The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans

By G. Campbell Morgan

Chapter 19


Rom 13:1-14; Rom 14:1-23; Rom 15:1-33

FINAL APPEAL. Rom 12:1-2

i. The Ground of Appeal.

"The Mercies of God"






Living Sacrifice.


Acceptable to God,


Spiritual Worship.




Prove the Will of God.

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In the second division of his treatise, the apostle applied the great doctrine of salvation to the immediate duty of the saints. Therein he showed how the forces of grace have fruition in the lives of those saved thereby. The division falls into four parts: the final appeal; a description of the simplicity of personal life; a description of relative life as submission to those without; and of relative life as sympathy toward those within.


The final appeal is the first word of the practical application of the letter, and indeed all that follows is but exposition and enforcement thereof.

The word "therefore" links all that is now to be said, with everything which has already been said. The argument for conduct is based upon the truth enunciated. Because of the grace of God, manifested in spite of all human failure, the believer is called to definite attitudes and actions which correspond with the provisions of salvation. In his fundamental affirmation the apostle described the action of God through Christ as the "power of God unto salvation." Having set forth the facts concerning the power, he now appealed to the saints, to produce corresponding results in the exercise of that power.

His ground of appeal is indicated in the words, "by the mercies of God." These mercies are revealed by the great words around which the previous teaching has gathered, those namely of justification, sanctification, and glorification.

The first of these indicates that immediate salvation of the spirit, which results from faith. The second indicates that progressive salvation of the mind, which results from the salvation of the spirit. The third refers to that final salvation of the body, which will complete the work of grace.

It is well to notice what the structure of this final appeal reveals, as to the apostle's conception of human personality. Man is recognized as being essentially spirit. He possesses his body, and is able to offer it. The difference between the body and the spirit is that between the sacrifice and the one who offers. Man as a worshipper is a spirit. His sacrificial symbol of worship is his own body, which he is called upon to present to God; and the apostle declares that this act is of the nature of spiritual worship.

The first experience of the power of God unto salvation is the salvation of the spirit. The last experience will be that of the salvation of the body. The first expression of obedience is to be that of the presentation of this body to God. This includes as fundamental, the perpetual yielding of the spirit to Him Who has justified it; and then its activity in the government of the body under that will of God which has become the sufficient law of the spirit-life. Following upon the experience of the power of God in justification, which is the salvation of the spirit, the power of God unto salvation is experienced in sanctification, which is the renewing of the mind. Thus the justified spirit, acting through the sanctified mind, presents the body to God, and the great process of transformation goes forward.

The reason of the appeal is that the saints may prove the will of God. The doctrine of salvation held intellectually, apart from volitional abandonment thereto, cannot produce experimental knowledge of the perfection of the will of God. Hence the importance of this great appeal.

The teaching of the appeal is perfectly clear as to the method by which the body is to be presented to God. It is not that of scourging. or mutilation, or destruction. These are all false and imperfect methods. The true ideal is that of using it in all its powers, according to "the good and acceptable and perfect will of God." The central consideration is no longer to be that of the fashion of the age, either as to intellect, emotion, or will, in the matter of food, or of raiment, or of occupation. It is to be that of the will of God. The spirit of man restored to God through faith in Christ has an entirely new outlook or consciousness. The mind is renewed, and therefore the body is dedicated in conformity with the thought of the renewed mind, and the character of the restored spirit.

The completeness of the apostle's ideal of abandonment to the will of God is marked. The spirit is evidently God's. The mind is therefore renewed according to the will of God. The body is consequently presented to God.

What a glorious ideal of life! It is wholly dependent, however, for fulfillment upon that faith in Jesus upon which man is justified, and through the exercise of which sanctification proceeds to glorification.