1b That ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Herein we have the solemn instruction of the apostle Paul concerning what entails genuine worship of God. Two words here, “sacrifice” and “service”, evoke the idea of worship. The word “sacrifice” (thusía) is used here in the sense of an offering rendered to the Lord in worship. Likewise, the word “service” (latreía) denotes a service rendered in worship of God.
All Christians are exhorted to “present your bodies a living sacrifice”. The Greek word for “present” is also translated as “yield”. We are to yield our bodies not as a dead sacrifice on the altar (as in Old Testament sacrifices), but as a living sacrifice. We need not offer our body or anything else as our substitute on the altar. Christ has offered Himself on our behalf as a perfect sacrifice to redeem us. So, no more substitutionary sacrifice is required of us. Here, we are exhorted to yield our bodies not as carcasses on the altar to be burned, but as lives consecrated to God.
Our bodies are to be consecrated to God as “holy”. As Paul exhorted earlier in chapter 6, verse 13, “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” True worshippers of God ought to consecrate themselves to live holy lives before the Lord. Our bodies must be instruments of righteousness. Only when we yield ourselves and our bodies to live in holiness, can we glorify God. “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:20). We must strive to order our lives so that “Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death” (Philippians 1:20).
The worship that is acceptable and pleasing to God can only be rendered by those who live holy lives as true children of God. It is a despicable thing for a worshipper of God to continue to live in sin. Unholy living is most displeasing and outrageous to God. No true worship exists in hearts that have no commitment to live in obedience to His holy Word. Any offering of worship presented by unholy hands is an outrageous act in His presence. It is unthinkable and illogical to think that the Most Holy God can be served with unholy hands. The reasonable service to God can only be rendered when our bodies are His holy temples (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:18-19).