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. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
The apostle Paul was many things throughout his life. Born a Roman citizen in the city of Tarsus to Jewish parents, Paul trained at the feet of Gamaliel a famous Jewish Rabbi. And like his father before him, Paul was trained as a Pharisee, while also learning a secondary trade as a tent maker. Paul was converted to Christianity on the road to Damascus after being called by Jesus Himself. Jesus appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus, where he was heading to persecute Christians. Paul wrote this letter to the Roman believers to explain the great truths of the Gospel of grace, and salvation through Christ alone, by faith alone. The believers in Rome had not received any apostolic instruction directly and Paul was filling that void by writing this letter. He had hoped to follow up this letter with a visit in person. As Paul begins his letter, he exhorts his readers to present themselves as living sacrifices before God. The term used here as “beseech,” carries the meaning of coming alongside someone to help and encourage them and to lift them up for service.
And that’s exactly what we are called to do for one another. We are to come alongside our brethren to encourage and support them in their walk of faith. We do this because of the great mercies God as shown to us. We were once sinners, dead in our trespasses and sin! Now we are not only children of God because of our faith in Christ. We have been cleansed whiter than snow by the blood of Jesus shed for us. Therefore, as we stand before God with the imputed righteousness of Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit, we are ready to present ourselves before a Holy God for His calling on our lives. This is our reasonable service to our Lord and Savior. However, knowing one of the great gifts of the salvation we received from Jesus, is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does a work in our hearts and minds, building in us a deep desire and a sense of joy, which translates into good works, done out of our love for the Lord. As followers of Christ, it’s our privilege to share the Gospel message. This work of spiritual growth carried out in us, by the Holy Spirit, is called “sanctification.” And it’s God’s process of spiritual growth carried out in us by the Holy Spirit who indwells all followers of Christ.