I beseech you therefore, brethren… Romans 12:1
There are three verses in the New Testament that have been pivotal in my life. They are all found in the book of Romans. The first is Romans 10:13, For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. This verse changed my life on the first Sunday night of March, 1959, under the preaching of Dr. Nicholas Weins. Hearing this verse and responding to it completely changed my eternal destiny. I received a brand new Father in Heaven who gave me eternal, everlasting life.
The other two pivotal verses are the topic of this chapter and several to follow. These verses did not really take on personal meaning to me until about eleven years after my salvation in 1970. God had been working in my heart. I can remember the very first time that I completely—without reservation—offered myself as a living sacrifice unto God. That night these verses became a personal reality to a teenage boy, and it changed the course of my life.
Before we examine the spiritual gifts, we must lay the proper foundation—the foundation that God inspired Paul to write at the beginning of this chapter. Over the years I have been in the ministry, I have learned that Christians never take the rest of Romans 12 seriously unless they first understand the importance of offering themselves a living sacrifice unto God.
The experience described in Romans 12:1-2 is not a once in a lifetime experience. Paul said I die daily (I Cor. 15:31). Jesus said, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me (Luke 9:23). The cross is the means by which you and I can live the crucified life.
In this chapter, I want to draw your attention to just four words: “I beseech you… brethren.” The word beseech is not a word we commonly use today, unless you enjoy reading Macbeth or talking Elizabethan English. But properly understanding its meaning is vital to understanding Paul’s appeal for us to present ourselves to God. The word translated beseech is the Greek word “parakleto,” which means “to call someone alongside of you for the purpose of helping.” It indicates calling them from where they are to where you are. continued