The word "therefore" links all that is now to be said with everything that has gone before. Because of the grace of God, the believer is called to certain attitudes and actions. The very first of these is personal abandonment to God.
In what sense is it possible to present the body to God? The true ideal is to use it in all its powers according to the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. The spirit is evidently God's. The body, therefore, is presented to God. The mind is thus renewed according to the will of God.
Having declared the true attitude of the Christian life to be sacrifice to the will of God, the apostle now proceeds to show how that sacrifice will be expressed. All of chapters 12 and 13 is really occupied with this subject. Chapter 12 shows the evidence manifested in personal life, and chapter 13 as regards the world.
The first positive proof of abandonment to the will of God is humility. Here, of course, it is spiritual humility. There is always danger that one who has solemnly dedicated everything to God will on that very account become puffed up, and there is no pride more objectionable than spiritual pride.
Humility is manifest in using a gift to fulfil the function of the body rather than to glorify self. Wherever such humility exists genuine love necessarily follows. It is valuable to notice carefully the relation between these personal and relative injunctions concerning love; the first reveals the mind of love; the second, shows the method of love.
Such self-emptied, love-centered devotion to the will of God will alone make possible obedience to what follows.
the First Week after Epiphany