your hand down there on the block and take an axe in the other and chop it off. (5) "Acceptable"; the sacrifice real, the bringing of the offering sincere; the Mediator recognised in the offering, therefore acceptable, i.e., well-pleasing unto God. The word rendered "reasonable" means what belongs to the reason, as distinct from the belongings of the body, or external law. That ye may personally prove the will of God —(1) The thing to be proved is that which God wills, ordains, and prescribes as the rule and end of our whole activity — "even our sanctification. There are four courses open to us. Therefore every one of them has "boldness to enter into the holiest (Hebrews 10:19; Ephesians 3:12). The victims slain could do no further service. A DEMAND.1. Christ's priesthood will be of no avail to us unless we become true priests to God ourselves. 2. Wherefore? He will have to pass through much monotonous drill before he is fit for service; and if ever called into the field of battle he will have to endure fatiguing marches and brave death itself. Not to authority, freedom, popularity, fear, but to truth. There was no sacrifice in His love; because there was no sacrifice, there was no merit. "And be not conformed," etc. Entire. It is given under the form of a presentation.1. But this is not enough, we must have good works also. So Paul takes every step on the assumption that a devoted and charitable life cannot be attained unless the person and work of Christ be made clear to the understanding and accepted with the heart. And the three children offered this when they said, "At this time there is neither prince, nor prophet, nor leader, nor burnt-offering, nor place to sacrifice before Thee, and to find mercy. None of us ever saw a sacrifice; but the readers of this Epistle knew the sight well; and whether they as Gentiles thought it a mere ceremony, or, if they argued about it, as the Scriptures almost compelled an Israelite to argue, they must have been startled at Paul's words. Just as when you take a flower out of the woods and put it into a greenhouse and cultivate it, you will get a broader leaf and a finer flower than when it was wild, so the disciplined, consecrated man is the man whose life is the richest every way. )Acceptable to GodOn the attributes of acceptable worshipN. There is no law in the universe more powerful than that of love. The rough sailor had received many valuable presents, but he declared that the child's kiss was more to him than all beside. Lyth, D.D.)Self-sacrificeW. And by Him, as our High Priest, the sacrifice is to be offered to God.II. (b) Or the apostle may have meant that the "sacrifice" was not to be a solitary act, nor even a frequent repetition of such acts, but the prevailing habit of our lives. Now that is the highest act of worship.II. "The mercies of God." I asked. This offering makes a man live more nobly and more truly than anything else. But it is not enough that our reasoning powers first of all yield unreservedly to God's appointed plan of redemption for pardon and peace, everlasting consolation and good hope through grace; they are brought into the school of Christ to be tutored for eternity, and to acquire the elements of implicit submission to the whole council of God. When we are living in His power, the question will not be, Is this self-indulgence right, or wrong? It would be enough to mention God's temporal mercies, but in Paul's view these sink into insignificance compared with God's redeeming mercies, which form the substance of the Epistle. Daily. To enjoy the consolations it affords, to be inspired with the amiable dispositions it promotes, to be animated with the encouraging hopes it suggests, we must not be satisfied with the mere profession, but must diligently cultivate its duties, and endeavour to imbibe its principles.(B. "By the mercies of God."2. The soil must minister to us, or it is merely waste land. It is but just to God to require what is due to Himself. The bells on the horses may bear the same inscription as blazed on the high priest's mitre, "Holiness to the Lord," and the shop-girl behind the counter may be as truly offering sacrifice to God as the priest by the altar. The driving business has made many hypocrites, but never a saint. Can you not conceive him saying, "Well, now, you know you were not made for that"? He felt convinced when he was conquering himself and his pride and the world, he was able thus to conquer through simple trust. Lessons:1. These are the two pillars on which the mercies of God are inscribed. Is self-sacrifice reasonable or unreasonable? Here lies our worth and our good, in giving ourselves "a living sacrifice" to Him, of, through, and to whom are all things.2. Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for Romans 12:1 ← Back to Chuck Smith's Bio & Resources "YOUR REASONABLE SERVICE" I. PAUL OPENS THIS EXHORTATION WITH A PLEA, "I BESEECH THEE" OR I PLEAD WITH YOU. Consider, too, whoso representative thou art intended to be, so long as thou art a stranger and sojourner here on earth!III. The Bible doubtless contains many "things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable may wrest to their own destruction." II. "(2) The method of proving this will is the practical one of rendering to it obedience under the influence of saving grace. Or he might have reminded them how just and right it was, or how advantageous. )Consecrated and transformedMark Guy Pearse.The key of this chapter is found in the preceding verse. And the three children offered this when they said, "At this time there is neither prince, nor prophet, nor leader, nor burnt-offering, nor place to sacrifice before Thee, and to find mercy. The absolute necessity of a renewed mind in order to any person serving God with acceptance.2. We are not called upon to crush our desires, tastes, appetites, or to refrain from actions; only they are to be controlled and done in obedience to God. Though the body is the instrument, yet the mind is that which we always consider as acting. In short, in whatever view you consider man, he is a dependent being; he