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Living, Holy and Acceptable
Sacrifice to God

“The only problem with a living sacrifice is it wants to crawl off the altar.”

The Christian’s sacrifice is to be a living, holy and acceptable sacrifice to God.

The apostle Paul wrote, "Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship" (Romans 12:1).

These words in the New Testament give an urgent, earnest appeal to all believers in Christ. “I urge you” is an earnest exhortation and encouragement based on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The apostle’s urgent appeal is based on everything he has written in the first eleven chapters of Romans.  Live constantly with the Gospel message you have heard and believed.  Every born again believer is under obligation to be obedient to the teachings of Jesus Christ and live in a manner of life becoming to God’s saving grace.

Because we have been justified by Christ and are in union with Him, I exhort you to live according to that new relationship to God.  We cannot find a stronger reason for such an exhortation.

As Christians we are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God.

The true Christian obeys God because of what God has done for him in Christ. We obey Him out of gratitude for what He has done for us. We obey Him because we love Him, and we love Him because He first loved us and died for us on the cross.

All that God has done for the believing sinner in justification, sanctification, and our ultimate glorification is God’s saving grace, and not because of any merit of ours or human efforts.  God in His great mercy has saved us, and it is on the basis of that fact that Paul admonishes us to present our bodies as living, holy, and acceptable sacrifice to God.

Since God has been abundantly merciful to us, let us therefore offer a living sacrifice that is holy and acceptable to Him.

Only the true Christian who has been saved by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ can respond to this call to be a “living sacrifice.” He offered to God the one perfect sacrifice for sins once and for all. There is no need for any other atoning sacrifice for sin, and there can be no other atoning sacrifice because we are sinners. Only the perfect life of Christ would ever be acceptable to a holy and righteous God.  God has dealt with our sin problem once and for all, and all that is required of the sinner is to believe on Christ as his Savior.

Our bodies are to be “living” sacrifices, not slain. We give back to God our bodies that have been made alive from the dead and sanctified to His service.

The apostle Paul used a technical term (paristemi) in the language of sacrifice. We are to offer, bring and present to God our bodies as living sacrifices. The Levitical victims and offerings were offered facing the Holy of Holies in the Jewish temple. In contrast to the bloody sacrifices of death that reminded men of “the wages of sin,” the Christian gives himself as a “living” offering to God.

The emphasis of this verse is on presenting to God our bodies as a free and voluntary offering. We must offer to God bodies that are holy, separated from the world, reserved for God’s use alone.

There is no doubt that the apostle Paul has in mind, not just our physical bodies, but out entire person, body, mind, and soul.  We are to make ourselves available to Him for His eternal purposes.

Paul makes his appeal for godly living based on God’s mercy who in His compassion sent His Son to die for our sins.

Our “bodies” are now to be the instruments of His grace and mercy instead of being yielded as instruments of sin.  "Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God" (Romans 6:12-13).

“Let us not continue to sin,” but “present your bodies a living sacrifice acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”  We are commanded to let this become a habitual practice.

How do we put this great admonition into practice?  It begins with a once and for all commitment of our whole person to God as a living sacrifice.  I choose to give myself to Jesus Christ.  I now belong to Him. It is a volitional choice I make freely of my own accord.  If you have never given yourself to Jesus Christ, please do now.

Then it becomes simple for us to begin every day with a renewal of that commitment.  Before your feet hit the floor, give your day to the LORD God. “Lord Jesus, this day belongs to you.  Please come and take me and live your life through me. Let your name be glorified in me today.”

Selah!

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

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(c) 2006  Message by Wil Pounds. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.

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