This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
THIS is laid down in Romans xii, i, 2. "I beseech you." Regenerated people can not be driven into this grace. They must be wooed instead of threatened, and besought instead of abused. " Brethren." Sinners are never called brethren in the Bible. So the class addressed here is clearly seen. " Present your bodies." Of course the soul is in the body. If we present our bodies to God, in the sense used here, we certainly do not keep back the soul. We have heard of Christians who presented their souls to God, but kept their bodies for self-indulgence and even sin. But he who presents his body to God has already given his soul. One of the difficult things for the regenerated man to do is to present his body entirely to God. He wants his own way and his rest. He is disinclined to give his tongue at times. He likes to let his eyes rove, and his 130
Paul's Way. 131 feet move in ways more pleasing to self than to God. So the presenting of the body is a big thing. It is in fact consecration ; and it is the consecration of a Christian that is here being nrged, and
not the repentance of a sinner. u A living sacrifice. " This proves that it is a Christian being addressed. The sinner is a dead sacrifice. God says of him : " He is dead in trespasses and in sins." So the " living sacrifice " can not be the sinner. " Holy, acceptable unto the Lord." The sinner never comes for holiness, or as a holy offering, but simply for pardon. " Which is your reasonable service." What "service" can a sinner render God? He is in no condition to do anything of the kind until he is pardoned and regenerated. Sinners do n't serve God, but regenerated people do. "And be not conformed to this world." Here is that dying to the world in its customs, laws, fashions, maxims, pleasures, honors, etc., that rounds up and fills out the consecration that the apostle is urging upon the "brethren." There are many things that are lawful and not morally wrong which we have to die out to, before we can get the blessing of sanctification. The writer died out to
132 The Better Way. lectures, the platform, secret societies, ritualisms, dignities, and the being called Rabbi, Rabbi, in the market-places. " But be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind." But is not this regeneration? How can it be when he is talking to " brethren," and the- exhortation is not to " knock at the door" for pardon, but to get on the altar for sacrifice and transformation?
Let us see where the " renewing of the mind " comes in. Paul, in writing to Titus, says : " He saved us by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior. " So a full salvation is made up of two works — the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost. "And " is a copulative conjunction and means something else. Lange, the commentator, is struck with this double expression. In fact, it is the statement of the " double cure " that the hymn speaks about. otice that the verse says this "renewing of the Holy Ghost" was "shed on us abundantly." The allusion is to Pentecost. Regeneration is not "shed," but the baptism of the Holy Ghost was;
Paul's Way, 133 and it was, and is, and always will be done "abundantlyo" So the "renewing" of Rom. xii, 2, is the renewing of Titus iii, 5, 6, and comes after regeneration. "That ye might prove-" — That is, find out — "What is that good and perfect and acceptable will of God." And this is the will of God, even your, sanctification. So says Paul, in 1 Thess. iv, 3.
Only let the reader follow Paul's direction above, and he will obtain the transformation, the glorious renewing, which enables him to find out the perfect will of God in himself; namely, his sanctification. Does any one ask where the faith is in this passage? The reply is, that it is impossible to do the things laid down here without faith. And, as we have noticed in hundreds of instances, the instant a Christian makes the complete consecration, there is felt an instantaneous power to believe. And, as we expressed the fact in another volume, the blossom of faith comes forth at once from the end of a perfect consecration. Then, after that, the world sees the heavy fruitage on what had been before a mere stick or rod.
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