I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)
I [invite] you, therefore, [brothers & sisters], [through] [the heart of God’s compassion] that [you plural, or y’all] [proffer] your [material souls] as a [live, not slain, but otherwise Levitical temple offering], [physically pure, morally blameless], [fully agreeable] [to] God, which is (a) [rational and moderate] [job required of man by God].
And be not [fashioned alike) with this [Greek: aeon]: but [you all] be [metamorphosed] [through] the [renovation] of your [capacity for spiritual truth, or the judging of good and evil], that ye may [recognize as genuine] what is the [upright and honorable] and [fully agreeable] and [finished] [purpose of God to bless mankind with Christ].
I invite you, therefore, my brothers and sisters, through the very instrument of God’s flawless mercy machine, that y’all offer up your own living souls as the same sort of offerings but alive that the Levitical priests offered in the temple, physically pure, moral, completely compatible with God’s standards; not only because it’s the next right thing to do, but because you are now one of God’s children, but because it’s the only logical choice to make.
And don’t get distracted by the materialism of this ungodly and wicked age, but be metamorphosed by the renovation of your newly claimed capacity in Christ to see the difference between good and evil, to construe as real God’s upright and honorable purpose, fully agreeable, that He would bless mankind once and for all with CHRIST Jesus.
THIRD TAKE (MEDITATION)
Similarly to the way the temple priests of Old Testament Israel made animal offerings at the altar, we must sacrifice ourselves to the new, Christ-consecrated altar to God in our hearts. It makes good sense to do so because, frankly, being holy and pure and blameless in life makes for a longer, more productive, happier, and more fruitful life. (Just read Proverbs, Psalms, the Pentateuch and the Beatitudes of Christ for more examples of this.) We need God to have any meaning whatsoever in our life; holy living will always keep us out of trouble. We are to be given to God unblemished like the Lamb, but this sacrifice cannot be made without God’s immense long-suffering mercy and love for us.
This offering should not be made in a double-minded way either, with us still being influenced by the outside world. We live in a materialistic and wicked time, and God’s will is always being compromised by man, who thinks he doesn’t need God, and that’s when man deigns to even care to consider the Almighty at all. Through faith we shall become profoundly and utterly rebuilt on spiritual, mental, emotional, psychological, and physical levels; we will become perfected and made complete in His image, which on earth is none other than the supreme visage of His Son. We will be able to recognize His mighty hand on us as we help Him to realize His highest determination in bringing all of His children into the bosom of His Son, Christ Jesus.