Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God - this is your true and proper worship. Rom 12:1 (NIV)
In the Old Testament, specific guidelines were given in regards to animal sacrifices. One of the criteria was that the lamb be free of any blemishes. Prior to the lamb being accepted, it was carefull examined. In order to offer up ourselves as a living sacrifice, we must first be made righteous by God. We might be willing to be a living sacrifice but until we are purified by God, we are unacceptable as such. This is not a one-time deal. We are constantly beset by things that want to creep in and contaminate our hearts and minds so that we are an unacceptalbe living sacrifice. If we want to be used by God, if we want to serve Him to the fullest, we must be willing to submit ourselves to ongoing examination by the Holy Spirit so that our sacrifice will be found acceptable.
This is not legalism. This is what the Word of God says we need to do!
Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
2 Corinthians 7:1
Our desire should be to be a living sacrifice that is acceptable to God to use for His honor and glory.
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