Becoming a Living Sacrifice

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Becoming a Living Sacrifice


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Becoming a living sacrifice:

Becoming a living sacrifice Dr. Oyewole O. Sarumi Pastoral Leadership Academy, Lagos

Your Christian life is not dependent on what you get from God.  It’s dependent on what you give to Him.” – John MacArthur:

Your Christian life is not dependent on what you get from God.  It’s dependent on what you give to Him.” – John MacArthur

Opening scriptures -:

Opening scriptures - “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. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Rom.12:1-2

Scripture interpretation :

Scripture interpretation The first thing is give yourself as a living sacrifice.  Our response to what God has done is to give to God a spiritual offering, namely yourself.  It’s about worship, and worship is about giving ourselves to God. In John 4 - God seeks true worshippers.  The Father seeks true worshippers who worship Him in spirit and truth.  It’s about worship.


Apostle Paul says in Philippians 3, “We worship Jesus Christ.  We are worshippers of Jesus Christ.”  First Peter 2, Peter says, “We are priests bringing sacrifices to God.”  We are priests bringing sacrifices to God. Viewing the Christian life clearly, is to view the Christian as a priest giving offerings to God.  


introduction In Romans 12:1, Paul was urging believers to dedicate their bodies to God. Paul knew that when a believer makes the decision to dedicate his body to God, the carnal nature may respond by going to war against the spirit. The flesh just doesn’t want to submit to the law of God or to do what God wishes.


Paul besought his readers to yield their bodies to God, while warning them that such an action might stir up a battle in the flesh. The carnal nature has long been the driving force for what is done with the body; therefore, it will most likely rebel when it is told to submit to God’s control. This is why anyone who decides to present and dedicate his body to God must be ready and willing to fight the battle with the flesh until victory is achieved.


The New Testament urged us to present ourselves to God as a  living  sacrifice. Implication: We must live in a continual state of surrender and consecration. Our commitment may begin with a momentous, “once-and-for-all” decision It must be followed with a daily decision to keep on surrendering ourselves to the Lord. We must see every day of our lives as another day — another opportunity — to yield our lives to God.


Each new day necessitates new surrender and consecration. What you surrendered to God yesterday is already old. Today is a new day and demands a new and higher level of consecration.


In Luke 2:22 we see the moment when Jesus’ parents presented baby Jesus to God in the Temple at Jerusalem. Jesus’ dedication was not a casual, accidental, haphazard, unplanned event, so Apostle Paul is telling us that the presentation of our bodies to God is a serious occurrence in our lives. It is not light affair, but one that should be done in a very hallowed, consecrated, and serious manner. It is a crucial, historical moment in our lives when we intentionally place ourselves in God’s close care. We surrender ourselves and all that we are to God’s supervision, making a solemn pledge that we are His and that He can therefore use us in whatever way He wishes. <>

The nature of the offering….:

The nature of the offering…. The nature of the offering is described in the terms “a living and holy sacrifice.”  A living and holy sacrifice. In Old Testament sacrificial system, the priests were offering dead sacrifices, not living sacrifices.  We’re called on not to offer dead sacrifices.  That system is gone.  It was dismissed when Jesus died on the cross and the veil on the temple was rent.  The sacrificial system has gone away, the sacrificial system of dead animals. In the new covenant, in the New Testament economy it is now a living sacrifice. of YOU and ME not an animal.  We are to place ourselves on the altar before God as an offering to Him.  <>

God is not satisfied with sacrifice:

God is not satisfied with sacrifice God was not satisfied with a sacrifice, a dead sacrifice in the Old Testament, from a sinful heart.  In  1 Samuel 15:22 , we read, “To obey is better than sacrifice...”  Sacrifice had a place.  It was a picture of the sacrifice of Christ to come, but God didn't accept sacrifices that came from sinful hearts. In Amos, God says, “Stop your songs.  Stop your offerings.  I will not accept them because your hearts aren’t right.”  “The sacrifices of God,” says  Psalm 51:17 , “are a broken spirit and a contrite heart.”  Those are the sacrifices that God accepts. It wasn't that animal sacrifice satisfied God.  It was the heart given the sacrifice to Him that satisfied Him. <>

The four elements of a living sacrifice:

