“I urge you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice–holy, acceptable to God–which is your spiritual service.” – Romans 12:1 TLV
After I posted part 1 and read again a couple of times, I felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit that I left out a major point – it’s not only that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit, but that as believers and being temples of the Holy Spirit, we don’t belong to ourselves. We belong to God because He paid a high price for us (the sacrifice of Yeshua/Jesus on the cross) so now we must honor God with our bodies.
“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NLT
So, it would seem our spiritual service to God is by sacrificing our bodies and it is expected of us because our bodies don’t belong to us – our bodies belong to God so therefore, we are to honor God with our bodies. And from the way I read it – it doesn’t seem like a suggestion. In 1 Corinthians 6:20 – it says (I will personalize it), I must honor God with my body. So, to me that means, we don’t get to do anything and everything with our bodies and to me it really comes down to not abusing our bodies. In 1 Corinthians 6:18, it is made clear to us that we should stay away from sexual sin because it is sin against our own bodies which again are temples of the Holy Spirit.
“Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:18 NLT
I don’t want it to seem like I’m adding things that don’t belong or might be incorrect. What’s coming to mind are those things that we participate in that could open the door to sexual sin – like tv shows and movies we might watch, music we might listen to and books we might read (in a future post I might focus a bit more on this). And since my ministry and focus is more on health – what we might eat or drink that might also contribute to sexual sin (alcohol and drugs being at the top of the list).
So, after all that, let’s discuss God’s mercy. What does “mercy” mean – a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion (Merriam-Webster). Here is the verse that demonstrates God’s mercy:
“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance–an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.” – 1 Peter 1:3-5 NLT
As believers, we should all want every aspect of our lives to be acceptable and well pleasing to God. In Colossians 3 that as God’s chosen people we are to be concerned for the suffering of others, be kind-hearted, humble, good-natured and understanding. We are to forgive as God forgave us. Above all these, we are to show love.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves in tender compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience–bearing with one another and forgiving each other, if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord pardoned you, so also you must pardon others. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfect harmony.” – Colossians 3:12-14 TLV
So, our spiritual service and worship to God is to be pleasing to Him and be approved by Him.
“For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts.” – 1 Thessalonians 2:4 TLV
So here is my version of Romans 12:1 –
Therefore, I invite you my fellow believers through God’s compassion, favor, mercy and grace to offer your body as an offering that is set-apart for God and well-pleasing to God which is our spiritual service that is rendered to God.