“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.”
King James Version (KJV)
12:1 I exhort you - St. Paul uses to suit his exhortations to the doctrines he has been delivering. So here the general use from the whole is contained in the first and second verses. The particular uses follow, from the third verse to the end of the Epistle. By the tender mercies of God - The whole sentiment is derived from Rom. i. - v. The expression itself is particularly opposed to the wrath of God, #Rom 1:18|. It has a reference here to the entire gospel, to the whole economy of grace or mercy, delivering us from the wrath of God, and exciting us to all duty. To present - So #Rom 6:13|; 16:19; now actually to exhibit before God. Your bodies - That is, yourselves; a part is put for the whole; the rather, as in the ancient sacrifices of beasts, the body was the whole. These also are particularly named in opposition to that vile abuse of their bodies mentioned, #Rom 1:24|. Several expressions follow, which have likewise a direct reference to other expressions in the same chapter. A sacrifice - Dead to sin and living - By that life which is mentioned, #Rom 1:17|; 6:4, &c. Holy - Such as the holy law requires, #Rom 7:12|. Acceptable - #Rom 8:8|. Which is your reasonable service - The worship of the heathens was utterly unreasonable, #Rom 1:18|, &c; so was the glorying of the Jews, #Rom 2:3|, &c. But a Christian acts in all things by the highest reason, from the mercy of God inferring his own duty.
Ro 12:1 Christian Life SUMMARY OF ROMANS 12: The Divine Mercy Should Move Us. Being Transformed. Humility. Faithfulness in Our Own Personal Duties. Loving with Pure Hearts. Blessing for Cursing; Good for Evil. Leaving Vengeance to the Lord. Treatment of Enemies. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God. The depth of the riches of the divine mercy has been shown in the argument of the preceding chapters, mercy for Jew and Gentile believers, and mercy in prospect for all Israel. The argument is now ended; God's plans have been explained, and the apostle appeals to those who have found mercy, in the name of that mercy, "to continue in the goodness of God" (Ro 11:22). Present your bodies a living sacrifice. The Jewish dispensation with its sacrifices was ended; it closed when Christ, "our passover" (1Co 5:7), was offered for us. But a new order of sacrifice has come in. We should give ourselves. As the victim on the altar was surrendered wholly to God, so our bodies with all their members should be consecrated to his service; not as slain, but as "living sacrifices". We do this when they become the temple of the Holy Spirit, and are used to serve God. Your reasonable service. The consecration of the body to God is not an outward act, like the sacrifice on the altar, but an act of the mind, or reason; hence "a reasonable service".