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God’s mercy is great, and He shows us His great mercy because of His great and sacrificial love for us. It is because of God’s mercy that He does not abandon us, and that we are able to come boldly into His presence without fear of retribution. The fact is, God delights in showing us His mercy.
Welcome to The Point of Purity Podcast. I’m your host, Steve Etner, Author, National Speaker, and Purity Coach for The Pure Man Ministry. This is episode #67, and in this episode, we are going to take a look at what the Apostle Paul means when he says, “In view of God’s mercy, offer your body as a living sacrifice to God.” So, grab your bibles, open them to Romans 12:1 and let’s talk about “The Offering!”
In Romans 12 :1 the Apostle Paul writes, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of god’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.” Now think about this – Paul isn’t saying here, “Wow. It would be great if you could offer your body daily to God. You really ought to think about doing that.” No, He says, “I urge you.” In other words, “I am calling you to my side to lovingly admonish you, to beseech you, to exhort you – this is of utmost importance – offer your body every moment of every day to God as a living sacrifice.”
Paul is speaking with urgency here because of an understanding of God’s mercy. “Mercy” is a word that refers to compassion and pity. It has been said that His mercy is, “God not giving us what we deserve.” No think about that for a moment. “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” (Titus 3:5) Peter puts it this way in 1 Peter 1:3, “In (God’s) great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
We deserve death, not life. Romans 3:23 clearly states that the wages of our sin – the paycheck we deserve to receive because of our sin – is death (eternal separation from a Holy God). Yet God, in his mercy, yet God in His great compassion and pity has declared that anyone who believes on His Son will not receive the death they deserve but will have eternal life. Paul put it this way: “I received mercy for this reason, that in me ... Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.” (1 Timothy 1:16).
And so Paul writes in Romans 12:1, “in view of God’s mercy,” because of the fact that God has not given you what you deserve, Paul urges you to offer your body to God. His call is for every believer to dedicate every aspect of themselves without reservation to the Lord.
Let me emphasize the fact that this exhortation is given only to the born-again believer. Paul calls us “brothers” in Romans 12:1. You see, “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)
Only the born-again believer can present their body as a living sacrifice to God because only the Christian can come boldly before the throne of God with such an offering. The unsaved haven’t yet recognized their need, and accepted God’s gracious gift of washing and renewing by the Word and the Spirit. They are not presentable before God because they have not yet confessed their sin, acknowledged the death, burial, and resurrection of the Son of God – Jesus Christ – and put their faith and trust in the cleansing, saving power of the blood of Jesus shed on the cross of Calvary. In short, an unsaved person cannot serve or worship God in any way that would be even remotely acceptable to Him.
OK. So, let’s focus our attention for a moment on the fact that you and I are to daily “offer” our bodies to God. The word “offer” (as Paul uses it in Romans 12:1) is a technical term that was used to describe the way a priest places an offering on the altar with the intention of surrendering or yielding it up to God. Anytime something was placed on an altar, it was for the purpose of sacrifice – willingly putting it to death, giving ownership up.
As a Christian, ‘you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:5) As a child of God, you are considered a “priest,” and, as such, you are to offer – to daily yield – your body as a living sacrifice to God. This is your priestly act of worship. You are called by God to make your body available every day of your life for God to use in whatever way or capacity He desires.
So, this begs the question: why present our BODIES as a sacrifice to God? Think about it this way; imagine you are driving down the road in a vehicle that desperately needs an alignment. You have to constantly fight with the steering wheel just to keep the car going down the right side of the road. The moment you let go of the steering wheel, the vehicle naturally veers off to the right or to the left (depending on which way it’s out of alignment) placing you at a very high risk for a serious accident. Truth be told, your car doesn’t care what happens to its occupant. It doesn’t care if it takes you into oncoming traffic, off into a corn field, or even off the edge of a cliff. It just doesn’t care. It goes where it wants to go because it has a natural bent to go that way.
This is much the same with your body. You see, when you look in the mirror you are not seeing the real you. Yes, I know you’re seeing a reflection, but that’s not my point here. If you were able to stand in front of me right now, looking at me and I at you, the fact is you would not be seeing the real me, nor I the real you. Here’s what I mean. Your body is not you. It’s simply the car that God has given you to drive through life in. Your soul is the real you. Whenever your body dies, your soul will continue on for eternity – either in Heaven or Hell based you’re your acceptance or rejection of Jesus Christ. So, because of sin, the natural bent of your body is to give in to sinful temptations. Your body doesn’t care what happens to your soul. It doesn’t care whom you hurt. It doesn’t care if your sinful choices destroy your marriage, ruin your family, sour your testimony, or devastate your life. All it knows is I want what I want and I want it right now!
