A Living Sacrifice
Romans 12:1 ” 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.”
When I was first saved, I wondered at this verse:
What does it mean: “Sacrifice”?
Where is the altar? At the forefront of the Church? Or somewhere else?
In a message, I began to understand the verse.
Let me explain what was said.
The word sacrifice in scripture, signifies what is given to God.
We are to give our whole selves over to God.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
When we are born again, we ask that the Lord Jesus come into our hearts and live.
The Holy Spirit then comes into our spirits, and abides with us.
We are to bring the rest of our selves to Christ as His, by a series of choices. Him or self?
Then our souls, which is our personalities, are brought little by little into subjection to Jesus. The souls are that which makes us, us. No two are exactly the same. We believe they are the most precious thing in His creation, since He died to save it.
Our bodies we must give over to the Holy Spirit. This is the sacrifice spoken of here.
He has come to us, and dwells in our spirits, and we must give him our hands, to do what He wants; our feet to go where He wants; and our mouths to speak His words faithfully.
In fact, every part of our bodies must be given to Him, to use as He wants.
This is the “Sacrifice”.
The altar is not the one at the front of the Church, although you may yield to His call to do this there.
But it is the “altar” of our everyday lives. It is there that the “fire” of life, tries us.
Will we stay on the altar and let everything go to Christ?
Or will we crawl off the altar, and go back to the world?
The Holy Spirit to Whom we present our bodies, is the One that empowers us, enable’s us, and works through us to bring His Will to pass.
Romans 12:2 “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.”
We are not to be conformed to this world’s system.
Now I love nature, the birds, trees, sky, stars, etc. They show forth God’s beauty, and order.
This is not, what the “world” in scripture is talking about.
It is the world’s system: which is corrupt, greedy, seeking power and praise for itself; that is spoken of.
We are not to be conformed to it.
We are to be conformed to Christ (Romans 8:29), and His life in us by the Holy Spirit.
But since we live in this world, how are we to do this?
We are to be transformed: our natural ways of doing things are to be changed into Spiritual ways of doing things.
Of course, this is by the power of the Holy Spirit: His grace enabling us to overcome in each situation. To do His Will, not what I want, or the world accepts.
The thoroughness, and power of our transformation rest with us.
He works within you both to will and do of His good pleasure; but we must work it out.
We must take the grace given at the time, and use it. Whether it is words, power to walk away, power to stand in the day of trouble, etc.
The power comes from the Holy Spirit, but we must yield to Him and use it.
Philippians 2:12-13 “Wherefore my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling:
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.”
The salvation mentioned here is the salvation of ourselves in our everyday life.
Salvation from sin, and self. (As we have written before, salvation is 4-fold: from the love of sin, from the guilt of sin, from the power of sin, and one day, from the presence of sin. This salvation covers our whole lives from here through eternity)
We are to work out the power of the Holy Spirit, given within: Ability, Strength, Joy, Peace, Patience; all are of Him, but through us.
This is to prove what is that good (we learn that it is), and acceptable (to God), and perfect (bringing us to be what we were created for) Will of God.