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  • Holy, Living Sacrifices

    1 posts, 1 voices, 524 views, started Oct 4, 2010

    Posted on Monday, October 4, 2010 by Denise Richardson

    • Diamond

      Holy, Living Sacrifices
      By Brent Barnett
      This week's topic: Holiness  

      In Exodus 12:5, God commanded each household in Israel to take an unblemished lamb and slaughter it on the Passover. The blood of the Lamb was to be put on the doorposts of their homes so that God would pass over them and not strike down their firstborn as He did to the Egyptians. This was a clear foreshadowing of Christ who would shed His innocent blood for us as the perfect Lamb of God.

      Peter reminds us in 1 Peter 1:19 that we have not been bought with perishable things such as silver and gold "but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ." Our holy standing before God come judgment day is going to be because we have received Christ as the One Who alone could forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). It is His blood which can set us free, and nothing else, because only He was the unblemished and spotless Lamb of God.  

      But the imagery of unblemished sacrifices doesn't end here. Jesus refers to those who believe in Him as His sheep (John 10:27), and Paul says in Romans 12:1-2, "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. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." There is a sense in which our lives are to resemble the unblemished lamb of the Passover and the holy, unblemished Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. Just as Christ was holy and laid down His life, so, too, are we to grow in holiness and lay down our lives for others. We, the sheep of God, are to be holy sacrifices while we are yet living. This we can do each day as we present our bodies, hearts, and minds as clean and holy to God.  

      Paul speaks of dying daily (1 Corinthians 15:31, Galatians 2:20) and Jesus says that we must take up our cross daily (Luke 9:23). Each day, we must offer ourselves to God spiritually, reckoning ourselves dead to sin and alive to God (Romans 6:11). We are alive because Christ has given us new life. We are holy because Christ has made us righteous in His perfect blood. Yet we are also to be sacrifices, living daily in practical holiness as we let God accomplish His good and perfect will in and through us. Paul summarized this mindset in Galatians 2:20 when he said, "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me." Galatians 5:24 echoes this theme saying, "Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." A holy, living sacrifice lets Christ have His way and daily reckons himself dead to sin and free to let Christ live out His will in and through him. Being a sacrifice implies a willingness to die. We may never have to physically die for being a Christian, but daily we do need to die to the flesh as we remember by faith that we have been bought with the blood of the perfect Lamb Who is working to perfect us also. When we yield to God, we can see just how alive we really are.

      May God in His mercy fashion us into those whose lives are pleasing to Him, and may we by faith let Him transform us from the ways of the world to the unblemished state of our Lord, the Lamb of God.

      Scripture Of The Day: "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." - Romans 12:1 (NASB)

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