Romans 12: 1 – 2, there is succinct description of the essence of the believer’s response to God’s grace in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our response is rooted in God’s grace. Paul exhorts us in light of the manifold mercy of God. Our obedience is the product of what God has done in our lives, not something we can manufacture on our own.
As new covenant Christians, we no longer offer animal sacrifices, we now offer ourselves as ” living sacrifices “. Paul wants us simply to contrast ourselves with the dead animal sacrifices of the Old Testament ( John 6: 51 ). But God demands sacrifices that are “ Holy ” that is apart from profane matters and dedicated to His service.
The offering for ourselves to God constitutes our ” Spiritual Act of Worship “- We give ourselves to God as his sacrifices when we understand his grace and its place in our lives. We offer ourselves not IGNORANTLY like animals brought to slaughter, but INTELLIGENTLY and WILLINGLY. This is the Worship that pleases God!
For us to appreciate the basis of our intelligence, let us revisit in Job 12: 12 – 25, the noble discourse of Job concerning the Wisdom, Power and Sovereignty of God in ordering all the affairs of the children of men, according to the counsel of His own will, which none can resist. It were well if wise and good men, who differ about lesser things, would see how it is for their honor and comfort, and the good of others, to dwell most upon the great things in which they agree. Having all strength and wisdom; God knows how to make use, even of those who are foolish and bad; otherwise there is so little wisdom, and so little honesty in the World.
How do we give ourselves to the Lord? Paul demands that we ” not conform ” to ” this age ” – The old age to which we belonged in our pre-christian past still exerts influence on us, enticing us to follow its ” pattern ” of sinful and ungodly behavior; Rather than “ conforming ” ourselves to the call of the new dispensation – A new man, with a ” transformed ” behavior borne from God’s Spirit.