feels this to be the case, and naturally seeks for assistance and support. Mary brought an alabaster box of ointment, worth about £9, to show hers.2. Not singing hymns with a loud voice and a hardened heart; not uttering words of prayer with wandering thoughts; not gesticulations and appearances before men, but a profound, calm, deep readiness to say, "Thy will be done. For is not such love the richest outcome of the nature of man? If we are filled with the Holy Spirit, it will be a revelation of Christ. But the Christian convert was now taught that he himself was a priest of God, that everything he did should be presented on the altar of a religious faith.2. He cries in his shame and bitterness, "Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his." (2) Reconciliation to God. The sacrifice of praise is right, "but to do good and to communicate forget not, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased."II. Therefore every one of them has "boldness to enter into the holiest (Hebrews 10:19; Ephesians 3:12). )A living sacrificeC. In short, in whatever view you consider man, he is a dependent being; he feels this to be the case, and naturally seeks for assistance and support. Then it whispers to the seed, "I will pass it on to you." —(a) According to the original a sacrifice alive. John 3:16, Jesus faith love), The Whole Bible We are not called upon to crush our desires, tastes, appetites, or to refrain from actions; only they are to be controlled and done in obedience to God. "THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS" Be Transformed (12:1-2) INTRODUCTION 1. It cannot see, or hear, or move. If he serves not God, he hinders all things, and diverts them.III. But the love of two human beings may not endure for ever But if we have come to know God's love in Christ, a love that does not depend for its existence or strength upon our love to Him, or upon the continuance of our love, but has its origin in infinite and eternal goodness, we have a motive for love and consecration which transcends all others that can affect the heart. The form is that of likeness to the image of the glory of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18). And if we dared, how could He accept? What costs little is usually worth little. Justification by faith means that you and I realise deeply that our only salvation is in trusting God. Instead of her having been used as an humble, submissive handmaid, to sit at the Saviour's feet, and implicitly receive the authoritative dictates of heaven from His lips, she has frequently been tricked out in the fantastic drapery of infallibility, and that also, sometimes, in the very temple of God, above all that is called God, or worshipped. None of us ever saw a sacrifice; but the readers of this Epistle knew the sight well; and whether they as Gentiles thought it a mere ceremony, or, if they argued about it, as the Scriptures almost compelled an Israelite to argue, they must have been startled at Paul's words. On the one side were the idolatry, godless philosophy, and vicious habits of heathen society; on the other a little flock, bearing the marks of that holiness which the Christian faith was designed to produce. The word rendered "reasonable" means what belongs to the reason, as distinct from the belongings of the body, or external law. Unlike the man coming out of prison, who immediately returns from the force of the life that is within him to the things from which he has been parted for a season, there must be in you such a renewal of the soul that you will detest the things which have been given up; you must feel that you have meat to eat which the world knoweth not of. Good Gifts for Growing People: A sermon on Romans 12:1-8 11th Nov 2017 16th Oct 2020 By Christine This post is Starlight content. Self-dedication to God, or the consecration of ourselves to do His holy will.(D. (Mark Guy Pearse. Look back through the Epistle for the mercies of which he speaks. God is the approver of it. That is worship. But if you love your friend better than your money, you will give the money freely.3. Indeed, communion with God is absolutely necessary, to enable us to extract all the sweets of learning or science. )A living sacrificeS. Pauline Epistles OUR MEDIUM OF COMMUNICATION WITH THE PHYSICAL WORLD. Well, then, if you are really wishing to be a Christian; and if you find something which is injurious to you — you are not to enter into the question whether it is injurious to your neighbour; if you find it injurious to you do not be conformed to it. Yet I do not see that I ought to consecrate my whole being to the stars, for I can weigh them in my scales. Why? Is the love of music to be indulged, or may we take long journeys for pleasure? Christians also have much erred on the same subject. PAUL "BESEECHES YOU BY THE MERCIES OF GOD" TO PERFORM IT.1. )Christian self-sacrificeJ. )A living sacrificeT. How to use the world.3. The believer is "kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation" (1 Peter 1:5). Religion is likewise our reasonable service, as it is the exercise of the best affections of the heart, and of those which are most influential on the moral conduct. Baxendale. That is, instead of being occupied, as we once were, in thinking and planning about the old life and ways, we are to busy our thoughts with the new life, and not only try to feel right, but to think right. The remission of sins. Why, to be filled with the Spirit, and then the body will present itself to God's service joyfully. Allow me further to observe that a well-principled mind will not dare to reason against any part of the revealed will of God. Who was living this life of blessedness. Grattan Guinness. Invite Him, then, to come to you. THE ENTREATY: "I beseech you." The same authority that said of the one," This do in remembrance of Me," said by His apostle of the other, "Whether ye eat or drink, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus." "Thy Word is tried to the uttermost," tried by the investigations of science, by the undue claims made upon it, by the misunderstanding of its enemies, by the exaggeration of its friends; and yet, in spite of all, "Thy servant loveth it," because he knows there is nothing else which will so well repay all the trouble which its study involves.II. The spirit which breathes through it is indeed the spirit of the saints. 