“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1
It is often said, “Whenever you see the word ‘therefore’ find out what it is there for.” In this case it is all that precedes it in this letter of Paul and which drew out the words of worship to the Lord, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out” (11:33).
Since we have such a wonderful God it is reasonable, rational and logical to yield our “body of death” (7:24) to Him. The earlier chapters revealed how our bodies are slaves of sin unless we continually surrender them up to God and by deliberate choice and action make them slaves of God. In consideration of God’s redemption of mankind and in particular the fulfilment of His covenant with Abraham and David, which is still future (11:26), Paul reasons that it would be illogical to remain opposed to God.
The preceding chapters in this letter to the Christians in Rome have described and revealed the Divine Nature and the fallen human nature. God is holy, just, full of love, grace and mercy, all wise and having all knowledge. On the other hand fallen man is proud, arrogant, unloving, and unjust having minimal knowledge, limited understanding and unwise in application of what he does know. The two, the Divine Nature and the nature of fallen man, are hostile to each other. They are at enmity with each other.
Since this is the case, Paul exhorts us to present our bodies to God for He alone is able to transform us into the likeness of Himself. Adam was created in the image of God but human nature became corrupt when He chose not to present his body to God but chose to exalt himself as god.
Paul reasons that since we are born sinners because of Adam’s sin, for believers to live godly in Jesus Christ they will do the opposite of what Adam had done. They will surrender their bodies to God for His “good and acceptable and perfect will” (v 2) and this, Paul writes, is reasonable.
The remainder of the chapter goes on to describe what the Christian who is reasonable will look like.