Reading: Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.Romans 12:1
The great theme of Paul’s epistle to the Romans is the momentous subject of justification by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. This is the foundation of Christian experience.
The believing sinner is accepted as righteous only on account of the righteousness of Christ, which he receives by saving faith. This was the keystone of the Protestant Reformation and will forever remain a glorious truth of the gospel. However, justification is not a deadening doctrine. It is a truth that is followed by spiritual activity.
Those who are justified are compelled by love to Christ to present their bodies as living sacrifices unto God which is their reasonable service. There is nothing unreasonable in a life devoted to Christ, nothing unreasonable in refusing to be conformed to this world and striving to be transformed by the renewing of the mind in spiritual things, nothing unreasonable in proving the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, and there is nothing unreasonable in serving our Saviour with our whole heart. This is both the believer’s great duty and great privilege.
Christ has given Himself for us. He has lived a perfect life and died an atoning death. We have been chosen in Him and called to Him. His righteousness has been personally and unchangeably imputed to us, and we have been brought nigh by the blood of His cross. Such gracious salvation deserves our very best. It is reasonable that we should consecrate ourselves to Him. Through the words of Romans 12 the Holy Spirit calls for a life of selfless sacrifice, sanctification, and service. Our response should be as clear as the call. If Christ was willing to be a servant for me and endure the agonies and shame of the cross on my behalf, then nothing could be more reasonable than that I should serve Him with my all.
“You are not your own, but bought with a price; … live, while you live, with all-consuming zeal.” C. H. Spurgeon
Taken from A Word in Season edited by Alan Cairns, 2010. Used by permission.