“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.” – Romans 12:1-2
Do you remember landline telephones? Most of you do, and may have one. If you have a phone with a cord on it, you can usually unscrew the ear piece or the mouthpiece and find a receiver in the form of a microphone and transmitter in the form of a speaker. Putting the two together makes the handset a kind of transceiver – both receiving and transmitting sound translated into electrical signals. It’s really amazing.
In Romans 12, Paul says “therefore”, meaning in light of our need for God spelled out in chapters 1-4, His work to redeem and regenerate us in Christ in chapters 5-8, and His incredible sovereignty in working in and through our lives as we trust Him in chapters 9-11, we should do something very specific. Because of all this, we are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice.
That sounds really daunting until you see how. We present ourselves “by the mercies of God”. In other words, the same grace that empowers our union in Christ through salvation also empowers us to present ourselves to God now. It’s by His mercy we can present ourselves as a holy and pleasing sacrifice. You don’t make yourself holy or pleasing, but choose by faith what only He can accomplish.
Like the telephone, we receive His grace, but it is His Spirit within us that translates that grace to real life in our circumstance. That’s His mercy at work in you today.
Then, having received it, we are transformed by it. What was the divine nature of God gets translated into Life within me. His righteousness, His love, His sufficiency… all transliterated from the eternal to the temporal. If I will receive it, God translates His divine nature into my temporal body. And as I receive His life and revelation – His love for me and peace for me and sufficiency for me (and so much more) by the renewing of my mind to this truth – He shows me how that divine nature works out in my circumstances.
By the renewing of our mind, the love we receive gets expressed to others. Peace we receive from God changes the atmosphere of every conversation. Sufficiency by grace for every circumstance frees us to share in His work and life with others.
We become the transceivers of His Divine Life.
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Because of what He’s done, we entrust ourselves to God by His work in us, so that having received His Life we become the expressions of His Life through us.
It is possible to have been made new, yet deny the truth of who we are and what we have, and still never become transmitters of His life and power. We won’t experience His Life on a daily basis, and we won’t express His Life. But it’s still all ours, even then. We’re okay in Christ with God. We just don’t fully express it, because we don’t know or believe it’s ours.
But Romans 12 encourages us that receiving, presenting, and being transformed by the renewing of our mind the truth then translates into discerning and expressing His good, pleasing, and perfect will. Paul goes on in the remaining chapter to describe the love expressed through spiritual gifts and Body Life we share as we become receivers and expressers of His Life. It would be worth reading it all in context when you have a few minutes.
So, what now? Pick up the proverbial phone, saints! His line is always open! Receive what He has for you today – He loves you and is wanting you to know it! Let Him renew your mind as you increasingly focus on Him and His Life by grace. And you will know increasingly how He works – as He works through you to convey His love and grace to others. Receive, Transmit, Repeat. You have everything in Christ already by grace, but He has grace for you today to live from His life right now. And as you do, you participate and enjoy Him, and make Him known as the unique conveyance of His Life He has made you to be.
Enjoy the abiding Life expressed in His Fruit through you for His glory and by His grace today!
Question: “What do you know you’ve already received of His Life for you identity, and what might He live dynamically through you by grace in the moment today?”