Monday, March 5, 2012

Living Sacrifices Are Dead to Sin

[Paul] begins this way: I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God.  He lays down laws, keeps authority under cover, proposes teaching along with entreaty, and calls to mind the divine lovingkindness on which he had spoken at length in the preceding section.  Now, to what does he urge them?  To present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  He had already recommended them to turn their members into instruments of righteousness and to present themselves like those raised from the dead.  But here he urges the bodies to become also a sacrifice, and calls it the living sacrifice.  He does not bid the bodies to be slaughtered, but to be dead to sin and not to accept any of its operation.  He named this sacrifice, holy, reasonable, pleasing, comparing it to the sacrifice of unreasoning animals and showing the Lord God pleased with it.  In all the prophets, so to say, remember that God finds fault with the sacrifices of unreasoning animals and lays down this single requirement, "Offer to God the sacrifice of praise," and "A sacrifice of praise will glorify me."  And you can find countless such statements in the divine scripture.

Theodoret of Cyrus, "The Letter to the Romans" on Romans 12:1

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