Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Sacrifce for God? He Sacrificed for Us!

Here are the full remarks from Bishop Macedo regarding his view that we must sacrifice for God, that we must give things up for Him.

Those who believe that it is possible to be a Christian and not sacrifice are highly mistaken. From Genesis to Revelation, sacrifice is the foundation of Christian life as well as the foundation of walking with God. However, many religious people who have their hearts set on the gold and not the Altar use biblical passages out of context to affirm that we should not sacrifice. But each of these passages, in their proper context, reinforce the need for sacrifice. 

I would ask the Bishop to produce the examples of this sacrifice.

When I look at the Word, I do not see people who give up something, as much as they realize their need to receive from Him.

Adam certainly did not sacrifice anything. He received all things, especially since he was the last creation. This is essential, because God did not make man to live in a void, where there was no earth to reign over. Also, he was created last in order to realize that everything was given to him to enjoy, and also so that he could not take credit for anything that was in his life.

Adam could only receive.

There's the example of Abram, who would leave country, kith, and kin to a new country.

But that was not a sacrifice in the final sense, since God wanted to give him so much more!

"1Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

"2And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

"3And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." (Genesis 12:1-3)

The Bishop does provide an example:

Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. 1 Samuel 15.22

Obedience, not a burnt sacrifice. That says it all, doesn't it?

Then the Bishop continues:

Do you know why God is more pleased with obedience than sacrifice? Because obedience is a true sacrifice. There is nothing tougher for man to do than deny the will to do things his way. It pains him more than having to surrender something of value.

It's not hard to deny your will when God's will is so much better.

And what is God's will, anyway?

"Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second." (Hebrews 10:9)

It's all about living under grace, no longer living under law!

I am all for receiving more and more of God's grace!

Consider John's prayer, and God's heartbeat, for all of us:

"Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." (3 John 2)

Jesus outlined clearly what is the work that He wants us to work, too:

"28Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." (John 6:28-29)

Man wants to do, but the Gospel is all about "Done."

Man’s will is what drives him. The heart shows him the way to go, and he goes. He depends on his will to make decisions. People are so used to living by their desires that many can’t even imagine how to do things differently.

We have gone from "Sacrifice" to "surrender". This makes sense, but most people think of sacrifice as something that we are doing for God.

To surrender your will to do the will of God is to recognize that He knows much more than you could ever know.

There is no way for God to be the Lord of someone that is still the lord of himself. You cannot serve two masters. When you obey God, you disobey yourself. And when you obey yourself, you disobey God. What pleases God bores the heart. There is no middle ground. God does not share His throne with anyone.

This kind of discussion is a little frustrating, too. All this focus on "self-denial" and "self-disregard" is still caught up in .... self!

We are called to look at Jesus, to set our hearts on Him!

"1If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." (Colossians 3:1-4)

Set your thoughts, your feelings on Christ Jesus. We have risen with Him, and we are seated together with God our Father in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:4-6).

Why are you looking at yourself! Look at Him who has been from the beginning! (1 John 2:13)

By the way, I stopped being lord of myself when I accepted His life.

For this reason, sacrifice is necessary. It removes our will from the throne and gives control of our lives to God. Sacrifice puts things in their proper place. To Caesar the things that are Caesar’s. To God the things that are God’s.

Again, the whole discussion between sacrifice and surrender is a little muddled. Most people think of sacrifice as something that you and I must give up. Giving in is easy when you know who the Giver is!

Giving is easy when you know that you have received all things from the Giver, too.

When you surrender your life to God, you surrender everything. If you haven’t surrendered everything, you haven’t surrendered your life.

One more time: since we as human beings dead in Adam have nothing of ourselves anyway, this idea of "surrender everything" just rings hollow.

Sacrifice for God? He sacrificed everything for us!

"5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." (Philippians 2:5-8)


"But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God" (Hebrews 10:12)

Sacrifice for God? He sacrificed for us!

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