Summary: A living sacrifice is different from all other sacrifice. A regular sacrifice would require something to die. Paul is appealing to us to offer this sacrifice that would continue to be very much alive, but surrendered or dedicated to the service of God.
We find the Apostle Paul appealing to all those who have experienced the mercy, love, & goodness of God.
It is kind of like the “give-back program” because of all that has been done already for us.
I want us to consider, during this holiday season of Thanksgiving, the idea Paul is presenting here. Then, how it comes together with much of what Jesus said before Paul ever knew Him.
There are 3 things I was given while in the prayer room this week. Let’s check them out together.
I. Living Sacrifice…
A living sacrifice is different from all other sacrifice. A regular sacrifice would require something to die.
Paul is appealing to us to offer this sacrifice that would continue to be very much alive, but surrendered or dedicated to the service of God.
So what exactly does that mean?
Jesus said it like this;
Luke 9:23-24 NLT Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.
Our taking up our cross “Daily” means that we will die to our own self on a daily basis.
In order to be a living sacrifice that is pleasing to Him we must separate ourselves from the lifestyle that He came to save us from.
1 John 3:4-8 MSG All who indulge in a sinful life are dangerously lawless, for sin is a major disruption of God’s order. Surely you know that Christ showed up in order to get rid of sin. There is no sin in him, and sin is not part of his program. No one who lives deeply in Christ makes a practice of sin. None of those who do practice sin have taken a good look at Christ. They’ve got him all backward.
So, my dear children don’t let anyone divert you from the truth. It’s the person who acts right who is right, just as we see it lived out in our righteous Messiah. Those who make a practice of sin are straight from the Devil, the pioneer in the practice of sin. The Son of God entered the scene to abolish the Devil’s ways.
John was not saying that we would all be perfect little Jesus’, but we would not be comfortable with any involvement in that which represents sin.
To be a “Living Sacrifice” requires an intentional decision that I will not entertain that which does not please God!
2 Corinthians 6:14-18 MSG Don’t become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war. Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the Devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands? Who would think of setting up pagan idols in God’s holy Temple? But that is exactly what we are, each of us a temple in whom God lives. God himself put it this way:
“I’ll live in them, move into them; I’ll be their God and they’ll be my people.
So leave the corruption and compromise; leave it for good,” says God. “Don’t link up with those who will pollute you. I want you all for myself.