LivingSacrifice - rpritts
What does it mean to "present your bodies a living sacrifice"?
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The concept of LivingSacrifice is so pregnant with meaning and inter relationship with other Biblical concepts that perhaps english words don't properly convey it's fuller breadth.
- Let me try to help you visualize it:
- The sacrifice of Jesus was not a dead sacrifice.
- Nor is the sacrifice we give in return dead either.
- By presenting our bodies as a "living" sacrifice to God we are not simply dead to this world from then on.
In kjv@Hebrews:9-10 it is explained that the complex sacrificial system established in the Old Testament could never have taken away the sin of the worshiper (kjv@Hebrews:10:1-2), it was made for the rememberence of sin (kjv@Hebrews:10:3).
Once the offering was sacrificed the sacrifice was dead, another sacrifice would have to be made at the next rememberence. The mosiac system was only a shadow of the "living" sacrifice to come.
In similar fashion Jesus was put to death as God's merciful sacrifice, the difference here being that Jesus is no longer dead... He is living... His sacrifice putting our sin to death... His resurection putting our spirits to life.
We then are further evidence of His "Living" sacrifice; to this day it lives working in and through us. It lives as it reaches out to other people, as it makes it's way through the misery and suffering and dark evil of this present existence.
From very early on in the Old Testament (kjv@Genesis:4:3-15) we see a developing thread of two different forms of sacrifical service and their respective results.
The other sacrifice, Cain's, led Cain down the path of jealous wrath and fallen countenance and eventually murder (kjv@Genesis:4:5-8).
Our faith is not in our own good deeds or service, but, in the completeness of His "living" sacrifice. We know that this is not what the world expects, in fact we know that the world will seek to kill us thinking that they are doing God some sort of true service (kjv@John:16:2).
This is not where life ends, this is where it begins!
Upon renewal we are alive with His Spirit, with His purpose, with His drive and perseverence. Where He would be, we would be. Where he would go, we would go. What He would do, we would do. We are not hiding out here until His return, we are setting up shop for His return.
The picture is of an exchange - we exchange the carnal life that we have lived to this point for the spiritual life that He has purchased for us with His own blood.
Paul would paint the concept this way:
- From this "living" picture forward we can see the inter play of a great many "living" Biblical concepts such as:
Throughout the Holy Bible (see kjv@STRING:fear+the+LORD+AND+serve) there is a strong connection bettween the 'fear of the Lord' (reverence) and acceptably serving the Lord. The two go hand in hand.
But, when we look through the history of biblical worship and service (see kjv@STRING:worship+AND+serve) we see that the deceptive heart is repeatedly prone to it's own intents; it tends to worship everything but the one true God. This is not only true each of us as individuals but, collectively as in a congregation or nation.
This should be of concern to us today, for as God centered as Israel/Judah ever was, they still could not sustain a lasting and acceptable fear and service to God (filter:OT evil in the sight ).
There is little doubt in my mind that the majority of followers in that day sincerly thought that they were on the right track doing exactly what was pleasing to God. The mind has a funny way of justifying ourselves that way. Yet, we see by the time of Jesus's earthly minisrty that these people (exspecially the most sincere and devout) were 180 degrees out of phase with the one true God. This alone may have been the hardest of all of Jesus's teachings for them to accept.
Without the proper placement of worship, our service is meaningless or even counter productive to the designs God has for us.
The question should be asked 'what is expected of us'? Here is what the textbook would say:
Quoted resource: tcr 'WORSHIP, TRUE'
Note that the Old Testament follower would have known most every one of these verses by heart. The leaders that sentenced Jesus Christ to the cross would have known and taught their parishoners on their very meaning.
Acceptable, holy, reasonable service all suggest that it be done strictly on God's terms not on the terms that we are willing to offer.
- God requires:
- kjv@Deuteronomy:10:12 that we fear Him, walk in His way, love and serve Him alone with all of our heart and soul.
- To fear and serve Him kjv@Joshua:24:14 in sincerity and truth, putting away the god's of our fathers.
- kjv@1Samuel:12:14 and not rebel against His commandment.
How interesting that Moses would record God as saying:
Our sacrifice to Him is to be a LivingSacrifice "holy and acceptable to God". It is our reasonable service... a reasonable expectaion of His for us to respond in full appreciation and understanding of His Mercy (see MercyOfGod).
If not by light of His mercy then our sacrifice is by our own works (which are few and far bettween), our own righteousness (which at best is but filthy rags), our deliberate hiding behind the mere concept of worship instead of the actuality of true worship.
A great many have offered themselves believing that their sacrifice was well positioned on the true Biblical version of God. Judging by biblical history and prophetic end time parables and quotes, we should deeply consider the positioning of our due service. (see filter:NT Lord, Lord , kjv@Revelation:3:16 )
n[Acts:16:6-40] An example from Paul's life.
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