Romans 12:1-2 - What does it mean to be a living sacrifice? (2023)

Romans 12:1-2 –Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your body as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God: this is your true and proper worship.Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but let the renewing of your mind transform you. Then he will be able to examine and confirm God's will, his good, pleasing and perfect will.

The first word we see in this passage is "therefore." The beginnings of these verses and the last part of Romans are based on everything he taught in the first eleven chapters. Romans can be divided into two sections. The first section of eleven chapters is the Doctrine. The second section is for practical use. Why did Paul teach all these doctrines? It is not just to broaden our knowledge or prepare for some bible quiz games. These teachings demand a response. So what do they have to do with us? The answer is EVERYTHING!

point 1– We must respond with sacrifices

In verse 1 we see that Paul urges his readers to offer themselves as a living and holy sacrifice. Think for a minute about what Paul's listeners would have thought when they heard the word sacrifice. They would have associated this with an animal sacrifice. The Romans also practiced this so they too would be familiar with this concept. The animals gave their real lives as an offering to God. Paul uses this image but says that we are to present ourselves as a living sacrifice. God may not require us to die for him (although he sometimes does), but he does require something much more difficult. He asks us to live for him. We must die to ourselves and live for Him every day. We must give all of our being, all of our hearts, all of our love, all of our talents, all of our energy, and all of our strength to serve Him. He doesn't ask for something small like simply donating a little money to charity, wearing Christian jewelry, buying blankets for the poor, or going to church. He also doesn't mean just something life changing. Has God asked you to go to Mongolia and translate the Bible into a minority language there? If that's your application of this message, great! But a living sacrifice is actually more than that, something much more difficult. He asks each of us to serve him in a thousand little things each day. He asks us to die to ourselves and live for Him in every little decision we make, every minute, every day, throughout our lives.

I don't know about you, but I love food. I often have four meals a day. Sometimes I go to the kitchen at night and prepare a late-night snack. Before I go, I could ask my wife if she's hungry. She replies, "I shouldn't eat late at night." So I make popcorn. I understand it well Hot. With butter. A pinch of salt. Some Parmesan cheese shakes. Add some nacho cheese flavor. I settle in with my bowl of popcorn and my wife walks in, "Wow, that smells so good" and she starts to eat.

Here is a choice for me. Will I sacrifice the popcorn? Or will I defend my right to eat everything by myself? Although it is a small thing, it requires real sacrifices.

You might hear that and go, "That's ridiculous! I could easily share popcorn." Great! But what is it hard for you to sacrifice? In what area do you find it hard to die to yourself?

Do you have to sacrifice some income to have more time to serve the Lord?

Do you have to sacrifice sleeping in to have more time to read God's Word before going to work?

Do you have to sacrifice your own comfort and popularity to share the good news with a lost friend?

The list can be continued at will. Because God is calling us to sacrifice every... every... day. Luke 16:10 says, "He who is faithful in a little is also faithful in much." It is also true that he who sacrifices little will also sacrifice much. You know the saying “practice makes perfect”. If you practice selflessness in little things every day, it will be much easier to say "yes" when God asks you to make a big sacrifice for Him.

It also says that it is a holy sacrifice. We don't have much time to discuss this point today, but one way to sacrifice ourselves to God is to give up our sinful pleasures.

point 2– We sacrificed ourselves because he sacrificed himself

That is not easy. Someone might look at this and say, "Why? Why should I sacrifice myself for God? I'm looking for number 1." Paul gives us the answer. He says, "by God's mercy." Some translations say "in view." of God's mercy." It is because of what God has done for us. He does not ask us to do anything He is not willing to do. Jesus gave his life as the ultimate sacrifice. He also gives us His Word, His Spirit, our life, our church, and countless blessings: rain, sun, oxygen. If the Creator sacrifices itself for creation, shouldn't creation sacrifice itself for the Creator? Imagine for a minute that you've racked up a huge gambling debt by sneaking into Las Vegas. It's so big that your whole family and your future will be in financial chaos. There's no hope you'll ever be able to pay it off. A friend has way more money than you ever imagined. He pays your debts for you. How would you react? What sacrifices would you make for him? If he asked you to help him, would you do it! They would be delighted to offer to babysit your children. They would love to go to his house and clean and paint it. In view of his mercy towards you, you would gladly make sacrifices for him.

point 3– Sacrifice is worship

Paul says that the offering of your body as a living and holy sacrifice is your "spiritual ministry of worship." Read Revelation 7:9-12. "9After that I looked, and before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and tongue, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They wore white robes and held palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out with a loud voice:"Salvation is of our God,who sits on the throneand the lamb."
11 All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying:"Amen!praise and honorand wisdom and grace and honorand the power and the strength
be our God forever and ever. AMen!””

