1 ¶ Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
In ancient religions a sacrifice was propitiation to a god for transgressions. It appeased the deity. In Christianity, however, the only worthy or meet propitiation was God sacrificing Himself in human form for our sin. Christ is the propitiation for our sin. We could not satisfy God’s judgment on our own so He did it for us.
Christ’s sacrifice for us to God was the only satisfactory sacrifice and offering to Himself and He purchased our redemption with His own blood because He loved us.
Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Hebrews 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
Hebrews 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
Something which could not be accomplished eternally, once and for all, by animal sacrifices.
Hebrews 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
The believer is to sacrifice himself daily to God, to become a living sacrifice.
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Surrendering your flesh, your mind, and your spirit to God’s will is our reasonable service, translated from the Greek word from which we get our word, “logical.”
It is only reasonable for the Christian to surrender completely to the one who purchased him or her with His own blood. It is not just acts of faith you do or acts of devotion, it is how you live your life from day to day. We are to follow the admonitions that Paul has given us in this marvelous letter to the Ephesians and take them to heart. We are to walk in love toward our brothers and sisters in Christ.
What every human organization tries to accomplish by customer service seminars and sensitivity training imposing a culture from the outside the local Christian church can only accomplish by letting the Holy Spirit work from the inside as they fill themselves with God’s words in His Book which John Chrysostom first called, “O Biblios!.”
Christianity was never meant to be, in actual practice, a religion of the “Big Event.” It is a day to day humbling of oneself to God and letting Him speak to your spiritual heart through His words in His Book. Our lives then become a sweet smelling sacrifice to Him. Let Him speak to you, wait on the Holy Spirit, be sensitive to His urgings and leading. I want to feel in my heart every day that dialogue, that relationship with Christ through the Holy Spirit that dwells in me. I want to feel God working on me, setting me apart for His service, every single day, sanctifying me.
John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
The practice of your faith is…
James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
The proof of your faith is…
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
The source of your faith is….
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.