Less is more
Romans 12:1-2 (ESV)
If there is a “therefore” we need to know what it is there for. How can less be more? Because God is so mighty, so powerful, we cannot do anything to give to God. He is everything, has everything and knows everything. In light of this the Apostle Paul urges us to present our bodies as a living sacrifice.
- By the mercies – Paul is speaking here of the generosity of God, the grace of God, the forgiveness that we can experience and the compassion of God. God lavishes these things upon us. Because of these mercies we should present our bodies as living sacrifices.
- Present our bodies – to present our bodies to God is not the same as we would do when we go for an interview. We are not trying to impress God with our abilities or qualifications. There is nothing that we can show God in order to get anything from Him. To present our bodies is about submission to God in every way. It is to present our whole being at God’s disposal for His service.
- Living sacrifices – these two words do not fit together. Sacrifice equals killing. How can we present ourselves as living sacrifices? John the Baptist said, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).
- Holy and acceptable –
- Holy – moral and ethical wholeness or perfection. Freedom from moral evil. Holiness is one of the essential elements of God’s nature and is required of His people. Holiness also means sanctified – set apart for divine service.
- Acceptable – when the Bible mentions individuals being accepted by God offerings frequently are mentioned. Offerings were only acceptable when made as prescribed. Offerings were refused when the attitude of the heart was wayward or irreverent.
- Do not be conformed by the world – If the way the world wants us to go is contrary to the Word of God then we need to stay away from it. If we follow the pattern of this world we can look the part, but God says we should transformed. Transformation involves change and renewing. Philippians 3:20 says that Jesus wants to transform us to be like Him.