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 your spiritual worship.
Ending the intercalation of vindicating God’s character (chapters 9 to 11), Paul now turned to charging all believers with applied instruction. Chapter 12 begins the practical section of Romans (chapters 12 to 16).
The first two verses set forth what is necessary for the believer to live the Christian life—a life set apart unto God.
1 I appeal to you
Paul began the practical section of Romans with an appeal to a principle that is the foundation for applying truth to experience—presenting ourselves to God.
An “appeal” is not a demand but a request. The word “appeal” strikes a note of entreaty, not command. It is on the basis of the finished work of Christ that Paul invited the Romans to become a sacrifice.
The law commands but grace urges.
God appeals to the believer on the basis of a loving relationship. The law commands but grace urges. The decision is that of the believer. We cannot force people into a walk with God. We live in fellowship with Him because of what he has done for us.
Conduct should be done in view of what God has done. Christians are believer-priests under the authority of the Great High Priest. We serve the Lord because of gratitude for His divine provision of finished and operating assets.