“I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Romans 12:1
One of the most important issues challenging us today is whether a woman has the right to terminate the life of her unborn baby. Faithful Christians regularly call for the child’s right to life, and rightly so. However, perhaps we could approach the issue from another angle as well, from the angle of sacrifice. For Christians, at least, our bodies are not our own. If Jesus really is Lord, then he sets the rules for what we do with our bodies. When the Apostle Paul appeals to the Roman Christians by the mercies of God, he is calling up everything he said in the first eleven chapters of the letter. By his mercy, God has forgiven your sin. By his mercy, God has given you right standing and brought you into his family. By his mercy, God has joined you to Christ. By his mercy, God has given you his own Spirit to transform your character. By his mercy, God will glorify you raising you from the dead to give you the cosmos. How will you respond to such mercy? Paul’s answer…offer your body to God. This is clearly applicable to the abortion debate. It is, of course, clear that we cannot expect non-Christians to submit to such an expectation. Those who deny the Lordship of Christ cannot submit their bodies to him unless he justifies them and begins to transform them by his indwelling Spirit. However, what if Christians stopped calling so much for our rights and started offering our bodies to God as a living sacrifice? What if we offered our mouths to God? Our hands? Our eyes? Our conduct? What if we were to live such radical lives of living sacrifice to God that when one of our little girls gets pregnant outside of marriage or unexpectedly or, God forbid, by force, her first tendency will be to offer her own body as a living sacrifice to God for the sake of the child she carries because she has learned that this is just what Christians do? It is right to speak about the rights of the child. But we ought to expand our witness and our behavior to testify to the universal lordship and supremacy of Jesus as we respond to his mercy by offering our bodies to him.