What does it mean to be a living sacrifice?

In this post, let us take a deep look at what Romans 12:1 means and what it really means to be a living sacrifice for God.

Today, I want to talk about what it really means to be a living sacrifice.

Under the Old Covenant, we are required to bring an animal to kill and offer as a sacrifice. However, because of the sacrifice made by our Savior, Yahshua the Messiah or popularly known as Jesus Christ, we are no longer required to make animal sacrifices.

Now, that doesn’t mean that we don’t have anything to do right now. Instead, we are commanded to bring a different but special kind of sacrifice and that sacrifice is you.

We read in Romans 12:1:

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.

How to give our life as a sacrifice?

Paul here was using a strong word. He said, “I beseech.” In other words, he was trying to admonish us, to exhort, to comfort, and encourage us to become a living sacrifice.

But how should we do it? We do it by God’s mercy.

Why? Because it is through God’s mercy that we are here today — that we are alive, that we are given a chance to be His children. It is through His mercy that He allowed His Son to be killed for our sake.

Living a life of sacrifice

Now, let’s move forward to what Romans 12:1 is saying:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice.

A living sacrifice? What does it exactly mean? It means that you and I are expected to sacrifice ourselves not as a dead animal, but as a living child of God who is ready to do His will and purpose in our lives.

Christ already died for us, so that we may live a life pleasing to God.

Now, I wonder, have we really made ourselves a true offering to God? Have we really surrendered everything to Him? Could it be that we are just offering one part of our life and keeping some portion of it for ourselves?

You see, friends, when God asks us to become a living sacrifice, it means we must give our life and our time to Him. We make sure that every part of our body, our eyes, ears, mouth, hands, legs, arms, and yes, even our sexuality, are used to worship God. Because that is what sacrifice is all about, it is about worshiping our heavenly Father with our life.

Is my sacrifice acceptable to God?

Now, the question is, when I offer my life to God, is He pleased with my life? Is He pleased with what I’m offering Him? Or is He insulted by my offering?

That’s why we must ask ourselves, are my plans, dreams, and ambitions in line with God’s will? Because when you present your body as a living sacrifice, it is no longer our will that should be done. It must be God’s will.

We must also look into our lives and get rid of the sins that could blemish our sacrifice to God because if we are going to give a sacrifice to God, it must be the best of the best. We can only do that by removing sins in our lives.

Giving a holy sacrifice

Now, Romans 12:1 goes on to say that our sacrifice should not just be living, but it must also be holy.

Being holy means we are set apart for a special purpose. We might be in the world, but we are not of the world. We are supposed to be different from our friends, classmates, coworkers, neighbors, and other people who don’t have God’s holy spirit.

Finally, our sacrifice must be acceptable to God. But how can we be sure that our sacrifice is acceptable to God?

In I Samuel 15:22 we read: 

22 So Samuel said: “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.

Your sacrifice and offering will not be acceptable to God if you constantly disobey Him. You give a lot of money as your offering, you may give your time and energy to serve God and other people. You may even give up your life doing God’s work, but if you continually live in sin, your offering will come to nothing. 

That’s what happened to Cain. God didn’t accept His offering because you know why? Cain didn’t just have an attitude problem, but he has a character problem. He might have offered something to God but it wasn’t accepted because of his sinful attitude.

So, remember, to obey is better than sacrifice. 

Living as a sacrifice is our reasonable service

Finally, we come to the last keyword in Romans 12:1: reasonable service. It says there that our sacrifice to God is our reasonable service. 

Reasonable here came from the Greek word, “logikos”, meaning, it is our logical service to God. It means that when you recognize, understand, and know that God loves you and that He is merciful toward you, there’s no other logical response but to serve as a living, holy, and acceptable sacrifice to Him.

You see, friends, when we realize that our life is a gift from God, it wouldn’t be difficult anymore to give back. God owns everything including our life. Every breath that you take is a gift. Your eyes, your ears, your tongue, your brain — those are from God. Isn’t it logical and reasonable for us to give back to God through our life? Would it be logical for us to present our offering to God as part of our worship and expression of gratefulness to Him?

I hope we realize how blessed we are just being alive. I hope we don’t offer our sacrifice with a heavy heart, but rather we give with a cheerful heart, knowing that our offering will be used for the work of God.

So, as you go through your Christian life, remember the words of Paul in Romans 12:1:

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.

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Thank you so much for reading and I hope and pray this message has blessed and inspired you. If you wish to learn more, I would like to give you a special book that will change your life. The title is, “The 7 Powerful Habits of Highly Effective Christians.” I’m giving away this book for free. Simply check the description box below to know how to get your copy.

That’s it for me. I’ll see you next time. 

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