Romans 12:1-2 - Christians Are To Serve God By Obeying Him

In Rom. 1-11, Paul has shown the mercy of God in saving sinners, both Jews and Gentiles. Paul now urges us to live in obedience to God in response to what he has taught us about God‘s mercy.

The material on Romans 12 was presented in a sermon on 01/27/2008 by Bob Connolly at Enola Baptist Church (located in in Enola, AR) . Click on the link below to listen or (if you have Internet Explorer) right click on the link and select "Save Target As..." to download the mp3 file for this sermon to your computer.

Listen to the sermon on Romans 12


12:1 Therefore, [in conclusion to what has just been taught in Romans 1-11]
I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices,
holy and pleasing to God--

[Paul here uses language that calls to mind the animal sacrifices that were offered to God by the Jews under the Old Covenant. But instead of presenting the bodies of dead animals as a sacrifice to God as was done under the Old Covenant, Christians in the New Covenant are to offer their own living bodies as a "sacrifice" to God. To "sacrifice" our bodies in this sense means to bring our lives into obedience to God‘s commands (cf. 1 Cor. 6:20 - "You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body".)]

this is your spiritual act [one involving the mind and heart]
of worship.

NEB: Therefore my brothers, I implore you by God's mercy to offer your very selves to Him: a living sacrifice, dedicated and fit for His acceptance, the worship offered by the mind and the heart.

12:2  Do not conform any longer to the [sinful] pattern of this world,
but be transformed
[changed] by the renewing of your mind.

[“The mind is renewed when, under the influence of the Spirit, the truth is understood and believed, so as to displace the ignorance and error that previously prevailed... It is by men's being formed to a right way of thinking, that they are formed to a right way of feeling and acting ...” (John Brown on Romans, p.437)]

Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--
his good, pleasing and perfect will.

[“Approving” the will of God means to understand and agree with what God wants of us with a view to putting it into practice. That Paul means here by “the will of God” his moral direction is clear from the way Paul describes it: this will is that which is “good”, “acceptable” [to God], and “perfect”. (Douglas Moo on Romans, p.757)]