The response by the yielded believer.
“Because of God’s mercy,” Paul urges the yielded believers, to offer their body, or commit themselves, as a “living sacrifice to God.” Because God justified, sanctified, and seated us at His right-hand in Christ Jesus, we should make the results of His mercy our lasting subjective experience. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2, NIV.
We the Christians should live a life pleasing to God, not to obtain mercy, but because God granted us mercy in Jesus Christ. We could never obtain mercy by the sacrifice of our self, regardless of how good and sincere such a sacrifice is. We, the redeemed sinners could, by trusting Jesus, offer ourselves as a living sacrifice only when we accept the mercy God granted us while in the body here on earth, in Jesus Christ. In Romans 8:3, 4, 7, we learned that, in the body of Jesus Christ on the cross at Golgotha, God accomplished on our behalf that which we could not do mainly; He condemned sin in sinful flesh to enable us to live a life according to Spirit, not according to flesh.
Because God in His mercy, Jesus Christ, justified us and made us righteous and holy in His eyes, we obligated to God to live a Spirit-guided life in conformity with our exulted standing before Him. We must always be mindful that we are sitting at the right-hand of God, in Jesus Christ. Therefore, the only correct response to God’s grace is to die to our self so that Christ could live in us. If Christ lives in us, then our mind and our attitude must be the same as His. “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: …” Philippians 2:4, 5, NIV. However, the life of self-denial is not a life free from the possibility of sin against the law, but a life free from the sin’s dominion. “For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.” Romans 6:14, NIV.
To be continued in the next blog.