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Watch 2022 online sermons » Derek Prince » Derek Prince - An Appropriate Response To God's Grace

Derek Prince - An Appropriate Response To God's Grace

Derek Prince - An Appropriate Response To God's Grace

This excerpt is from: How To Find Your Place

So my aim is to help you. I believe the best place to turn to in the Bible for the steps to discover what God wants you to be is Romans chapter 12, the first 8 verses. And we’ll look through these systematically. Romans 12:1–8. Paul begins: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. The first line contains the word therefore. I am always telling people, and some of you have heard me say it, when you find a therefore in the Bible you want to find out what it’s there for.

So, I want to tell you what the therefore is there for in verse 1 of chapter 12. The previous 11 chapters have been the most wonderful exposition, in my opinion, the greatest masterpiece of logic in language, by which Paul has unfolded the eternal plan of God for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. He’s dealt with it in many different aspects. Also in chapters nine, ten and eleven, he has particularly unfolded God’s plan to deal with Israel. Now he has dealt with the theology, and I want to point out to you that the New Testament never presents mere theology. It always challenges us to apply the truth in our lives in a practical way. So that’s where the therefore comes in. Paul says in the light of all that God has done for us, of all His grace and mercy, what is our appropriate response? And now he tells us. I beseech you therefore, brethren, that...

Now, I love this passage because I was a philosopher and I know how complicated philosophy can be, how involved. And a lot of theology is just philosophy with religious language. If Paul had been an average theologian he’d have come out with a lot of complicated long sounding words. But, he didn’t. He came down to what Americans call the nitty-gritty. And what is it? It’s what you do with your body. So in the light of all this glorious truth Paul says now, I want you to put your body on God’s altar as a living sacrifice. So it’s essentially what you do with your body that’s going to determine your success in life.

Now why does Paul say a living sacrifice? Because he’s contrasting it with the sacrifices of the Old Testament where the animal sacrificed was placed on the altar but it was dead. He says I want you to put yourself just as really on the altar of God but alive, not dead. The response that God requires, is that we give ourselves unreservedly to God as a sacrifice. We put ourselves on the altar. Now Jesus, in His teaching to the Pharisees, pointed out to them that the sacrifice didn’t sanctify the altar but the altar sanctified the sacrifice that was placed upon it. To sanctify means to make holy.

I don’t need to go into your background but many of you, in the course of your lives up to this point, have been involved in things that were impure and sinful and unholy. Basically, that’s the major problem of the younger generation in the world today; they’ve been involved in sexual immorality, drugs, the occult. Maybe by God’s grace that doesn’t apply to some of you. But suppose such a person gets wonderfully saved by Jesus. Is there any possibility that a body that’s been defiled by sin and evil practices can ever become holy? The answer is yes but only in one way. If you place your body on the altar, the altar will sanctify what’s placed on it. There’s no other way that you can have a holy body in the light of all that you’ve been through, some of you.

And suppose you’re not married and you meet another Christian and you want to marry. Marriage is a union of two bodies. Can you come together with holy bodies? Yes, if you’ve placed your bodies on God’s altar. It’s marvelous. When I think of my own background and I don’t need to go into any details, I could look back on so many things that I wish I’d never done. But I don’t have to spend the rest of my life regretting what I did. All I have to do is put my body on the altar and let the altar take care of the past. The altar sanctifies the sacrifice. Shall we say that together? The altar sanctifies the sacrifice. Good, thank you. So that’s the first thing.
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