This is what God gave me today in his word:
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1)
Paul’s asking me to offer my body as a living sacrifice?! What is Paul talking about, “present your bodies as a living sacrifice,”? What does that even mean?
First, what does it mean to offer our bodies as living sacrifices…
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)
Please put all Hollywood depictions of what this (the verse about, “offering ourselves as living sacrifices”) might mean out of your head now, thank you… Being a “living sacrifice” mean’s “sacrificing” or “giving” your life to God. We do this by discerning what the will of God is. In other words, by discerning what exactly is good, acceptable, and perfect, then doing it. I’ve found discerning what is right is considerably easier than doing what is right sometimes. How can, we, in our mortality, do everything that is good, acceptable, and perfect?
And speaking of which, there’s another question I think pops up, “do we have to offer ourselves as living sacrifices? Wasn’t Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf enough, or do, in reality, we have to build our own stairway to Heaven?”
Second, let’s answer some questions… “Was Jesus’ sacrifice enough?”And, “How can we do everything perfectly?”
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; (Romans 12:3-6)
It’s not that Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf wasn’t enough, if that were true, then we’d be “offering” our bodies as “living sacrifices” in order to gain salvation. How can we do everything perfectly? We don’t, we use the gift God has given us to the best of our God given ability, we ask God to give us the ability to use it better and that’s it. It’s not something that will effect our eternal life in the least, instead, it’s our (in some translations it says this), “reasonable act of worship”.
We’ve all been given some sort of “gift” from God and Paul is telling us to use it. But it’s slightly more than just that, it’s actually giving our lives as living sacrifices to God, being a wholehearted servant to and of God.
You are Loved!