Living Sacrifices

As a young child I used to think the word "oxymoron" was a special type of moron. I thought it meant a special class of morons (if you will).  You know...goobers, dorks, twerps...or something. But you'll be comforted to know I grew up! As part of my maturing process I learned the word "oxymoron" had absolutely nothing to do with the word "moron". I learned that an oxymoron is a figure of speech that combines contradictory terms. Examples: Jumbo shrimp, Dark light, Serious joke, Bitter sweet, Deafening silence, etc. I think you get the picture.

The Bible also uses a very particular oxymoron that applies to those who follow after Jesus, Those who live their lives soley for Him. Paul says in Romans Chapter 12 we are to present ourselves to God as "living sacrifices". There's the oxymoron..."living sacrifices".

Typically, a sacrifice is slain in order to fulfill its purpose. It has to die, not live. In addition, a sacrifice is offered in behalf of others. In the Old Testament animals were offered in behalf of the people. The animals were not guilty, but God required the death and shedding of the blood of the sacrifice to cover over the sins of the people. Again, the sacrifices were dead!

Over 2000 years ago God sent Jesus to whom John the Baptist referred to as the "Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world". Born of God and not man, Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for our sins. His blood was pure and did not just cover over our sins, but completely washed our sins away. He died in our place. And like the animals of old, Jesus was not guilty. He was innocent. He rose again 3 days later. Because he lives, Paul says those who follow Him are now "living sacrifices".

Paul said, "Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship." (Rom. 12:1) Why living sacrifices? Why even sacrifices at all? There is no need for us to offer sacrifices for our sins because Jesus has already dealt with them by the sacrifice of Himself. Contrary to the point of view that we present ourselves to Him to be cleaned up, we are already clean. I didn't say we were perfect or flawless, I said we are already clean, because of the blood of Jesus.

We are living sacrifices. Not dead sacrifices. Living sacrifices exist to be presented to God - alive! There is no other purpose for a living sacrifice. This is our spiritual service of worship. A living sacrifice is designed to bring worship, glory and honor to God...24 X 7. The only alternative is to be conformed to the world...to blend in with the world...to look like the world. There's a serious problem with that though. It is totally unacceptable to God.

A dead sacrifice has fulfilled its purpose. But a living sacrifice has an incredible future. Why? Because it has a destiny filled with God-ordained purpose.

If you are a follower of Jesus, present yourself to God...all the time. Have regular times of presenting yourself to Him as a living sacrifice. Make extra time to do so. Become radical about it. It is what you are created in Christ to do. It is your spiritual service of worship!

I am available for speaking/ministry engagements. Contact me at harvcel@gmail.com.



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