In his letter to the Roman church, the Apostle Paul was urging, begging, the members of the church to present their bodies a living sacrifice. Wait a minute – a LIVING SACRIFICE? Doesn’t the mere word “sacrifice” insinuate death? How can one be a “living sacrifice”?
Victor or Victim?
In order to clarify what Paul was writing, let us look closer at the words in the text. In the Greek, the verb “present” means to place a person or object at another’s disposal. The noun sacrifice also means “victim”. Victim brings to mind a negative image; yet, Jesus was a victim – a willing victim. He placed Himself at the disposal of God the Father, laying down His life on the cross for each and every person. He was willing to endure excruciating physical pain, not to mention the pain of separation from the Father.
So if one becomes a victim like this, is one really a victim? I would say “no” not victim, rather “victor”. With that, in the next verse, Paul is encouraging all to not be conformed or molded by and to this world, but to be transformed, changed by the renewal of our minds. Since Jesus is our example, we follow Him; the laying down of our lives becomes a sacred act.
Being Transformed by the Word
Because of His great act of worship to the Father, so too, we can worship Jesus and the Father that way. And when we worship that way, we hunger more for the Word, thus being transformed by the Word. Let us, therefore, walk in victory by the power of the Holy Spirit; becoming the worshipful instrument of the living sacrifice of Jesus our Messiah.
LORD God, Father, help us by the Holy Spirit to walk victoriously each day as we lay our lives down for Jesus’ sake. Help us to walk worthy of our calling, to be bold witnesses for You. Help us to be transformed by the power of Your Word and not be molded to the ways of the world. We ask this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
“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. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. ” Romans 12:1-2 KJV