Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Call to Live as the Priests We Are

"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

Jesus Christ, our great High Priest, performed the ultimate act of sacrifice by giving himself for us. Because of what he accomplished, we are one with him (interestingly, I just learned that the term "High Priest" is used more in the book of Hebrews than any other book in the bible).

God does not expect us to act as priests in order to come to him. Rather, because of Jesus' atoning work, we are priests. Our status is set. It does not depend on our work, but Christ's accomplished work. Notice that Paul does not call upon the Roman Christians to perform spiritual sacrifices to be right with God. Instead, he calls upon them to live out the priesthood that they are a part of. As priests, the fruit of their relationship with God is their spiritual sacrifices.

This is a clarion call from the apostle to the Roman church to embrace their priesthood. We must remember that Romans 12 comes relatively late in this epistle. For much of the previous eleven chapters Paul has discussed what God has done in his rescue mission of sinners. God performed the necessary work of redemption to make us priests.

In light of our peace with God (Romans 5:1), we can and should embrace this call to live as the priests we are. Stunningly, God has freed us to live through Christ in ways that please him. He accepts our sacrifices because of his Son's ultimate sacrifice.


Steve Scott said...


If presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice is our spiritual "worship" (like Romans 12 says), then what would a Sunday "worship service" look like?

Eric said...

Probably something like Acts 2:42.