BY BRUCE EDWARDS · APRIL 2, 2017
Present your bodies as a living sacrifice? Why, how, when…
I know that sounds pretty radical! Why would anyone want to do such a thing?” Because, that is exactly what the apostle Paul calls us to do in Romans 12:1-2. He says, “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.” What does it mean to be a living sacrifice and how exactly are we to do it?
What it means to – “Offer Your Body as a Living Sacrifice
Paul is talking about an entirely new and different way of living. A life that flows from faith in Jesus. A life that is motivated by the love of God and not selfishness. A life led by the spirit and not the flesh. Paul says because of God’s great mercy toward us we should give our bodies in service to Him. This means we are to live out our lives for the Lord by His grace through faith.
Our Body is the Flesh
When Paul says “bodies” he is talking about our flesh – our eyes, mouth, ears, feet, hands, etc. We are no longer to gratify our flesh with sinful desires, but use them for serving and worshiping God. He says this is the “reasonable” thing for us to do in light of what God has done for us.
When we become born again our spirits become “new”. (2Corinthians 5:17) From that moment on your spirit is alive and in perfect relationship with God. As a believer your spirit is one hundred percent trustworthy. However, your flesh is NOT. This is why we need to present our bodies as a living sacrifice.
Don’t Trust Your Flesh
Our flesh needs to be crucified daily like Paul did. (1Corinthians 15:31) Paul tells us to never trust the flesh. (Philippians 3:4) No matter how spiritual you become; Regardless of how filled with the spirit you are; In spite of how much your mind has been renewed with the Word- You can never trust your flesh. The flesh will try to crawl off the altar and rule your life.
We Need to do it Every Day
That’s why Paul calls it a “living” sacrifice. In the Old Testament, when a sacrifice was brought to the altar the animal was killed. It needed to be presented to the Lord only once as a sacrificial offering. But in the New Testament, our bodies are presented to God as a “living” sacrifice. This means we must make a daily decision to present our bodies to the Lord to serve Him and live for Him. The big question is how?
3 Keys to Presenting Your Body as a Living Sacrifice
it’s a choice. It is up to you to “offer” your bodies to God. God doesn’t force you. No one else can do it for you. Only you can choose to offer your flesh as a living sacrifice. The desires of the flesh are contrary to the spirit. (Galatians 5:17) Left unchecked they lead to a life of defeat. To live a life of victory every day means making the choice to offer your body as a living sacrifice every day and not to satisfy the desires of the flesh.
realize every day is a new day with the opportunity and need to yield your life to God. Each new day necessitates a fresh decision not to allow the desires of the flesh to rule your life. What you surrendered to God yesterday is already old. Today is a new day and demands a new and higher level of devotion.
Start each day with a prayer of consecration in which you purposely with a humble attitude present yourself and all that you are to God’s purposes. Never make the mistake of assuming that since you did it yesterday, you don’t need to do it today. Every new day demands a fresh commitment to be even more passionate to serve the Lord.
while it is our decision and choice to crawl up on that altar by ourselves it is still a work of the spirit. “It’s not might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.” (Zechariah 4:6)
Do not make presenting your bodies as a living sacrifice a work of the flesh. Often this is what happens when we talk about a life of dying to self. However, it is only by grace through faith that we can truly crucify the flesh and serve the Lord.
True victory in life is only achieved when we choose to follow Jesus, denying our self and serving Him. (Matthew 16:24) To “deny” yourself means to say “No” to the desires of the flesh and “Yes” to God. Presenting our bodies to the Lord as a living sacrifice is a huge key to living a life of victory every day.