He is determined to overcome every enemy.3. St. Paul had never yet visited Rome, and could not say as he said to the Thessalonians, "Remember ye not that when I was with you I told you of these things?" St. Paul held the body in high honour; but, on the other hand, there was no thought in his heart, when he spoke of the body as a sacrifice, of anything meritorious. "Your bodies" means yourselves. (2) We can now understand also the purpose of such a consecration. SOMETHING TO BE DONE. Where shall this holiness be sought?1. This verse begins the second part of the Epistle. Had the apostle been exhorting us to present our bodies as a sacrifice for guilt, the motives would have been drawn from the Divine justice. Love and reason, the mercies of God, and the judgment of man seem to be things far asunder, and yet here they are united in the apostle's argument.2. God wants no dead or formal offering, but real living service. On the other hand, many forget that the end of doctrine is life, and that therefore the most orthodox orthodoxy, divorced from practice, is like the dried flowers which botanists put between sheets of blotting-paper — the skeletons of dead beauty. Already the crown is ours — for what makes heaven? For God alone we play not the part of reasonable men. Hay Aitken, M.A. A road surveyor, who was just finishing the levelling and paving of a long stretch of street, asked me in an enthusiastic tone if I did not think it splendid. Acceptableness to God. Maclaren, D.D. The "sacrifice" here is the life indwelt, kindled, inspired, transformed by the fire of the Holy Spirit.II. Under the law the priest sacrificed the animal; the Christian must offer up himself. It requires that the thoughts of our minds, the affections of our hearts, the decisions of our wills, and the admonitions of our consciences should all be Christianised. Cut him off from certain things at which society is shocked, and there is your Christian: a creature with his heart hungering for the world as fiercely as ever. THE CONSECRATION TO WHICH WE ARE URGED. To search the Scriptures thoroughly, to make out their true sense, and not force our opinions on them, is a task which may involve many a sacrifice of time and thought and ease. Your father's will is that you should be in the garden playing with the others, but you have gone against your father's will, and now your father's will has gone against you.'" Considering their spiritual state, it was the most powerful motive which he could possibly employ. The term mercy as generally used denotes kindness shown, irrespective of character, but in the New Testament it designates favour done to the undeserving. Thus the first feelings of nature indicate his want of protection, and lead him to seek it from those whom he conceives more powerful than himself. The form is that of likeness to the image of the glory of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18). Personal. Yes; but in that small act of dying on the Cross the infinite Son of God was able to do the very same thing as the little child in that cottage. Every man is his own minister. Not white robes, not golden streets, not harps and anthems, but this only — the eternal harmony of wills; and we can have that down here. The sacrifice must not possess mere animal life, but must be instinct with the new life of holy sensibilities and spiritual principles to which the soul is "born again by the incorruptible seed of God's Word" and the power of the Spirit. Now what must He do in order that His love may take the form of self-sacrifice? The religious habits you now form are of immense moment to you. "You see," he added, "I am trying to put my Christianity into the streets I make." Our incense must burn continually before Him, and the sacrifice of our body, while we are in the body, never cease to be offered. There must be the presentation of the body to perfect the worship of the mind. With some religion is all feeling, all sentiment; with others it is a round of dull proprieties, or a scrupulous and painful performance of prescribed duties; with others it is cloistered communion; with others it is all a matter of reason and argument. "To work is to pray," if done from a right motive. Rationality, i.e., a service which rests on rational grounds, or one in which the reason is engaged. The sacrifice must not possess mere animal life, but must be instinct with the new life of holy sensibilities and spiritual principles to which the soul is "born again by the incorruptible seed of God's Word" and the power of the Spirit.IV. But the love of two human beings may not endure for ever But if we have come to know God's love in Christ, a love that does not depend for its