“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” (New King James Version)
“I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship.” (New American Bible Revised Edition)
This is begging with a basis but what is that basis? I identify 3 mercies in the earlier chapters of Romans. A mercy is getting better than you really deserve. In law. the prerogative of mercy resides outside the judicial system because it is the opposite of strict judicial sentence (= commensurate desserts in law). Remember the quote in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice? Portia begs beyond the pound of flesh, strict justice ethos “The quality of mercy is not
strain’d, It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven…”
Walking backwards from chapter 12 these 3 mercies are:-
- UNUSUAL HOPE (8:28-39)
In an uncertain new year in a fallen world you don’t have ‘to whistle in the dark’ or hope against hope for the best, you are guaranteed as a child of God that all things must work together for your ultimate good, but why/how so? Because of,
1.1 God’ Purposeful Activity (verses 29-30)
1.2 God’s Perfect Acquittal (verses 33-34a)
1.3 God’s Personal Affection in Jesus (verses 34b-39)
2. UNUSUAL LOVE (5:6-8)
While we were ungodly rebels, God in Jesus extended this mercy to us.
v.5 ‘a righteous man’ vs. ‘the good man’
a righteous = an unknown but life-commendable person, the good man is known and has done well for you. When Christ died for us we were neither generally commendable in lifestyle nor specifically good yet…
3. UNUSUAL JUSTICE (1:16-17)
Paul uses the figure of speech called a litotes (an understatement) in “I am not ashamed”, he really means he is very proud of the gospel content’s unusual justice. If you plead or are found guilty in a human court you have a [criminal] record but plead guilty before God and accept forgiveness through Jesus’ death in your behalf, and you are forgiven and treated just as if you had never sinned and there is no record of your sins for time and eternity. Hallelujah!
 In the British system it resides with the Queen or her representative (the Governor General in Jamaica) in the US the prerogative is with the Executive (via the Home Secretary or the President).