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A Living Sacrifice

by Don Costello  
4/28/2008 / Bible Studies

Romans 12:1

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."

1. "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,"

a. beseech (3870 * parakaleo) To call to the side of; help, aid, comfort, encourage.

b. mercies (3628 * oiktirmos) to have compassion on.

c. God is the Father of mercies.

1). 2 Corinthians 1:3 "Blessed be God, even the
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of
Mercies, and the God of all comfort;"

d. It is the mercy of God that we are saved.

1). Titus 3:5 "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;"

e. It is because of the mercy of God that we are not consumed: Lamentations 3:22.

1). We will make mistakes, we will sin, but we should not get under condemnation because the mercy of God is renewed every morning: Lamentations 3:23.

2). If we sin, do not cast away our confidence: Hebrews 4:14; Jesus is sensitive to my and your weaknesses: Hebrews 4:15; He partook of humanity in order to be a merciful and faithful high priest: Hebrews 2:17, 18. We can come confidently unto the throne of grace and find mercy and grace in times of need: Hebrews 4:16.

2. "that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,

a. present (3936 * paristemi) To place beside, to

1). Same Greek word for "yield" in Romans 6:13, 16. Whoever we are consistently obeying, to them we are presenting our bodies as living sacrifices, Romans 12:1, as servants, Romans 6:16; as weapons, Romans 6:13.

a). In the New Covenant I am the priest: 1 Peter 2:5; and I am the sacrifice and I offer myself: Romans 12:1.

3. "holy"

a. holy (40 * hagios) fundamentally means
separated, consecration, devotion to service to God; sharing in God's purity and abstaining from earths defilement.

1). Isaiah 52:11 "Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean
Thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be
Ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD."

a). 2 Corinthians 6:17-2 Corinthians 7:1 "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh, and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."

4. "acceptable unto God,"

a. acceptable (2101 * euarestos; eu-well; arestos-pleasing) literally, well pleasing.

1). 2 Corinthians 5:9, 10 "Wherefore we
Labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted (euarestos- well pleasing) of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."

a). We can be acceptable only in Christ
Jesus: 1 Peter 2:5; Jesus is our Mediator 1 Timothy 2:5; therefore every thing has to be don in his name: Colossians 3:17.

b). Under the Old Covenant if an offering
Had a blemish, it was not acceptable:
Leviticus 22:17-25;

c).Likewise, we as individuals are to be
Without blemish: Philippians 2:12-15
(The greek word for "blameless" in verse 15 is amomos, it means 'without blemish'.)

d).We are to be washed by the Word:
Ephesians 5:26, 27; Hebrews 10:22.

5. "which is your reasonable service."

a. reasonable (3050 * logikos) Pertaining
to reason.(In Romans 12:1 the "reasonable service" or worship is to be understood as that service to God which implies intelligent meditation or reflection" Zodhiates). (Vines: "The sacrifice is to be intelligent, in contrast to those offered by ritual and compulsion; the presentation is to be in accordance with the spiritual intelligence of those who are new creatures in Christ and are mindful of the mercies of God.")
Contrast this to before we were saved:1 Peter 1:14-16; Ephesians 4:17, 18.

b. service (2999 * latreia) service, divine
service. (Bullinger: obedience and
adoration rendered to God.)

1). This requirement of total ownership and possession by God is reasonable in light of the fact we are not our own, God has purchased us: 1 Corinthians 6:19,20.

Romans 12:2

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind; that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

1. "And be not conformed to this world"

a. conformed (4964 * suschematizo) to fashion alike, conform to the same patter outwardly.

1). 1 Peter 1:14 "As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance;

b. world (165 * aion) an age, a period of time, marked in N.T. usage by spiritual and moral characteristics.

c. To be conformed to this world is to be led by the devil: Ephesians 2:2, 3.

d. In our behavior we are fashioning ourselves, jealously will fashion a jealous person.

e. All that is in the world: 1 John 2:16.

1). The lust of the flesh: Galatians 5:19-21.

2). The lust of the eyes; Vincent: "does not involve appropriation, it is satisfied with contemplating."

3). The pride of life: Vincent: "an insolent and vain assurance in one's own resources, or in the stability of earthly things."

f. God's purpose for ever Christian is to be conformed to the image of Jesus: Romans 8:28, 29.

e. Paul's number one goal was to be conformed to that image: Philippians 3:12-14.

1). The high calling of God in Christ Jesus is to be conformed to the image of Jesus.

2. "but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind"

a.) transformed (3339 * metamorphoo; meta-implying change; morphe-form). To change into another form. (Vines: "the obligation being to undergo a complete change which under the power of God will find expression in the character and conduct: Romans 12:2; the present continuous tenses indicate a process: 2 Corinthians 3:18; describes believers as being changed into the same image of Christ by the Holy Ghost; (in Matthew 17:2, "transfigured".)

b.) renewing (3339 * anakainosis; ana-back or again; kainos-new, not recent but different). A renewal, the adjustment of the moral and spiritual vision and thinking to the mind of God, which is to have a transforming effect upon the life. (See also Titus 3:5).

c.) mind (3563 * nous) The seat of reflective consciousness.

d.) We are to be transformed by the renewing
of the mind. The natural human mind does not
think God's thoughts. "As the heavens are
higher than the earth, so are my ways higher
than your ways, and my thoughts than your
thoughts." Isaiah 55:8, 9.

e.)The natural human mind operates in "vanity":
Ephesians 4:17. The description in the next
verse is the next verse. "Having the
understanding darkened, being alienated
from the life of God through the ignorance
that is in them, because of the blindness of
their heart."

f.) We need to consider God's word as correct,
Psalm 199:128 "Therefore I esteem all thy
Precepts concerning all things to be right;"

g.) And reject every thing that doesn't agree
with it: "Casting down imaginations, and every
high thing that exalteth itself against the
knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity
every thought to the obedience of Christ;"

h). The mind will not be renewed until the word
is acted upon: James 1:21,22.

My name is Don Costello. Ever since I received Christ in November of 1976 I have had a passion to study and know God's word.My wife Melissa and I have 5 children.

My e-mail address is

I have a blog located at:

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