This is God's final vision. He created us for the purpose of worshiping him. This is our highest calling, our highest goal. What is the main task of man?

It is glorifying God and enjoying him forever. If I were to ask what comes to mind first when I mention “worship”, for many it would probably be Sunday morning “praise and worship time”. So our main goal is to glorify God forever, and we do it by worshiping God 20 minutes a week during praise and worship time? Is not sufficient.

These twenty minutes are a place where we can practice worship together. But we must practice personal worship. The entire Sunday service is a time to worship God. And we see in this verse that when we present ourselves as a living sacrifice to God, we worship him. We must worship him all week. We worship him through our behavior, not just our words.

Isaiah 29:13, „13The Lord says:"These people approach me with their mouthsand honor me with their lips,but their hearts are far from me.your adoration for mebased on purely human rules that were taught to them.”

Worshiping God is equal to glorifying God. And we glorify God when we choose his way over ours. What would you have said if I had started my sermon by saying, "I worship God by sharing popcorn with my wife?" And I've thought about it :) But that statement is true. And the conclusion that we worship God every day in the small decisions we make to serve him is the only logical conclusion we can draw from this passage.

So imagine not sacrificing on these little decisions during the week (I know it's really hard to imagine, but try it). You choose yourself instead of serving God. You live for your own desires instead of glorifying God. But then you shout praises to God on Sunday during praise and worship time at church. How do you think God could see this? I think he would see it the same way he saw the Jews in Isaiah 29:13, which means, “This people comes to me with their mouths and honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. ”

We must not separate worship time in our minds from the rest of our lives. Every moment of every day is worship time. As Billy Graham said, "The highest form of worship is the worship of selfless Christian service." Praise God?

  • Changing your baby's dirty diaper with a good attitude is an act of worship.
  • Waiting for the bus without complaining is an act of worship.
  • Talking nicely to bureaucrats, even when they don't help, is an act of worship.
  • Looking away from an immodest woman and praying for her is an act of worship.
  • And yes, sharing popcorn is an act of worship.

If you are reading today and you are not a believer, the most important thing to remember is that Jesus sacrificed himself for you. He will show you mercy if you come to him.

For believers, that means being a follower of Jesus. It's not just about going to church or praying before eating. It is about living a life of worship to God through personal sacrifice and holiness. We are running short. With so many little choices, we choose to be selfish. Let's close with a moment of silent prayer. Ask God to forgive your selfishness and help you become a living sacrifice to Him.


What does it mean to live as a living sacrifice? ›

Paul tells us in Romans 12:1-2 what being a “living sacrifice” involves and then what the results of such living are. The essence of this idea of sacrifice is that we are to be willing to offer ourselves to God. The truest sacrifice we can make is to try and live according to His purposes for our lives.

What does Romans 12 1 2 teach us? ›

Romans 12:1–2 answers the question, ''How should we respond to God's great mercy to us? '' The answer is to become living, breathing sacrifices, using our lives up in service to God as an ongoing act of worship. That's what makes sense.

Where in the Bible does it say present your body a living sacrifice? ›

12. [1] 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.

What does it mean to sacrifice your life for God? ›

Sacrifice means giving to the Lord whatever He requires of our time, our earthly possessions, and our energies to further His work. The Lord commanded, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).

What sacrifices does God want from us? ›

God wants us to offer ourselves wholeheartedly, living for him with every part of our being. Jesus, you offered yourself for my sake. Help me to offer myself to live for you. May I act with justice, mercy, and humility, as you did.

What is the deeper meaning of sacrifice? ›

: to suffer loss of, give up, renounce, injure, or destroy especially for an ideal, belief, or end. 3. : to sell at a loss. 4. : to advance (a base runner) by means of a sacrifice bunt.