existence or strength upon our love to Him, or upon the continuance of our love, but has its origin in infinite and eternal goodness, we have a motive for love and consecration which transcends all others that can affect the heart. WHAT SHOULD WE GIVE.1. But it enters within the body, cleanses our inner nature. Theirs presented the thing sacrificed dead; ours maketh the thing sacrificed to be alive. When Christianity dethroned the previous religions of the world, it immediately did that which proved its sovereign right to the position which it claimed. "If you please, sir, I haven't money enough to pay my fare. There are people that think they have done a meritorious thing in coming here to this service, and whose only notion of worship is a weary sitting in this place for an hour and a half. Of all the creatures that inhabit the world, man alone is the child of hope. Under the law the priest sacrificed the animal; the Christian must offer up himself. Self-dedication to God, or the consecration of ourselves to do His holy will.(D. I would give Him the best buildings, singers, preachers, but unless we give Him living service all else is but the painted flower. It is in that that I see the possibility and the progress of self-sacrifice and self-consecration. Custom, phrases bound up with some of our best affections, respect of persons or acquiescence in common usage, these are what truth compels us to surrender. They had to turn away from this, and to become members of little private societies, in which there was nothing of the kind. Yield yourselves a sacrifice in life, a sacrifice for life, a sacrifice rich in life. In the habitual exercise of that piety and devotion which religion inspires, we contemplate the ever-living source of all perfection and happiness; an object which fills the mind with pleasing astonishment, enlarges our views, elevates our sentiments and excites us to an imitation of that which we cannot but admire. Think how all things minister to him. Lyth, D.D. What is the worth of the land, however fruitful, and whatever title we may have to it, unless we can do something with it? The sacrifice of truth. But take it with all its difficulties and all the imperfections of the human agencies by which it has come down to us, and it is still true that no more reasonable service can be offered up by man to God than the study of the Scriptures. The antithesis is with the material sacrifices, and the Revised Version gives the true meaning in its marginal rendering "spiritual." how easy it is to say, "Thy will be done"! This sacrifice is "your reasonable service." "Your bodies." It is our reasonable service, which has been understood to point a contrast between the Christian sacrifice and those made prior to the Divine command, or those which are superstitious, or mechanical, or carnal. It is given under the form of a presentation.1. (2) Reconciliation to God. And then, oh! Now that you may be living sacrifices, it is necessary that you should be daily cleansed, bound, and burned.II. We are greater than they. )Personal consecration for Divine serviceW. We are not called upon to crush our desires, tastes, appetites, or to refrain from actions; only they are to be controlled and done in obedience to God. (Homiletic Magazine. If an unbeliever ask you to dine with him, and you are disposed to do so, go; only bear in mind that you are a Christian, and that whether you eat or drink, or whatsoever you do, you are to do all to the glory of God. Let us, then, from our hands, and feet, and mouth, and all our other members, yield a firstfruit unto God. Do not wait to be obliged, but come of your own accord. By the term "bodies" we are to understand the whole person. Think, then, that for our highest good we have to be besought! Years went by, and I had forgotten it all, until one day I was at a railway station, and saw a little lad crying. The terms of the text. But things are so wonderfully intermixed now that we do not know where the Church ends and where the world begins. That is what our sacrifice of ourselves should be — happy and making others happy, contented and making others contented, active and making others active, doing good and making others do good, by our vivid vitality — filling every corner of our own souls and bodies, and every corner of the circle in which we move, with the fresh life-blood of a genial Christian heart. Thomas, D.D.I. It cannot see, or hear, or move. 4. These are the two pillars on which the mercies of God are inscribed. He is determined to overcome every enemy.3. (2) On the other hand, the words imply that no feeling towards God is adequate worship. Is it the better for us? Thus the first feelings of