The four elements of a living sacrifice There are four elements in a living sacrifice.  The SOUL, the BODY, the MIND and the WILL. The sacrifice that is a living sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God incorporates the soul, the body, the mind, and the will.  They overlap, intertwine, and all bounded up with each other, but they help us to see aspects of ourselves that we are to give to God. <>

The soul:

The soul All those save have their soul being given to God, i.e. the inner person. Note - Apostle Paul called them “brethren” or “brothers” indicates that he’s writing to people who’ve already given their souls to God.  Matthew 16:26 , Jesus said, “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?”  It says, of the Corinthians, they first gave themselves to God, and that’s what we’re talking about, initially.  You cannot please God in any way if you don't give yourself to Him, your soul, the essence of who you are.  The foundation of the sacrifice starts with the soul. <>

The mercies of God:

The mercies of God  All of the mercies of God all laid out in this marvellous book of Romans and throughout the New Testament include: righteousness, justification, sonship , security, love, grace, the Holy Spirit, peace, faith, comfort, power, hope, patience, kindness, glory, freedom, eternal life, and honour.  The motive for us to make the living sacrifice is an act of thanks, an act of worship in response to this massive array of mercies provided by God. <>


Consecration is not cross-centered sanctification,. It’s Christ-centered sanctification.”  Keep looking at Christ and keep your focus on Him until you’re transformed into His image – 2 Corinthians 3:18. What motivates me to make my life a living sacrifice?  The mercies of God. It’s expansive. Psalm 116:12  puts it this way: “What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits unto me?”  Romans 12:1  and  2  answers the prayer of Psalm 116, and it starts with the soul.

“Why so much doctrinal teaching?  Can’t you be more practical?”:

“Why so much doctrinal teaching?  Can’t you be more practical?” “The truth of the matter is your orthopraxy is a direct reflection of your orthodoxy.  Your ethical behavior is a direct reflection of your dogma.  Your duties flow out of your doctrine.  It’s what you believe that essentially designs your behavior. There is no basis for right behavior except right doctrine, and the more you understand about the greatness of your salvation and the richer your grasp of it, the greater your motivation to offer yourself constantly as a living sacrifice.” – John MacArthur <>

2. The body:

2. The body “...present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”  This is the body, the actual body, all the components of being human – how you think and how you reason, all that you are as a human being. “Present” is a temple term.  It means to surrender up, to yield up, to offer up, and that is to hold nothing back. Sanctification is the result of an active presentation of the soul first and then the body to God. <>


1 Thessalonians 4:3b,4: “The will of God is your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality, that each of you know how to possess his own vessel or body in sanctification and honour, not in lustful passion like the Gentiles who do not know God.” You’re a believer.  Your sanctification is dependent on you getting a hold of your body and offering it to God.  This is not easy.   First Corinthians 9:24 and following, Paul says, “I beat my body into submission, lest in preaching to others, I myself would be disqualified.” First Thessalonians 5:23: “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” <>


Real worship is not elaborate.  Prayers are not liturgy, not ritual, not candles, not stained glass, not anything external.  It is the giving of the soul and body to God.

3. The mind:

3. The mind The mind must be given to God.  Now, these are all interconnected.  If you don't give your mind to God, you're not going to be able to sustain giving your body to God. “As a man thinks in his heart, so he is.”  So the mind is critical if you’re not withdraw your body from the altar slab. Verse 2: “Do not be conformed to this world,” this  aiōn , this age, “but be transformed by the renewing of your mind...”  Along with the body, the mind must come. If you don't program your mind correctly, your body will come off that altar. <>

What is the spirit of the age?:

What is the spirit of the age? The spirit of the age means, the ghost of the age, the world system, the kosmos i.e. all the floating mass of ideas, thoughts, opinions, views, religions, philosophies, theories, maxims, speculations, hopes, impulses, aims, aspirations, temptations – The world is the instrument that Satan uses to promote his goals, his aims, his ends, and his ambitions, and he is relentless about that. <>

The mind:

The mind If you're going to present your body a living sacrifice to God, you're going to have to make sure that your mind, which dictates how your body functions, is not completely absorbed into this world system.  “The whole world,” says 1 John 5:19, “lies in the lap of the evil one.”  All that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life, is of the world and is passing away. <>


You’re going to have to reprogram your mind away from the corruption of this age. “Stop allowing yourselves to be fashioned like this evil age.” but …“ transformed by the renewing of your mind..., the metamorphosis of your mind, the transformation of your mind. How do you renew your mind?  Paul’s epistles are loaded with this.  You renew your mind through the Word of God. 


