Believe in Jesus, Even If You Have to Sacrifice Everything?

Since the Nike campaign unleashed a PR debacle, various Christians have tried to apply their new slogan to Christian living and especially the command to sacrifice.  The book of Leviticus detailed the sacrifices which God commanded the Jews. The Israelites’ propensity to sin led them to sacrifice while practicing iniquity, and God refused their sacrifices. Others lived in half-hearted devotion to God and only offered mediocre sacrifices to God instead of their best (Mal. 1:8). This too was rejected by God.

The New Testament has a new reality for God’s people. God’s people are God’s temple (1 Cor. 3: 16, 6:19), and Christians are the sacrifices offered to God (Rom. 12:1; Phil. 2:17; Heb. 13:15). The Christian system would have us to make sacrifices to our God. But we are to sacrifice ourselves to God rather than something in place of ourselves. This is only right because rather than sacrificing something else in his place, God sacrificed himself for us in Christ.

But sacrificing all for Jesus doesn’t “cost us everything.”  We should not view the Christian life as indebting ourselves. We should view the loss of the whole world as the gaining of the whole heaven. Paul said, “I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and do count them as refuse, that I may gain Christ, and be found in him, not having a righteousness of mine own, even that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith: that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed unto his death; if by any means I may attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” Paul recognized that giving this limited life for Jesus would result in the reward of life eternal. Truly, the greatest personal sacrifice is ever so small compared to God’s amazing grace.

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