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Romans 12:1-2

Today I would like to direct our attention to the book of Romans, chapter 12, verses 1-2. The title
of our sermon is Our Total Consecration. Romans 12: 1-2 introduce the second half of the book
of Romans. Up to this point, in the first eleven chapters, Paul has been teaching concerning what
God has given the them, as believers. But starting from Romans 12, Paul now starts teaching
what the believers need to give God. We are studying a great passage this morning. Romans
12:1-2 say:
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy
sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be
conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may
prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect (NASB)
Paul wrote to the Roman believers to exhort them to live lives of consecrated and total
transformation.
God, in the same way, wants us to be urged and exhorted to live lives of consecrated and total
transformation. Let me repeat it, God wants us to know that we CAN live lives of consecrated and
total transformation.
Our passage of today, contains a great and important command for all Christians. We will study
and analyze it in four main points that surround the idea of giving to God: 1) We will see that the
Soul has been Given to God, 2) The Body must be given, 3) The mind must be given, and 4) The
Will must be Given.
I. The Soul Has Been Given to God (1a)
Our first point, The Soul Has Been Given to God, is derived from the first part of verse 1,
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God. This part of the verse helps us to know
the context of the passage. I urge you Paul starts saying. The word, urge has the basic
meaning of exhorting or encouraging. But although, Paul seems to be speaking counselor, his
admonition is a command that carries the full weight of his apostleship. Let me make this clear
from the very beginning: this admonition is not optional! This is a command to all brethren as
Paul says. This is a command to all Christians, all brothers and sisters who have been received in
adoption by Gods Sprit at the moment of salvation, and who cry, Abba, Father (Romans 8:15).
And this is important to understand because the gentle command that Paul gives can only be
obeyed by this brethren, by those who already belong to Gods family. No other offering is
acceptable to God unless we have first offered Him our souls. There is no way we can accomplish
this exhortation if we have not been saved by the mercies of God.
The mercies of God of which Paul speaks here include the many gracious blessings that he has
discussed in the first eleven chapters of Romans. From chapters 1-11, Paul has talked about the
mercies of God reflected in many wats. He says that the mercies of God are manifested in His
power of salvation and in His great kindness. His mercies in Christ bring us the forgiveness and
propitiation of our sins, and also freedom from them. We have received reconciliation with Him,
justification before Him, conformation to His Son, glorification in His very likeness, eternal life in
His very presence, and the resurrection of our bodies to serve Him in His everlasting kingdom.
We have received the mercies of divine sonship and of the Holy Spirit who personally indwells
us, who intercedes for us , and through whom the love of God has been poured out within our
hearts . In Christ, we also have received the mercies of faith (mentioned thirty times in Romans
1-11), peace, hope . Gods mercies include His shared righteousness, and even His shared glory
and honor. And, of course, the mercies of God include His sovereign mercy.1

1 John MacArthur. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary. Romans. p.141


Such marvelous and effective mercies of God for salvation should motivate believers to complete
consecration, to complete dedication to God! The most compelling motivation for this complete
consecration should be the overflowing and unceasing gratitude for the marvelous mercies of
God!
II. The Body Must be Given to God (1b)
In our first point we clarified that the soul has been given to God. The second and consequent
step of complete consecration is the presentation of our bodies. The body must be given to God.
The second part of verse 1 says, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to
God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
The first thing we are commanded to give or present to God is our bodies. Our bodies, in this
passage, refer to more than the physical shells that house our souls. Our bodies encompass not
only or physical being but also our spirit and soul, in other words our entire person, our
humanness, our human being as a unit. The body is the instrument by which all human service is
rendered to God. It is the organ in which we experience our responsibility before God. 2 It is
through the body that we serve God in righteousness. And Paul goes on to describe three
characteristics that the offering or presentation of our bodies must have.
a. Living sacrifices
The first characteristic is that our bodies are to be offered as living sacrifices. In the past, Jews
were commanded to offer sacrifices of dead animals, they would have slain an animal and shed
the blood in the altar. This kind of sacrifices are no longer acceptable to God because the Lamb
of God, Jesus Christ, was sacrificed in their place. The Redeemer came to this earth to die in the
cross and pay for our sins, a sacrifice that will last for eternity and that was made for all
humanity. But Jesus did not just died as the animals used for sacrifice, Jesus showed his power
and deity when he rose from the dead. He defeated death and gave us life and life eternal. When
we accept the sacrifice that he has made for us, we are made alive with him(Romans 6:11). The
proper sacrifice, the only acceptable one, is when we offer ourselves as living sacrifices, when we
offer to the Lord who died for us our willingness to surrender to Him all our hopes, plans, desires,
thoughts, and actions, when we surrender everything we are, and say, Here is my all, take it all
of me. We die to nothing but sin, so that we may live completely unto Him, so that we can give
everything to him, for the one who died for us and rose again. 3
b. Holy Sacrifices
Our sacrifice is also to be holy. Holy literally means set apart, or separated. Separated to God
because as His possession and for His use and separated from sin. In Romans 6 Paul already said
that we died to sin when we were born again, and if we walk in the light and do what he requires
us to do there will be no sin in our lives. In the Old Testament, a sacrificial animal was to be
without spot or blemish. This was a symbol of the spiritual and moral purity that God required of
the offerer himself. In the same sense the offering of a Christians body not only should be a
living but also a holy sacrifice. Without spot, without blemish, without sin.
c. Acceptable Sacrifice
Such sacrifice will be acceptable unto God, as verse 2 says. Acceptable has the connotation of
pleasing. The living and holy sacrifice will be pleasing to God.

