Brothers and sisters, in the light of all I have been sharing with you about God’s mercy, grace and righteousness, I strongly urge you to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, dedicated to God and pleasing to him. That is the only logical, reasonable, spiritual thing to do after all He has done for you. Give God every living part of yourself! (Ian’s Expansive Version)
Note that in my expansive version above (like the Amplified Version) I included the trilogy of mercy, grace and righteousness. Paul says “mercies” of God but really mercy, grace and righteousness go together like a package. It is by virtue of His grace and mercy that His righteousness is made available to the likes of you and me and as a result all of what Paul has been talking about in Romans is made available to us. Can you list out all He has done or given you?
We have His approval, we are recipients of His kindness, Through faith in Christ we are forgiven, we are recipients of the promise, confident of access to His presence, have peace with God and have the peace of God, having received the Spirit who testifies that we are adopted children, heirs with Christ and share in His glory. God is for us and nothing can separate us from His love. We are the objects of His mercy, As if that wasn’t enough, we are recipients of God’s approval when we were not even looking for it. We were not looking for grace but have been given it. We are chosen by his kindness, wild olive branches that have been grafted into the root stock. We are recipients of His mercy because of the disobedience of the natural children. God’s riches, wisdom and knowledge have been made available to us.
For all of these reasons and more, because of His mercy, grace, loving kindness and compassion, Paul and every other saint of God from times past along with the great cloud of witnesses (Heb 12:1) all urge us to give God our bodies as a sacrifice which is holy and pleasing to Him and which also is still alive because that is the kind of sacrifice that is of the most use to Him. This is the most reasonable, rational and appropriate act of worship to give to Him in return for all He has done for us.
I told you yesterday that just like God we are tripartite beings, made up of bodies, souls and spirits. We must worship Him in spirit and in truth. We must find that balance of worship which includes the spiritual and the rational. We ought to soar in our spirits like Paul has done as he has broken out in song. But we ought also to be rational as well and be thinking through the basis for what we believe and why, and how we should worship Him. It is both . . . and. To do anything else is not true worship. Worship of God is for very good rational and spiritual reasons.
In the next Gem, we will turn our attention to the mind and what we need to do in order to have a change of mind-set. Paul’s thought is all very sequential to what we have just been talking about.
There are two great days in a person’s life: the day we’re born and the day we discover WHY.William Barclay
I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.Scott R Jones
Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least.Goethe