What does Romans 12 2 teach us? ›

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

What is the message in Romans 12 1? ›

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your true and proper worship” (12:1). Since God is giving us mercy, we should submit ourselves to him.

What is the main point of Romans 12? ›

Romans 12 highlights the social and community aspects of salvation. Paul was not writing to an individual but to the community of Christians in Rome, and his constant concern is their life together—with a special emphasis on their work.

What is the meaning of sacrifice according to the Bible? ›

1. To make an offering of; to consecrate or present to a divinity by way of expiation or propitiation, or as a token acknowledgment or thanksgiving; to immolate on the altar of God, in order to atone for sin, to procure favor, or to express thankfulness; 2.

What are the 5 types of sacrifice? ›

These five sacrifices elaborate one's socio-ecological responsibilities are such as: (1) Rrushi Yajnya- (sacrifices for the source of knowledge - teachers), (2) Pitru Yajnya (responsibility for the parents, ancestors and self genetic system), (3) Deva Yajnya (protection for the environmental powers as Gods), (4) Bhoota ...

What does Jesus say in the Bible about cremation? ›

There is next-to-nothing mentioned about cremation in the Bible. Both Old and New Testament passages refer to burial as the standard practice for the Israelites and the early Christians. Rather than seen as a standard for most people of biblical times, cremation was often a form of punishment.

What is the perfect sacrifice of God? ›

God sent Jesus to be a perfect sacrifice for your sins. Scripture says, “But our High Priest (Jesus) offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God's right hand.” Hebrews 10:12 NLT.

What are examples of sacrifice? ›

  • She's had to sacrifice a lot for her family.
  • He sacrificed his personal life in order to get ahead in his career.
  • I want to follow a diet that is healthful without sacrificing taste.
  • She was able to ask for their help without sacrificing her dignity.
  • They sacrificed their lives [=they died] for their country.

Why is sacrifice so important? ›

Sacrifice is a celebration of life, a recognition of its divine and imperishable nature. In the sacrifice the consecrated life of an offering is liberated as a sacred potency that establishes a bond between the sacrificer and the sacred power.

What is sacrifice answer in one sentence? ›

sacrifice verb (GIVE UP)

to give up something for something else considered more important: He sacrificed his vacations to work on his book.

What is acceptable sacrifice? ›

The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

What is a sacrificial life? ›

Sacrificial living means giving our time, talents, and resources for the benefit of others. For most of us, that will be lived out in our ordinary everyday lives, in our ordinary everyday homes, families, churches, and workplaces.

What does the miracle of the Paralysed man teach us? ›

This miracle shows the beginning of the on-going conflict between Jesus and the religious authorities. Jesus was in Capernaum teaching a large crowd when he was interrupted by four determined men who were bringing their friend to be healed.

What does it mean that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us? ›

Perhaps Romans 8:26-27 “suggests that God gets in touch with our suffering, but does so in a way that maintains his freedom and holiness. Intercession implies, first, a distance between suffering believers and God that must be overcome and, second, a mediating party who bridges the gap.

What does it mean to renew your mind Romans 12 2? ›

Simply stated, renewing your mind according to Romans 12:2 means interpreting life through the lens of God's Word and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, rather than through the lens of your experience, woundedness, trauma, preferences, or the opinions of others.

What does it mean that Holy Spirit will teach you all things? ›

“All things” here means all things about Christ's person and work. The role of the Holy Spirit was as an instructor who would enable the apostles to write Scripture and have the necessary information to establish the church. The teaching here also included things that Jesus did not teach during His public ministry.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Twana Towne Ret

Last Updated: 11/30/2023

Views: 6298

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (64 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Twana Towne Ret

Birthday: 1994-03-19

Address: Apt. 990 97439 Corwin Motorway, Port Eliseoburgh, NM 99144-2618

Phone: +5958753152963

Job: National Specialist

Hobby: Kayaking, Photography, Skydiving, Embroidery, Leather crafting, Orienteering, Cooking

Introduction: My name is Twana Towne Ret, I am a famous, talented, joyous, perfect, powerful, inquisitive, lovely person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.