nature indicate his want of protection, and lead him to seek it from those whom he conceives more powerful than himself. No man ever did it, not even Socrates at his best. In truth religion is the only reasonable life.Conclusion: Such is true priesthood.1. First right with God, then, and then only, right with all things. But will the fun of prosperity always shine unclouded and serene? You tell me you cannot come to Him. Once when I was a schoolboy going home for the holidays, I embarked at Bristol with just money enough to pay my fare, and thought in my innocence that that included meals. Other religions motive their devotees by the judgments and terror of their gods. Tyson.I. THE MOTIVE BY WHICH THE APOSTLE'S EXHORTATION IS URGED. M. Taylor, D.D. How to use the world.3. Adequate.(T. Not white robes, not golden streets, not harps and anthems, but this only — the eternal harmony of wills; and we can have that down here. "Look, then, upon yourselves as men who have already died with Christ, and who are now being burnt upon God's altar." (3) This sacrifice must be holy. If Christian ambition were just a refurbishing and regilding of this poor tarnished thing which sin and the fall has made us, I can well imagine noble hearts saying, "I will none of it. "Reasonable." . In the other sense the Christian places his offering by the altar that Christ may offer it up to God, and so make it acceptable. THE ENTREATY: "I beseech you." It is man yielding his members, as servants of iniquity, that gives power to the kingdom of darkness. (3) Love to God.II. THE OBEDIENCE OF FAITH IN ITS ADAPTATION TO THE STATE OF THE CHURCH MILITANT. (2) Thus to consecrate one's self is the way to secure a higher and a nobler life. "Here am I; send me." Tracing all these to the free mercy of God, he shows us the obligations under which we are thereby laid to dedicate ourselves to God. He was a man in earnest, and nothing quenched his zeal; and this one man's zeal sufficed to carry the standard of the Cross in all directions. There are indeed particular seasons when the sacrifice should be formally presented; but "whether we eat or drink, or whatsoever we do," we must "do all to the glory of God. Under the law the priest sacrificed the animal; the Christian must offer up himself. THE RESULT OF THIS CONSECRATION. Granted the apostle's premises, no one can deny the rationality of this his conclusion. 1. The ear is deaf to the voice of God, calling us to Paradise again. There never was a time when there were so many man-made, church-made Christians. )Consecrated and transformedMark Guy Pearse.The key of this chapter is found in the preceding verse. In an instant he was in the sea, and soon both were again on deck. This holiness includes —(a)Full and perpetual dedication to Divine service. The word "therefore" connects the exhortation with the preceding argument of the apostle, and without referring to that you cannot understand what are the mercies to which he especially refers. To every one who hears the gospel.(W. Reason tells us that we ought to be thankful for favours generously bestowed upon us. The wise men brought Him presents; why should not we?II. You are to present your eyes by turning them away from objects which may excite concupiscence, or fill you with the workings of unholy passion. Of, through, and to God, was the rhythmic flow of his whole being. THE LEADING MOTIVE OF THE GOSPEL.1. Or he might have reminded them how just and right it was, or how advantageous. Invite Him, then, to come to you. Are not Levites, but Christian believers, renewed in the spirit of their minds.(J. I despise your decencies and decorum." )Personal sacrificeD. And so we shall cease to be conformed to this world, and become transformed by the progressive renewal of our minds till we learn by experience that the will of God is good, and acceptable, and perfect.III. He created the worlds; but something greater than creation is here. Binney.We have here —I. With that mercy kindling his soul he asks, What acknowledgment can we make? (Dean Stanley. selves — our bodies, including our souls; and God will be pleased with nothing else. The battle with former habits cannot he completely fought out at once, but the victory is won at last because the battle has been faithfully fought under the inspiration of a love that has been stronger than all his other passions. But besides this negative abstinence outwardly, there is to be a positive opening and development of the mind and affections towards that brighter world of Divine truth and goodness, to which it becomes us to be conformed. (Jonathan Crowther. "Present" applies to the worshipper who places his victim by the altar and to the priest