After 11 chapters of amazing truth regarding the mercy of God Paul moves into the latter part of his letter which contains instructions for living out what he has taught them:
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” (Romans 12 v 1)
My first ever sermon was on Saturday 3rd September 1988, it was entitled ‘Knowing God’s will and my verses were Romans 12: 1-2. I still have it. It’s not good!
Over the next 34 years I am still learning what it means to be a living sacrifice. Here are 8 areas I try to offer my body in sacrifice to God. It is my life’s ambition and work to:-
Sacrifice power and control and take up submission
Sacrifice freedom and take up responsibility
Sacrifice gain for what I can give.
Sacrifice immediate fulfilment for what will be a lasting achievement.
Sacrifice desire for praise from men for the approval of God.
Sacrifice the desire to be served in order to serve.
Sacrifice self-gratification for self-control
Sacrifice the need to run ahead for the acceptance of patience.
Why do we offer our bodies as living sacrifices each day to God?
It is because of all Paul has taught us previously. A reminder this morning:-
God doesn’t get it wrong in His dealings with me: He will never fail me. (Chapter 3)
God removes the barrier of sin and I am declared innocent by Him and for Him, I am justified (Chapter 5)
Whatever happens today from the moment I rise it is all because of His grace to look upon me, bless me, love me, favour me and He does that through every single thing around me. (Chapter 5)
The Spirit has freedom to move in my life, to breathe, grow and bear fruit. (Chapter 7)
I therefore focus on being and the Spirit focuses on the doing. (Chapter 7)
His adoption scheme brought me into His family and to be that child of God (Chapter 8)
I am not isolated in any suffering I endure for the Spirit inwardly groans and intercedes for me. (Chapter 8)
Not one condition can ever separate the love of Christ from me. (Chapter 8)
What do we do? Sacrifice