The Sacrifice God Desires

No Other gods
Isaiah 43:10-11 ESV

“’You are my witnesses,’ declares the Lord,
‘and my servant whom I have chosen,
that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
nor shall there be any after me.
I, I am the Lord,
and besides me there is no savior.’”

God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – is the one and only true God. He is our creator God. He is the one who made us, who formed us in the wombs of our mothers. And he alone is to be worshipped. He alone is worthy of our praise. We are to have no other gods. And a god can be anything we give our passion, loyalty, devotion, time, and affection to above all else.

So, a god can be self, pride, sinful addiction, possessions, talents, money, food, other people, preachers, politicians, famous people, entertainment, religion, careers, human traditions, theologies and theologians, church denominations, institutional churches, and a desire to be accepted, etc.

And claiming God as our only true God is much more than just words that we say. For, he is not our God based upon lip service only. He is our God if our lives are surrendered to him, if we have forsaken our lives of living for sin and for self, and if we are following him in obedience to his will and to his ways. For, to love God is to obey his commands (Rom 6:1-23; 1 Jn 2:3-6).

You Wearied God with Your Sins
Isaiah 43:22-24 ESV

“Yet you did not call upon me, O Jacob;
but you have been weary of me, O Israel!
You have not brought me your sheep for burnt offerings,
or honored me with your sacrifices.
I have not burdened you with offerings,
or wearied you with frankincense.
You have not bought me sweet cane with money,
or satisfied me with the fat of your sacrifices.
But you have burdened me with your sins;
you have wearied me with your iniquities.”

How God Views Habitual Sin

Many people today are teaching that when we believe in Jesus Christ that all our sins are forgiven – past, present, and future – and so they say that God is no longer concerned about our sin because it has all been covered by the blood of Christ. And they say that God can’t even see when we sin for all he can see when he looks at us is Jesus, and so he delights in us always.

There is an element of truth to this, but if God is no longer concerned about our sin and if he can’t even see when we sin, then what is the point of most of the New Testament? For a good portion of the New Testament is directed to the church about their sins and how they need to forsake their sins and walk with Jesus in purity of devotion to him.

If God can no longer see when we sin, then we wouldn’t need all the warnings and cautions and urgings that are in the New Testament which tell us of the dangers of continuing in sin, and how God views us continuing in deliberate and habitual sin after we have made a confession of him as Lord and as Savior of our lives. It grieves him! So, he still sees.

So, God has not changed his view of sin now that we live under the New Covenant. He makes it clear over and over again that sin still is what separates us from God and that if we continue in deliberate and habitual sin against him that we do not know him, he does not know us, and we don’t have eternal life with him. And He is saying this to the church!

[Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8; 2 Co 5:10; 1 Co 6:9-10; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Jn 15:1-11; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rev. 2-3; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27]

The Sacrifice God Desires

Under the New Covenant we do not have to make the kinds of sacrifices to God as the Jews had to make under the Old Covenant, but that does not mean we make no sacrifice to God at all. The sacrifice he now requires of us is that we give our lives to him as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him, which is our reasonable (spiritual, and acceptable) worship of him.

And this includes us no longer being conformed to the ways of this sinful world but we are to be changed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God and now we are to be being made into the likeness of Christ. And we are to live holy lives, separate (unlike, different) from the world because God has called us out from the world to be his holy people.

Jesus said it well (of course) when he said that if anyone would come after him that he must deny self, take up his cross daily (daily die with Christ to sin and to self) and follow him in obedience. For, he said that if we save our lives (if we hold on to living for sin and for self) that we will lose them. But if for his sake we lose our lives (die with him to sin) we will have eternal life (Lu 9:23-26).

And Paul taught the same all throughout his writings, but it is summarized well for us in Ephesians 4:17-24 where it tells us that we must no longer live like the ungodly who have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity, for that is not the way we should have learned Christ, if we were taught the truth that is in Christ Jesus.

We should have been taught to “put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph 4:22-24).

So, again, the sacrifice that God now requires of his people is that we give our lives to him as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him, that we die daily with him to sin and to self, and that we walk with him in obedience to his commands. For, Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He is to be Master of our lives.

So, it isn’t things that we give to the Lord. We don’t give him a certain amount of time or service or tithes and then the rest of our time and resources are ours to use to live however we want. It doesn’t work that way at all. For, when Jesus shed his blood for us on that cross he bought us back for God (he redeemed us) so we would now honor God with our lives.

So, Jesus Christ, our Lord, our God, and our Savior wants our all on the altar of sacrifice laid, our hearts under Spirit control. For we can only be blessed and have peace and sweet rest as we yield him our bodies and souls (see the hymn lyrics for “Is Your All on the Altar” by Elisha A. Hoffman).

So, make Jesus Christ your Lord today. He cannot and he will not be only your Savior and not your Lord. And he died to free you from your addiction to sin and to empower you to walk in his righteousness, so surrender your all to him today, and truly you will be blessed.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; 1 Co 15:58; Php 2:12-13]

Only Hope

By Jonathan Foreman

I give you my destiny
I’m giving you all of me
I want your symphony
Singing in all that I am
At the top of my lungs
I’m giving it my all

So, I lay my head back down
And I lift my hands and pray
To be only yours I pray
To be only yours I pray
To be only yours
I know now you’re my only hope

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