A Living Sacrifice (Romans 12:1) - Radical
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A Living Sacrifice (Romans 12:1)

“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.”
– Romans 12:1

Now here’s a definition of worship that we need to hear. Yes, worship is seen in the church, absolutely. But worship is so much more than that. Worship is an offering, a presenting of our bodies on a day by day, moment by moment basis, like a living sacrifice. Think Old Testament imagery when they would bring an animal sacrifice before the Lord, and as they offered the sacrifice, it would be pleasing to him, so instead of putting an animal on the altar, this verse is saying you put yourself on the altar.

Romans 12:1 Calls Us to Be a Living Sacrifice

Your life, you present your body as a living sacrifice, that it might be holy and acceptable to God. You want your life. I want my life to be holy, to be acceptable to God. We want to be honoring to God. All of that possible. I appeal to you, brother, therefore brothers by the mercies of God, by his mercy, by his grace in the gospel. We come before God and lay our lives down on the altar, saying, “God here’s my life.”

Everything I think. Every I do. Everything I desire, want, and say. Here’s my life. Everything I plan, my dreams, my ambitions, my budget, my possessions. Everything is yours. Here I am. I just want to be holy. I want my life to be honoring, pleasing to you, and when that is the case in our lives on a daily basis, that’s worshiping.

Worship is more than what happens when we gather together with the church, it is a daily presenting of ourselves in submission before God.

Romans 12:1 Exemplifies How We Should Live

This is your spiritual worship, that you are worshiping when you are laying your life down before God like that. So, that’s how we pray then. Every day and then just carrying throughout the day. God, we lay our lives before you. Right now we lay our lives before you. We belong to you, every bit of us. You are Lord over all, over our thoughts, over our desires. God, you are Lord over our conversations and our decisions. You are Lord over what we say and what we do.

You’re Lord over our families, our work, our recreation. And you’re Lord over the church, over our money, over our plans and dreams and ambitions. We lay our lives before you. We trust you. Oh God, we need you to lead and guide us, and we want you to be honored in our lives.

Let’s Pray…

God, we want you to be honored in holiness in our lives. We want our lives to be a pleasing sacrifice to you like in Romans 12:1. So maybe so today, just in every area of our life, help us to live this way. Help us to live, see ourselves on the altar, just all day long worshiping you. And God we praise you for your mercy, for your grace, that makes this kind of life possible. A life that is pleasing to you, we know will be a life that is good for us. We praise you for your mercy that makes this kind of spiritual worship a reality in us.

We pray this in Jesus name. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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