I entreat you, therefore, brethren, by the tender compassions of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, well-pleasing, to God-- your rational religious service--Rom. 12:1. --Diaglott.
There is very much involved in the above quotation. In fact all that precedes it, to which the word therefore refers, as a reason why a certain thing should be done; but we will call especial attention to the term sacrifice.
It is translated from the Greek word, thusia, and means a slaughter, or an animal slaughtered.
We have natural--animal--bodies now--1 Cor. 15:44-46; and if we have accepted of Jesus as our ransom, they are not our own, but have been bought with a price; and we are exhorted to present them a living sacrifice, to be slaughtered--killed. But why give them?
There must certainly be a reason for so doing. The term bodies seems to include all there is of our earthly existence. Jesus gave his life a ransom for many--Matt. 20:28--and he gave his body--Heb. 10:10. All there was of the man Jesus, was given as ransom--1 Tim. 2:5,6.-- and we are exhorted to have the same mind that was in him. Phil. 2:5.
As he became obedient unto death, so ought we. Hereby have we known love, that as he laid down his life for us, we ought to lay down our life for the brethren. 1 John 3:16.
For the bodies of those beasts whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the High Priest, for sin, are BURNED without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing the reproach-- Heb. 13:11-13.
To present our bodies a living sacrifice, then, means to be crucified with Christ; baptized into his death; dead with him as men; but alive unto God as new creatures.
The proclamations of Rev. 14:6-11 having been given; Paul's mystery, "we shall not all sleep," is now due. And from this time, "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord," they shall not sleep--become inactive--but be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and while they will have ended the toil and weariness of this present condition of corruption, of dishonor and weakness, they will be changed to a condition of incorruption; glory and power; and "their works follow with them."
"Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant by sacrifice." Ps. 50:2-5.
Many seem to get the idea that all that is required, is to give a certain portion of our time and substance. Cain came with such a sacrifice, and it was not received. Abel offered an animal to be killed, typifying the better sacrifice, and it was accepted. If we present ourselves we will surely present all we have also.
B. W. KEITH.