Christ calls us, as Christians, to Sacrifice
To sacrifice anything is to place on an altar, with the intent of giving all to God, by means of death. When you place it on the altar, it is dead to you.
Romans12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, wholly, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
We are to present our bodies as this sacrifice, for it is to place the whole of our existence in the hands of the Holy Spirit of God, willingly.
It is to yield our bodies as instruments of righteousness (Romans 6:13), which means that the body is moved by the heart, mind, and will into the service of God, because of the love which is placed there by the Holy Spirit.
It is called a living sacrifice here, because we do not die physically, but we die to our love of the world.
Let me explain that “the world” in scripture is not the trees, birds, and our garden; but the world’s attitudes toward things.
1John 2:15-17 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
And the world passeth away, and the lusts thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.”
(Yes, any “thing” or person can be an idol: something we worship or love more than the Lord. John warns us, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.” (1 John 5:21)
But this is to be a free-will sacrifice; something you do because you know, and love the Lord.
Romans 12:2 “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.”
“And be not conformed to the world”.
The word “conformed” means to fashion.
(In the world we all know about fashion. We see movie stars wearing certain things; and we try and copy them, sort of.)
To fashion ourselves after the world is to “go along” with the opinions and attitudes of it, whether they are right or wrong.
So Paul says, we are to die to the attitudes and opinions of the world.
We are to be “transformed” or made different in our minds and thoughts, by the renewing power of the Holy Spirit within.
After conversion, which is to be born again by the Spirit of God; this renewing is usually a little at a time.
The Holy Spirit shows us how God feels about this thing, or that thought; and we go along with Him.
Some things are easy to let go of; others are not. But the Holy Spirit is there to empower us.
[Frankly, we like “going along with the crowd”. It saves us the trouble of being made fun of, or being an outcast.
But when it comes to Christ; we must choose Him.
The world is always looking for a “good” time. Our good time should be with Christ, and His people.
The world is always angry, which leads to resentments, hatred, and violence. We must forgive, and forgive, and remember how He has forgiven us; and forgive again. (That does not mean we should tolerate evil; Colossians 2:21 “Touch not; taste not; handle not;”
But that we should forgive the injury, so that it does not touch and influence our hearts.)
The world is always running here, and there for something new. We should follow Christ, no matter where He leads.]
“Which is your reasonable service”.
Reasonable means that you have considered this. You have not hurried into it because of emotion; but you have thought about it.
The reasons are there:
God’s mercies have been great to us; and we can expect that they will continue.
In His service is joy, and peace; with the constant help and Presence of the Holy Spirit.
His Will is best, though I often can not see it, till I go through it.
His grace will uphold me, when I fail (which is too often), and when I accomplish the work.
His love is my constant companion, as I yield myself to His Holy Spirit within.
He calls us to present to Him, ourselves.