A Christian's Sacrifice Explained

  1. INTRODUCTION:

    1. SCRIPTURE READING:
    2. Romans 12:1-2 = "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."

    3. LET’S TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT THE SACRIFICE A CHRISTIAN IS TO MAKE IN SERVING THE LORD.

  2. DISCUSSION:

    1. THE APOSTLE PAUL BEGINS THIS EXPLANATION WITH ONE OF HIS FAVORITE
      WORDS:
      1. "I beseech you therefore, brethren …" [Romans 12:1]
      2. "Beseech" means to beg, to implore, to supplicate
      3. The Greek word is Parakaleo, pronounced (par-ak-al-eh'-o); Meaning to call near, that is to invite, invoke (by imploration, exhortation or consolation); It is translated : Beseech, call for, be of good comfort, desire, give exhortation, entreat, pray.
      4. The word is used by Paul in:
      5. Acts 26:3 = "Especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews: wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently."

        I Corinthians 4:16 = "Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me."

        II Corinthians 5:20 = "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did
        beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
        "

        2 Corinthians 10:1 = "Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you:"

        Ephesians 4:1 = "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,"

      6. Paul, like Jesus, was both gentle and severe, depending on the disposition of the man with
        whom he had top deal.

      Acts 13:8-11 = "But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them,seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand."

    2. THE MOTIVE TO WHICH PAUL APPEALED:
      1. "By the mercies of God, …" [Romans 12:1]
      2. Paul seems to be saying: "God has been gracious unto us; and we need to return that love".
      3. 1 John 4:19 = "We love him, because he first loved us."

      4. A Christian in the service of God, serving from a grateful heart makes the best servant.

      Comment: This is true because a Christian is actuated by the highest motive -- a motive that is stripped of all selfishness.

    3. THE SACRIFICE REQUIRES:
      1. "Your bodies" [Romans 12:1]
      2. The apostle makes a clear distinction between you and your bodies.
      3. The body is the instrument in which, and by which, all human service is rendered to God. This includes every member of the body --
      4. Romans 6:12-13 = "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God."  
        Romans 6:19
        = "I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness."

        1. The eyes:
          1. The lust of the eyes must be stifled.
          2. The eyes must be employed in reading the Bible, in surveying God’s works.
        2. The ears:
          1. They must be swift to hear the voice of instruction.
          2. They must be swift to hear and recognize the words of error:
            1. To turn away from the words of temptation.
            2. To turn away from the words of slander.
            3. To turn away from the words of flattery.

          Acts 12:22-23 = "And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, 
          and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.
          "

        3. The tongue -- A powerful instrument for good or for evil.
        4. Ephesians 4:29 = "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, 
          but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
          "

          Colossians 4:6 = "Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that 
          ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
          "

        5. The hands -- Not as instruments of mischief, but of mercy should they be employed.
        6. Ephesians 4:28 = "Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour,
          working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
          "

        7. The feet -- They should carry the body to places where service can be rendered.

      Matthew 25:36 = "Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me."

    4. THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THIS SACRIFICE.
      1. "Living".
        1. Under Moses’ law, the dead sacrifices were offered. [Leviticus Chapters 1 & 7].
        2. When the Lamb of God was offered, all dead sacrifices were swept from the altar.
        3. Colossians 2:14 = "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;"

        4. Now the redeemed are to offer living sacrifices.
        5. Romans 12:1 = "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."

        6. Life comes from God --- Acts 17:28 = "For in him we live, and move, and have 
          our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his
          offspring.
          " --- Therefore it is right that it be given to Him.
        7. The "living sacrifice" [Romans 12:1] means a continual sacrifice.
      2. "Holy".
        1. Under Moses’ law the sacrifices were without spot and blemish.
        2. Leviticus 22:20-24 = "But whatsoever hath a blemish, that shall ye not offer: for it shall not be acceptable for you. And whosoever offereth a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD to accomplish his vow, or a freewill offering in beeves or sheep, it shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein. Blind, or broken, or maimed, or having a wen, or scurvy, or scabbed, ye shall not offer these unto the LORD, nor make an offering by fire of them upon the altar unto the LORD. Either a bullock or a lamb that hath any thing superfluous or lacking in his parts, that mayest thou offer for a freewill offering; but for a vow it shall not be accepted. Ye shall not offer unto the LORD that which is bruised, or crushed, or broken, or cut; neither shall ye make any offering thereof in your land."

        3. The Lamb of God was without blemish of sin.
        4. 1 Peter 1:19 = "But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without
          blemish and without spot:
          "

        5. Our bodies should be presented unto the Lord without spot and blemish.

        James 1:27 = "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."

        Ephesians 5:27 = "That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish"

      3. "Spiritual".
        1. This has to do with mental reasoning.
        2. Under Moses’ law irrational offerings were made of animals, without their wills be
          consulted.
        3. With the sacrifice offering of Jesus, all irrational sacrifices were ended.
        4. John 10:17-18 = "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of  myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father."

        5. Under the reign of Christ, the sacrifice is of rational beings:
          1. A sacrifice which involves every faculty of the mind.
          2. This sacrifice includes ones intellect, affections and will.

  3. CONCLUSION:

    1. CHRISTIAN SACRIFICE TO BE ACCEPTABLE TO GOD MUST:
      1. Follow the guidelines given by God.
      2. Be willingly laid down, as was Christ did.
    2. THE ODOR OF THE BURNT SACRIFICES UNDER MOSES’ LAW WAS PLEASING TO
      HIM.
    3. Exodus 29:18-25 = "And thou shalt burn the whole ram upon the altar: it is a burnt offering unto the LORD: it is a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the LORD. And thou shalt take the other ram; and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the ram. Then shalt thou kill the ram, and take of his blood, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of Aaron, and upon the tip of the right ear of his sons, and upon the thumb of their right hand, and upon the great toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about. And thou shalt take of the blood that is upon the altar, and of the anointing
      oil, and sprinkle it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon the garments of his sons with him: and he shall be hallowed, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons' garments with him. Also thou shalt take of the ram the fat and the rump, and the fat that covereth the inwards, and the caul above the liver, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, and the right shoulder; for it is a ram of consecration: And one loaf  of bread, and one cake of oiled bread, and one wafer out of the basket of the unleavened bread that is before the LORD: And thou shalt put all in the hands of Aaron, and in the
      hands of his sons; and shalt wave them for a wave offering before the LORD. And thou shalt receive them of their hands, and burn them upon the altar for a burnt offering, for a sweet savour before the LORD: it is an offering made by fire unto the LORD
      ."

    4. THE OFFERING OF THE LAMB WAS AN ODOR OF SWEET SMELL.
    5. Ephesians 5:2 = "And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour."

    6. THE SACRIFICE THAT IS OFFERED UNTO GOD WILL BE A:
      1. Living sacrifice -- That is a continual sacrifice.
      2. Romans 12:1 = "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."

      3. Holy sacrifice -- without spot and blemish.
      4. James 1:27 = "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."

        Ephesians 5:27 = "That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish"

      5. Spiritual sacrifice -- One that is well pleasing to God.

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