Surrendered Saints

Title: Surrendered Saints

Bible Book: Romans 12 : 1-2

Author: Donnie L. Martin

Subject: Surrender; God's will; Renewal; Commitment



Romans 12:1-3

Stephen F. Olford has said, “What God wants today is new men, rather than new methods; surrendered people, rather than just saved people, for it is possible to be saved yet not surrendered.”1 One does not have to think about it too long to know that that statement is true. Finding people who are converted to Christ is not difficult. It is difficult however, to find people who are both converted and committed to Him.

In the chapters before Romans 12, Paul dealt in detail with the salvation and sanctification of the saints. In this chapter, Paul’s intent is to show that the purpose of salvation is that the saint might live a surrendered life to the glory of God. He is promoting the idea that the child of God, because of what God has done for him in Christ, is to live a life that is consecrated and committed to His service.

This is a vitally important truth in these last days. Our world has become so full of corruption, chicanery, and charlatans that the average worldling scarcely knows what is real anymore. This is especially true when it comes to the truth about God. One of the best ways for the lost world to come to know the truth about God is to see it lived out in the lives of surrendered saints; those who are fully committed to pleasing God.

Paul’s words in Romans 12: 1-2 help us see the importance of being a surrendered saint. Let us be careful to apply these truths to our own lives as God makes us aware of them today.

In Romans 12: 1&2, Paul reveals the:

I. The Divine Obligation of Surrender

A. We Are Obligated By The Expression Of Divine Love

Mercy is love in action, shown to an inferior by a superior. As sinners who had violated the righteous standard of a holy God, we were totally undeserving of any expression of God’s love toward us. Yet, God did just that for every lost sinner. Notice however, that Paul uses the word “mercies,” not merely “mercy.” God has shown man His mercy and love in numerous ways; thus Paul’s usage of the plural.

1. God expressed His love through the justification of the believing sinner Rom.3:24 “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

2. God expressed His love the sanctification of the saint

Rom.8:29a “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son…”

I Thess.4:3a “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification…”

3. God expressed His love the glorification of those born again by faith in the Savior

Rom.8:30c“…whom he justified, them he also glorified.”

When Paul speaks of the saint’s glorification, he is referring to the ultimate transformation of the believer’s body at the Rapture. At that time, the children of God will exchange their mortal body for a glorified and immortal body (I Cor.15:53b “…this mortal must put on immortality”).

Without any merit on man’s part, God expressed His love in the death of His Son for man’s sin. It is much like the following true story:

Richard Armstrong, Make Your Life Worthwhile, reports the story about a man in Wales who sought to win the affection of a certain lady for 42 years before she finally said “Yes.” The couple, both 74, recently became “Mr. and Mrs.” For more than 40 years, the persistent, but rather shy man slipped a weekly love letter under his neighbor’s door. But she continually refused to speak and mend the spat that had parted them many years before. After writing 2,184 love letters without ever getting a spoken or written answer, the single-hearted old man eventually summoned up enough courage to present himself in person. He knocked on the door of the reluctant lady’s house and asked for her hand. To his delight and surprise, she accepted. Imagine God’s dilemma. Time and time again He has tried to get His message of love through to His human creation with little response. Finally, when there was no other way, He wrapped up His message and came in person. What a revelation of God’s love to you and me!2

Christ’s death on Calvary for undeserving sinners was the perfect expression of divine love.

A certain medieval monk announced he would be preaching next Sunday evening on “The Love of God.” As the shadows fell and the light ceased to come in through the cathedral windows, the congregation gathered. In the darkness of the altar, the monk lit a candle and carried it to the crucifix. First of all, he illumined the crown of thorns, next, the two wounded hands, then the marks of the spear wound. In the hush that fell, he blew out the candle and left the chancel. There was nothing else to say.3

B. We Are Obligated By The Expectation Of Divine Love

Rom.12:1b “…that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice…”

True gratitude for God’s love demands an expression of that gratitude. Paul said that we should present our “bodies” as living sacrifices to God. This means that we are to place ourselves at God’s disposal. Our bodies are not to be “instruments of unrighteousness,” but “instruments of righteousness” (Rom.6: 13). Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14: 15).