2. Drive your engines, make your coats and boots and chairs for Christ.III. The manner in which this sacrifice must be presented. On the one side were the idolatry, godless philosophy, and vicious habits of heathen society; on the other a little flock, bearing the marks of that holiness which the Christian faith was designed to produce. The object of all Christian doctrine is to fuse the life of a man with Divine fire, and mould it into a Divine form, so that it shall not be conformed to the fashion of any passing age, but transfigured by the renewal of the mind with the life and beauty of God. (2) In harmony with the object of man's creation. Do we not too often think that our way upward is first to be right with ourselves, and then to be right with the world, and then somewhere far off we may some day come to be right with God? of Scripture. THE CONSECRATION TO WHICH WE ARE URGED. One reason why there are not more Christians is because so few have entered into the thought of the inward fire which alone can make the outward surface aught but a delusion or a hypocrisy. He cries in his shame and bitterness, "Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his." There is no law in the universe more powerful than that of love. (2) Thus to consecrate one's self is the way to secure a higher and a nobler life. Adoption into the family of God and the witness of the Spirit. WHAT IT REQUIRES.1. Howels. But "the mercies of God" strike the chord of a Christian's tenderest and best affections, and touch the mainspring of all his conduct. Observe(1) The result to be produced; a transformation into something the very opposite of that conformation to this world, which is produced by the energy of merely secular powers. Lyth, D.D.)Self-sacrificeW. Who does not know the receipt? We feel it still more when we are entering on a new crisis, career, or position, which to be worthily fulfilled requires the sacrifice of all our energies to this one purpose.3. None of us ever saw a sacrifice; but the readers of this Epistle knew the sight well; and whether they as Gentiles thought it a mere ceremony, or, if they argued about it, as the Scriptures almost compelled an Israelite to argue, they must have been startled at Paul's words. "Ah," said he, "see how a bit of kindness lives! Our intellects are destined to travel much further into the moral than into the natural perfections of Jehovah; whence we see that those who spurn the religion of Jesus Christ insult their intellects as well as their hearts; robbing themselves at the same time of the sublimest pleasures God Himself has to confer upon any of His creatures. Conclusion: The two things most needed in the religion of our day are a greater spirit of consecration to God, and a greater conviction of its reasonableness. But will the fun of prosperity always shine unclouded and serene? The parable repeats itself in the case of the seed. Gratitude is a strong motive-power, by whose aid we may present our bodies an offering for life, holy and acceptable.2. The same sentiment is evident through the whole of his life. The body, as well as the soul, is redeemed, and both must go together into God's service. By and by came the steward with his bill. "What is the matter, my lad?" "Present" applies to the worshipper who places his victim by the altar and to the priest who officially makes the presentation, in either of which senses the word would be suitable here. But take it with all its difficulties and all the imperfections of the human agencies by which it has come down to us, and it is still true that no more reasonable service can be offered up by man to God than the study of the Scriptures. ITS NATURE.1. sacrifice. Living. How small is man compared with the great truths of God's intellect! Then the seed passes it on to the animal, and the animal to man, who completes the circle. Show us that a thing is reasonable, and at once and of course we do it. The Story (Chapter 2) – Sermon on Romans 12.1-8. "What is truth?" "The mercies of God," which are the manifestations of His goodness recorded in the previous part of this Epistle (see Romans 2:4; Romans 5:8, 20, 21; Romans 8:38, 39). But he is not yet therefore a learned man. Sacrifice means giving up everything to God. No such sacrifice as that described in my text was ever offered to an unknown God. Naked truth, mere abstract ideas, will never create love and self-sacrifice. (b) Or the apostle may have meant that the "sacrifice" was not to be a solitary act, nor even a frequent repetition of such acts, but the prevailing habit of our lives. "( Chrysostom. But besides this negative abstinence outwardly, there is to be a positive opening and development of the mind and affections towards that brighter world of Divine truth and goodness, to which it becomes us to be conformed. The Church and the world were things very distinct then. Observe(1) The result to be produced; a transformation into something the very opposite of that conformation to this world, which is produced by the energy of merely secular powers. Tie up his feet and say, "You mustn't go to such and such places — at least, when you are at home." )The Christian's sacrificeJonathan Crowther.I. (3) "Acceptable unto God." (1) The Christian must present his own body. Jacob brought one to Esau (Genesis 32:13), and sent one to Joseph (Genesis 43:11); Abigail to David (1 Samuel 25:18); Naaman to Elisha (2 Kings 5:17); Queen of Sheba to Solomon (1 Kings 10:10). Worship, then, the Lord in the beauty of holiness. Religion is likewise our reasonable service, as it is the exercise of the best affections of the heart, and of those which are most influential on the moral conduct. They are mutually exclusive, and both ways cannot be correct, but one of them is. 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