Romans 12:1-7
Rom 12:1 (KJV)
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Beseech - Exhort
Present - Put at someone’s disposal, offer, provide
Acceptable - Pleasing or well-pleasing
Reasonable - (logikos) Rational

Paul now exhorts the brethren, by the mercy of God, that they are to provide their bodies as a living sacrifice in the service of the Lord. Now when we think of a sacrifice, we think of one which is put to death. However, the Lord is stating here that since we are alive unto God, we are to remain in the service of the Lord as a living sacrifice. A living sacrifice here is one that gives themselves and of everything that they own for the purpose of the Kingdom of God. We are to withhold nothing when it comes to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. The essence of a sacrifice is to give all. If you want to review the full surrender of a sacrifice, then read Leviticus chapters three and four. A sacrifice was not only killed but all the parts were separated from the body for other parts of the offering. When God speaks of us as living sacrifices, He is telling us that we are to give all. Not only are we to be sacrifices, but our sacrificial living is to be holy unto the Lord. Holiness in its root meaning means to be separated. Our sacrificial living must not be only before the eyes of men for a show but it must be a totally dedicated life. When we are living that holy life, then this is well-pleasing unto the Lord. Then the last phrase teaches us that holy, sacrificial living is our reasonable or logical service which is the life of the believer. Holy living unto a holy God is the logical way of life for the true believer. God makes us holy through salvation and we are to exude that holiness in all phases of our life, not just the public portion. It would be illogical for someone to call themselves a Christian and live like the world.

Rom 12:2 (KJV)
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Conformed - Fashion yourselves
Transformed - To be changed in form
Renewing - Change or renovation from former way
Prove - To try, scrutinize, or examine

Paul continues the discourse from verse one and now he is exhorting the true believer not to be conformed or to fashion ourselves according to the ways of the world. The believer was saved out of the world and we are not to fashion ourselves once again in the ways of the world. This is done by living the holy life which Paul just mentioned in verse one. For the believer to be conformed to this world would be falsely exhibiting what took place upon salvation. When we became saved our souls were made alive unto God and therefore if we partake in the evil ways of the world, we are not showing the transformation which took place in our souls. Notice that our transformation is linked with the renewing of our mind because sin begins in the mind. Every time we have partaken in a sinful act, it was because we first thought of it and then acted out on that thought. When our mind is renewed, it is renewed because of salvation. When we were unsaved our minds were darkened with sin but now it is made light unto the glorious Gospel of salvation.

The renewing of our mind also serves another function according to this verse. With the renewed mind we will be able to scrutinize or to examine things to make sure that they are good according to the word of God. This way, when we can rightly discern what is good in the sight of God, then we know that it will be acceptable (well-pleasing) unto Him which leads to the perfect or completed will of God for our life. Whenever we allow our minds to be taken up with the things of the world, it obstructs the purity in which God desires in our life and that obstruction will cause us not to see the will of God for our life.
(2 Cor 11:3 KJV) But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. The 2 Corinthians verse warns us that our minds can still be corrupted because of sin in our life and that too will obstruct the understanding of God’s will for our life. Conforming to the world can render a believer inactive in the service of the Lord.

Rom 12:3 (KJV)
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Now Paul begins a discourse which will deal with the spiritual gifts and he precedes this section by admonishing, through the eyes of salvation, that every Christian should not think of themselves too highly. The words “more highly” carries with it the meaning of “to be high minded.” In other words, we cannot be the center of our lives which brings up a spirit of arrogance and self-importance which attempts to place us above other believers. Instead of us thinking more highly of ourselves, we need to think soberly. Soberly does not mean when we are not drunk instead it carries with it the idea of “to be of sound mind or sensible.” None of us saved ourselves and we should never place ourselves above anyone else. We need to think properly because God has given each member of the body of Christ a measure of faith according to the needs they will have to fulfill their ministry. That measure of faith corresponds to the talents and abilities God has given us but mainly to the spiritual gifts which He gives each Christian.

Rom 12:4 (KJV)
For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:

Now Paul begins to unveil why we are not to act arrogantly against other believers. Just as the human body contains many members such as arms, legs, heart, lungs, skin, fingers, toes, etc., each of the aforementioned body parts do not have the same function. For example, the toes keep us balanced but the fingers do not have that function. The lungs convert oxygen into the blood while the heart pumps the blood. So when we look at the human body and all its parts, both large and small, they do not have the same functions, yet they all work in concert with each other. Even though the parts are different, in the aggregate they are all vitally needed for the body to work in harmony.

