I am right now working on the handouts for my kids in Cross Guard Children’s Ministry. Last Sunday we began our study in our final section of the book of Romans. Last Sunday we took a look into Romans 12:1-8.
I began this handout with a review of the past four sections of Romans and as I concluded this review with them and began Romans 12 I myself was reminded of the overwhelming love and devotion and fervency in these first two verse in Romans 12.
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Can you hear the heart of God through these verses? Can you hear the strain in the quill of Paul as writes these God breathed words… putting the power of Christ to paper… recording the will of the Spirit for believers from generation to generation?
Therefore beloved of God… after all that you have learned as I have written these first eleven chapters to teach You of My glory, My kindness, My wrath, My love, My purpose, My sovereignty, My ways, My plan… therefore now that You KNOW that you know…
I. Urge. You.
That word urge in the Greek is parakaleó and it means to make a call from being up close and personal and it means to offer up evidence that stands up in God’s court.
Can you feel it beloved?
Can you read through these first eleven chapters of Romans and then come to Romans 12:1-2 after the crescendo of Romans 11:33-36 and hear the Spirit of God entreating you up close and personal as the One who indwells you eternally calls out in urgency to you? Can you feel the breath of His presence upon your face as He speaks over you and within you? Are His words piercing the depths of your heart? Can you hear the cry in His still whisper?
I. Urge. You.
I urge you by the mercies of God…
And what does he so urge us to do?
But to present our whole bodies as a living sacrifice to Him… He give us all of HIM.
H – Heavenly Father
I – Indwelling Spirit
M – Made like us Son of Man-Son of God
Why on earth should we hold back from giving HIM all of us? Our hearts, our minds, our souls, our strength… our bodies.
Our bodies that are His temple.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
1 Corinthians 6:19
If we belong to Him, He lives in us, and He lives for us, and we should live for Him. God has given us sufficient evidence as to why we can and why we should live for Him… with ALL OF US… not picking and choosing what parts, and the when, and the where… but urging us at all times to present our bodies as a holy and living sacrifice to the Holy and Living God.
Our bodies. Not conformed to this world, but transformed into the image of Christ. Our bodies no longer designed for the glory of sin and destined for death… but now by the work of the Spirit designed for the glory of God and destined for eternity. Our bodies no longer just for this life, but for His life.
For this is your spiritual service of worship.
This word for service only appears in the New Testament five other times:
They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God. (John 16:2)
who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, (Romans 9:4)
Now even the first covenant had regulations of divine worship and the earthly sanctuary. (Hebrews 9:1)
Now when these things have been so prepared, the priests are continually entering the outer tabernacle performing the divine worship (Hebrews 9:6)
In the Old Testament, in the Old Covenant the priest performed this service in the temple. However, beloved, today our body is the temple.
It was never God’s eternal intention to dwell in a building made by human hands… He always intended to dwell in YOU. To live in and through you.
Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
David found favor in God’s sight, and asked that he might find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. But it was Solomon who built a house for Him. However, the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands; as the prophet says:
‘Heaven is My throne,
And earth is the footstool of My feet;
What kind of house will you build for Me?’ says the Lord,
‘Or what place is there for My repose?
‘Was it not My hand which made all these things?’
Oh beloved, I urge you with Paul… by the mercies of God… to present your body a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God. That’s what He created you for… that’s what He sent His Son to redeem you for… to serve Him not in a temple made by man… but within the temple made by HIM.
For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Living a life pleasing to Him, acceptable to Him, good and perfect… according to His will… not your own.