Topic: LIVING SACRIFICE
Text: ROMANS 12:1-21
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:1-2.
Paul in his letter to the christians in Rome admonished them to present themselves as living sacrifice unto God. First of all what is sacrifice? This is simply offering unto God the life of an animal or something of great value. Giving up that which cost you so much for the sake of love and (or) service unto God (or someone). When apostle Paul asked the Roman christians to offer their bodies as living sacrifice, he was literarily asking them to consciously give up on those desires and pleasures of the flesh for the sake of the gospel and for service unto God. The passage of Romans 12:1-21 was studied from the point of the following questions;
- What are the practical ways of presenting our bodies as living sacrifice unto God? By presenting our bodies unto God as living sacrifice, it means denying ourselves of the things of this world that give pleasure to our flesh and in turn deprive us of growing in our relationship with God. Example of such sacrifices include Fasting (the body naturally will always want food for energy, body fasting helps the spirit to grow), Being in the presence of God always instead of going to clubs and other ungodly parties, e.t.c.
- Examples of people in the bible that thought of themselves more highly than they ought to have thought, and what lessons can we learn from them? There are a lot of people in the bible that exalted themselves above their status, some due to pride and arrogance, and other due to ignorance. But they all had different bitter experience that we should learn from. Example of some of them include; Nebuchadnezzar: he was a great king, God allowed him to take the children of Israel captive, and gave so many nations into his hands, then Nebuchadnezzar felt proud and try acclaimed the glory to himself. The anger of God was kindled upon him and he was made to eat grass with the beasts of the field for seven years. (Daniel 4:28-35). Also King Herod eaten by worms because the people refer to him as god (Acts 12:23). King Saul lost his throne to David for pride. Lucifer (the devil himself) was cast down from heaven because of pride (Revelation 12:7-13).
- Humanly speaking, is it possible to observe all the “dos” and “don’ts” in this passage? If no, what do we need to be able to observe them? Actually, no man can do the will of God by human strength. It takes the grace and help of God. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13
- Do we have influence on the spiritual gifts we get from God? If no, what exactly is 1Corinthians 12:31 talking about? According to the passage in view, Paul pointed it out that “So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;” Romans 12:5-6. God give each one of us spiritual gifts according to His grace not according to our choices. So, depending on the nature of assignment God has for everyone, He gives Spiritual gift according to the grace required for the task. But in 1 Corinthians 12:31 Paul was only admonishing that we should covet earnestly the best gifts, that does not mean some Spiritual gifts are better than others, but as the need arise in the church, you desire the best gifts required to meet the needs and not to show off.
Conclusion: As we have learned from this passage according to Paul’s message to the Romans, may we receive the grace to willingly offer our bodies unto God for His Love and service in Jesus name.