I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12.1-2).
Memory Verse – I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. – Romans 12.1
Paul gently called us to present our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable unto God. Not because we are required to, nor because it is the fashionable thing to do. No, it is because of God’s great and wonderous mercies we even have an opportunity to come before Him; to come into His presence (Hebrews 10.19); yet Paul says, “by the mercies of God…” through His love, grace, and compassion we are to present our bodies to Christ—your reasonable service.
How are we going to be this kind of person? One, who is a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God? Sin is everywhere, it is hard for us to focus on God at times, and many times we find ourselves caught up in the sin of the world.
Paul gives us three areas where we are to make changes; these changes might happen quickly, but for many of us it will take time, it is a process and will require dedication, desire, and motivation to do the things God has call us to do.
First, Paul says, “Be not conformed to this world.” There are many ways to look at this statement, however, let us step back and pull ourselves out of the equation and understand what Paul was trying to get across before we draw any conclusions. The word ‘conformed’ means, “to form or mold one’s behavior in accordance with a particular pattern or set of standards.” Also, “fashion (one’s) self-according to.” While the word ‘world’ means, “the system of practices and standards associated with secular society (that is, without reference to any demands or requirements of God),” or all “the sum of the demonic-human philosophy of life.”
With this understanding let us put together what Paul wants us to see here. ‘Do not’, it cannot happen, we must watch out for, and pay close attention to what we are doing so we do not fall into the wrong kind of situations or circumstances.
‘Do not be conformed to this world;’ in other words we must watch out for ourselves, pay close attention to what we are doing and make sure we are not allowing our actions to conform to the ways of the world, the evil schemes of the devil.
This does not mean we do not use cars or electricity, or other modern features. But what we must be careful of allowing the things of the world to influence us to the point where we change who we are or what God wants us to do.
Second, ‘be ye transformed…’ the meaning of this word ‘transformed’ is, “to change the essential form or nature of something— ‘to become, to change, to be changed into, to be transformed;” to be something completely different. This would go along with what Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, “Wherefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: the old things are passed away; behold, they are become new” (II Corinthians 5.17, ASV).
We need to allow Christ to change us, transform us into His image, make us into something better than who we used to be. As a believer in Jesus Christ, we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us, the Comforter (John 16.7-11), who will help us, show us all things and give us the guidance and direction we need. The question is will we follow His leading?
The truth is when we asked Christ into our lives, a transformation began, our hearts were changed, our lives are different, however, there is a process which must continue to take place and this is what Paul is encouraging in every believer. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be ye transformed…” we each need to look around us, and see how we compare to Christ, does the world see Him in our lives and do our lives look any different?
So, how does, or where does this transformation take place? Of course, it begins within our hearts, the internal part of our being as we ask Christ into our life, as was just pointed out above. However, there are things which are much harder to get rid of. Things, habits, actions, outward appearances we might have spent years building we must change. These are the things which will take time to deal with, to change, to transform and it all begins with our mind.
The third and final change takes place within our mind. Our mindset is very important, how we perceive ourselves, how we think others perceive us and to a great degree today, what others think about us on social media. But when life is over, and it will be over at some point for everyone, we will all have to answer to only one person, Jesus Christ, the One Who has earned the right to pass judgment upon all humanity (Philippians 2.5-11).
Henceforth, our mindset should not be what others think but, what does God think. How are we doing in the area of pleasing God? Notice in this verse it does not say, “acceptable to men,” or “pleasing to men,” but “what is acceptable and pleasing unto God.” Why, because our whole goal in life, our aim should be to please God, and Him alone.
Paul in stating his argument to the churches at Galatia over why they had deviated from the gospel he had presented to them there is only one gospel (Good News), and there is no other. “I said this before, and now I say it again: You have already accepted the Good News. If anyone is preaching something different to you, let that person be judged guilty! Do you think I am trying to make people accept me? No, God is the One I am trying to please. Am I trying to please people? If I still wanted to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1.9-10, NCV).
Paul recognized what was important, pleasing God, serving God and Him alone at all cost. He dedicated his life to this endeavor, and we should do no less. This is what it means to be a servant, to serve God, at all cost, to give Him our all, everything we have, because this is what He gave to us, we can do no less.
If you have never asked Christ into your life, let today be the day you do. First you must Admit you are a sinner – Romans 3.23—All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God—in other words, there is nothing we can do to reach God, we can never be good enough, give enough, serve enough, or anything. Our sinful life has separated us from God the Creator. Second you must Believe God sent His one and only Son Jesus Christ into the world to pay our sin debt—Romans 6.23—For the wages of sin is death…—Christ came and died on the cross shedding His blood, paying our debt in full—Romans 6.23 (cont.)—But the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. How amazing and wonderful that God would do such a thing. But man, I am so bad, and I need to get better first before God will take me. Romans 5.8—But God proved or showed His amazing and wonderful Love, in that while you were still in your sins, Christ came and died for YOU. You do not have to get better, the price has been paid, your sins covered, you must Confess right where you are. Romans 10.9-10—If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation.”
4. Commit to learning Romans 12.1 and Witnessing to someone about what God has done for you.
 The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Ro 12:1–3). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
 Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 506). New York: United Bible Societies.
 Strong, J. (1995). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Woodside Bible Fellowship.
 Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 507). New York: United Bible Societies.
 MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1991). Romans (Vol. 2, p. 150). Chicago: Moody Press.
 Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 154). New York: United Bible Societies.
 American Standard Version. (1995). (2 Co 5:17). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
 The Everyday Bible: New Century Version. (2005). (Ga 1:9–10). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.
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