Our Lives As An Acceptable Sacrifice To God
As a New Testament priest of God (i.e. a Christian), you have a responsibility to proclaim the gospel, or to teach the gospel truths of the difference between the holy and the profane to people so that their lives will become an acceptable living sacrifice where the Holy Spirit’s fire will fall and consume them, filling the temple of their body with the glory of God.
Romans 15:15-16- The “priestly duty” of proclaiming the gospel of God. (See the Bible study The Priestly Duty.)
15 I have written you quite boldly on some points, as if to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me
16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles with the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
Malachi 1:6-14- Israel was not giving their best in sacrifice to the Lord, like Abel. Instead, theirs was like that of Cain (see the Bible study Shedding Innocent Blood).
6 "'A son honors his father, and a servant his master. Then if I am a father, where is My honor? And if I am a master, where is My respect?' says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests who despise My name. But you say, 'How have we despised Thy name?'
7 "You are presenting defiled food upon My altar. But you say, 'How have we defiled Thee?' In that you say, 'The table of the LORD is to be despised.'
8 "But when you present the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you present the lame and sick, is it not evil? Why not offer it to your governor? Would he be pleased with you? Or would he receive you kindly?" says the LORD of hosts.
9 "But now will you not entreat God's favor, that He may be gracious to us? With such an offering on your part, will He receive any of you kindly?" says the LORD of hosts.
10 "Oh that there were one among you who would shut the gates, that you might not uselessly kindle fire on My altar! I am not pleased with you," says the LORD of hosts, "nor will I accept an offering from you.
11 "For from the rising of the sun, even to its setting, My name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense is going to be offered to My name, and a grain offering that is pure; for My name will be great among the nations," says the LORD of hosts.
12 "But you are profaning it, in that you say, 'The table of the Lord is defiled, and as for its fruit, its food is to be despised.'
13 "You also say, 'My, how tiresome it is!' And you disdainfully sniff at it," says the LORD of hosts, "and you bring what was taken by robbery, and what is lame or sick; so you bring the offering! Should I receive that from your hand?" says the LORD.
14 "But cursed be the swindler who has a male in his flock, and vows it, but sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord, for I am a great King," says the LORD of hosts, "and My name is feared among the nations."
Genesis 4:1-16- Abel gave his firstlings, Cain gave just anything to the Lord. His sacrifice was a direct manifestation of what was in his heart. God was not first. He did not master the sin that was crouching, or lurking like an animal waiting to pounce on its prey. It devoured him.
1 Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, "I have gotten a manchild with the help of the LORD."
2 And again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
3 So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the LORD of the fruit of the ground.
4 And Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering;
5 but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell.
6 Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?
7 "If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin iscrouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it."
8 And Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.
9 Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" And he said, "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?"
10 And He said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to Me from the ground.
11 "And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand.
12 "When you cultivate the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you; you shall be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth."
13 And Cain said to the LORD, "My punishment is too great to bear!
14 "Behold, Thou hast driven me this day from the face of the ground; and from Thy face I shall be hidden, and I shall be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth, and it will come about that whoever finds me will kill me."
15 So the LORD said to him, "Therefore whoever kills Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold." And the LORD appointed a sign for Cain, lest anyone finding him should slay him.
16 Then Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
Numbers 18:25-32- Offering the best, the sacred part of the offering to the Lord.
25 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
26 "Moreover, you shall speak to the Levites and say to them, 'When you take from the sons of Israel the tithe which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall present an offering from it to the LORD, a tithe of the tithe.
27 'And your offering shall be reckoned to you as the grain from the threshing floor or the full produce from the wine vat.
28 'So you shall also present an offering to the LORD from your tithes, which you receive from the sons of Israel; and from it you shall give the LORD'S offering to Aaron the priest.
29 'Out of all your gifts you shall present every offering due to the LORD, from all the bestof them, the sacred part from them.'
30 "And you shall say to them, 'When you have offered from it the best of it, then the rest shall be reckoned to the Levites as the product of the threshing floor, and as the product of the wine vat.
31 'And you may eat it anywhere, you and your households, for it is your compensation in return for your service in the tent of meeting.
32 'And you shall bear no sin by reason of it, when you have offered the best of it. But you shall not profane the sacred gifts of the sons of Israel, lest you die.'"
Numbers 18:30-32- (Different version)
30 "Say to the Levites: 'When you present the best part, it will be reckoned to you as the product of the threshing floor or the winepress.
