A Living Sacrifice

God begs us by His mercies to present our bodies (plural) a living sacrifice (singular), holy, acceptable unto Him. (Rom 12:1) This isn’t a call to personal sanctification; it’s a call to a corporate sanctification, one which presumes intense, progressive personal sanctification in every member. It’s our only rational response to God.

Crab Nebula, Hubble

To present our bodies as part of a living sacrifice, we must agree with a group of believers to offer ourselves up together to God to do with us as He pleases, totally given over to His will. This presumes that every member is already seeking to fully align themselves with God as individuals.

To discern His will for our particular assembly, we must submit to being transformed by God together (Ro 12:2), resisting the world’s expectation of religion, renewed in a common mind and purpose. (1Co 1:10)

This can only happen if we’re established in community on the foundation: Jesus Christ. We must be meeting together for Jesus, in Jesus, by Jesus and because of Jesus, hearing Jesus and being taught by Jesus in and through each other (Ep 4:21), in order to help each other know Jesus and walk with Jesus. (Php 3:10) In doing so we become a dwelling, a residence of the living God, as He incarnates Himself anew, to tabernacle on Earth again in and through us. (2Co 6:16) Nothing else will do.

Because this life of God is so amazing, beautiful and powerful (1Co 14:25), religion inevitably tries to imitate it, but only God can build His church (Mt 16:18), the tangible expression of His Being (Eph 5:30), unleashing His power to do His will, uniquely for His glory.

If you ever find Him doing this again, this side of Heaven, what would you not give, my dear soul, to taste Him there?

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4 thoughts on “A Living Sacrifice”

  1. In western culture, where we are constantly thinking about ourselves as individuals, in isolation, it is so easy to entirely miss what God is saying here. What opened my eyes to this was the mismatch between the singular and the plural: “that ye (plural) present your bodies (plural) a living sacrifice (singular).”

    Once I saw it there, I began to see it elsewhere: “Be ye (plural) transformed by the renewing of your (plural) mind (singular), that ye (plural) may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will (singular) of God.”

  2. It is in passages such as these where the KJV is most helpful, as it maintains the distinction between the singular (thee, thou, thine) and plural (ye, you, your) second person pronouns.

  3. This insight ties the early part of the chapter in with the rest: “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.” (vs 4-5)

  4. To meet for Jesus is to meet at His direction, for His pleasure, to serve His purpose.

    To meet in Jesus is to be abiding in Him as we meet, regenerated by His Spirit, one with Him and as an intrinsic part of His body.

    To meet by Jesus is to be enabled to meet together according to His design.

    To meet because of Jesus is to be motivated to meet through what Jesus Christ has done, and wills to do, for us and for others.

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