Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Defiled Life is Not an Acceptable Offering to God

The Minor Prophets Speak to Today 

A Defiled Life is Not an Acceptable Offering to God


Hosea 9:1-7 NLT

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to
give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you.
Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—
the kind he will find acceptable.
This is truly the way to worship him.
Romans 12:1NLT

The New Testament Parallel

One of the lessons in the last post was that we may not offer defiled worship to God. God refused to accept defile sacrifices. The Law teaches this explicitly. So the idea that the act of worship itself could be defiled added clarity.

In Romans, Paul stated the New Testament parallel clearly. There is a sacrifice required of us under grace, but it is not of lambs or food items. Nor is this sacrifice a sacrifice for sin or repentance. Christ fulfilled those aspect of Old Testament worship. But Christ did not fulfill worship. He did not do away with worship itself, just the rituals and prescribed formats.

Christ's work and God's punishments and judgments against Israel, as warned against in Hosea and the prophets, became under Christ the door to mercy and acceptance for us. We he grafted into the True Vine. We God adopted as his children adding us to his family with the full rights and privileges of his children of Israel when they are faithful. We he loved and loves unconditionally.

And because of his great love, mercy, acceptance, and adoption, we rise up in rejoicing with praise and worship to our God.

But even under grace God's standards for sacrifices of praise have not changed. He does not accept defiled sacrifices.

What sacrifice remains for us to present under grace? Our bodies.

It seems we don't just naturally bring this offering, this sacrifice to God despite his great grace.

Yet this offering is nothing more than a reflection of love. Thou shalt love the Lord Thy God  with all thy heart, with all thy mind, with all thy soul, and with all thy strength. This commandment we are still called to fulfill under grace. Christ opened the way to that fulfillment in removing the Law. Uncluttered love and worship now can fulfill it freely, not as bondage. But we just don't get it.

So Paul found it necessary to plead with the Romans to give their bodies to God because of all he has done.

The Acceptable Sacrifice Under Grace

Paul continues by defining what kind of bodies are acceptable as a freely given sacrifice to God.

"Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—
the kind he will find acceptable."

Many theologies argue for grace covering our unholy lives. And, as to condemnation, loss of heaven, for sin, this seems to be true. 

But when it comes to worship, the requirement is higher. Our bodies must be living a holy life in order to be an acceptable sacrifice to God. Just as God required the Old Testament sacrifices to be holy, so too he requires our bodies to be holy when offered as a love offering to God, to be living and holy, undefiled. A defiled life is not an acceptable offering to God. And we may not offer it to him in worship.

The True Way to Worship God under Grace

The true way to worship God, undefiled worship, is to present your bodies unto God as a living and holy sacrifice. This is the worship that is acceptable unto him.

The Consequence of Offering a Defiled Body to God

1.  You have no way to truly celebrate your festival days.
2.  You have no way to celebrate the Lord
3.  Desolation:
     (a)  Nettles will take over your silver
           (your treasures-money, houses, income, etc.- will corrupt and become corrupted)
     (b)  Thistles will invade your ruined homes
            (your homes and families will be ruined with sin growing unchecked)

A Defiled Life is Not an Acceptable Offering to God

Photo Credits:
Promessa by Breno Peck some rights reserved @

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