31 You and your households may eat the rest of it anywhere, for it is your wages for your work at the Tent of Meeting.
32 By presenting the best part of it you will not be guilty in this matter; then you will not defile the holy offerings of the Israelites, and you will not die.'"
Hebrews 11:4- His true faith was shown by his works. (See the Bible study Works.)
4 By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.
1 John 3:11-12- This is happening today among God’s people. Jealousy and envy flows out of a heart that is not offering up their lives as an acceptable sacrifice. Joseph’s brothers become very angry at their brother.
11 For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another;
12 not as Cain, who was of the evil one, and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother's were righteous.
Jude 1:10-19- This passage defines those in the church whose living sacrifice is deemed unacceptable before God. This reveals the fruit manifested by this type of sacrifice.
10 But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed.
11 Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.
12 These men are those who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted;
13 wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.
14 And about these also Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, "Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones,
15 to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him."
16 These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.
17 But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ,
18 that they were saying to you, "In the last time there shall be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts."
19 These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit.
Jeremiah 7:8-16- Deceived believers actually believe (and are reinforced through false doctrine) that they can walk unacceptably in disobedience before God and not have it affect their communion with God. Deceived teachers speak “deceptive words” which are readily received by those whose lives are unacceptable. These words strengthen the hands of evildoers in the house of God (Jeremiah 23:14; see the Bible study Evildoers In The House Of God). In the end there will be no deliverance from the wrath of God. Your rejection of His truth will remove His deliverance from evil, His salvation from you.
8 "Behold, you [God’s people]are trusting in deceptive words to no avail.
9 "Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and offer sacrifices to Baal, and walk after other gods that you have not known,
10 then come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My name, and say, 'We are delivered!'-- that you may do all these abominations?
11 "Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of robbers in your sight? Behold, I, even I, have seen it," declares the LORD.
12 "But go now to My place which was in Shiloh, where I made My name dwell at the first, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of My people Israel.
13 "And now, because you have done all these things," declares the LORD, "and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you did not hear, and I called you but you did not answer [see Proverbs 1:20-33],
14 therefore, I will do to the house which is called by My name, in which you trust, and to the place which I gave you and your fathers, as I did to Shiloh.
15 "And I will cast you out of My sight, as I have cast out all your brothers, all the offspring of Ephraim.
16 "As for you, do not pray for this people, and do not lift up cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with Me; for I do not hear you.
Matthew 21:12-17- When Jesus comes into “His temple”, the “moneychangers” will be cast out. The religious leaders within our nation will also become indignant.
12 And Jesus entered the temple and cast out all those who were buying and selling in the temple [these are those filled with the spirit of Cain who are cast out of His presence, out of His temple], and overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who were selling doves.
13 And He said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer'; but you are making it a robbers' den."
14 And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them.
15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were crying out in the temple and saying, "Hosanna to the Son of David," they became indignant,
16 and said to Him, "Do You hear what these are saying?" And Jesus said to them, "Yes; have you never read, 'Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babes Thou hast prepared praise for Thyself'?"
17 And He left them and went out of the city to Bethany, and lodged there.
Ezekiel 22:23-26- False prophets devour lives, they are widow-makers (Revelation 18:7). (See the Bible study Widow Makers.)
23 And the word of the LORD came to me saying,
24 "Son of man, say to her, 'You are a land that is not cleansed or rained on in the day of indignation.'
25 "There is a conspiracy of her prophets in her midst, like a roaring lion tearing the prey. They have devoured lives; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in the midst of her.
26 "Her priests have done violence to My law and have profaned My holy things; they have made no distinction between the holy and the profane, and they have not taught the differencebetween the unclean and the clean; and they hide their eyes from My sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.
Romans 12:1-2- Concerning the sacrifice of our lives before God, that accepted and approved sacrifice is a life lived in obedience to His commands. It involves purity, an upright walk.
1 I urge you therefore, 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.
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Hebrews 12:28-29- An acceptable service includes reverence and awe. It is the reflection in our life of the divine influence upon our heart (grace). If we do not allow the fruit of the Spirit, the reflection of God, to flow through an obedient, submissive heart, we are receiving the grace of God in vain (2 Cor. 6:1). This is what destroys His temple within us (1 Cor. 3:17), bringing our own destruction.
28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude [5485- “grace” in other versions- see definition below], by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;
29 for our God is a consuming fire.
5485 charis (khar'-ece)
from 5463; graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude)