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. ~Romans 12:1
I am thankful for the gift of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul refers to the blessing of salvation as the mercies of God. We do not deserve salvation, the forgiveness of our sins, or the gift of eternal life. We must realize that God has more for us after we are saved. Our life has greater purpose and meaning. “And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again” (2 Corinthians 5:15). Salvation demands that we also live for our Lord. In fact, Jesus is our life! So, this morning, the mercies of God reach out to encourage us about the matter of a living sacrifice.
We see the principle.
A sacrifice is when something valuable is given up for another. A sacrifice is very costly. When a sacrifice is made, the person making it does not expect to receive anything back in return. Under the Old Testament, a sacrifice meant that a life was given up. Death would have to occur. The burnt sacrifice was an animal sacrifice made every day. It symbolized the dedication of a believer’s life. However, in our passage, Paul refers to a living sacrifice: a sacrifice made when a believer unreservedly gives his living body to God to be used exclusively for His glory. God has a divine purpose to live out through the dedication of your body.
We see the presentation.
God calls us to present our bodies to Him as a dedication of our life. Jesus gave His body as the ultimate sacrifice for our sin. “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:10). Our presentation must be holy. Holy means we are set apart for God. Holy means we have set our bodies apart as vessels unto honor for God’s use. Holy means we have confessed all known sin and sought His cleansing and forgiveness. Our presentation must be well pleasing, or acceptable. This implies we are making the presentation willingly, with the full intent of letting God have control. Since God, in His mercy, gave His life as an offering for our sin, our presentation is our reasonable service to Him. It is reasonable, and not unreasonable or over-demanding.
We see the prohibited.
“And be not conformed to this world….” In making this dedication, we are commanded to not fashion our lives, thinking, and desires to the world. We are not to hold on to this world but cut all ties to it. Our tendency is that we want the best of both worlds. We want to do what God requires of us, but we also want to hold on to the wisdom and wealth of this world. God is telling us that when we make the dedication of our body to Him, we can trust Him to take care of us. “And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” A living sacrifice says, “My life is Yours to control.”
We see the proof.
“…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.” There is a metamorphosis, or divine transformation, that God makes in us when we present our bodies as a living sacrifice. The evidence is that as we seek to do the will of God, we testify that it is good, acceptable, and perfect. A transformed mind is in submission to God. “Thy will be done.” A transformed mind testifies that “all things work together for good to them that love God.” You do not have to be afraid of presenting your body to God as a living sacrifice and doing God’s will. God’s will is always God’s best for us. Have you made this living presentation of your body?
Have a sacrificial God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Judges 16-18