“Present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God.” — Romans 12:1
What is an acceptable sacrifice?
Living: If a sacrifice is dead, if it means nothing to the one who is presenting it, what value will it have for God? In the OT, people brought their best cattle, their best sheep, their best crops to the temple for sacrificing. They gave God their best. What is the best–the most important–thing in my life that I can sacrifice to God?
Holy: If something is holy, it is set apart from the other things like it. It’s not just a plate; it’s a holy plate–set apart from the others. To present myself as a holy sacrifice, I must be set apart from the world, “be set apart as the Lord is set apart.” God is set apart from other gods, and we should be set apart from other people. We should be set apart from others in our actions, in our life patterns, in our thoughts, in our beliefs. Beyond simply being set apart, there must be a difference between me and an unbeliever.