Romans 12:1–21 ‘Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.’ (vv1–2)
Sacrifice in the Bible involved death. In the Old Testament, various animals were sacrificed (e.g. Gen. 8:20; Exod. 29:36). In the New Testament, it is Jesus, the spotless lamb of God, whose blood is shed (Heb. 9:12).
As we consider the sacrifice of Christ, the One who became sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21), there is only one fitting response, and that is to give ourselves wholeheartedly to Him. Yet, in what seems like a paradox, the apostle Paul in verse 1 of Romans 12, calls us to be living sacrifices. How can this be?
As living sacrifices, death does indeed take place, a dying to our old selves. To the Galatian church Paul could say, ‘I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me’ (Gal. 2:20).
Sacrificial living means dying to self. As C.T. Studd, the founder of the WEC mission organisation said, ‘If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.’ As we seek to live for Him – may we offer our time, talent and treasure to Him – asking Him to use it for His glory.
AN ACTION TO TAKE:
Think about anything in your life that detracts you from
serving the Lord wholeheartedly. Offer this up to God.
A PRAYER TO MAKE:
‘Lord, help me to be a living sacrifice for You. By Your Spirit,
help me to eradicate those things in me which dishonour and misrepresent You. Amen.’
Photo by Jaclyn Moy on Unsplash