Romans 12:1-2

Presenting Your Body as a Living Sacrifice

By David M Rogers

Published: October 2011

Table of Contents

Paul's Plea to the Messianic Community

What is a "Living Sacrifice"?

Biblical Instructions For the Care of Our Bodies

Conforming to the World

How We are Transformed

Among the most well known passages of New Testament Scripture is Romans 12:1-2.  It is a call to selfless living in light of the kindnesses shown us by our compassionate God.  Many Christians have memorized this exhortation in the words of the King James Version, which reads this way:

KJV - 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.

This newer generation of believers is more familiar with one of the many modern English translations of the Bible, such as the New International Version, which reads as such:

NIV - Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-- this is your spiritual act of worship.  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-- his good, pleasing and perfect will.

There is no doubt about Paul's general meaning in this call to live a life pleasing to God.  Many a sermon has been preaching from this text.  It is a favorite of pastors and teachers and is well received by the people.

But we are interested in re-examining our passage in light of the biblical and historical context.  We must bring into our resulting interpretation the informing texts from the Old Testament which Paul was surely alluding to in this exhortation.  It is no longer acceptable to expect this passage to have meaning based on a Torah-less Jesus and a Torah-less Paul.  We know that Jesus taught the Law of Moses as the standard of living for his disciples, and that Paul reiterated the teachings of the Master.

Therefore, let us dig deep into the background texts of the Torah and the Prophets to find out exactly what Paul is referring to in such phrases as "living sacrifice," "holy," "act of worship," "conform," "transform," and "renewing you mind."  We begin by introducing the Greek text of Romans 12:1-2:

Greek New Testament - Parakalw/ ou=n u`ma/j( avdelfoi,( dia. tw/n oivktirmw/n tou/ qeou/ parasth/sai ta. sw,mata u`mw/n qusi,an zw/san a`gi,an euva,reston tw/| qew/|( th.n logikh.n latrei,an u`mw/n\  kai. mh. suschmati,zesqe tw/| aivw/ni tou,tw|( avlla. metamorfou/sqe th/| avnakainw,sei tou/ noo.j eivj to. dokima,zein u`ma/j ti, to. qe,lhma tou/ qeou/( to. avgaqo.n kai. euva,reston kai. te,leionÅ

My own translation of this text is similar to the others, but a few changes for clarification.

My Hebraic Translation - Therefore, I appeal to you, brothers, in view of Elohim's compassion, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice - set-apart and pleasing to Elohim - this is your rational act of worship.  Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what Elohim's good, pleasing and perfect will is.

Now let's begin our journey to uncover the meaning of our text in its biblical and historical context.

Paul's Plea to the Messianic Community

Paul's exhortation to his readers begins with a plea:

Therefore, I appeal to you, brothers, in view of Elohim's compassion...

The word translated here "appeal" is the Greek, Parakalw/ (pronounced parakalo).  The root word is described and defined for us in the BDAG Lexicon:

1. to ask to come and be present where the speaker is, call to one’s side

2. to urge strongly, appeal to, urge, exhort, encourage

3. to make a strong request for someth., request, implore, entreat

The same root word is used in John 14:16, where it refers to the Holy Spirit

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever--

Here rendered Counselor, this word literally means "one called along side."  It may have this same sense in Romans 12:1 where Paul is essentially saying - if I may expand on the meaning of our word - "I call you to my side to share with you my thinking on this matter."  Thus, Paul's appeal or urging is a personal request to come and listen to the insights that Paul has himself learned.

Next, Paul's appeal is based on the "mercies of God."  The Greek word employed here is oivktirmo,j  (pronounced oik-teer-mos).  BDAG says our word means a display of concern over another’s misfortune, pity, mercy, compassion. while Thayer's adds emotions, longings to this list of meanings.  This word is usually found in the plural due to the influence of the Hebrew ~ymix]r; (transliterated rachamim) from which this word is translated in the Septuagint.

Rachamim is described by the BDB Lexicon as

compassion (acc. to many denom. from ~x,r,, orig. brotherhood, brotherly feeling, of those born from same womb

And The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament says of our word:

This root refers to deep love (usually of a "superior" for an "inferior") rooted in some "natural" bond. In the Piel it is used for the deep inward feeling we know variously as compassion, pity, mercy.

Thus, rachamim speaks of a familial kind of love, a love stirred by emotion.

