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.
I appeal to you. The author is saying: "Guys I beg of you!" He is pleading with the church. Today I am also pleading with you. Hope Church, hear this word and to put it into practice! Never has there been a more important word for the Church.
By the mercies of God. In other words, because of what Christ has done in coming, living, loving, suffering and dying you are saved! God has also filled you with his Spirit to empower everything he is about to encourage you to adopt. His mercies means he has done EVERYTHING and we have no real excuse. So far the author has said: I am begging you to obey and you have no excuse.
Present your bodies as a living sacrifice. He is saying: "Surrender your whole self to God." Not just your heart, not just your mind, not just your hands or eyes or mouth, surrender your bodies. Two things here: he wants your whole self as an individual. Also, its plural, he is talking to all of us. He is speaking to the church. He is saying that Jesus came and sacrificed himself so that we, together, could lay our lives down every day for Christ and his Kingdom.
Holy and acceptable to God. God is calling you and me to not only accept forgiveness but to pursue holiness. A holy life is one that shows off Jesus. If we know we are sinning and choose to keep sinning we are violating God’s holiness and it is unacceptable to God. His people seek to show the holiness of Christ because we love Jesus and want to show him off in this broken world.
Which is your spiritual worship. This is worship! Responding to the mercies of God by daily laying yourself down for Christ and his Kingdom and showing Christ through a holy life... all because we love Jesus. Its great to gather for "worship," to sing and learn and fellowship but true worship happens in the day to day. It happens out in the broken world as we pursue the likeness of Jesus and lay our lives down for Jesus and his Kingdom mission.
So verse one is the main idea. It paints a picture of a redeemed and holy church laying down our lives for Christ and His Kingdom every day. Verse one lays the foundation for the New Year's Resolutions that every one of us must adopt in 2015: Lay down your earthly desires, passions and pursuits to become more like Jesus.
It reminds me Luke 9:23 where Jesus said: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
Tomorrow we'll call the church to adopt four very practical Resolutions that will help each of us to lay down our lives to become more like Jesus.