Summary: Our response to the gospel is to offer our body, mind and heart to the service of the Body of Christ
Rom 12:1-8 – Living Sacrifices
Saving Private Ryan
• Family lost 3 of four brothers
• Army decides not fair for a family to lose the one remaining son
• So Captain Colin Miller (Tom Hanks) sets out with 7 others to save the last remaining son
• Difficult ethical choice – how many are you willing to sacrifice to save one man’s life
• As the story unfolds we see various scenes where the soldiers argue amongst themselves as to the morality of risking so many for one man
• at one stage one of the soldiers says, "he better be a Brain surgeon or something."
• Finally, after the death of many of the men there is a scene where Tom Hanks (who plays Captain Colin Miller) lays dying on a bridge.
• His last action is to grab Private Ryan and pull him in close….. With his dying breath he says "EARN IT"
• The movie then cuts to the present and the closing scene of the movie is of an old man with family in tow weeping at the graves of the men who died for him and with desperation he pleads, "tell me I’m a good man…."
• His concern was to have lived a life worthy of the sacrifice made for Him
In a way this the situation we followers of Jesus Christ find ourselves
• What should be our response to the sacrifice Jesus Christ has made for us?
• Paul is about to tell us in Romans 12 which talks about our response to the sacrifice Jesus Christ has made for us
• In chapters 1-11 Paul has outlined what God has done for us
• Now in chapter 12 he outlines what a Christians response should be to what God has done for us
• Romans 12:1-8 Therefore I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy
• “Therefore” – as a result of all that has gone before
• “I urge you brothers” - Notice Paul doesn’t command us, rather he urges us
• And what does he urge us to respond to? A harsh vindictive God who is ready to crush us if we dare to step out of line?
• No, rather to God’s mercy
• For Paul it is incomprehensible for someone who truly understands the true gospel message to need to be commanded to respond to God’s mercy
• God has every right to crush us for our sinfulness, but instead he extends mercy
• And again he uses the language of relationship – “brothers”
to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, Holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship
• What audience was Paul speaking to? Primarily Jews
• What would they automatically think of when the word “sacrifice” was used? The temple sacrifices
• What was the criteria that had to be met before that sacrifice was acceptable? Had to be perfect, without spot or blemish, and it had to be given with a willing heart
• When that lamb, or bullock was given to the temple priests to be prepared for the sacrifice, the owner relinquished all rights to the animal
• From that moment forth, it became the property of God.
• The owner could not take it back.
• How can we, as Christians, think that God will require anything less from us?
• We may not have to offer up lambs, goats, and bulls anymore but God still requires a sacrifice from us in loving response to the grace offered to us
• And what does it say we have to offer as our sacrifice - to offer your bodies as living sacrifices,
• Look around the room and its just as well God doesn’t require us to be without spot or blemish otherwise we would be in trouble
• “Some of our bodies would make a sorry sort of sacrifice”
• We’ve live in a society where we are programmed to think that our bodies belong only to us
• we hear such slogans as: “It’s your body, & you have the right to choose,” & "If it feels good, go ahead & do it.”
• 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”
• Paul is asking us to change our attitude about our bodies and the use they are to be put to
• The Israelites spiritual act of worship was offering a sacrifice, ours is, “To what use do we put our bodies?”
• Remember I said last time about the environment the Roman church lived in – persecution, thrown to the lions