When Paul speaks of Elohim's compassion (tw/n oivktirmw/n tou/ qeou), he's talking about God's feelings for his own people - those who commit themselves to his ways - like a father's love for his children.  So in this opening statement, Paul is begging his readers to listen to his insights (which are to follow) on account of Elohim's fatherly love for his own.

This fatherly love is the source of Elohim's commitment in the Covenant relationship to guard and guide his people, to provide for them food and water - the rain in its season- and to be an Elohim to them.  Being an Elohim to them means that He will meet every single need that they have.  Because Elohim is eager and willing to do this for all his people, they should be motivated to respond to Elohim's love and kindness with obedient faithfulness to his requirements.  Accordingly, this is what Paul is about to describe in his appeal to the Romans.

What is a "Living Sacrifice"?

And so we come to the substance of Paul's request of the Romans.  Since Elohim does compassionately supply all our needs, we should be willing to do the following for him: offer your bodies as a living sacrifice - set-apart and pleasing to Elohim - this is your rational act of worship.

Some English Bible translations render the text as "your spiritual act of worship."  The NIV reads this way.  But the KJV says "your reasonable service."  The Greek word logiko,j (logikos, from which we get our English logical) means

rational, reasonable, belonging to the real nature of something

pert. to being carefully thought through, thoughtful

This act of worship in response to Elohim's kindness is the result of thoughtful contemplation, rational reasoning and is an appropriate and logical response.

But how can offering your body as a sacrifice be a rational, reasonable act of worship?  And what is a living sacrifice, anyway?  How can a sacrifice be living?  The word "sacrifice" is from the Greek root qusi,a (thu-si-a), which corresponds to the Hebrew xb;z< (zebach).  Zebach means slaughter, slaughter for sacrifice, communal sacrifice.  Hence, the term "living sacrifice" is somewhat a contradiction in terms.  Animals that were "sacrificed" were always first killed and then burned, or cooked and eaten.  Such animal sacrifices were killed, they were not "living sacrifices."  Has Paul lost his mind here?  What does he mean by "living sacrifice"?

We can see an answer forming when we consider the offering of Isaac by Abraham (the Akeidah).  Abraham was told:

"Take your son, your only son, Yitzchak, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah.  Lift him there as an ascending offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about." (Bereshith [Genesis] 22:2)

The Rabbis note that the command is not to sacrifice him there.  The instruction is to lift him up, because Elohim never intended Abraham to slay him.  But Abraham expected to slay his son.  The writer to the Hebrews explains this:

By faith Avraham, when Elohim tested him, offered Yitzchak as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though Elohim had said to him, "It is through Yitzchak that your offspring will be reckoned."  Avraham reasoned that Elohim could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Yitzchak back from death. (Ivrim [Hebrews] 11:17-19)

Thus, Abraham's expectation was to take the life of his son as an offering to Yahuwah.  And he expected, then, that Yahuwah would raise his son back to life!

So Abraham obeyed and the rest is in the record of history.  Abraham took the knife to slay his son, but Elohim interceded:

Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.  But the angel of Yahuwah called out to him from heaven, "Avraham! Avraham!" "Here I am," he replied.  "Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear Elohim, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son." (Bereshith 22:10-12)

Yitzchak was being offered as a sacrifice to Elohim, but Yahuwah stopped Abraham from the slaying.  Instead, Isaac became a type of "living sacrifice" - an offering of one's life even unto death - yet still living.  Paul's "living sacrifice" seems to mean a wholesale commitment of one's life to Elohim - even, if necessary, to the point of death.

Paul talks about this living sacrifice earlier in Romans.  Baptism is to be a symbol of our dying with Messiah.

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Messiah was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.  If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.  For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-- because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.  Now if we died with Messiah, we believe that we will also live with him.  For we know that since Messiah was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.  The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to Elohim.  In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to Elohim in Messiah Yahusha.  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.  (Romans 6:4-12)

Just as in Romans 12 where Paul makes a connection between death and how we live (living sacrifice), here in chapter 6, Paul also connects the act of symbolically dying with Messiah to the way we live to obey him.  As we are being baptized, we are to consider ourselves as dying with Messiah.  Our life is being sacrificed, along with our sins, our old habits and our faults.  We are to consider ourselves to be dead to all that once imprisoned us, and we are to live our lives, going forward, for Messiah.

The living sacrifice is not literally to get ourselves killed or to offer a human body on the alter to expunge sin.  Even the Torah forbids the sacrifice of a human on the alter, because only animals deemed "clean" could be offered as a sin offering or as a "gift."  No, the living sacrifice is to dedicate oneself wholly to the service of the Master and to live every moment in a way that pleases him.