The fact is, we need to do more than merely reason out the mercies of God; we need to have the right response to His mercies. Logically, I should realize that God’s love toward me “…demands my soul, my life, my all,”4 as the songwriter so aptly put it. The question is: Do we love Christ and appreciate what He’s done for us enough to fully surrender to Him, and serve Him without reservation?

II. The Divine Order of Surrender

A. Our Surrender Must Be Without Reservation

Rom.12:1b “…present your bodies…”

The word “bodies” implies more than merely our visible shell. This word “…represents the totality of one’s life and activities, of which his body is the vehicle of expression.”5 Andrew Murray has rightly noted: “God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.”6

God wants you to surrender your total person to Him. He wants not only your tongue under His control, but your thoughts as well. He wants more than just the head; He wants your heart. Dr. Olford says, “It is tremendously important to realize that God never consecrates part of the life, only the whole.”7

The following story illustrates my point:

Florence Nightingale at thirty wrote in her diary, “I am thirty years of age, the age at which Christ began His mission. Now no more childish things, no more vain things. Now, Lord, let me think only of Thy will.”

Years later, near the end of her illustrious, heroic life, she was asked for her life’s secret, and she replied, “Well, I can only give one explanation; that is, I have kept nothing back from God.”8

B. Our Surrender Must Be As Required
1. We are to be a “living sacrifice”

Rom.12:1b “…present your bodies a living sacrifice…”

The reference here is to a whole burnt offering, mentioned so often in the Old Testament. Those sacrifices meant the death of a spotless animal, completely consumed on the altar, in worship of God. Even so, we should live in such a way so as not to defile our bodies, which are the temples of the Spirit of God (I Cor.6: 19, 20). The saint must yield his body to God in a continual act of service and worship to Him. This will involve assuming the position of daily dying to self, but being alive unto God (Rom.6: 11).

2. We are to be a “holy” sacrifice

Rom.12:1b “…present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy…”

3. We are to be a pleasing sacrifice

Rom.12:1b “…present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God…”

We are not to simply do what is required, but seek to please the Lord. The writer of Hebrews exhorts us not only to lay aside sin, but also “every weight” that is a hindrance to our walk with the Lord (Heb.12: 1). These weights are things that are not necessarily wrong, but things that may displease the Lord, nonetheless.

III. The Divine Objects of Surrender

A. The Renewal Of The Believer’s Character

Rom.12:2a “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…”

Moody once said, “Character is what you are in the dark.”9 As the saint lives in submission to Christ, his thinking processes are changed. He begins to see life from the Savior’s point of view. Because of this renewed mind, our character begins to conform to that of Christ. We begin to emulate Him instead of the world. The following illustrates my point:

On a wall near the main entrance to the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, is a portrait with the following inscription: “James Butler Bonham—no picture of him exists. This portrait is of his nephew, Major James Bonham, deceased, who greatly resembled his uncle. It is placed here by the family that people may know the appearance of the man who died for freedom.” No literal portrait of Jesus exists either. But the likeness of the Son who makes us free can be seen in the lives of his true followers.10

B. The Regulation Of The Believer’s Conduct

Rom.12:2b “…that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

A yielded, surrendered Christian is one who learns to walk according to the will of God. There is nothing more good, acceptable, or pleasing to God, than one who obediently follows Him. Only the surrendered stay centered in God’s will.


1 Stephen F. Olford, Committed To Christ And His Church, published by Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49516; pg. 98.

2 Stephen F. Olford, Committed To Christ And His Church, published by Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49516; pp. 99-100.

3 Source unknown.

4 Isaac Watts, “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.”

5 John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, Editors, The Bible Knowledge Commentary, published by Victor Books, Wheaton, Illinois; pg. 487.

6 Andrew Murray.

7 Stephen F. Olford, Committed To Christ And His Church, published by Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49516; pg. 101.

8 Ibid, pg. 102.

9 D.L. Moody.

10 Stephen F. Olford, Committed To Christ And His Church, published by Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49516; p. 105

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