1Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Two verses, a whole lot of explanation. When I first read the first verse years ago, I thought to myself, “a living and holy sacrifice, that sounds good!” I’ve remembered it ever since, but struggle daily to live it out.
This is where Paul turns the tone of his message and talks about how to LIVE saved. Our pastor likes to distinguish between being saved, and living saved. It’s something we need to hear and we need to hear it often. “but I’m saved, and the bible says I don’t HAVE to do anything more than that.” No, you don’t HAVE to do anything more, but you get to and quite frankly, why wouldn’t you want to? It’s like getting married and after your wedding day, you never see, communicate with, or interact with your spouse again. Remember, life as a Christian is a relationship with Christ, not something on a “to do” list.
I’ll be honest and say I didn’t quite get this till I fully repented and was baptized. I was “saved” at age 10 and lived a life of struggle and misery until I fully repented 16 years later. We look at the bible at a glance and look at all these rules and regulations. We sigh relief when we see there’s nothing we can do, “for we all fall short of the glory of God.” by accepting Christ’s forgiveness, we don’t have to worry about eternal damnation, now I don’t have to worry about my sins and I can go on doing whatever I want, right? Not quite.
The phrase “to present” is worded specifically that way because we are not required to live that way. Paul is telling us that it is voluntary. “Living saved” isn’t a commandment, it’s a choice. Remember: not cause we have to, but because we get to!
You see, as we work on our relationship with God and make it stronger, our minds are renewed, our actions conform to actions more glorifying to God. As we live these things out, we serve and glorify Him. People begin to notice there is a Way about you. the things of this world no longer concern you as much and because of that, you are able to focus more on God. Instead of worrying about your finances, your kids, your house, your job, you worry more about how you are serving God right now this second and he takes care of everything else.
Don’t believe me? Look around. Notice how easy it is to pick out what our society calls a “practicing Christian”? It’s not because you see them walking into a church on Sundays. It’s how they live. How they act, speak, smile. It’s not fake. We Christians don’t go out acting all good and then come home and behave the way we used to.
If you choose not to live saved, to own your salvation and show the benefits of it, why did you even join the club? By not living saved, anyone is asking for a life of turmoil and burdens. I did it for years and looking back I see how foolish I was. I clung to the things of the world and dismissed it all by saying “I’m saved”. I neglected to unleash the power of a Holy and Sovereign God who as I live for Him, lives for me.
Are you living saved?