Biblical Instructions For the Care of Our Bodies

Next, we have arrived at the place where we can discover what it means to live in a way that is "set-apart and pleasing to Elohim."  How then shall we live?  Paul's plead to become a "living sacrifice" is followed by specific instructions concerning the care of our physical bodies here in Romans 12:1-2:

Therefore, I appeal to you, brothers, in view of Elohim's compassion, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice - set-apart and pleasing to Elohim - this is your rational act of worship.  Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what Elohim's will is-- his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:1-2).

This text is speaking about our physical bodies.  He says to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice.  What is this spiritual, rational act of worship which we are to be doing with our bodies?  He instructs us to hand over our body to God - not just in any way, as though it were enough to hand over to Elohim a filthy, sin-laden body.  But our body is to be "holy and pleasing" to Him, not just our heart and mind.  Paul emphatically instructs us to focus on the body as that object that needs to be set-apart and pleasing to Elohim.

What does it mean that our body is to be "holy and pleasing" to Him?   Again, Paul gives us additional clues earlier in Romans where he writes about "offering" our bodies to Elohim:

Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to Elohim, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.  For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.  What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!  Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey-- whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?  But thanks be to Elohim that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted.  You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.  I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. (Romans 6:13-19)

So, there is a clear distinction Paul is making about how you used to offer your body to sin and uncleanness, but now you need to offer your body as a clean and righteous instrument to Elohim

Paul clarifies this teaching about offering our physical body as a living sacrifice in a passage quoted frequently by Christian ministers.  Paul asks us,

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from Elohim? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor Elohim with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

There it is again!  We are to honor God, not just with our mind, but with our bodies.

Here, Paul emphasizes the importance of caring for our physical bodies, because they are the "temple" of the Holy Spirit, that is, they are the home of Elohim's spirit - he literally dwells in our bodies by his Spirit.  If this is true (and it is), then we might ask ourselves, "What kind of body can Elohim's Spirit reside in?"  Can he reside in and stay in a body that is corrupted by that which Elohim has declared is abominable?  Would Elohim remain in an unclean body which is defiled by that which is detestable and repugnant to him?

The context of 1 Corinthians 6 explicitly expresses that we should not use our bodies to commit adultery or any of the other scripturally forbidden sexual sins (see Lev. 18).  Paul, once again, portrays holiness as avoiding sexual sins in 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7:

It is Elohim's will that you should be set apart: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know Elohim; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. Yahuwah will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you.  For Elohim did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.

The purity and holiness of the body is directly connected to obedience to the prohibitions in the Law.  Leviticus 18 provides a long list of prohibited sexual behaviors.  Certainly Paul is alluding to these instructions of the Torah as defining for us what is sexual immorality.  And the reason Elohim gives us these prohibitions regarding sexual activities are stated at the beginning of the list:

Speak to the sons of Yisrael and say to them: 'I am Yahuwah your Elohim.  You must not do as they do in Mitzrayim, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices.  You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am Yahuwah your Elohim.  Keep my decrees and laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them. I am Yahuwah. (Vayiqra 18:2-5)

And after the list, he says,

Speak to the entire assembly of Yisrael and say to them: 'Be holy because I, Yahuwah your Elohim, am holy. (Vayiqra 19:2)

So, obeying these instructions regarding sexual purity amounts to personal holiness in the use of our bodies. This separation from unclean behaviors results in "life" and conformity with the holiness of Yahuwah.

But, honoring Elohim with your body also seems to clearly suggest making the inside of your body a fitting vessel for him to reside in.  And this would infer not defiling your body with those things which Yahuwah has declared to be unclean and an abomination.  How much clearer does it have to be that Elohim wants his people to be set-apart from the world in the way they care for their bodies?

This teaching about offering our bodies has everything to do with what we do with our bodies.  How do we offer our body as a slave to God?  I would suggest that this means that we obey and submit to those instructions of Scripture which inform us about Elohim's requirements for keeping our bodies holy and pleasing to him.  And those instructions are found in the Book of Vayiqra (Leviticus).

The instructions in Vayiqra regarding clean and unclean instruct us in great detail how to keep our bodies holy (set-apart from sin).  We are commanded to separate ourselves from the pagan practice of eating that which Elohim has declared to be unclean!  Thus, the exhortation to offer our bodies as holy and pleasing can have no other meaning than to be pure from all sin and uncleanness - meaning what we put into our bodies and what we do with our bodies.

