"present your bodies as a living sacrifice"

Romans 12:1 states “I appeal to you therefore, brothers,[a] by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship(sometimes translated as rational service”)."

One could say that Catholics try to live holy lives (through the grace of God) so that we may worship him at the Mass by offering our “bodies as a living sacrifice” in union with Jesus’ sacrifice and praying our sacrifice is holy and acceptable to God.

This verse implies that this is Christian worship or how Christians serve God.

This is part of the Catholic Liturgy of the Eucharist. When do Protestants present their bodies as a living sacrifice to God? Is this part of your worship or does this verse have a completely different interpretation for Protestants?

From the 1928 Book of Common Prayer (Eucharistic Prayer):

“AND we earnestly desire thy fatherly goodness, mercifully to accept this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; most humbly beseeching thee to grant that, by the merits and death of thy Son Jesus Christ, and through faith in his blood, we, and all thy whole Church, may obtain remission of our sins, and all other benefits of his passion. **And here we offer and present unto thee, O Lord, our selves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice unto thee; humbly beseeching thee, that we, and all others who shall be partakers of this Holy Communion, may worthily receive the most precious Body and Blood of thy Son Jesus Christ, be filled with thy grace and heavenly benediction, and made one body with him, that he may dwell in us, and we in him. **And although we are unworthy, through our manifold sins, to offer unto thee any sacrifice; yet we beseech thee to accept this our bounden duty and service; not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offences, through Jesus Christ our Lord; by whom, and with whom, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, all honour and glory be unto thee, O Father Almighty, world without end. Amen.”

In the Lutheran tradition, it is not an interpretation that is focused towards the Eucharist. We offer them as living sacrifices in our day to day vocations (father, mother, pastor, child, employer, employee, etc.). It is there that we die to self and live to God by loving and serving our neighbors. In that way, our bodies are sacrificed up to be used by God for His purposes in the world.

I stand more in the reformed tradition, and I say basically the same thing as Iggy here. I think it fits well with not only the Romans verse, but also Phillipians 4:18 and 1 Peter 2:5.

Kind regards


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