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Session (2 of 4)

Shane Willard

Page 3 of 8
Now Paul, who wrote Romans, was a rabbi; so Paul would get his connotation of a “holy and acceptable sacrifice” from the Book of Leviticus. In the Book of Leviticus 1, 2 and 3 it says: “for these are the sacrifices which are holy and acceptable unto God.”

Three things had to happen for a sacrifice to be holy and acceptable: 1) their head had to be cut off; 2) their legs had to be cut off; 3) their inner parts had to be clean.

So Paul, who had memorised Leviticus by age six, is saying: I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice - to have your head cut off, your legs cut off and your inner parts clean - for this is a reasonable act of worship. Wow!

The ‘function’ of having your head cut off, what is that? The function of someone's head is their thinking, their authority. If I was to say: you're the head of your house, it doesn't mean you have the largest head in your house - it means that you are the authority there. So Paul is saying: I beseech therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you lose your authority, and grow up into Him, who is our head. Ephesians 5 - that we all as one body grow up into Him, who is the head.

This is all about me and it's all about you becoming replications of Jesus Christ. The only way to do that is to lose our head and take on His, take on His. Jesus talked about this in one scripture. He talked about His head. He said foxes have holes and birds have nests, but the son of man has no place to lay his head. Foxes do not sleep in holes. Foxes have babies in holes. Birds do not sleep in nests. Birds sleep in trees. The only thing a bird does in a nest is lay eggs, so Jesus is saying foxes have a place to reproduce themselves. Birds have a place to reproduce themselves, but as of yet the son of man does not have a body to put his head on in order to reproduce himself. See this is not about just you getting saved. There's this song I heard recently. I think it was written by Joel Osteen's guy, can't think of his name - having a brain moment.

Anyway Joel Osteen's guy, you know Joel Osteen right? You're a champion, God loves you! [Laughter] Yeah, you don't let that devil get in your head and get you all negative. You tell him to go on back to hell where he came from. Me 'n Victoria, we's talkin' the other day about what daddy used to say about y'all. [Laughter] Anyway, okay so - he's got the biggest church in America. I just love him. [Laughter] But he wrote this song called Say So and the words to the song go like this. What does it mean to be saved? Is it more than just a prayer we pray, more than just a way to heaven? What does it mean to be His, to be called in His likeness, to know that we have a purpose, to be salt and light to the world, to be salt and light to the world. For let the redeemed of the Lord say so. In other words the best way for the redeemed of the Lord to say so is not necessarily to get a bunch of tracts and go out and tell people they'll go to hell without Jesus.

The best way for the redeemed of the Lord to say so is to actually meet people's needs first - and then it gives us credibility because we're replications of Jesus Christ, to grow up into Him who is the head; that we are called to be a kingdom of priests. God is using us to replicate Him. We are the flesh and blood message to the world. This isn't anything new. Exodus 4:16, Pharaoh - God tells Moses you will be like God to Pharaoh. You'll be a God-like one to him. In other words you're going to be My voice, you're going to be My mouth, you're going to be My hands, you're going to be My feet. I could do it Myself but I'd rather use you. God's plan hasn't changed. The girl at KFC, who is the hands and feet of Jesus to her? You and me. The girl at Subway making your sandwich, who is the hands and feet of Jesus? Who is the hands and feet of Jesus to your husband? Who's the hands and feet of Jesus to your wife? Who is the hands and feet of Jesus to your co-workers? It is us, for we are called to be the body of Christ, a part of God's biggest idea; to be replications of Him to the whole world by bringing heaven to earth instead of hell. That's what we are called to be.