Studies in theWord
(Note: The resources are indicated throughout the Bible study.)
Romans 12:1&2 Bible Study by Delton Koehn
“Romans 12:1&2 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.” New King James Bible (NKJV) – See Resources Column
Romans 12:1&2 Introduction
In contrasting chapters 1—11 with chapters 12—16 of Romans, perhaps the most important distinction is that the first part deals primarily with God’s actions for humanity, and the last part deals with people’s actions in response to God’s. This is an oversimplification of the book, but the distinction is a valid one. God’s provision contrasts with man’s responsibility to behave in a manner consistent with what God has done, is doing, and will do for him (cf. Phil. 2:12-13) The Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas L. Constable – See Resources Column
“Phil 2:12-13 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” New American Standard Bible Bundle (NASB) (LBLA) (NBLH) – See Resources Column
The first part (Romans chapters 1-11) is more information for belief whereas the last part (Romans chapters 12-16)is more exhortation for action. The first part stresses right relations with God and the last part right relations with other people. The Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas L. Constable – See Resources Column
1. Romans 12:1 Serious and devout consideration of the mercies of God, as they have been set forth in chapters 1-11, leads to only one conclusion—we should present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God. Our bodies stand for all our members and, by extension, our entire lives. Believer’s Bible Commentary – See Resources Column
a. Because of God’s great love for us in giving His beloved Son to die in our place. It is only reasonable that we would give ourselves as a living sacrifice, set apart unto the Lord. Having a heart of true spiritual worship!
2. Romans 12:2 Secondly, Paul urges us not to be conformed to this world, or as Phillips paraphrases it: “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold.” When we come to the kingdom of God, we should abandon the thought-patterns and lifestyles of the world. Here, then, are three keys for knowing God’s will. The first is a yielded body, the second a separated life, and the third a transformed mind. Believer’s Bible Commentary – See Resources Column
a. A yielded body (living sacrifice)
i. No longer living according to the flesh.
ii. Living according to the will of God and His word.
iii. Living a life that glorifies God in a heart of worship.
b. Separated life (Holy)
i. My life has been separated unto God; he is foremost in my decision making.
ii. Rom 14:8 For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. The New King James Bible (NKJV) – See Resources Column
iii. My life belongs to God!
c. Transformed Mind (renewed mind)
i. It is to a mental, a spiritual renewal. We are invited to a renovation, which shall be not merely outward and bodily, but shall commence with the very center and spring and root of our being. There is wisdom in this provision. It originates in the Author and Framer of our being, who knew what was in man. The Pulpit Commentary – See Resources Column
ii. Through the power of the Holy Spirit our very thought pattern will change from self-centered to God centered.
In the next verses apostle Paul goes on to tell us how to serve God, with the spiritual gifts given to us by Holy Spirit. There is a reason I believe that Romans 12:1&2 came first, for our lives must be totally yielded, separated, and our minds transformed, for our gifts to be used effectively among the body of believers. Showing for all the world to see a true heart of worship to God!
Some more resources for this passage.