Rom 12:5 (KJV)
So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

Just like the human body has many parts which all make up the whole human body, every Christian is just like a body part. Each one may serve a different function, but in the aggregate we are all members of the body of Christ. As members of the body of Christ, we are all members of each other. If the fingers hurt, it sends a pain signal to the brain and alerts the rest of the body that something is wrong. When one person in the body of Christ suffers for the Kingdom, then all members are put on alert that we may also be called to suffer. The body of Christ is intricately woven as intimately as the human body is.

Rom 12:6 (KJV)
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;

Here Paul begins a section on what is called the preparation gifts. These gifts prepares us for the ministry which God has for us. He starts off with the gift of the prophet. Before the completion of the Bible, God would commission special people to bring His messages to a group of people. For example, Isaiah prophesied to Judah and Jonah prophesied to Nineveh. Upon completion of the Bible, there are no longer any special people receiving any special revelations from God. God has given us His full revelation in the entire Bible. However, the gift of the Prophet did not go away. Instead of the Old Testament prophet bringing a special revelation, the New Testament prophet now declares the completed word of God from the Scriptures and not from any type of new revelation. The prophet is to bring the word according to the proportion of faith or it must be in accordance with the faith and not some wild prophetic nonsense. For these following spiritual gifts, I want to give some principles from a study I did on finding your spiritual gifts.

Definition: To speak forth, prophetic declarations, exhortations and warnings

Characteristics: Elijah

Scripture: 1 Kings 18

Vs 1 They are programmed to Scripture because they are motivated by Scripture.
They are normally heard asking the question, "Where do you read that in the
Vs 18 Have a note of warning in their speech.
Vs 18 They will normally point out specific sins.
Vs 19 They normally will have a confrontational spirit.
Vs 19 They normally emphasize the judgment of God.
Vs 21 They offer black and white solutions.
Vs 22 They sometimes believe they are alone when it comes to understanding truth.
Vs 27 They seem to have an uncaring or caustic personality.
Vss 37-39 They usually bring people back to the Lord by fear.
Vs 46 There is always a sense of urgency in their life.

Rom 12:7 (KJV)
Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;

The gift of ministry is the gift of service. This could entail serving the body of Christ in any capacity where there is a need. It could be spiritual service or it could be physical service.

Definition: Service, Servant, or Attendance

Characteristics: Timothy

Scripture: Selected

Acts 17:15 A desire to serve others.
Acts 19:21-22 They are happy to follow orders and be support personnel.
1 Cor. 4:17 They are faithful servants.
1 Cor. 16:10 They have an inner joy serving others.
Phil. 2:20 They are fulfilled while serving others.
Phil. 2:21-22 They look for opportunities to serve others.
1 Thess. 3:6 They serve without complaining.
1 Tim. 1:2 They are happy to be disciples.
1 Tim. 1:18-20 They do not fear hindrances to God's work but view them as opportunities.
Philemon 1 The servant identifies with the teacher, master, or project at hand.

Then there is the gift of teaching where God gives this person the ability to dissect the word of God. They are normally happy being chained to their desk for hours of bible study and normally these people can bring to light things in the Scriptures which others may overlook.

Definition: Instruction or Instructor

Characteristics: Luke

Scripture: Luke 1:1-4
1 A teacher holds back information until all pertinent material is in. (MANY HAVE TAKEN IN HAND)
2 A teacher is careful of their information sources. (Entire verse)
3 A teacher has an attitude of joy in doing research. (IT SEEMED GOOD TO ME)
3 A teacher realizes he is part of the body of Christ and does not hold sole interpretation. (TO ME ALSO)
3 A teacher will have optimum understanding of the material. (PERFECT UNDERSTANDING) ("perfect" denotes follow closely, trace,
    examine) The teacher does not accept another's teaching unless it completely harmonizes in the entire Bible.
3 A teacher is concerned with all facts and details. (OF ALL THINGS)
3 A teacher is happy to be chained to a desk for many hours. (TO WRITE)
3 A teacher personalizes the Scriptures for daily living. (UNTO THEE)
3 The teacher has the desire to deliver truth in a systematic way. (IN ORDER) "Order" means in succession or consecutive order.
4 The teacher is concerned that their hearers understand. (THAT THOU MIGHTEST KNOW)
4 The teacher teaches with absolutes. (THE CERTAINTY OF THOSE THINGS) "Certainty" means firmness, steadfastness, stability
4 The teacher takes previously written material, tests it by Scripture and either clarifies it or rejects it. (WHEREIN THOU HAST BEEN