This matter of being careful not to eat things which Yahuwah has declared to be unclean and an abomination is much more important than at first glimpse.  The commandment to avoid what is unclean and to eat only what is declared by Elohim to be clean is at the heart of what it means to be holy:

But I said to you, "You will possess their land; I will give it to you as an inheritance, a land flowing with milk and honey." I am Yahuwah your Elohim, who has set you apart from the nations.  "'You must therefore make a distinction between clean and unclean animals and between unclean and clean birds. Do not defile yourselves by any animal or bird or anything that moves along the ground-- those which I have set apart as unclean for youYou are to be holy to me because I, Yahuwah, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own. (Vayiqra 20:24-26)

Yahuwah is setting his people apart (making holy) from the nations to be a people unto himself.  For this reason, Yahuwah commands his people to steer clear of those things which defile the body.

In Romans 12:1-2, Paul says that this action of offering our bodies to Elohim is our reasonable service.  Interestingly, some English Bible translations render the text as "our spiritual service."  Did you know that making distinctions between clean and unclean is a spiritual exercise, not merely physical,  and is equal in importance to making distinctions between what is set-apart (holy) and what is common:

You must distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean, and you must teach the sons of Yisrael all the decrees Yahuwah has given them through Mosheh." (Vayiqra 10:10-11)

That Elohim has commanded his people to be set-apart does not mean just in thought and intent.  Being set-apart (holy) has very much to do with what we put into our bodies.

In still another New Testament passage, the apostle Paul explicitly invokes the Torah teaching about clean and unclean where he exhorts the followers of Messiah to stay away from that which is unclean:

"Therefore come out from them and be separate," says Yahuwah.  "Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.  I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters," says Yahuwah Almighty.  (2 Corinthians 6:17-18)

Here, the promise of Yahuwah that he will be an Elohim to us is contingent upon our separating ourselves from all worldliness and setting ourselves apart from all that is unclean.  This is indeed how we are commanded by Elohim to care for our physical bodies.  If we truly are Elohim's children, then we will, as Paul puts in in Romans 6, becomes slaves to Elohim.  This means we will submit to his rules and regulations concerning our bodies.  And those regulations include our eating habits.

Christian ministers usually glaze over this text by suggesting this merely means that we are metaphorically not to touch any thing unclean - that we are to think good thoughts, etc.  And they suggest this has nothing to do with the Law of Moses.  Yet, the allusion is obvious that Paul's mention of holiness, separation and "unclean things" is an unmistakable reference to the Old Testament Laws of holiness which are found in Leviticus!

The Laws of Holiness - including what activities we engage in with our bodies, and even what we eat and put into our bodies - are the very definition of holiness in the Scriptures.  The Bible teaches a consistent message about obeying the Instructions Elohim gave as that which pleases Elohim.  Thus, by considering an abomination that which the Creator calls an abomination, and by eating only what the Bible declares is clean and fit for human consumption, we can be sure that we are presenting our bodies to Elohim as a living sacrifice which is holy to Elohim and pleasing to him.

Conforming to the World

Paul next says not to conform ourselves to the pattern of this world.

And be not conformed to this world (Romans 12:2).

Keep in mind that he is still talking about offering our bodies to Elohim in a holy and pleasing way.  This is a pretty simple command.  It is easy to grasp.  Most believers understand what it means to conform to the world.  We who believe in Messiah walk by a different standard.  We are to walk in the footsteps of our Master.

Yet, the Torah again provides additional insight into Paul's meaning.  This should not be a surprise since Paul was a Torah scholar.  What Paul writes about in all his letters has its foundation in the Torah and the Prophets.  Therefore, when Paul talks about presenting your bodies a living sacrifice to be holy to God, and he alludes to the Holiness Code of Leviticus, it should be no surprise to us that when he speaks of not conforming to the world, he would also be alluding to that same Holiness Code as his source.  And this is precisely what he is doing.

When Yahuwah gave instructions to Mosheh about the personal conduct and care of the physical body for all Israel, he tells us that we should not conform to the ways of the world:

Speak to the sons of Yisrael and say to them: 'I am Yahuwah your Elohim.  You must not do as they do in Mitzrayim, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices.  You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am Yahuwah your Elohim.  Keep my decrees and laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them. I am Yahuwah. (Vayiqra 18:2-5)

Worldly living is exemplified by the way the Egyptians lived and by the way the Canaanites lived.  Those pagan nations were patterns of the way of the world.  Therefore, the personal conduct of holiness is set in contrast to the way it was while the nation of Israel was "living in the world" in Egypt.

