Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Living and Holy Sacrifice


I appeal therefore to you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, well-pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service.  Romans 12:1

Also see Romans 6, Ephesians 5, Colossians 3, 1 Corinthians 6:9-20, 1 Peter 4.

Remember, our bodies (if we are born again believers) are temples of the Lord and we are grafted in to Israel and her irrevocable promises (Romans 9;4-5, 11). We are part of a royal priesthood to serve God in a way similar to the Levites. They were holy and set apart, as we are intended to be. (Ephesians 1, James 1:27, Revelation 3:4, 18:4-5) God wants pure offerings of devotion, not tainted with love of the world--our best, not leftovers. (1John 2:15-17, Haggai 2:10-14) Some of the leaven that has been allowed into the church and is thus tainting the spiritual sacrifices of the church is that God is no longer concerned about sin. If that is so, then why did Paul tell the Corinthians to judge those on the inside? (2Cor. 11:1-4, 1Cor. 5)

God is NOT glorified and honored when His children behave no better than unbelieving heathens or pagans. (1Pet. 2:11-12) If we are not expected to obey Him, then why are we told SO many times to do so? Would God tell unbelievers that if they obey Him then they are saved? No! We cannot save ourselves by our works. We are saved by grace through faith, which is a gift from Him. So then the exhortations to obey out of LOVE for Him are for us.  This is common sense.  This shouldn't need to be said repeatedly, because it is SO obvious. Anyone who argues about such a thing loves neither God nor His people. (John 14, John 15, John 8:42-47, 1John 1-5, 1Thess. 4, Eph. 5:6, 1Tim. 6) God at NO point EVER defined "love" as sinning, approving of sin, encouraging sin, tolerating sin, etc. We were meant to deal with it in gentleness and if that does not work, then to remove the one who refuses to repent from our midst. (1Cor. 4:21, Galatians 6, Matt. 18:15-17, 1Cor. 5:5, 13) This is the loving thing to do because then the disease of sin doesn't spread through the congregation and the sinner can see the error of their ways and repent. In the case of the Corinthians, Paul urged them in 2Cor. 2:6-8 to welcome the man back referred to in the previous letter (since he had repented). We need to speak the TRUTH in love, not speak lies that are pleasing to the ear--that is what wolves in sheep's clothing and thieves that break in to steal the Shepherd's sheep do.

As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious,  you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.  For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”  So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.  But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.  Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.  Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.  Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. 1 Peter 2:4-12

What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:16-18

Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.  So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.  Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.  And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil,  correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. 2 Timothy 2:21-26

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance,  but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,  since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”  And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold,  but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.  He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you  who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.  Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;  for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you. 1 Peter 1:14-25

stacked paper clusters: Congrads; papers: Spring Bouquet and May Daze by Kristmess Designs