2 Ray Dunning. Biblical Resources for Holiness Preaching From Text to Sermon. p. 256

3 Beacon
Verse one ends saying, which is your Spiritual service of worship. The word translated as
Spiritual is the Greek word logikos from which we get our English word logic or logical. Our
offering to God is spiritual without doubt but that is not what Paul is saying here. Paul is saying
that a living, holy and acceptable sacrifice is our logical or reasonable service of worship. Paul is
saying that a full consecration of ourselves, a total surrender is the only reasonable and logical
response to the mercy and grace that we have received from God. God gave Himself for us in
order that we might give ourselves to Him. He sacrificed His Son for us because of love, seeking
our highest benefit. The proper response is to give Him all of us, to surrender every part of our
being to Him and in that way, live lives of continual worship to Him. God wants us to be urged
and exhorted to live lives of consecrated totally to Him. God wants us to know that we CAN live
lives fully consecrated to Him.

III. The Mind Must be Given to God (2a)


The third element of our consecration is that of offering Him our minds. The mind must be given
to God. Verse 2 says, And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the
renewing of your mind. Paul gently but firmly says, do not be conformed to this word. Paul says
this know that the world is the system now dominated by Satan who is the god of this world as 2
Cor. 4:4 says. The world system is the instrument of Satan and his ungodly influence is extremely
powerful. We can see our society being influence by it, we can see our society being conformed
by sexual immorality, rebellion, greed, pride, and every and each type of sin. The Christian who
has given all his being to God, who has surrendered every part of his life to Him and who is
completely and entirely consecrate to Him, should by all means avoid to be conformed to this
world. We know that we are of God, John wrote nearly two thousand years ago, and the whole
world lies in the power of the evil one. (1 John 5:19). We are living in the world but we are not
part of it we are not of it, as Jesus prayed.
Instead, Paul goes on saying, be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Transformed is not a
one time process, it is a continuous transformation. Paul could have said, be being transformed
by the continuous renewing of your mind. The only other place this verb appears in the New
Testament is in 2 Corinthians 3:18 when Paul says, But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as
in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory,
just as from the Lord, the Spirit. This is the progressive process of sanctification that is
continuous and constant. Although Paul does not tell us here how our mind becomes renewed,
we know from his other writings that it is by a combination of the Holy Spirit and the Word of
God. This process of continuous sanctification by the Holy Spirit involves the renewal of every
part of our humanness, which has been tainted and twisted by the fall, and this includes our
mind. This can be accomplished only by the Holy Spirit working in us by our being filled with the
Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). But in addition, we need the Word of God, which is the Spirits sword,
and which acts as an objective revelation of Gods will. 4 David testified Your word I have
treasure in my heart, that I may not sin against you. Only the mind that is constantly being
renewed by Gods Spirit working through Gods Word is pleasing to God. Only this kind of mind
enable us to live lives of living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to Him. Only this mind is a constant
reasonable service of worship.
IV. The Will Must be Given to God (2b)
The fourth element of consecration is to conform our wills to the will of God. The will must be
given to God. The second part of verse 2 says, so that you may prove what the will of God is,
that which is good and acceptable and perfect. This is a result of the transformed mind. When
the mind is transformed, the believers thinking, reasoning and spiritual understanding are able

4 John Stott. The Bible Speaks Today: Romans. p. 324


to analyze situations carefully and properly and to accept only what is according to the will of
God. The transformed mind by the Spirit and the Word of God will be able to understand that the
will of God is good, because God is good. The believer will prove that even in the hard times,
when suffering and trials come to his life, the will of God is still good, and not only good but the
best for Him. He will understand that His will is also acceptable or well pleasing, meaning that it
is the will of God will bring pleasure to the life of the believer. The believer will be able to
understand that God is doing amazing and glorious things in his life and that will be his greatest
joy, it will be his greatest pleasure, he will gladly accept it. And thirdly the believers transformed
mind will be able to understand that the will of God is perfect. God makes no mistakes, God
doesnt miss anything, he works as the All-powerful, All- knowing God that He is in every detail of
the believers life.
A transformed mind produces a transformed will, willing and eager to lay aside its own plans, its
own desires, its own hopes, its own reasoning, its own purposes and trustingly accept Gods no
matter the cost. It is a continuous process but starts when we surrender and present our bodies,
when we consecrate our lives as living, holy and acceptable sacrifices to God. God wants us to be
exhorted to live lives of consecrated and total transformation. God wants us to know that we CAN
live lives of consecrated and total transformation.
We CAN! And the only thing we have to do as Christians, after the moment of salvation, after
receiving the great mercy of God, is to surrender our whole, our complete, our entire life. Every
area, every desire, every plan, every action, every thought, every hope is to be given to God and
this will be our reasonable, our logical, the greatest act of worship.
I would for us to stand and to close our eyes. We are here today with a purpose. It is not a
coincidence that you were here to listen this sermon. God wanted you to be here. He wanted you
to know. And He wants you to respond, He is calling you. If today you want to consecrate your life
and make a full surrender to Him, I kindly ask you to raise your hand so that I can pray for you
and with you. Thank you, thank I see those hands. The altar is open here if you want to come and
kneel before the Father and talk to Him privately. He wants to hear you, He wants to talk to you.
Lets pray, Father, you have seen the hands and heard the hearts of these people that love you
and want to give everything to you. We know that you are faithful to answer and that everything
that you promised to do, you do it faithfully. Strengthen the spirits that are surrendering to you,
fill them with your Spirit and let them prove your good, and perfect will for their lives. In the
name of your Son, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.