1I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God - what is good and acceptable and perfect.
3For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, 5so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. 6We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; 7ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; 8the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.
Given God's unanticipated and multifaceted mercy (especially in regards to the salvation of Gentiles), what is the proper response from those engrafted in Christ?
The Proper Response --> Call to Transformed Living.
Present yourselves, body and all, as a living sacrifice to the living God. This offering is our true and proper worship. And as thinking beings, true and proper worship includes the transformation of our minds as our minds get renewed by the Spirit in the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The proper response to such divine mercies is to see/think more clearly what these mercies mean and how these mercies shed light not only on God but on each other.
Our proper worship through the transformation of our minds is also, at the same time, good for us. Giving ourselves over to God as living sacrifices happens to benefit us the most! Our deepest joy comes handing ourselves over to God and being transformed in our thinking. Most sacrifices do not work this way. A sacrifice, religious or otherwise, is the giving of something valuable to another for the other's benefit. Rare is the sacrifice that benefits the giver beyond the "joy of giving."
But in this case, our living sacrifice which entails the transformation of our thinking is largely for our own benefit. A transformed mind means a transformed perspective on all things and a transformed perspective on all things means proper assessment and appreciation of all things from God's perspective. This is "the will of God -- what is good and acceptable and perfect." The transformation moves on to include our perspective on others as well.
Let's pray: Father God, we thank you that when we are engrafted into the life of Christ, everything changes, including our thinking. Everything looks different because now your light shines on all things. Help us today to offer our bodies as living sacrifices by the renewal of our minds. May this transformation of our thinking and perspective shape how we live with you and with ourselves and with others. May the transformation in perspective bring deep joy and peace. In Christ's name, Amen.