If you allow it, your body can, and will, frustrate the desires of your new nature to please God. Your body is still the beachhead of sin. It is permanently out of alignment; and if left to its own, it will steer you wrong every time. As long as you are alive here on planet earth, your redeemed new nature will reside in a sinful body of flesh that can readily give in to sinful thoughts and longings. There is a constant battle going on between the flesh (your car that’s permanently out of alignment) and your soul, your new nature. Paul puts it this way in Galatians 5:17, “The desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”
In Romans 6:12 we read, “do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.” Let’s park here on this verse for a moment because I find it interesting that Paul uses the word “not” which is an absolute negation. He writes “do NOT let sin reign in your body.” In other words, in no way or at any time is this to ever happen. Sin must never be allowed to reign in your body – ever.
A second interesting fact in this verse is that the words “let reign” – do not LET sin REIGN – refers to exercising kingly power over someone. If you do not submit control of your body over to God’s Holy Spirit in your new nature, sin will walk all over you. Never lose sight of the fact that your flesh desires to be king, reigning over your new nature, and dictating what you will and will not do. If you allow sin to rule in your body, you will end up obeying it instead of God. You see, as God warned Cain (in Genesis 4:7) so He is also warning us that sin desires to have you, but you must master it.
Let me draw your attention once again to Romans 6:12. “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you OBEY its passions.” Think with me for a moment about the word “obey.” To obey is to listen to the command of another and then do what you have been told. When you obey your flesh, you are choosing – willfully making the conscious choice – to deny God’s truth and ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit, favoring the sinful desires of your flesh.
The word Paul uses for “desires” (sometimes translated “passions”) refers to those cravings and longings for that which God has forbidden – the things you, as a born-again believer, as a child of the Living God, should not have or do. Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and (King Me).” (Matthew 6 24) You are faced with a choice daily. God’s command is that you make the choice every day to not let sin reign, otherwise you will end up obeying its evil desires and conversely disobeying the commands of your Heavenly Father. The way you make that choice is to offer your body as a living sacrifice every day. Daily choosing to yield to God’s will and God’s way for your life.
Romans 6:16 says, “don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey – whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness.” You make choices throughout each day that reveal who you are yielding to in obedience. So the question I want you to be asking yourself is this: Do I let sin reign so that I obey its desires, or do I choose to say “no” to ungodliness, and choose instead to live by the Spirit in faithful obedience to God?
The bottom line is that “those who obey His commands live in Him, and He in them. And this is how we know that He lives in us: We know it by the Spirit He gave us.” (1 John 3:24) Love for God (watch this now) – love for God is demonstrated when you willingly choose to “0bey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3). As a born-again believer, as a child of God, as a Christian – oh my friend, listen to me – God has given you His Spirit to direct you and give you the strength to obey Him ... to accomplish all that He has commanded and desires for you. The choice is yours!
If you would like to learn more about this topic, let me encourage you to do two things.
First, go to Amazon.com and purchase my book called “Overcoming Temptation: 4 Steps to Spiritual Victory.” You see, saying “No” to temptation and choosing to live an upright and godly life is a daily decision you must make. Every time you are faced with a temptation, you are also faced with a decision: Do I give in, or do I stand firm in my faith and fight it? Do I yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit and live to glorify God, or do I focus on King Me and give in to my fleshly desires?
This book “Overcoming Temptation: 4 Steps to Spiritual Victory” presents, in a very clear and practical way, how to live a life that is holy and pure, how to say no to sin and live by the Spirit in a way that glorifies your creator, your Savior, your Heavenly Father. Again, the title of this book is “Overcoming Temptation: 4 Steps to Spiritual Victory.” You can find it on Amazon.com or on my website (ThePurityCoach.com) in our Resources section.
The second thing I would encourage you to do is download my free App. Just go to your App store and search for “My Purity Coach.” The app is free and is chocked full of all kinds of helps and resources to guide you as you walk by the Spirit. Again, that free app is called “My Purity Coach.”
If this Point of Purity podcast has been a blessing to you, if it’s ministered to you, encouraged you, challenged your walk with Christ, would you please join our team of Point of Purity Partners as we impact our world by equipping and training men and women how-to live-in purity, godliness, and integrity. Your financial support of any amount to this ministry will go a long way toward helping men and women find the victory and freedom that only Christ can – and will – give!
To give your tax deductible gift to this ministry today, simply go to ThePurityCoach.com and click on the Donate button in the upper right corner. And thank you for partnering with us!
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So, until next time this is Author, Speaker, and Purity Coach Steve Etner reminding you that if you are going to glorify God in your everyday living, He must first be glorified in your every moment thinking.