Summary: Paul begs us to present our bodies as a "living sacrifice". This message tells us WHAT that means ... and HOW to do it.
“Sacrificing My Body”
INTRODUCTION: We live in a world where sacrifices are made every day. Soldiers are sacrificing their lives over in Iraq. Mothers making sacrifices for their children. Teachers making sacrifices to teach in our schools. Missionaries sacrificing their time, money and energy (even their lives) to be of service to God.
In our Scripture this evening, God tells us that He expects us to sacrifice our BODY as a “living sacrifice”.
DITTY – Football Player
In just a few minutes, I’ll tell you HOW God wants us to do this.
BUT … for now, let’s take a look at some other important things about this “living sacrifice” of our BODIES.
1.- IT IS A PLEA – “beseech” … which literally means ‘to beg’.
Paul is telling us that this is extremely IMPORTANT … not something to be taken lightly. Paul doesn’t want us to bypass this Biblical truth … it’s essential to our Christian life.
2.- IT IS FOR EVERY CHRISTIAN – “brethren” … not just men, or Pastors, or Sunday School Teachers, or super spiritual saints … but ALL CHRISTIANS. If you are a child of God, you are included in this group. It’s for everyone in the body of Christ.
3.- IT IS BECAUSE OF GOD’S MERCY – “by the mercies of God”
• GRACE - God giving us what we don’t deserve.
• MERCY – God NOT giving us what we DO deserve.
If God gave us what we deserved, we wouldn’t have a “body” to present to him. Some of us here tonight aren’t in very good health. BUT … you’re here! It’s by the “mercy” of God that you’re not in a hospital or nursing home or funeral home somewhere. If you have a body to present to Him, it’s only by God’s mercy … you don’t deserve it.
AND … since He has graciously given you this living body (as defective as it may be), you are to present it to Him as a “living sacrifice”.
4.- IT IS TO BE A LIVING SACRIFICE – God don’t need no DEAD sacrifices. That was done away with, with the resurrection of Jesus. God began the process of DEAD sacrifices in the Garden of Eden when He clothed Adam & Eve with the coats of skins. Then He incorporated it into the Law of Moses with the system of blood sacrifices.
FINALLY, God looked upon the dead body of Jesus on the cross of Calvary, and said that He had had enough of DEAD sacrifices. Jesus had completed that picture. When God raised Jesus from the dead, He made His dead sacrifice come back to life … and He no longer wants anymore DEAD sacrifices. NOW, He wants “living sacrifices”.
5.- IT IS TO BE HOLY – “holy”
“holy” means ‘to be set apart for God’s use’. We use our “bodies” for lots of different things, don’t we? We even ABUSE our bodies. On Monday, I played my annual golf game with some Pastors, and ABUSED my body by walking 18 holes of the longest golf course on the planet! We pour caffeine, nicotine, sugar, salt, fat & calories into our bodies. God has something else in mind for our “bodies”. He can USE these overweight, under-exercised, frail, stiff, sore, weak, defective “bodies” of ours. We just have to ‘set them apart for God’s use’.
6.- IT WILL PLEASE GOD – “acceptable unto God” means ‘well pleasing’.
God will be PLEASED with this sacrifice … no matter what shape your body is in. Somebody once said: “My body is in shape … ROUND is a shape!”.
Do you want to “please” God? If you’re a Christian, of course you do! Paul gives you one way that you can “please” God. The sacrifice of your body will “please” Him … it is “acceptable to God”. Not everything we do PLEASES God … but this will.
7.- IT IS REASONABLE – “which is your reasonable service”
This is a very rational, intelligent, reasonable thing to do. After all, that’s what God gave you your body for. He didn’t give it to you just to house your bones, your brain, your stomach, your blood vessels, your internal organs, and your muscles. God gave you your body so it could be put to use for His service. It’s only “reasonable” that we put our bodies to the use that God had designed it for … for “service”.
NOW … we get to the HEART of the message. SO FAR, I’ve only given the INTRODUCTION to the message. HOW do we “present our bodies” to God?
Let’s start at the BOTTOM and work our way up:
1.- OUR FEET
Ephesians 6:12-15 – “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having  your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;”