i beseech you therefore, Brethren, by the Mercies of God, that you present your bodies a Living Sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, Will of God (Rom. 12:1–2).
The first evidence of real Christian life is consecration to God and transformation from the world. This is not an outside mechanical action, but an inward perpetual renewing of the mind, a seeking for, the doing of, the Will of God.
In this consecration, the Holy Spirit through Paul demands of the Believer that we “present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.” Then he tells us that this is our “reasonable service.”
How is this to be done?
Whenever the word “sacrifice” is mentioned in the Bible, as it refers to the Lord, always, and without exception, it goes back to the Cross. The only way that one can present one’s physical body as a “living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God,” which, incidentally, is the only thing acceptable to God, is, as we have repeatedly stated, by the Believer placing his Faith exclusively in Christ and His Finished Work. The Holy Spirit will then do that which is necessary in the heart and life of such a Believer, which will make the Believer what he ought to be.
If anything else is presented to God, and I speak of any manner or way other than the Cross, it is totally unacceptable to God.
“So then they who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom. 8:8).
When the Believer attempts to function outside of the Cross, the situation becomes impossible. Sin and failure are the constant results, no matter how hard one may try otherwise. However, when the Believer places his Faith exclusively in Christ and His Finished Work, i.e., “the Cross,” the Holy Spirit then does for us what we cannot do for ourselves, and the situation then becomes easy. In other words, that which the Lord requires becomes a “reasonable service.”
That’s what Jesus was talking about when He said, “Come unto Me, all ye who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
“Take My yoke upon you (the “yoke” of the “Cross” [Lk. 9:23]), and learn of Me (learn of His Sacrifice [Rom. 6:3–5]); for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls (the soul can find rest only in the Cross).
“For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (what He requires of us is very little, just to have Faith in Him, and His Sacrificial Atoning Work [Mat. 11:28–30]).
Then, and only then, can such a Believer present his physical body as “a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.” He will then find that what God demands is a “reasonable service.”