“. . . present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, . . .” Romans 12:1
Living differently requires thinking differently. To try to live the new ways of the Christian life without new thinking will cause us to determine our own level of commitment and sacrifice in following Jesus.
Self-styled Christianity is dangerous. Being guided by natural preference is nothing more than doing work for God instigated by human nature and not from the Spirit. The consequences of manufacturing the terms of our surrender will create false obedience. And eagerness and fanaticism will be confused for real faith.
It’s easy to lose sight of the truth that a disciple relies on Jesus for salvation, but also must rightly relate to Jesus.
The expression “present your body” shows us we are expected to hand over our whole selves in a way offerings were presented to the Lord. There are two kinds of offerings – those which lead to reconciliation and those which are an expression of celebration after reconciliation has been accomplished.
The sacrifice of Christ on Calvary’s cross reconciled us to God. Now, our response is to offer ourselves to the Lord in celebration of what He’s done. Our sacrifice is unique in that it’s a living sacrifice. Our radical living sacrifice points to the fact that believers, when committed to the Lord, demonstrate their love for Jesus through their whole life.
The body then is “holy and acceptable.” Astoundingly, the same body that once was an instrument and agent of sin, has now become an instrument of holiness and righteousness. Which, of course, is totally acceptable and wonderfully pleasing to God.
We must be on guard against the mistake of engaging in heroically sacrificial acts that are unpleasing to God because of the attitude in which they are presented. And because it lacks the heart of true obedience. Each believer has the responsibility to renew their mind and present their whole self to God.
But when the body is intelligently and intentionally yielded to the Lord as a means of responding to Christ’s reconciliation, a sacrifice that expresses a holy, living, loving, vital experience of relationship with the Lord pleases our heavenly Father.
Are you a living sacrifice?