Not Here for Ourselves

Romans 12:1 ESV

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”

The Appeal

What is the goal (end result, outcome) of our faith? It is the salvation of our souls. And what is faith? It is faithfulness, fidelity, belief, confidence, and trust. And it is divine persuasion as to the will of God for our lives, and it is gifted to us by God. And if persuaded as to the will of God, we will submit to his will, leave our lives of sin behind us, and follow our Lord in obedience.

So, this faith is not a one-time experience. It is something that is continuous in our lives and that must endure and persevere to the end of time. And that is why our salvation is the end result of our faith, for it is not complete in us until Jesus returns for us, his bride. So, we must walk by faith according to the Spirit if we want salvation from sin and eternal life with God (Rom 8:1-17).

And this is why Paul is exhorting us, because of God’s mercies to us, to present our bodies (our flesh, our lives) to the Lord as living sacrifices. We are to die with the Lord to sin and to self, by the Spirit, and we are to live to Christ and to his righteousness, also by the Spirit, through faith in Jesus. And this is daily (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9).

For, if we continue living in sin, and if we are walking according to the flesh, and not according to the Spirit, then we don’t have the promise of eternal life with God, but we will die in our sins, instead (Heb 10:26-31; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Col 1:21-23; Gal 6:7-8).

Living Sacrifices

When we believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, and we die with him to sin, we are then born again of the Spirit of God to new lives in Christ Jesus, our Lord, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24).

So, although we are dead to sin, we are alive to God in Christ Jesus. And we are thus living, but the living we are to be doing is to be in submission to Christ as Lord. We are to sacrifice our lives (our bodies) to Jesus Christ to be his possession and for him to be our Lord, and for him to now be the one directing our lives, and not us.

So, we don’t give our bodies anymore to impurity, to lust, to adultery, to self-gratification, to looking at porn or other provocative and sexual images, and to what glorifies the flesh and not the Spirit of God. Our bodies are not ours to do with whatever we want. We are to glorify God with our bodies.

Now we give our bodies (our lives) over to purity, righteousness, godliness, uprightness, morality, integrity, faithfulness, honesty, and the like. And our lives are committed to the Lord Jesus for his service, to do what he wants us to do, and not us just doing what we want every day.

Holy and Acceptable

The word “holy” means sacred, and it means to be set apart by and for God and for his service. And it means to be separate (unlike, different) from the world of sin because we are now being conformed to the likeness of Christ.

So, this means that we don’t engage ourselves in all that is of the world, especially as it is opposed to what is of God. We don’t take on the attitudes, behaviors, philosophies, and way of thinking and speaking as the world does. But we are now conformed to the likeness of Christ and to the teachings of His Word.

But the only way this is going to happen is if we are not spending the bulk of our free time (when we are not working) taking in the junk the world is offering, but instead we are filling our minds and our time with the things of God, and with what is pure, for what we consume is going to be what we produce.

The way we live our lives, thus, is to be what is acceptable to God. If God does not approve it, then we should not do it. It doesn’t mean everything has to be spiritual, but that we are to be like Jesus in all that we do. We don’t separate our secular lives from our spiritual lives, in other words.

Romans 12:2 ESV

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

So, instead of living our lives like the world, doing the things the world does, talking about what they talk about, and spending our energies and passions on the things of this world, our minds are to be transformed of the Spirit of God, and they are to be renewed (changed, not like the old). So, our thinking should be continually being transformed away from the world of sin to thinking and living in ways which are pleasing to God.

And we are to be those who are discerning the will of God for our lives and who are doing what he wills for us. And his will for us is two-fold. There is a general will he has for all of his followers which we can learn about in the Bible, specifically in the New Testament under the New Covenant.

And then he has a specific will (assignment) for each one of us, too, within the body of Christ, which we are to fulfill. And what he calls us to do he will equip us to do, and it may not be in our comfort zone naturally, but this will have to do with supernatural gifts and callings of the Spirit of God.

He will call some people to be pastors, elders, and Bible teachers. He will call some people to be helpers and to minister to physical needs of people. Others he will give a ministry of hospitality, or they may be in an administrative position. Or they may be missionaries or counselors or encouragers or whatever he has for them to do and to be.

But God didn’t put us here on this earth for ourselves, to do what we want, the way we want, when we want. He put us here to serve him with our lives and to do what he wants, his way, and in his timing. But his timing is always NOW when it comes to living holy lives, pleasing to God.

Have Thine Own Way, Lord

Words by Adelaide A. Pollard, 1907
Music by George C. Stebbins, 1907

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master, today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
As in Thy presence humbly I bow.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Wounded and weary, help me I pray!
Power, all power, surely is Thine!
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine!

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Hold o’er my being absolute sway.
Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me!

*Caution: This link may contain ads

3 thoughts on “Not Here for Ourselves

  1. Beautiful message, We ought to continue to present our bodies before God as a living sacrifice and continue to walk by faith and not by sight. Thank you for sharing and for encouraging us to stay pure in our walk with Christ.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s