The Word of God is the source of renewal,  1 Corinthians 2:16 : You have the mind of Christ.  Colossians 1: “For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will and all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord to please Him in all respects.” You're going to do that only when your mind is saturated with divine truth. <>


The soul is given to God, and then the body can be given to God.  And that living sacrifice of the body given to God can be sustained as an offering to God when the mind is constantly being renewed by the truth of the Word of God

4. The Will:

4. The Will The will must be given to God.  We know things, but we don't necessarily do what we should.  Paul says, “I don't do what I should do.  I do what I don’t want to do.”  The will is a very important reality.  You would prove, by demonstrating it in your life, what the will of God is. <>


Prove not to validate God, but in the sense that you demonstrate it.  Demonstrate the will of God.  Put the will of God on display because you do His will. Show the world the approved will of God by doing it.  Put it on display in your life to be the living proof that the will of God is good and lofty and noble. Yield to the things that are right and noble and good and of good report in line with the Word.

Last line:

Last line We can sacrifice ourselves by not conforming to this evil world (Romans 12:2), by being transformed by a renewing of our minds, and by proving what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. We can also strive not to be vain and self-centered but in humility serve others with whatever gifts God we possess (verses 3 - 8), do not pretend to love but sincerely do so as Jesus loved us (verse 9), reject evil and hold fast to what is right and good, and finally to serve others based on THEIR needs not ours (verse 15). <>

What areas of your life need to be consecrated?:

What areas of your life need to be consecrated? 1. Attitude - God wants you to live with grace Harboring resentment Holding onto grudges Hanging on to garbage


2. Abilities - God gave you the gifts Selfish by using your gifts for yourself Satisfied with you are Scared to use those gifts for God


3. Actions - God desires you to live for His glory Things you do that just do not please God Times when you do what you know is wrong Treating others with less than Christ centered respect Talking in a manner that tears down rather than build up


conclusion The key to consecration are: Consecration means sacrificial living Sacrifice your body, mind, soul and Will Sacrifice your service Consecration means separated living Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world Consecration means sanctified thinking Sanctified transformation Sanctified desire


conclusion To live the Christian life is a strong, strong desire generated by the will based upon what the mind knows of the Word of God, which informs what the body does, all in gratitude for the mercies of God granted graciously to us in Christ.  This is the sum and substance of the path of sanctification or consecration. There’s no other way to get there.


prayers Lord, today I am surrendering myself as a living sacrifice to be used in whatever way You choose. I know You are beckoning me to come higher and closer than ever before, so right now I approach You with great reverence and surrender myself more fully to You. With all my heart I vow to give You my soul, my emotions, my spirit, my body, and everything else that I am and that I possess. I want to live for You and to serve You for the rest of my life. Starting today, I yield to You completely. When You speak, I will do exactly what You tell me to do <>

My Confession for the Day:

My Confession for the Day I confess that I am surrendered to the purposes of God. I daily consecrate myself to God — to do what He wants and to live a life that is pleasing to Him. My flesh may try to wage war against this consecration, but I take authority over my flesh and I tell it what to do. My body does not control me. Instead, I control it, using it as my instrument to do whatever God asks me to do. Every day when I awake, I renew my consecration and personal commitment to serve God with all my heart. I am His completely, and I will obey whatever His Spirit prompts me to do. <>


references John MacArthur. Elements of a Living Sacrifice. . Retrieved on April 19,2017 John Piper. Present you bodies as a living sacrifice to God. . Retrieved on April 18, 2017. Rick Renner. Present your bodies a living sacrifice. . Retrieved on April 19, 2017. . Retrieved on April 19, 2017. Elmer Towns. What does the bible mean by a living sacrifice? . Retrieved on April 19, 2017. David Dewitt. Keys To Consecration. . Retrieved on April 18, 2017.

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