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Renewing Your Mind

Living Sacrifices

Philippians 2:17
Your faith makes you offer your lives as a sacrifice in serving God. If I have to offer my own blood with your sacrifice, I will be happy and full of joy with all of you.
NCV

The idea of presenting ourselves as a sacrifice is a new concept within the pages of Scripture, at least in these terms. The sacrifices of the Old Testament were all dead animals or inanimate produce. There is nothing living”about them. The people brought their offerings to the priests, who slaughtered the animals, burned them on the altar, offering the sacrifices to God. Leviticus contains many details as to how this process operates. This is the picture of Paul’s language, but Paul sees a completely different application. We do not bring sacrifices, we are the sacrifice!

And, we are not to present ourselves as dead and useless, but as vibrant, living offerings. It is our bodies we are to present, but in this context it is best to understand Paul’s language as meaning our whole, complete self. Body, mind, thoughts, actions, emotions, and anything else that comprise each of us are to be present to God for His complete, unencumbered use. How many of us accomplish this?

We must strive to accept Paul’s admonishment. We have placed our faith and trust in Jesus. He is not only our Savior, but He is our King, Master, and Lord. We need to obey our Master in everything we do. We need to come to Him with open hands, eyes, hearts, and minds and say, “Here I am! Send me” (Isa 6:8).

Our living sacrifices are described as holy and acceptable. We are holy because we are “in Christ” and are, thus, without blemish. This is, again, the result of God’s mercies. We are acceptable because we are “in Christ.” I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5). God has already accept Jesus. This is the power of the resurrection (Rom 1:4). Since we are “in Christ” we are acceptable to God.

 

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