|Remarks on Righteousness:
|I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a
living sacrifice, holy acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be
conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may
prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. ~ Romans 12:1-2
The system of worship presented by Moses in the Old Testament called for a steady flow
of blood in the animal sacrifices which were required. That stream of blood was stopped
by the blood of Jesus Christ, which was the sacrifice to end all sacrifices.
However, there is a bloodless sacrifice that is required of Christians. It is not the death of
an animal, but the living sacrifice of a life that is holy and acceptable unto God. The blood
which flows through our veins is to be used in service to the Creator of all that is, and in
homage to His Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Our lives are to be acceptable to God. That is determined by His will, not ours. It is not
conformity to the will of man, to the peer pressure of those who surround us, to the
moors of society, to the tradition of our family or religious community; it is a mind, heart
and soul that is transformed by power of the gospel which is God’s power to save.
It is proving by doing what is good, and what is acceptable, and what is that perfect will of
God. The proof is in the doing.
That is reasonable. God has created us. He has given us life, and breath, and all good
things. Jesus gave up heaven to come to this earth to pay the price for our sins, that we
might not pay the price for our own sins. The love, the mercy, the grace that has been
granted to us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior requires a response. It is
reasonable, seeing what God and His Son have done for us, for us to respond in loving
obedience, making His will our own.
Our minds must be changed. Our thinking must be changed. The world approaches
things differently than God. The world is concerned with selfish motives: What does it do
for me? What does it profit me? Is it pleasurable? Does it feel good? The will of God
approaches things differently. The mind directed by the will of God asks different
questions: What does God say about it? Is it right? Does it please God? Does it serve the
cause of righteousness? Does it help others? It is an unselfish approach that is more
concerned about how it serves God and our fellow man rather than how it serves self.
It is not possible for the mind to be transformed except with reading, studying, perusing
and prayer. The Bible must be read daily. Its contents must be meditated upon. The will
of God must be prayed for. It calls for dedication. It calls for commitment. It calls for
courage. It calls for strength. It calls for patience. It calls for faith. The word of God
must take root in the mind and heart, and blossom in the thoughts, words and actions of
the child of God. Slowly but surely, the will of God overtakes the mind, making the
thoughts of God our thoughts, making the words of God our words, and making the
actions commanded by God the natural action of the Christian. As the caterpillar is
changed in the chrysalis into the butterfly, so the mind of the Christian is transformed from
a slug into an angel of light.
|A living sacrifice
~ Romans 12:1-4