Summary: This is a message that shows the importance of presenting ourselves unto the Lord as a living sacrifice.
A LIVING SACRIFICE
TEXT: Romans 12:1-21 W. Max Alderman
INTRODUCTION: The first eleven chapters give strong reasons as to why we should present our bodies as a living sacrifice unto God. The first eleven chapters deal with the doctrinal portion of the Book and beginning with the twelfth chapter we should notice the duty or the practical portion of this Book. The writer of Romans makes a parallel to the sacrifice that is made by the priest to the sacrifice that the Christian makes with the notable exception that the sacrifice being offered in this case is a living sacrifice. Everything that we do or accomplish spiritually should be done in a way that will have the spirit of total surrender or sacrifice…
I. A LIVING SACRIFICE IS A PRESENTED SACRIFICE (V. 1)
A. Notice the Difference in It… it is a living sacrifice.
In the Old Testament economy, the priests would only offer that which was dead and the offering would lie in stillness on the altar. The offering would reflect the life of the priest in that the priest and the one who offered the sacrifice were giving according to what they had and how they felt about the One to whom they were offering. If they only had a small ability to give, they still should have offered their very best. If they did not, they had a very low view of God and His future sacrifice of Christ upon the Cross. In Malachi, God was angry because the nation of Israel had gotten to the place that they were only offering maimed, blind and broken sacrifices.
Here, according to our Text, God wants us to offer our very best, but while doing so, he wants us to offer ourselves in a vigorous, active manner. Too often, when we offer to God we just give what is left. He doesn’t want just our leftovers. He wants us to give our lives and energies in the dynamic way that it reflects our love to Him. As a presented sacrifice, the sacrifice is presenting the sacrifice…
B. Notice the Description of It… it is a holy sacrifice
The word holy should not be a frightening word to us who are Christians. This means that we should offer ourselves without blemish or defect. There are so many things that can blemish us or bring spiritual defects into our lives. We should live our lives separated from the world in such a way as to make a difference.
16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. (1 Cor 3:16-17)
19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Cor 6:19-20)
C. Notice the Delight in It… it is an acceptable sacrifice
How does the Lord measure you? Can He delight in the way that you offer yourself to Him? Can He see the sacrifice that is being made by you back to Him? The important thing is not how you are accepted by others, but How are you accepted by Him. Each Old Testament offering had to meet His Holy requirements before they were accepted. Likewise, we must meet the requirements of the Word of God to be accepted. To know His will, is to know the Scriptures. To do His will is to obey the Scriptures. As King Saul was told, it is better to obey than to sacrifice…
II. A LIVING SACRIFICE IS A PROVENED SACRIFICE (V.2)
A. It is Good… that speaks of its credibility
Does the sacrifice of oneself measure up after having been put to the test? Years ago, I worked in metallurgy. We tested metals for its strength, its malleability, its ductility, its hardness and its tensile properties. We would sometimes put metal into the furnace to see if it met specs, if it was good. Sometimes a great failure could be ascribed to a seemingly small problem. I remember such when I was testing the failure of a multimillion dollar gas turbine. I reported that the failure was attributed to a bolt that was inferior. This project was called: “The Lucas nut and bolt failure”. Because, I pointed this failure out, my name was “mud’ with the nut and bolt company, because one little bolt failed the test and they were liable for the damage that was caused by it. This reminded me that such a small defect can cause such great problems. We need to be proven good according to the will of God, because at the judgment seat, we will be liable for the damage done.