Rom.12:1 – 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.
Paul’s letter to the Christians in Rome stands as a theological masterpiece. He weaves a complete message about the power of the gospel and the glory of God revealed in creation and also in redemption. He teaches us about the depravity of man, justification by grace through faith, sanctification, election, sonship, and an unveiling of the work of the Spirit in our lives and in our prayers. After eleven chapters of overwhelming revelation he simply says, “I urge (beg, plead, beseech) you to offer your body as a living sacrifice to God”. It is absolutely the mercy of God that overwhelms our heart and compels us to give back to Him our hearts. This brings us into practical Christianity, we offer ourselves to Him in our jobs, our marriages, and in our ministry work. Everything we have comes from Him and we gladly give it back in light of all He has done for us. Here is Henry describing this verse.
“Consider the mercies of God: I beseech you by the mercies of God. This is a sweet and powerful argument. There is the mercy that is in God and the mercy that comes from God — mercy in the spring and mercy in the streams: both are included here. God is a merciful God, and so may we present our bodies to him; he will be sure to use them kindly. We receive from him the fruits of his mercy every day, especially mercy for our bodies: he made them, he maintains them, he bought them. The greatest mercy of all is that Christ has made not only his body, but also his soul, an offering for sin. Let us give ourselves as an acknowledgment of all these favors — all we are, all we have, and all we can do, and after all, that is a poor response; and yet, because it is what we have:”
I started connecting these dots while I was in Bible College many years ago. I answered His call to give my life to ministry but soon discovered He wasn’t just talking about a career. Bankers, lawyers, builders, teachers; any profession can offer themselves as this living sacrifice. It can start with the simplicity of the tithe; after all He gave you the skills to hold a job, the opportunity at the place that you work, and the productivity you enjoy there. Tithe to your place of worship, offer your gifts and talents there as an offering to the Lord. I beseech you brothers and sisters, offer your body as a living sacrifice to the Lord.