New International Version
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God--this is your true and proper worship.
New Living Translation
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice--the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.
English Standard Version
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
New American Standard Bible
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.
King James Bible
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.
Holman Christian Standard Bible
Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship.
International Standard Version
I therefore urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercies, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices that are holy and pleasing to God, for this is the reasonable way for you to worship.
Therefore I exhort you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice--alive, holy, and pleasing to God--which is your reasonable service.
Aramaic Bible in Plain English
I beg you therefore, my brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God by a logical service.
GOD'S WORD® Translation
Brothers and sisters, in view of all we have just shared about God's compassion, I encourage you to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, dedicated to God and pleasing to him. This kind of worship is appropriate for you.
Jubilee Bible 2000
Therefore, I beseech you brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies in living sacrifice, holy, well pleasing unto God, which is your rational worship.
King James 2000 Bible
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
American King James Version
I beseech you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
American Standard Version
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service.
I BESEECH you therefore, brethren, by the mercy of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing unto God, your reasonable service.
Darby Bible Translation
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the compassions of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your intelligent service.
English Revised Version
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
Webster's Bible Translation
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
Weymouth New Testament
I plead with you therefore, brethren, by the compassionsof God, to present all your faculties to Him as a living and holy sacrifice acceptable to Him. This with you will be an act of reasonable worship.
World English Bible
Therefore I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service.
Young's Literal Translation
I call upon you, therefore, brethren, through the compassions of God, to present your bodies a sacrifice -- living, sanctified, acceptable to God -- your intelligent service;
Parallel CommentariesMatthew Henry's Concise Commentary
12:1,2 The apostle having closed the part of his epistle wherein he argues and proves various doctrines which are practically applied, here urges important duties from gospel principles. He entreated the Romans, as his brethren in Christ, by the mercies of God, to present their bodies as a living sacrifice to Him. This is a powerful appeal. We receive from the Lord every day the fruits of his mercy. Let us render ourselves; all we are, all we have, all we can do: and after all, what return is it for such very rich receivings? It is acceptable to God: a reasonable service, which we are able and ready to give a reason for, and which we understand. Conversion and sanctification are the renewing of the mind; a change, not of the substance, but of the qualities of the soul. The progress of sanctification, dying to sin more and more, and living to righteousness more and more, is the carrying on this renewing work, till it is perfected in glory. The great enemy to this renewal is, conformity to this world. Take heed of forming plans for happiness, as though it lay in the things of this world, which soon pass away. Do not fall in with the customs of those who walk in the lusts of the flesh, and mind earthly things. The work of the Holy Ghost first begins in the understanding, and is carried on to the will, affections, and conversation, till there is a change of the whole man into the likeness of God, in knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness. Thus, to be godly, is to give up ourselves to God.
Verse 1 - Romans 14:23. - III. HORTATORY. (See summary of contents, p. 17.) It is St. Paul's way to supplement his doctrinal treatises with detailed practical directions as to the conduct that should of necessity ensue on belief in the doctrines propounded. So also in Ephesians 4:1, etc., where, as here, he connects his exhortations with what has gone before by the initiatory παρακαλῶ οϋν. Beyond his exposition of the truth for its own sake, he has always a further practical aim. Saving faith is ever with him a living faith, to be shown by its fruits. Nor, according to him, will these fruits follow, unless the believer himself does his part in cultivating them: else were these earnest and particular exhortations needless. If, on the one hand, he is the great assertor of our salvation being through faith and all of grace, he is no less distinct for the necessity of works following, and of the power of man's free-will to use or resist grace; cf. 1 Corinthians 15:10, where, speaking of himself, he does not mean to say that grace had made him what he was in spite of himself, but that grace had not been in vain, because he himself had worked with grace. All was of grace, but he himself had laboured, assisted by grace working with him. It will be observed how comprehensive is the survey of Christian duty that here follows, reaching to all the relations of life, as well as to internal disposition. Verse 1 - Romans 13:14. - E. Various practical duties enforced. Verse 1. - I beseech you therefore, brethren (he does not command, as did Moses in the Law; he beseeches; he is but a fellow-servant, with his brethren, of Christ; he does not "lord it over