The body is given to us to make visible the beauty of Christ.
First, he uses a gentle and winsome word, “I appeal” instead of “I command.” He says explicitly in Philemon 1:8–9 that the use of the word “appeal” is softer than the word “command” and is an expression of love and mercy.
Notice in passing that Paul models for us mercy even as he calls us to mercy in verse 1.
Most clearly of all Hebrews says, “When Christ had offered a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.” So Christ brought to an end the Old Testament sacrifices for sin. You belong to God soul and body, or you don’t belong to him at all. Someone might think: Why would God be interested in my body? But that kind of thinking misses the point in another way: The offering of our bodies is not the offering of our bodily looks but our bodily behavior.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 5:7, “Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” That was the final sacrifice for sin, because it was perfect and sufficient for all who believe. All we have to do now is trust him for that great work. So when Paul says that our worship is to present our bodies as a sacrifice he does not mean that we die and atone for our sins. Let’s take the four words he gives and see what each contributes to understanding a lifestyle of daily worship: .” The point is to stress that your body counts. So put out of your mind any thought that your body will ever deserve acceptance with God. If you are acceptable, it is “through Jesus Christ.” Through his perfection, not your perfection.
And he sums up the foundation with the phrase, “the mercies of God.” I appeal to you therefore, brothers, to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That is, Romans 12 will become a reality in your own life. Here are three examples where the body being used as an instrument of righteousness and mercy is called a “sacrifice.” In Philippians Paul says, I “have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a .” Your work and giving and Epaphroditus’s bringing this gift to me is a sacrifice of worship to God. Hebrews : “Through [Christ] then let us continually offer up a are pleasing to God.” When you do good, in Jesus’s name, with your mouth or your hands or your presence, your body becomes a holy, living sacrifice of worship.
Is it the physical instrument of meekness and mercy and peace? Isaiah 53:2–3 describes him: “He had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. And Christ, at the hour of his greatest beauty, was repulsive to look at. First, Paul says it is a presenting of a sacrifice to God. There were different kinds of sacrifices but at the heart of it was that sin demanded punishment, and the slain animal represented God’s willingness to accept a substitute so that the worshiper might live and have an ongoing relationship of forgiveness and joy with God. Verse 1: “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 .” What is this “spiritual worship”? In coming to God the worshiper brought a sheep or a bull or a pigeon and sacrificed it on the altar as an offering to God. If we are not worshiping in our behavior — that is, if we are not making much of God’s mercy in Christ in and alongside our behavior — we are not giving people what they need most. A merciful lifestyle depends on a worshipful lifestyle.