So, Mosheh instructs them and us not to do as they did in Egypt and not to do as they did in Canaan.  They performed all kinds of abominable acts when they worshipped their pagan deities.  In fact, they ate all manner of unclean creatures.  They worshipped foreign gods.  And they even offered their children to Molech, the fire god.  All of these things are strictly forbidden for Yahuwah's chosen people, the nation that is called by his name.  Yahuwah gave clear instruction about all these matters in the Torah.  His set-apart people are not to engage in these disgusting lifestyle practices.

Paul is obviously referencing Vayiqra 18:2-5 when he tells us not to be conformed to this world.  Do not be conformed to this world, therefore, means that the people who call upon the name of the Master and are covered by his atoning sacrifice are not to defile their bodies like the rest of the world does who do not know Elohim.  The Instructions of the Law give precise detail on how we can keep our bodies holy and pleasing to the One who redeemed us from our sin and all our sinful practices which we did when we were controlled by this world system.

How We are Transformed

Instead of being like the world in our personal habits, we are to be like Messiah by having our minds renewed:

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:2

So, then, how are we transformed to be like Messiah?  And what is this renewing of our mind?

The transformation is not one of a change in our flesh as it will be in the transformation event of the resurrection.  Paul talks in 1 Corinthians about this transformation when he teaches about the resurrection from the dead:

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed-- in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)

He goes on to speak of the change of our mortal body to an immortal body.  But this transformation is not what Paul is writing about here in Romans 12.

Again, as always, Paul is talking about the change that Yahuwah makes in us when we listen to and obey the commandments, laws and rulings of the Torah as passed down to us from Mt. Sinai.  It was then that Yahuwah gave his chosen people the righteous rules that his people were to live by.  These are the laws that separate us from the world and make us fit for the kingdom of heaven.

The Law of Yahuwah is what changes our thinking and therefore transforms our lifestyle, our desires, our motives and our expectations.  The Psalmist captures this thought about the Torah: 

The law of Yahuwah is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of Yahuwah are trustworthy, making wise the simple.  The precepts of Yahuwah are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of Yahuwah are radiant, giving light to the eyes.  The fear of Yahuwah is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of Yahuwah are sure and altogether righteous.  They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.  By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. (Psalm 19:7-11)

It is the Instructions God gave his people that is the power to transform a human being from walking in the disgusting pagan practices to walking in the righteous path our Creator established for us.  These are the ways he created us to walk in, just as Paul reminds us in Ephesians 2:10:

For we are Elohim's workmanship, created in Messiah Yahusha to do good works, which Elohim prepared in advance for us to do.

These "good works" which we were created to do are listed in the Instructions Yahuwah gave through Moses.

Paul speaks of the transforming power of the Word of Yahuwah as given through Moses.  He notes that many do not understand the Word due to the hardness of their hearts:

Even to this day when Mosheh is read, a veil covers their hearts.  But whenever anyone turns to the Master, the veil is taken away.  Now Yahuwah is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of Yahuwah is, there is freedom.  And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect Yahuwah's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from Yahuwah, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:15-18)

It is not the writings of Moses that constitutes the veil.  Rather, it is the hardness of heart of many because of their rejection of Messiah that hardens the heart.  Therefore, they couldn't understand the Torah and the Prophets.  Yahusha had once said that it is because they didn't believe the Torah and the Prophets that they wouldn't believe that he would be resurrected from the dead.

The hardness of heart not to believe the Torah is removed when one receives the Messiah.  At that point, the Torah comes alive and begins its transforming work to turn each of us into the image of Elohim, one habit at a time.  We are transformed into his image when we read and learn of his righteous character through the Instructions of the Torah, and then begin to obey and conform to those instructions.  Our minds are renewed by replacing the old way of thinking with the righteous laws and rulings of the Torah.  These cause us to voluntarily change our lifestyle behaviors and attitudes to become like Messiah in the way we think and act.

We conclude that Elohim's good and pleasing and perfect will for your body is expressed in the Instructions of Leviticus!  When you "test and approve" these teachings about clean and unclean, and about how to conduct yourself in your flesh, you will experience for yourself that Elohim's will for you in the things he wants you to eat is indeed good and pleasing and perfect.  The result will be that you will be healthier, and you will feel much better, and you will be "clean" before the Almighty.