LIVING SACRIFICES

Scripture Reading:  Romans 6:12-14

“Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members as instruments for righteousness.”  (Romans 6:13)

Believers have been set free from their bondage to sin (v. 6).  We now have the ability and power to resist sin — “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies to make you obey their passions” (v. 12).  The “old self” was crucified with Christ (v. 6).  The “old self” is in the habit of presenting the members of its body as instruments of unrighteousness.  In other words, people governed by the “old self” act out their sinful nature.  They become callous to their sinful deeds because they have seared consciences — “They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to the hardness of heart.  They have become callous and have given  themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity” (Ephesians 4:18,19).

But because the “old self” has been crucified with Christ, we can now “present ourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and our members as instruments of righteousness” (v. 13b).  We have a new nature and a new desire to please God.  Thus we are “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceptive desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24).

Paul is using the imagery of sacrifice — “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” (Romans 12:1).  We are called to make a total commitment and a full surrender of our lives to God.  This means that we present ourselves to God as living sacrifices. We are to live our lives for Him and for His glory.

We can never do this in our own strength.  But remember we have been raised with Christ — “just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (v. 4b).  We are to live our lives as those who have been brought from death to life and we are to present the members of our bodies as instruments of righteousness.

Lord Jesus, I know that I have been raised to life with You.  I have the very power that raised You from the dead available to me.  I can present myself to God as one who has been brought from death to life and my members as instruments for righteousness.  I cannot do this in my strength, but I can do it in Your strength.  Give me the power to resist sin this day and the power to live for Your glory.

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