“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” [Romans 12:1-2]
“...present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God...”
Paul mentions here that we should present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God. Our bodies stand for all our members and, by extension, our entire lives. Total commitment is our reasonable service. It is our reasonable service in this sense: if the Son of God has died for me, then the least I can do is live for Him. “If Jesus Christ be God and died for me,” said the great British cricketer and missionary C. T. Studd, “then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for him.”
Reasonable service may also be translated “spiritual worship.” As believer-priests, we do not come to God with the bodies of slain animals as sacrifice but with the spiritual sacrifice of yielded lives. We also offer to Him our service, and our possessions.
Paul also urges us not to be conformed to this world. In other words, “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold.” When we come to the kingdom of God, we should abandon the thought-patterns and lifestyles of the world. The world means the society or system that man has built in order to make himself happy without God. It is a kingdom that is antagonistic to God. The god and price of this world is Satan. All unconverted people are his subjects. He seeks to attract and hold people through the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. The world hates nonconformists—like Christ and His followers.
Christ died to deliver us from this world. The world is crucified to us, and we are crucified to the world. It would be absolute disloyalty to the Lord for believers to love the world. Anyone who loves the world is an enemy of God. We should be transformed by the renewing of our mind, which means that we should think the way God thinks, as revealed in the Bible.
If tattoos were the pagan way, why would a god fearing Christian worship God through a pagan ritual? We are called not to be conformed to the world, but transformed by the renewing of our mind. Which do you want - be like Christ or like the world?
"...walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.."
“You shall not eat any flesh with the blood in it. You shall not interpret omens or tell fortunes. You shall not round off the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard. You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord.” [Leviticus 19:26-28]