What does it mean to present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God?
THE WORD “THEREFORE” in verse 1 connects it to what the Apostle Paul wrote in the preceding chapters7, which explain the undeserved mercies of God toward sinners. Although all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, those people who put their faith in Jesus Christ are justified by God’s grace as a gift.8 God shows His love for us in that Christ died on the cross for us while we were still sinners.9 God took the initiative to rescue us even before we turned to Him! God’s undeserved mercy and grace toward us are the reason and motivation for us to worship Him! True worship of God is to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice. But what does that mean? Certainly, we no longer need to periodically offer animal sacrifices to atone for our sins, because Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, has already been sacrificed once for all to atone for all our sins.10 Instead, we offer “spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Pet 2:5), which include obedience (Rom 1:5; 16:26), thanksgiving (Col 2:6-7), praise (Heb 13:15) and good works (Heb 13:16) throughout our redeemed lives. Often, my experience of being a “living sacrifice” involves crawling off the altar to live for myself rather than for Jesus (cf. 2 Cor 5:15). But Jesus’ call for us to be a living sacrifice means that our lives are to be fully dedicated to God – all that we are and all that we have – and there are no two ways about it. That is the true worship that is pleasing to God.
How can I offer myself every day as a living sacrifice to God in true worship that is pleasing to Him?
Write a prayer to God as your response from your meditation on and application of the Scriptures.
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What is one key thing that God said to me this week in light of what has happened?
What is one thing I need to do in light of what God is saying?
Commit in prayer.
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