Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
We have two commands in our text today:
- Present your body as a living sacrifice to God.
- Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
We have a description of what kind of a living sacrifice:
- One that is holy.
- One that is pleasing to God.
We have two why answers to our two commands:
- We are to present our bodies as a sacrifice to God because it is our spiritual worship.
- We are not to be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of our mind so that we may discern what the will of God is.
Then we have an explanation of what kind of will of God we are to discern:
- We are to discern what is good.
- We are to discern what is pleasing to God.
- We are to discern what is perfect.
Notice what our text does not say. It does not say that in order to discern the will of God we need to study aristotelian logic, philosophy, or just pray and wait for a feeling of confirmation. It does not say that we become pleasing to God by running around doing eight million things in the name of Jesus. It does not tell us that we worship God by being lost in some romantic worship service where we are caught up mindless emotive movements of body and singing repetitive spiritual words.
Rather, we are told to offer our lives up on the alter of holy obedience to God. When we do this, it is our act of worship. When we do this, it is how we are transformed and not conformed into the image of the world. When we do this, we become able to discern the things that are good, perfect, and pleasing to God. We are told not to offer our lives as a living sacrifice to God in order to be pleasing to him, but because of the mercies of God we have learned about in the last eleven chapters; because of what God has done for us in Christ; therefore present your bodies as a living sacrifice to God. Do it out of love and not in order to be loved.
- How do you and I become more discerning?
- What do you think a life looks like that is conformed to this age?
- R.C Sproal’s radio program is called “Renewing Your Mind.” Why do you think he named it that and what does his program do in order for him to call his program what he does?