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Posts Tagged ‘Romans 12’

Romans 12:1&2
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
 
How shall I present my body? . . .  As a living sacrifice
▸ Dead works are not sufficient
▸ Most sacrifices are dead before they are placed on the altar.  In this case, I must be alive, but my “self” or “self-focus” must be dead – totally yielded to Christ
▸ I must put myself on the altar knowing that I am submitting to the fire’s refinement.

If you can survive the imagery (burning flesh on the fire doesn’t really sound inviting), it begs the question, “how can I ever hope to present my body as a living sacrifice?”

The answer is found, in part, in 2 Corinthians 5:21.  “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”  We are able to become righteous . . . an acceptable sacrifice by the shed blood of Jesus, the perfect sacrifice, slain once for all.

I find more insight in Galatians 2:20 which reminds me that “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.  This sacrificial life will be by faith in the One who already proved his love, His sacrifice.

Finally, I am told in Colossians 2:6-7, “As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,  rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.  The key to my being a living sacrifice is to walk in Christ, in His Word.  To be rooted in and built up in the experiential knowledge of Christ.  Then shall I be able to live this sacrificial life.

Philippians 3:8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ!

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Romans 12, verses 1 and 2 are familiar and yet shrouded, within my grasp but elusive.

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

OBSERVATIONS:

Present your bodies . . .

∙ This is a commandsomething I  “must do” rather than merely “should do”
∙ Something is required of me
∙ The implication of the command is that my body is under my control, subject to my will
∙ This involves the discipline of self-control, a fruit of the Spirit in my life (Galatians 2:22-23)

We are not in this alone.  In Ephesians 2:8-10, Paul assures us, “for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,  not of works, lest anyone should boast.  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.   The things God would like me to do are not without meaning or import . . . they are my purpose, my destiny . . . God’s best plan for me.

When I feel I cannot obey this command, Jesus is my example.  I am told by the writer of  Hebrews, to lay “aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and . . . run with endurance the race that is set before us,  looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.

 

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