Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Romans 12:1-2

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 is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. 3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Vs. 1 In light of all that he has previously said, the Apostle Paul now begins his pastoral admonition of us all. He begins by saying: "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." 
Is it not then because of the mercies of God that we have already received through Christ, that we should be all the more His willing servants? For truly all that we now have and are In Christ is only because of the great mercy and grace of God which He so richly bestowed on us when we were just lost and broken sinners who had nothing to offer God, and were nothing but thoroughly condemned under the Law. Yet now by the Lord Jesus Christ's crucifixion death and resurrection from the dead we who believe in Him have not only be redeemed by Jesus' blood; that is bought back from the judicial punishment of the Law which demanded our death; but also we have been bought back from spiritual death, and thus sin's and Satan's dominion over us, and so it is that we have been given new and everlasting life with Himself! An incredible and indescribable gift from God who wanted us as His own when no-else did. And so it is that the Apostle Paul who also knows what it means to be rejected by man, yet beloved by God, beseeches us who have also been made accepted in the Beloved (Eph 1:6), to present our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, which is our reasonable service. For truly that is just what we were redeemed for, to be Christ's witnesses and ministers (in whatever capacities and with whatever gifts and talents He bestows on us), and thus to shine His everlasting light, the light of the glory of the Gospel of Christ to this darkened and alienated world (consider 2 Cor 4:3-6). 

Vs. 2 "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."

In this the second half of his admonition on each and every believers reasonable service to God. The Apostle Paul now seeks our complete conformity to Christ, and not too this ungodly worlds values and pursuits (see 1 John 2:15-17). All which begins with our minds renewal. And so with our persons being redeemed by Christ's blood and our souls being regenerated by God's Spirit, what remains is our lives transformation, which begins with our minds renewal. For when we were born-again, i.e., brought to Spirit life by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ we were given new "hearts" with new desires. Yet there is no delete button that can clear ones mind of all the mixed up "values" that inevitably become apart of one's conscience when we lived according to this world's godless and broken ways. And so as newborn babes In Christ, we like little children, though having all of the essential elements to become mature and fruitful adults, must first "grow up" in our minds into what we have been recreated to be, and this we can only do as we renew our minds according to the Word of God. For it is only through God's Word and His Spirit illuminating it's truths to us that we can learn to discern what is the will of God and what is not, and thus what is merely the ways and desires of the old sinful nature, and what is God's Way and Will for us in each and every situation that we face in our new lives In Christ. That's essentially what is being expounded here mind renewal that leads to attitudes and behavior that is in accord with the good and acceptable and perfect will of God for us all. 

Scripture Quotations
The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Word Studies
beseech = LN 33.168 παρακαλέωa; παράκλησιςb, εως f: to ask for something earnestly and with propriety—‘to ask for (earnestly), to request, to plead for, to appeal to, earnest request, appeal.’

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. 407). New York: United Bible Societies.

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