DEVOTIONAL – JULY 31
Leslie M. John
“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” (Romans 12:1)
Apostle Paul uses a unique word, ’beseech’ while addressing Chief Captain (Acts 21:39), King Agrippa (Acts 26:3), brethren at Rome (Romans 12:1 and 15:30) brethren at Corinthians (1 Cor.1:10), which shows how loving and humble he was in his approach with others. ‘Beseech’ means to beg anxiously, or to request earnestly.
In this verse Paul requests earnestly his fellow believers at Rome to present their bodies a living sacrifice. What exactly ‘living sacrifice’ means? In the Old Testament period, the physical sacrifices are made to God to have reconciliation with him by way of ‘Atonement’ for the sin man had committed. The sacrifices could be a goat, a lamb, or turtledoves.
Inasmuch as Christ became our ‘propitiation’, we in this New Testament period are no longer required to offer the physical offerings. Christ’s blood that was shed and His body that bore our sins is enough for salvation. All that an unbeliever has to do is to believe this fact, confess his/her sins to Lord Jesus, and accept him as “Lord” and believe in heart that God raised Him from the dead. After that we continually offer our bodies as living sacrifice unto God.
The believers in Christ are to show kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, and longsuffering (Col. 3:12), present bodies as holy temple because the Spirit of God lives in us (1 Corinthians 3:16), and worship him in truth and sprit. This is the reasonable service unto him. The true worship is not a forced one, but of voluntary and emanates from the bottom of heart, offering ourselves fully unto him with complete devotion.
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16)