who officially makes the presentation, in either of which senses the word would be suitable here. Every thing by sacrifice not lost, but turned into higher life. Hence sin is identified with folly, and wisdom constantly defined as being the fear of God and the keeping of His commandments.2. Soldiers, too, on the eve of some great battle, must, if they reasoned at all, have felt that they were sacrificing themselves in the literal cease of the apostle's words. And then, oh! Lyth, D.D.I. Well, then, if you are really wishing to be a Christian; and if you find something which is injurious to you — you are not to enter into the question whether it is injurious to your neighbour; if you find it injurious to you do not be conformed to it. There is no law in the universe more powerful than that of love. "Here am I," it mutters, "so far away from Him who made me, without any beauty of form, or richness of colour, or sweetness of smell! When Christianity dethroned the previous religions of the world, it immediately did that which proved its sovereign right to the position which it claimed. ; because there was no merit there was no salvation. Yes; but in that small act of dying on the Cross the infinite Son of God was able to do the very same thing as the little child in that cottage. Our relations to God being spiritual cannot always be realised with the same intensity as our visible relations. Now, it is not a bad thing that we should have to do with the physical world; but what effect is our bodies producing upon this world? Although it is a living sacrifice, it is a sacrifice READY FOR DEATH, should God require it. 0. "No, indeed," replies the earth, "it is all I have got, and I will keep it for myself." The Whole Bible But you are not to take them by themselves. One reason why there are not more Christians is because so few have entered into the thought of the inward fire which alone can make the outward surface aught but a delusion or a hypocrisy. "Be not conformed to this world." There is no need in this generation to preach against asceticism. Luke-Acts There is a provision to meet your weakness.(T. Can you not conceive him saying, "Well, now, you know you were not made for that"? The New Testament "What is the matter, my lad?" But that diminishes the force of the original. He must attend classes, scorn delights, and live laborious days. Lyth, D.D.I. We shall know more of God a great deal than we shall know of each other. And this sacrifice will become visible in the sacrifice of the body, when in all common actions we have a supreme and distinct reference to His will, and do, or refuse to do, because of the fear and for the sake of the Lord. It is but just to God to require what is due to Himself. We avoid what our friends already have, or what would be unacceptable, and find out what they would like. Though the body is the instrument, yet the mind is that which we always consider as acting. WHY SHOULD WE GIVE IT.1. (3) Acceptable to God. Your bodies are like precious caskets containing the more precious jewels of your souls and spirits. Is it the better for us? Here then is a sublime feast for the human intellect as well as for the human heart. "This won't do," said I, gravely; "you must stand in the corner until you come to a better mind." Scripture speaks of us as offering up "spiritual sacrifices," as being ourselves "a royal priesthood." Trust not works. "Why," says the apostle, "if you are not to come in contact with certain persons, you might just as well be out of the world." Then came the explanation — how that some years before some little kindness had been shown by my father to his widowed mother." If he can learn to love hard work and stern self-discipline he shall become at length what his first ambition aimed at. Why should we give presents to every one but Him? So soon as the offering was made they were dead sacrifices. Howels. The manner in which this sacrifice must be presented. David Guzik :: Génesis 14 – Abram Rescata a Lot y Conoce a Melquisedec, G1 - alpha - Strong's Greek Lexicon (KJV), David Guzik :: Hechos 9 – La Conversión de Saulo de Tarso, David Guzik :: 1 Corintios 7 – Principios Sobre el Matrimonio y la Soltería, A Summary of Each Bible Book - Study Resources, Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for Matthew 7:6, David Guzik :: Génesis 3 – La tentación y caída del hombre, Jehovah's Witnesses, Jesus and the Holy Trinity (Walter Martin), Ezekiel 36-39 (1979-82 Audio) (Chuck Smith), Revelation 10-12 (1982-85 Audio) (Chuck Smith), 2 Chronicles 14-18 (1979-82 Audio) (Chuck Smith). In its ancient sense Christianity rejected it altogether; but in a higher sense Christianity is, above all others, a