Exhortations

Body-A Living Sacrifice

Presenting our bodies to God as a living sacrifice is an acknowledgment of the existence of God. Thus, the origin and purpose of our existence are not to be like the fallen creations of the past. We must live with love for one another from our hearts and not dictated by our minds. However, it goes far beyond that. Most Christians look only for themselves, even if they can help or change others to be better physically and spiritually. This results in being irresponsible Christians and not representing the Holiness of God. When Abraham was willing to sacrifice his natural son Isaac as a living sacrifice, he saw it beyond the scope of his imagination that his understanding was not for himself but for the seeds he represented,   his descendants.

We must see ourselves fulfilling God’s will and purpose, which is more spiritual than what the physical body has to bear. Our physical body is temporal, while the spirit is eternal. So, as we present our bodies to God as a living sacrifice, it is holy and acceptable unto the Lord. When Jesus presented his body as a living sacrifice, he sweated blood that released the world’s sins. When we offer our body as a living sacrifice, we lift ourselves out of sins and the persons under our wings. Jesus told his disciples always to pray so they do not succumb to temptation and to protect themselves from evil. We can pattern that act of Jesus to tell our family the power of prayer.

When our physical body dominates the spiritual, we need to find more ways to be awakened to easily overcome our struggles due to a lack of focus and more distractions. The disciples of Jesus, when tested at that time, were not yet ready; they failed because their nature dominated the spiritual, and Jesus knew that. It is given because our physical weaknesses are more potent than our spiritual walk, showing that we need more awakening. We cannot sacrifice our spiritual walk because the physical cannot make it. The cross was the physical symbol of the sacrifice of the flesh of Jesus, and heaven rejoices in defeating death.

The offering of the body of Jesus is the will of God for us to be saved. Christians have to enjoy once and for all the joy of believing that there is eternal life by accepting Jesus Christ as the Son of God sent by Him to save the world from eternal condemnation. Beloved brothers and sisters and mothers,  there is too much division in our Christian walk that needs to be addressed seriously. We must be reminded of the history of Israel, how they walked away from the faith, and the circumstances that followed.

It is time for us to put away our religious mindset and hear the voice of God as revealed to us in the Holy Bible. It was not the symbol of any physical cross that gave us a new life, but Christ sent by the Father as the Spiritual sacrifice. Jesus is no longer an infant, and Jesus is no longer on the cross; Jesus is already seated at the right hand of God, monitoring our ignorance and lack of knowledge. He asked the Father to send the Holy Spirit, yet we continue ignoring it. Acknowledgment of the Holy Spirit will give us a new life. We must repent and be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The wooden cross, hanging upon a wall in an institutional church with or without the body, is believed to give life, but the truth is, it is only a representation. This representation has become an idol to many by kissing, hugging, and praying at it. The cross can sometimes represent the atrocities of the Romans that erase Christ’s sacrifice on behalf of all humanity. In 2 Corinthians 4:18, The things seen as physical are only temporary, but the unseen things are spiritual; these are eternal.

If we want to offer our body as a living sacrifice, we do not need to be on the cross, hung or tied and beaten up. Christianity is about responsibility, and being hung on the cross does not make you or us Jesus. We can be like Jesus, but we cannot be him. To be a responsible Christian takes a lot of responsibilities, although it is easier said than done. If we follow Jesus, then we will present our bodies as living sacrifices, that in reality, we represent Christianity in our spiritual journey, not just a symbol we do in the church, such as breaking the crackers into pieces and distributing them among members, sipping grape juices that in reality it’s all material or physical representation and have nothing to do with spiritual reality.

We can claim that we have communion with the saints (righteous); with all these things being said and done, it cannot bring life to us. But, as Jesus said, “Except you eat the flesh of the   Son of Man and drink his blood, there is no life in you” –John 6:53. Jesus was not referring to his body as the bread and the wine as his blood. It is all spiritual representation and just symbols to visibly witness how our bodies can effectively fill people in physical or spiritual need. 

The bread and the wine are just symbols of body and spirit. The body of Jesus Christ and the Spirit of God give life. Understanding the symbols can be confusing and interpreted by different individuals, but what is essential is the reality these symbols represent. We are the bread of life, meaning we represent the Body of Christ, also called the church. February; issue 2021

Bishop Joseph

Bishop Joseph Vitug, Ph.D. - Bishop Emeritus

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