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Faithlife

Living and Holy Sacrifice

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Examination of Paul's command to present our bodies as a living and holy sacrifice

Notes & Transcripts
Intro: Paul commands us “present your bodies as a living sacrifice”, which sounds like a contradiction in terms – – since we normally think “sacrifice” involves death. It comes from the Greek, “to offer”. The best definition I have seen is “to offer at personal loss”.
Romans 12:1 ESV
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

I) Living and holy

Living – bodies given to God while alive – ; – although sacrifice does mean death – – it is death to old man of the flesh, condemned by law – ;
Acts 20:24 ESV
But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
Philippians 3:7–8 ESV
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ
Philippians 3:7–8 ESV
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ
Acts 20:24 ESV
But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
Holy – “set apart” – ; – pure, spotless, not continuing in sinful practices
Romans 6:1–2 ESV
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

II) Nature of this sacrifice

A personal loss – , – not like Lent, where people give up things which are harmful like drunkenness and gluttony
Malachi 1:8 ESV
When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the Lord of hosts.
Malachi 1:13–14 ESV
But you say, ‘What a weariness this is,’ and you snort at it, says the Lord of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the Lord. Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock, and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished. For I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations.
Malachi 1:8 ESV
When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the Lord of hosts.
Malachi 1:13–14 ESV
But you say, ‘What a weariness this is,’ and you snort at it, says the Lord of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the Lord. Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock, and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished. For I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations.
Not temporary, like the burning of sacrifices in OT –
Not partial – , – such as serving only when convenient –
Hebrews 4:1 ESV
Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.
Hebrews 4:11 ESV
Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.
True sacrifice is complete, permanent, and involves something of value to us

III) Our sacrifice is to deny self

Self is self-will – – sacrificing self-interest to God’s interests – – not following the desires of the world –
Matthew 16:24–26 ESV
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
Matthew 26:39–42 ESV
And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.”
If you deny self – – Christ will live within you
Galatians 2:20 ESV
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
If Christ is in you, then your spirit is alive – – alive in a far greater manner than what the world can offer
Romans 8:10–11 ESV
But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
Concl: If we would wear the name of Christ, we must present ourselves to Christ as a living sacrifice, which is the duty of our service to Christ.
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