Faith & Life: Being a Living Sacrifice to God
It's the Christian's Reasonable Service
by J.M. Troppello
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1-2, NKJV)
Romans chapter 12:1-2 is titled Living Sacrifices to God in my Bible (Thomas Nelson Study Bible, NKJV). It is a short passage, but it is packed with deep meaning. Paul wrote the book of Romans. In these verses, he is encouraging believers to present their bodies as a living sacrifice to God.
You may be wondering how you can present your body as a living sacrifice to God.
Basically, that means that you should serve and obey God. That seems like common sense to follow in your Christian walk. However, in your daily walk sometimes it helps to be reminded that as a Christian you were called to be a living sacrifice to God.
For more details you can read Romans 6:1-14.
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, [c]reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. (Romans 6:1-14, NKJV)
Verse 3 of that chapter tells us that many of us were baptized into Christ Jesus and also baptized into His death. It continues in verse 4 to say that as we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that we are also raised from the dead by the glory of the father and that we should walk in newness of life. That’s a basic paraphrase of those verses. However, it’s important to note that we are walking in newness of life as a Christian. The old man is gone, and the new man is alive in us.
In verse 6, we read that we are no longer slaves to sin. Yes, we will still sin down here on earth. Yet, we are no longer slaves to our sinful nature. We have new life in Christ. The Holy Spirit is within us to convict us of any wrongdoings, and to help us stay on the right path.
I love how verse 11 tells us that the same way that Jesus conquered death and rose from the dead, that we are dead indeed to sin – but now are alive in Christ Jesus who is our Lord. As a Christian, this is the crux of our faith. Jesus died to cover our sins with His blood so that we could have communion with God the father and then eternity with Him in Heaven.
That brings us back to verses one and two of Romans chapter 12. According to the Thomas Nelson study Bible, “Holy means set apart for the Lord’s use. Acceptable means pleasing to Him. Reasonable indicates that such a gift is the only rational reaction to all the good gifts God has showered on us.”
Are you living a holy life that is set apart for the Lord’s use?
Are you acceptable and living a pleasing life to God?
Do you think that it is your reasonable service to be a living sacrifice to God?
I’m not preaching here. I’m asking myself those three questions as well.
You can be a living sacrifice to God when you follow the instructions in verse 2. Paul says that a Christian should not be conformed to this world. He encourages Christians to be transformed by the renewing of their mind. The last part of verse two is important. It says that renewing your mind helps you to prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Basically, this verse means that a believer should not be influenced and molded by the values of this world. This verse is so true through the ages, and especially in our current culture that is so against God and His word.
The key to be transformed in your mind is to read the Bible, study it, and apply it to your life. If you are so focused on the world and its values, you’ll be in a tug of war for the rest of your life here on earth between your flesh and your spirit.
However, when you dedicate your heart to reading and studying God’s word and communicating with Him in prayer each day, it will be easier for you to thrive in this world and overcome temptation. When you allow the Holy Spirit to guide and lead you on the right path, you will be living as a sacrifice to God and please Him.
Are you a living sacrifice to God today?
Article syndicated by Mustard Seed Sentinel on Medium.com.
About the Author
J.M. Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel.
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