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Living Sacrifices

by David Johnson

Transcribed from the Words of Life Radio Program

     I thank you for joining me as we look into the Word of God. The title for the lesson is: “Living Sacrifices.” And our primary text is just one verse in the New Testament, Romans chapter 12 and verse 1 “Therefore, I urge you brothers in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, wholly and pleasing to God. This is your spiritual act of worship.” A verse that is packed with power and important principles for all of us.

     Many years ago, in one of the congregations where I served a woman asked to meet with me. Briefly her concern was that she didn’t feel spiritually fulfilled. She explained that she was not satisfied, and had no peace, no joy. This is a rather common complaint. Countless numbers flock to various churches, conferences, seminars in search of personal benefits that they desire from God.

Some teach that victory in the Christian life necessarily means getting more of and from God.

Yet, consider these scriptural truths:

     The inspired apostle Peter writes unmistakably, clearly, that Christians need not ask God for something more, nor to search for something else, to enjoy the abundant life in Christ. We already have every spiritual resource needed to find fulfillment, peace, and joy.

So why do so very many still wander in a spiritual desert? Feeling unfulfilled, incomplete, even empty at times.

     Of course, first they indeed must be born-again, baptized, Spirit indwelt believers. Jesus stated in John chapter 3 and verse 5 “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.”

     John chapter 3 and verse 6 “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to Spirit.” Titus chapter 3 and verse 5 says in part “He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” So, indeed we must be born again, baptized and Spirit indwelt.

     However, even born-again, baptized believers often complain of being in a joyless, spiritual rut. Feelings of tedious, even dreary routine that just drag them down.

There’s the rub! Feelings! Yes, of course, we’re all human, we have feelings, we are emotional, we get down occasionally but are Christians to live enslaved to or feelings, to our emotions.

     Did the apostle Paul in Romans chapter 1 verse 17 write: “just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by feelings?’ No! The righteous will live by Faith!

Including faith, trusting, and believing the Word of God!

Remember? John chapter 10 and verse 10 “They may have life and have it to the full.”

Ephesians chapter 1 and verse 3 “every spiritual blessing in Christ.”

Colossians chapter 2 and verse 10 In the New American Standard Bible “in Him you have been made complete.”

Second Peter chapter 1 and verse 3 “given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him.”

     To be sure all of these truths will be perfected upon our glorification – which is yet future. But God’s word to us is that we should access and enjoy these truths of the abundant life in Christ now! And live it out by faith, not succumbing to negative defeated feelings constantly.

     There’s more…the lady that came to me stated that she was in search of her personally needed spiritual resources that she desired from God in order to feel full and complete.

     No consider this last text closely. Romans chapter 12 and verse 1 “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.” (Some Bible versions translate “your reasonable service.”) No let’s break this verse down:

     So, here is the main point: The key to spiritual victory, the key to spiritual vitality to the abundant life in Christ, to joy, to fulfillment is not always searching, struggling to get all we can from God. We have already been equipped with all the spiritual resources we need at salvation. Instead, it’s to give all that we are to God! Our service, our worship, to commit ourselves wholly to Him.

     How’s your spiritual pulse? Is it sluggish, on life support? The Christian life is about a personal, intimate, relationship: fellowship, first with God, and then to one another. If we can enrich that personal fellowship, intimate fellowship with God, the rest will come in the abundant life. We need to commit and live out offering ourselves as living sacrifices holy and pleasing to God each and every day. And if it’s not pleasing to God, we just don’t do it.

This is your spiritual act of worship. Living sacrifice!


David Johnson is minister of the Sellersburg Church of Christ and is the Speaker at Words of Life Radio.

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Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

2 corinthians 1:3-4