It is the duty of the faithful to “present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God;” and that in this consists the legitimate worship of him.
Hence is deduced an argument for exhorting them:
“Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that will of God.”
This is a very important consideration, that we are consecrated and dedicated to God; that we may not hereafter think, speak, meditate, or do any thing but with a view to his glory. For that which is sacred cannot, without great injustice towards him, be applied to unholy uses.
We Are Not Our Own
If we are not our own, but the Lord’s, it is manifest, both what error we must avoid, and to what end all the actions of our lives are to be directed. We are not our own; therefore, neither our reason nor our will should predominate in our deliberations and actions. We are not our own; therefore let us not propose it as our end, to seek what may be expedient for us according to the flesh. We are not our own; therefore let us, as far as possible, forget ourselves and all things that are ours.
We Are God’s
On the contrary, we are God’s; to him therefore let us live and die. We are God’s; therefore let his wisdom and will preside in all our actions. We are God’s; towards him therefore, as our only legitimate end, let every part of our lives be directed.
Surrender to God
O how great a proficiency has that man made, who having been taught that he is not his own, has taken the sovereignty and government of himself from his own reason, to surrender it to God! For as compliance with their own inclinations leads men most effectually to ruin, so to place no dependence on our own knowledge or will, but merely to follow the guidance of the Lord, is the only way of safety.
Let this then be the first step, to depart from ourselves, that we may apply all the vigour of our faculties to the service of the Lord. By service I mean, not that only which consists in verbal obedience, but that by which the human mind, divested of its natural carnality, resigns itself wholly to the direction of the Divine Spirit.
Institutes of the Christian Religion, 2:164–166.