Christian Way of Life, Romans 12:1-2 A New Kind of Priesthood

Tod Kennedy, September 19, 2010

God’s plan makes all believers into priests and as priests they no longer sacrifice animals, but instead give themselves to God while at the same time they are progressively being changed inside instead of being molded in the pattern of the present evil worldview (Romans 12.1-2).

  1. Romans 12:1. Present our bodies to God. We are the sacrifice. The body is where we live. It is the house for our soul and human sprit, and for the Holy Spirit. This means to be willing and available to serve God. Romans 6:13, 16, 19, 22 teach us to present ourselves to God for doing righteousness. Romans 6:23 says that sanctification in time is a result. Present, παρίστημι, paristemi in the aorist active infinitive. The word means to place beside, to present before, to put at one’s disposal.
  2. Romans 12:1. To do this is the reasonable or right service of worship or we could translate spiritual service—λατρείαν. Latreia is labor or religious service (Romans 9:4, temple service; Hebrews 9:1, divine worship).
  3. Romans 12:2. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed. How? By the renewing of our minds. This emphasizes a reconstruction of our knowledge base, our worldview, our purpose, and the how to live.
  4. Romans 12:2. When we do this we will test and prove that God’s will is good and pleasing and complete. His will for us is to be living priests who have presented our bodies to him as living sacrifices and are not being conformed to the present worldview, but instead are being conformed to his will by having our minds changed and renewed through his word and his Spirit. As this goes on we are serving him.

So What? Lessons for the CWL

  1. We should continually present ourselves to God. This means to make the right choices daily to serve God by living the Christian life.
  2. To the present worldview to mold us is wrong. Instead we need a continual inner transformation of our thinking. This renewal comes from God’s word plus the ministry of the Holy Spirit producing spiritual growth, maturity, and service.
  3. When we practice Romans 12:1-2 we will demonstrate to ourselves that God’s will is the best.