God's heritage" (cf. 1 Peter 5:3), but trusts that they will of their own accord respond to "the mercies of God" in Christ, which he has set before them), by the mercies of God ("Qui misericordia Dei recte movetur in omnem Dei voluntatem ingreditur. At anima irae obnoxia vix quiddam juvatur adhortationibus," Bengel), that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. The verb παραστῆσαι is the usual one for the presenting of sacrificial animals at the altar (Xen., 'Anab.,' 6:1.22; Lucian, 'De Sacrif.,' 13. The LXX in Leviticus 16:7, 10, has στήσει. Cf. Luke 2:22: Colossians 1:22, 28, and supra, 6:13). Our bodies are here specified, with probable reference to the bodies of victims which were offered in the old ritual. But our offering differs from them in being "a living sacrifice," replete with life and energy to do God's will (cf. Psalm 40:6, 7, 8, and Hebrews 10:5, 6, 7), yea, and oven inspired with a new life - a life from the dead (Romans 6:13). Further, the thought is suggested of the abuse of the body to uncleanness prevalent in heathen society (cf. Romans 1:24). The bodies of Christians are "members of Christ," "temples of the Holy Ghost," consecrated to God, and to be devoted to his service (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:15, etc.); and not in heart only, but in actual life, of which the body is the agent, we are to offer ourselves, after the example of Christ. Your reasonable service (τὴν λογικὴν λατρείαν ὑμῶν) must be taken in apposition to "present your bodies, rather than to "sacrifice," it being the act of offering, and not the thing offered. that constitutes the λατρεία. This word is especially used for the ceremonial worship of the Old Testament (cf. Exodus 12:25, 26; Exodus 13:5; Romans 9:4; Hebrews 8:5; Hebrews 9:1, 6, 9; Hebrews 10:2; Hebrews 13:10), the counterpart of which in Christians is, according to St. Paul, not ceremonial service, but rather that of a devoted life (cf. Acts 27:23; Romans 1:9; Philippians 3:3; 2 Timothy 1:3; Hebrews 41:28). The epithet λογικὴν has been variously understood. It probably means rational, denoting a moral and spiritual serving of God, in implied opposition to mechanical acts of outward worship. "Respectu intellectus et voluntatis" (Bengel). It may be taken to express the same idea as οἱ Πνεῦματι Θεῷ λατρεύοντες (Philippians 3:3), and πνευματικὴν θυσίαν (1 Peter 2:7; cf. John 4:24). Though the offering of the body is being spoken of, yet "bodily self-sacrifice is an ethical act" (Meyer). Cf. 1 Corinthians 6:20. The word itself occurs in the New Testament only here and in 1 Peter 2:2, where its meaning, though obscure, may be similar.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,.... The apostle having finished the doctrinal part of this epistle, proceeds to that which is more practical; and enforces the several duties of religion, upon the principles he had before laid down, a method generally observed by him in all his epistles. The illative particle "therefore", shows that the following exhortations are so many conclusions, consequences, and inferences, deduced from what had been said in the latter part of the preceding chapter; that since all things are of God, and by him and to him, then the saints ought to present their bodies to him, and to know, approve, and do his will; and since they have nothing but what they have received from him, they ought not to think too highly of, or glory in their attainments. The introduction to these exhortations, is in a very kind and affectionate manner; the saints are addressed as "brethren", and very appropriately; since this expresses the relation they stood in to the apostle, for whom he had an hearty love and concern; and therefore what he pressed them to was out of a sincere regard to their good, as well as to the glory of God; also their relation to each other, and which several of the duties he urges had a connection with; likewise their relation to God, being of his family, having one and the same Father, and so under obligation to regard his will, honour and reverence him: moreover, these things are moved, not in an imperious way, in an authoritative manner, but by way of entreaty, "I beseech you"; as an ambassador of Christ, and as though in his stead: nor are they enforced by terrors, threats, and menaces, but "by the mercies of God"; that is, the abundant mercy of God, displayed in their election, regeneration, and calling; than which, nothing can have a greater influence on a believer, to engage him to holiness of life and conversation; and shows, that the doctrines of grace are no licentious ones, nor do they render useless precepts, exhortations, entreaties, cautions, and advice, particularly such as follow;
that ye present your bodies; not barely that part of them commonly so called, for this is not to be understood of a mere presentation of the body in public worship: for though this ought to be, yet not without the heart engaged therein, otherwise bodily exercise will be of no avail; nor of a bare abstinence from grosser sins done in the body, and against it, and which defile and dishonour it; much less of a maceration, and keeping under the body, by watchings, fasting, &c. and still less of an offering of the body at death in a way of martyrdom, though this ought to be cheerfully complied with when called for: but by their bodies are meant, themselves, their whole souls and bodies, all the powers and faculties of their souls, and members of their bodies; and the presenting of them, designs a devoting of them, with all readiness and willingness, to the service of God for his honour and glory, without putting any confidence in, or placing any dependence upon them; which would be sacrificing to their own net, and burning incense to their drag; it includes the whole of their service, conversation, and religion, internal and external. So the Jews (k) say,
"worthy is the portion of the righteous, who offer every day this offering before the Lord; and what is it? , "their bodies and their souls", which they offer before him.''
