Scripture Reading: Romans 12:1 -8
Having told us the previous chapters what God will provide to us because of His mercy, love, and grace, what should be our proper response. We are all sinners, not having the right because of all our faults to be a part of His kingdom. It is a gift, not a reward for our position, status, works, membership, baptism, etc.
What does it mean to be a living sacrifice? Does that mean that we have to give up everything we have, everything we need, everything we hope for, to serve Him? We are usually willing to give up some things to follow Him, but there are other things which we have earned and hold dear that we just don’t think we need to sacrifice. We can serve God and still keep these things.
Paul tells us that it is our reasonable service to sacrifice those things as well as to follow after Him who has done so much for us. The sacrifice of His son was more than He asks us to do (living versus death) and that was for all those who were yet to come, including us.
Living sacrifices to God are what Paul thinks is our part in response to what God has already done for us through His love, mercy, and grace. That should be our proper response without leaving something out that we don’t think God needs. He needs our total commitment, not just most of it.
- What is meant by “…present your bodies a living sacrifice…” (Romans 12:1)? In what manner are we to give ourselves to the Lord? Why do you think Paul uses the imagery of “living sacrifices” to describe our proper response to God’s mercy?
- What are some ways we can renew our minds (Romans 12:2) and so be transformed? Sometimes we view God’s will as something to be avoided rather than desired. How can the last part of Romans 12:2 correct this distortion?
- Why is it important that we discuss God’s will (Romans 12:2)?
- From Romans 12:3-8, how can the realization that we are members of a body prevent us from thinking too highly of ourselves? As you think with sober judgment about yourself, what gift(s) do you think God has given to you? How can you use them to benefit the body of Christ?
- What does Paul teach about men wisely and properly estimating themselves (Romans 12:3)?
- What honor should we give to other believers (Romans 12:4-5)?