Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God ó this is your spiritual act of worship Romans 12:1
Normally when you see the word therefore it refers to something previously mentioned. It brings to mind that there is a progression of thought based on what been said and gives us a foundation to base our decisions upon. Knowing what God has done should give us the knowledge so we may be in agreement with God.
In reviewing chapters one through twelve of Romans, Paul has laid a foundation pertaining to the righteousness of God that God has extended as well as making his saving grace readily available to us. The good news of the gospel of God is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.
Paul makes the argument although no one has seen God he has made his divine nature understood through what has been created so no man has an excuse. Even though man knows about God mankind has chosen to exchange the truth of God for a lie to pursue a corrupted world. Inwardly they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death.
Itís obvious that mankind is showing contempt for Godís kindness, without a concern that his kindness leads everyone toward repentance. Because of the worldís contempt for Godís grace their sins are heaping up in plain sight without grasping the concept that the wrath of Godís will soon fall upon them. The evidence is mounting that world has no reverence for a personal creator.
However the righteousness of God has been revealed through faith for the faith that pleases God is one that trusts in him. Godís righteousness is amplified when he says all men have sinned and fallen short of his glory. It is through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that men are justified in Godís sight.
Paul explains Godís righteousness was imputed when Abraham believed his promises and in like manner Godís righteousness is credited to us when we believe. Abraham is the father of all who believe and walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham demonstrated. In the same way God will credit righteousness to those who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.
We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ since we have been justified through faith. Through faith in Christ we have access to the throne of grace and are able to bask in the hope of Godís glory. God demonstrated his love through the obedience of the Christ who died for us to reconcile us to God.
Death came through sin but grace reigns through the righteousness of God to bring eternal life to those who believe in Jesus Christ our Lord. All of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death. Should we resurrect sin so that grace may increase no let us put sin to death in our mortal bodies. In other words consider yourself dead to sins through faith.
If it were not for the law of God we would not have known what sin is. However with that knowledge we continue sin even when we desire to do Godís will. Although I desire to obey God my sinful nature is waging war against Godís commands. Itís like flipping a coin heads I serve God of my free will and tails I am a slave serving my sworn enemy.
On the other hand those who are in Christ Jesus are not bound with sin, for he has freed those who believe in him from the law of sin and death. And even though our sinful nature is still waging war against God we must be determined to live within the spiritís desire. This war goes on within our mind and produces the indecision that inhibits the faith to please God.
We are obligated to put to death the misdeeds of the body because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. We are children and co-heirs with Christ who will share in his glory. If God is for us, who can be against us so letís remember that God loves us and will help us in our times of weakness.
God, chose to show his wrath and make his power known, making the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy. Everyone has the same choice while treading the earthís soil to pursue righteousness pf God but Godís righteousness is obtained by faith not of works. The person who trusts in God will never be put to shame nor is appointed to suffer wrath.
Strange as it may seem the world seeks to establish a righteousness of their own by refusing to place their trust in God. One can only establish Godís righteousness through trusting God and believing that God raised Jesus after his death from the grave. In other words God will have compassion on the person who submits to him in faith and acknowledges his authority.
We have reviewed God's mercy in the previous chapters briefly only to say that God has done everything for us but force us to believe in him. He has given us open enrollment that only expires when our body dies or when he returns to harvest the earth. Remember the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord but the penalty for sin is death.
Life is precious and a treasure we would not have without the grace of God. Even then the earthly life God has given us seems insignificant compared to our life with God during the age we know as eternity.
God chose to sacrifice his life to save the lives of mankind when that sacrifice demanded his death cost his life to do the will of God. There is an Old Testament law that states a life for a life (Exodus 21:23). And you could say Jesus applied the golden rule by doing unto mankind what he wanted mankind to do for him. He died so we could live to please God but by the same token he denied himself to do the will of God. Letís also remember that God's gifts and call are permanent and binding (Romans 11:29).
Offering your body as a living sacrifice is in other words denying the things you want or need to do in order to ensure Godís will is done. A living sacrifice does not always have to die for God when obedience serves Godís purpose. Becoming a living sacrifice understands that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord (Deuteronomy 8:3).
Faith in God is the catalyst for obeying every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Obeying God physically in your physical body allows God to work from your heart and apply his love to the physical senses of its recipient. Loving God is your spiritual act of worship but loving God is an experience that people see from their eyes.