The allusion is to the rite of sacrificing, to the bringing of the slain beast, and laying it on the altar, and there presenting and offering it to the Lord. Under the Gospel dispensation all believers are priests; and the sacrifices they bring are not the bodies of slain beasts, but their own bodies, their whole selves; and these
a living sacrifice, in opposition to the bodies of slain beasts offered under the legal dispensation, and to the dead works of such as are destitute of faith in Christ, and to the lifeless performances of the saints themselves at certain times; and designs such a presentation of themselves in the performance of religious duties, as springs from a principle of life under the quickening influences of the Spirit of God, with faith and fervency; though without any view to obtain life hereby, for that is only by the offering up of the body of Christ once for all. Another epithet of this sacrifice of our bodies to God is
holy, in allusion to the sacrifices under the law, which were separated from common use, and devoted to God, and were not to have the least spot and blemish in them; and regards men sanctified by the Spirit of God, and whose actions flow from a principle of holiness, and are performed under the influence of the Holy Spirit; and such sacrifices as are both living and holy, cannot but be
acceptable to God through the mediation of his Son, by whom, as the persons, the souls and bodies of his people, so their spiritual sacrifices, whether of prayer or praise, are only acceptable to him:
which is your reasonable service; it is agreeably to reason, and especially as sanctified, that men who have their beings from God, and are upheld in them by him, and are followed with the bounties of Providence; and especially who are made new creatures, and are blessed by him with all spiritual blessings in Christ, that they should give up themselves to him, and cheerfully serve him in their day and generation; such service is also agreeably to the Scriptures of truth, the standard of filth and practice, and contain and enforce nothing but what is highly reasonable to be complied with; it is such service as lies not in the slaying of irrational creatures, but in the presenting of men endued with rational powers unto God; and is of a spiritual nature, performed by spiritual men, under the influence of the Spirit of God: and is suitable to the nature and perfections of God, and stands opposed to the corporeal and carnal service of the Jews.
(k) Zohar in Lev. fol. 4. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Ro 12:1-21. Duties of Believers, General and Particular.
The doctrinal teaching of this Epistle is now followed up by a series of exhortations to practical duty. And first, the all-comprehensive duty.
1. I beseech you therefore—in view of all that has been advanced in the foregoing part of this Epistle.
by the mercies of God—those mercies, whose free and unmerited nature, glorious Channel, and saving fruits have been opened up at such length.
that ye present—See on Ro 6:13, where we have the same exhortation and the same word there rendered "yield" (as also in Ro 12:16, 19).
your bodies—that is, "yourselves in the body," considered as the organ of the inner life. As it is through the body that all the evil that is in the unrenewed heart comes forth into palpable manifestation and action, so it is through the body that all the gracious principles and affections of believers reveal themselves in the outward life. Sanctification extends to the whole man (1Th 5:23, 24).
a living sacrifice—in glorious contrast to the legal sacrifices, which, save as they were slain, were no sacrifices at all. The death of the one "Lamb of God, taking away the sin of the world," has swept all dead victims from off the altar of God, to make room for the redeemed themselves as "living sacrifices" to Him who made "Him to be sin for us"; while every outgoing of their grateful hearts in praise, and every act prompted by the love of Christ, is itself a sacrifice to God of a sweet-smelling savor (Heb 13:15, 16).
holy—As the Levitical victims, when offered without blemish to God, were regarded as holy, so believers, "yielding themselves to God as those that are alive from the dead, and their members as instruments of righteousness unto God," are, in His estimation, not ritually but really "holy," and so
unto God—not as the Levitical offerings, merely as appointed symbols of spiritual ideas, but objects, intrinsically, of divine complacency, in their renewed character, and endeared relationship to Him through His Son Jesus Christ.
which is your reasonable—rather, "rational"
service—in contrast, not to the senselessness of idol-worship, but to the offering of irrational victims under the law. In this view the presentation of ourselves, as living monuments of redeeming mercy, is here called "our rational service"; and surely it is the most rational and exalted occupation of God's reasonable creatures. So 2Pe 1:5, "to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."
Romans 12:1 Additional Commentaries
1Therefore 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. 2And 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.…
for you are a people holy to the LORD your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the LORD has chosen you to be his treasured possession.
"Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High,
Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.
Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey--whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?
to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. He gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 1:10
I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.
1 Corinthians 6:20
you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
I beseech you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
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