If……’we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.’ Hebrews 10:10.
what does Peter then mean by these spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God? in 1 Peter 2:5?
‘Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.’
Nothing we can do could ever be acceptable to God in itself because sin is mixed with all we do but this verse tells us that our spiritual sacrifices are acceptable through Jesus Christ the Great High Priest.
So, what are these sacrifices?
A sacrifice is something surrendered or given.
So firstly there is that giving of ourselves and our all to God through Christ.
‘I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.’ Rom 12:1
‘For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.’ 1 Cor 6:20
‘Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.’ 1 Cor 7:23
Everything about the child of God belongs to their God and should be surrendered to His will. This is totally impossible in ourselves but in and through Christ we can live a life surrendered to our God, a life of spiritual sacrifice.
When looking up the dictionary definition of sacrifice it said this…
‘A sacrifice is a loss or something you give up, usually for the sake of a better cause.’
There’s to be a giving up of our will and our all to…..
‘He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all,….’
how do we surrender all? Through Christ, for the verse continues
…….how shall he not with him also freely give us all things’. Rom 8:32
ALL things! Everything a poor sinner needs to live a life consecrated to God is to be found in Christ.
How far short I fall! Yet what hope there is here. God gives us EVERYTHING we need, in Christ, to be a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God.
This sacrifice includes the sacrificing not only to our God all our affections and all we are but of ourselves to others, to do what God has called us to do right where He has placed us, whether in our work, home, neighbourhood or wherever it may be.
‘And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.’ Mark 12:33
I love the example of sacrifice the dictionary gives…
‘Parents sacrifice time and sleep to take care of their children.’
What encouragement here to us parents. That sacrificing of ourselves to our children when done for God is a spiritual sacrifice.
Then there is the sacrifice David spoke of in Psalm 51…
‘The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.’
This coming to the Lord in all our brokenness, in true repentance, God will not despise. May we each be helped to plead with David…..
‘cleanse thou me from secret faults, Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me.’ Psalm 19:12-13.
There there’s the sacrifice of thanksgiving….
‘Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!. And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.’ Psalm 107:20-21
This isn’t just thanking God when things are going well friends, this is a giving of thanks in the hard, in everything. 1 Thess 5:18
It’s one of the hardest things do to and yet one of the most beautiful, as I proved when God spoke those words… ‘In everything give thanks’ as I sat by my dear Dad’s dying bed. As I was helped to thank my God even in that, I knew a little then of that peace that passes all understanding spoken of in Phil 4:7
In a similar vein, we also read that the sacrifice of praise is to be given continually….
‘By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.’
‘But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.’ Hebrews 13:15-16.
Depending only on Christ we are also to do good unto one anther and to communicate one with another. Not for ourselves but for the glory of God.
‘Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.’ Mal 3:16
Our lives are to be a spiritual sacrifice, as by God’s grace, we are helped to live through Christ, for the glory of God alone.
‘For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.’ Rom 11:36