The Surrendered Life

Title: The Surrendered Life

Bible Book: Romans 12 : 1-2

Author: Jackie Kay

Subject: Life, Surrendered; Devotion; Commitment; Christian Living



The twelfth chapter of Romans begins a new division of the book. It is here that Paul takes the great soteriological truths of chapters 1-11 and applies them to everyday life. It is here where Paul links propitiation and practicality, redemption and response, salvation and service. Preachers of old used to say, “The Gospel has a ‘believin’ side and a ‘behavin’ side.” Here Paul describes for us conduct rather than creed, deeds rather than is bottom line religion. This ‘behavin’ side of the Gospel is a description of the surrendered life of the believer. Our text addresses four aspects of that surrendered life.

What is the ‘behavin’ side of the Gospel? What is this surrendered life? Please note…

I. The Petition For A Surrendered Life

verse 1a “ I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God…” The ‘behavin’ side of the Gospel includes...

A. The Burden Of The Petition.

The word Paul uses for “beseech” , parakolo, indicates that this petition is both urgent and personal, i.e., this call from God is an urgent appeal requiring personal application. Paul is literally saying, “I beg you to come alongside me and take a stand for the Gospel.” The hour is late and our responsibility is great. This is no time for half-hearted devotion to Christ. Someone has said that the times are desperate but we are not. True Christianity is not merely a set of beliefs, but rather it is the life of Christ lived out in the surrendered lives of believers. This was the burden of Paul’s heart. Paul then addresses…

B. The Basis Of The Petition,

“ the mercies of God…”

“Therefore” is the hinge upon which swings the door opening the way from the declaration of truth to the demonstration of truth. The “therefore” of salvation of which Paul has written in Romans and the “therefore” of sanctification lead to the “therefore” of surrender and service. Paul calls these “the mercies of God” . Does not the love of God “constrain us” to surrender our lives to Him? The pain, passion, and pathos of the cross call us to full surrender.

Mercy there was great and grace was free.

Pardon there was multiplied to me.

There my burdened soul found liberty,

at Calvary.

It is by His mercies that we are not consumed. His mercies are new every morning. By the wounds of the cross Christ claims the right to be our Lord. Paul then addresses …

II. The Price/Priority Of A Surrendered Life

Verse 1b, “...that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service…”

Paul uses the graphic analogy of a sacrifice to describe the price/priority of a surrendered life. Please note…

A. The Living Sacrifice Described. It is..

1. A Consecrated Sacrifice

“Present…” is the same word used of the Levitical priest in his presentation of the sacrificial offering before the Lord. This consecrated sacrifice is a “given over completely and entirely” sacrifice. It is in the aorist tense implying a definite, decisive act of surrender. The lambs offered were completely consumed by the sacrificial fire. It is…

2. A Complete Sacrifice

“...your bodies a living sacrifice…” This is the practical aspect of our surrendered lives, i.e., the only avenue through which God can reveal Himself through our lives. This addressed the dualism of the platonic thought that characterized that day. That dualism allowed a person to believe rightly and behave differently, because the body was considered evil and incapable of honoring God. Much of that thought exists today where we believe the Word but behave like the world. Someone has said, “It doesn’t require much of a man to be a Christian, but it requires all there is of him.” It was …

3. A Clean Sacrifice

“...holy, acceptable unto the Lord.” “Holy” speaks of purity, the kind of unblemished quality the priest looked for in the sacrifice. The priest would carefully examine the lamb’s eyes, ears mouth, feet, skin, etc., to be sure it was clean and well pleasing (“acceptable”) to the Lord. Holiness is not a denomination. It is the mark, the price, the priority of a surrendered life. The price/priority of a surrendered life is seen in…

B. The Logical Service Declared,

“...which is your reasonable service.” The word Paul uses to describe the surrendered life is the word from which we get our word “logical.” What other response to God’s love would be appropriate? The natural response of a redeemed life should be that of a surrendered life.

Jesus paid it all.

All to Him I owe.

Sin had left a crimson stain.

He washed it white as snow.

The “behavin” side of the Gospel calls for believers to follow…

III. The Procedure For A Surrendered Life

“And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…” This procedure includes…

A. A Prohibition

“And be not conformed to this world…”

An imperative with a prohibition carries the idea of “Stop what you are doing!” Literally, Paul is telling his readers, and us, to stop letting the world system determine life’s values and conduct. The “behavin” side of the Gospel is not concerned with being politically correct but it is concerned with being biblically correct. Jesus said “Friendship with this world is enmity with God.” Worldliness is certainly one of the greatest problems most of us face. This procedure for a surrendered life also includes…

B. A Pronouncement

“...but be ye transformed…”

The word “transformed” comes from “morphe”, a Greek word from which we get “metamorphosis”. This term is only found three other times in the New Testament; 1) the transfiguration of Christ ( Matt. 17:2, Mark 9:2) and 2) it is used to describe the glorious change, “from glory to glory”, wrought in the believer when he steadfastly contemplates the Lord Jesus (II Cor. 3:18). The surrendered life allows the believer to grow more and more into the likeness of Christ through the glorious process of sanctification. This is something God does in us as we continually surrender our lives to the lordship of Christ. The procedure of a surrendered life also includes…

C. A Process

“ the renewing of your mind…”

This is a process of continually focusing our minds on the things of God. Ron Dunn calls Philippians 4:8 “God’s Ponder List”. Here we are admonished to renew our minds. “Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” The procedure of a surrendered life includes a process of constantly renewing our minds as we saturate our lives with the things of God. This is the “behavin” side of the Gospel. This is the surrendered life. But notice finally…

IV. The Purpose Of A Surrendered Life

“...that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.”

It is God’s desire that we enjoy life abundantly as well as eternally. The reason believers are admonished to surrender their lives to the Lordship of Christ is so that He might bless them with Heaven’s richest blessings. The word “prove” can be understood as “understand experientially,” or “know first hand.” God’s will for you is…

A. Pleasant


In John 4:10 Jesus said to the Samaritan woman, “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” You don’t have to fear surrendering your life to Christ. He only wants for you what is good. The purpose of a surrendered life is that we might discover life’s very best in every aspect of life. God’s will for you is…

B. Proper


The surrendered life is one that is “well pleasing” to the Lord. It is that life of joy unspeakable and full of Glory. What greater fulfillment than to know you are fulfilling God’s eternal purpose for your life? We can face the storms and uncertainties of life victoriously when we know God is working all things together for our good and His Glory. For the surrendered life, God’s will is acceptable even when it is difficult. It is acceptable even when we don’t fully understand it. The purpose of a surrendered life is that we might discover the joy and sweet peace of walking in communion with Him and in the delight of His acceptable, “well pleasing” will. God’s will for you is…

C. Perfect

“Perfect” is often translated “complete”. We see things on the narrow horizon of our present vision. God sees the past, the present, and the future in the context of eternity. Only a yielded, surrendered life can discover God’s perfect, complete will. Don’t fall short of God’s best for you by failing to present your life as a living sacrifice unto Him. This is the “Behavin” side of the Gospel.


Years ago, a twelve year old girl who had lost her arms and legs to a terrible disease heard Billy Graham preach on the radio from this text. She responded “Lord, there’s not much left of me, but what there is I give to you.” She learned to write with the use of a harness and devoted herself to sharing her faith in Christ by writing hundreds of letters sharing the Gospel. She lived to be twenty-seven years old. At her death, over fifteen hundred (1,500) professions of faith had been recorded through her efforts. She presented her body a living sacrifice. To whom much is given, much is required. This is the “Behavin” Side of the Gospel...the “Surrendered Life.”

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