religion of sacrifice. If asked which is the most glorious, the obedience of vision above, or the obedience of faith below, I should be obliged to say I cannot tell. None can offer the sacrifice for him. My story is the illustration of the law of God's great kindness that runs through all things. Note —1. Here lies the earth, and it says: "I have got in me some strength. Now recollect it is one leading design of the revelation of mercy to humble her haughty looks, and to level all her lofty pretensions in the dust, and to draw her deluded votary to the feet of the Saviour, as an eternal debtor to free mercy, for wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and complete redemption (1 Corinthians 1:4, 5, 30, 31). Conclusion: And now here is a thing to be done. The dispensation under which we are living richly blends justice with mercy. Our intellects are destined to travel much further into the moral than into the natural perfections of Jehovah; whence we see that those who spurn the religion of Jesus Christ insult their intellects as well as their hearts; robbing themselves at the same time of the sublimest pleasures God Himself has to confer upon any of His creatures. They only can present —(1) "A living sacrifice." He has offered the dying sacrifice which is propitiation, in order that, on the footing of that, we may offer the eucharistic sacrifice of grateful surrender of ourselves to Him.2. He felt convinced when he was conquering himself and his pride and the world, he was able thus to conquer through simple trust. THE MOTIVE of the sacrifice: "the mercies of God" — the most cogent motive that can possibly influence a Christian soul.II. Remember that the expiatory sacrifice has gone before, and by virtue of it only are we priests unto God (Revelation 1:5, 6). A teacher cannot save his class, nor a minister his congregation, nor a mother her child.2. Binney. Our whole nature consists of body, soul, and spirit. So, then, we are called upon to present our bodies to God in useful service, and to take heed that it is not withheld or impaired by indolence, allowance of evil habit, or lack of self-discipline.II. "I sha'n't," rang out a little voice. How is this to be done? It is in this obedience we are preserved; and obedience is salvation on this side eternity.2. And what a pure earthly love is able to accomplish for a man, shall not the love of God in Christ accomplish for us?2. Lyth, D.D.1. Take, e.g., its treatment of sacrifice, so universal in the old, religions. The law of the universe, the great march of all things is from God, through God, to God. Cut him off from certain things at which society is shocked, and there is your Christian: a creature with his heart hungering for the world as fiercely as ever. THE SUMMARY OF CHRISTIAN DUTY. Lukewarm and backsliding brethren, my text shows you what you ought to be, and indirectly what you are. If you gain all of the glory of the world, if you gain all the fame in the world, if you gain all of the wealth of the world, how long will it last? These mercies are also the only motive power that will be strong enough to lead to this consecration of ourselves to Him. The apostle's personal influence. "If any man will do His will, he shall know," etc. And what use are cattle and sheep, except as they clothe and feed us? But how can we dare to lay any such sacrifices upon His altar? This is to be the result of the test in the personal experience. They had to turn away from this, and to become members of little private societies, in which there was nothing of the kind. I told him. Tyson. "( Chrysostom. ; because there was no merit there was no salvation. On the one side were the idolatry, godless philosophy, and vicious habits of heathen society; on the other a little flock, bearing the marks of that holiness which the Christian faith was designed to produce. The Jewish victims could be offered only once, but the Christian sacrifice continues while the life lasts. — thy high parentage! "That ye may prove," etc. Be not wise in your own conceits. THE SEAT OF OUR PHYSICAL SENSIBILITIES — those which are acted upon by the sense of pain, pleasure, lassitude, etc. But you are not to take them by themselves. and for what? And then, oh! Yes; but in that small act of dying on the Cross the infinite Son of God was able to do the very same thing as the little child in that cottage. but, Does it interfere with the work of the Holy Spirit within me, and the fulfilment of the mind of God in my life?II. Is self-sacrifice reasonable or unreasonable? God complained that His people gave Him the blind and lame. "Present your bodies a living sacrifice." 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