Romans 12 begins beautifully:
“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.
“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.”
Since we are alive to Christ and dead to sin, since we have the Spirit and we are the sons of God, since we are currently mortifying, killing off, the deeds of the flesh, see yourself as a living sacrifice.
We are not living for our fleshly desires, no, we are living for our Savior Jesus Christ. We owe the flesh nothing. The Gospel doesn’t just remove sin, it replaces sin with righteousness and holiness.
Romans 12-16 is Paul’s practical advice for what to do with the power of the Gospel that has made you new. This is what salvation-life looks like. This is what the life of Christ in you does.
We know what the world does, it’s all around us, fashioning and shaping us. We need our minds retaught and renewed. Doing what God wants is not natural; therefore, we must be retaught.
Paul gives great advice including a signoff that mentions a number of people who are doing what God wants.
In the end, Paul wraps up Romans where he started—the purpose of his ministry—to make the Gospel known for the obedience of faith among all nations.
Faith always results in obedience. The only way to obey in true righteousness is to by faith die with Christ and be raised up to new life in the Spirit. It’s the message of Romans–the righteousness of God is all yours by faith.