By Doug Bell
1¶ “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what isthat good and acceptable and perfect will of God.“
Notice how Paul begins this section; “I beseech you therefore, brethren,“ NKJV. Other versions translate ‘beseech’ as ‘Urge’ (NIV), ‘Plead’ (NLT), and ‘appeal’ (ESV). I personally like the word ‘plead’ because it seems the Apostle is about to call on all his fellow Christians to make a definite personal decision!
“by the mercies of God,” NKJV. Again, other translations: ‘in view of God’s mercy,’ (NIV), ‘because of all He has done for you.’ (NLT), and ‘in view of the mercies of God,’ (CSB). Here, I like the New Living Translation. i.e., “I’m pleading with you because of all God has done for you!”
Before Paul tells us what he wants us to do, He wants to to first remember all the things God has done for us! Why? It is because we so easily forget (2 Pet.1:12f).
And while we may remember parts, we tend to forget the whole. 1 Peter 1:
3¶ “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead 4 and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. 5 You are being guarded by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”
If all the things God has accomplished for us were listed separately, it would be something like; The Gospel (Jesus Vicarious Sacrificial death, burial, and resurrection), Atonement/Justification, Adoption, Sanctification, and Glorification.
And I’m sure I’m leaving something out! Truly this is a debt we can never repay!
That is why he goes on to say, “that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God,” Have you thought much about your body this way? We must not forget what Paul says elsewhere. 1 Corinthians 6:
13“… However, the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 God raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. 15 Don’t you know that your bodies are a part of Christ’s body? So should I take a part of Christ’s body and make it part of a prostitute? Absolutely not! 16 Don’t you know that anyone joined to a prostitute is one body with her? For Scripture says, The two will become one flesh. 17 But anyone joined to the Lord is one spirit with him. 18¶ Flee sexual immorality! Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the person who is sexually immoral sins against his own body. 19 Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought at a price. So glorify God with your body.”
Is it any wonder we are to do this? It shouldn’t be! It “is your reasonable service” (NKJV). ‘which is your spiritual worship’ (ESV), ‘this is your true and proper worship’ (NIV), and ‘This is truly the way to worship him’ (NLT). I like the NKJV of it is only “reasonable!” If those of us who are Christians, people who live by the Bible, and take it seriously. This is the only logical, reasonable, acceptable way to worship God for all that He has done for us! We are His, we were bought at a price. If Jesus died for you, You are to live for Him!
And how are we to do this? Vs. 2 “be transformed by the renewing of your mind,” (this would take another article). Colossians 3:
1¶ “So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”