Crosses on a mountaintop during sunset.

What is a Spiritual Sacrifice?

What is a spiritual sacrifice and how does one commit this type of act? It is simply an act of rejecting a selfish pursuit in order to serve others.

What is a spiritual sacrifice? You have probably heard of the term, but what does it mean exactly and how does one commit this act?

A spiritual sacrifice can be seen as a daily offering one makes to God by rejecting certain desires or selfish indulgences and seeks to serve others instead. They may be the things you do, the words you speak, the worship you offer to God, or the songs you sing.

But when you do them by faith in response to the presence of God, they all become spiritual sacrifices.

spiritual sacrifice meaning

Spiritual Sacrifices in the Holy Bible 

The Bible has several references to sacrifices. Let’s be honest; some of the references can be quite gruesome. The Old Testament Book of Leviticus speaks of sacrificing doves on the altar of God. However, did God really ask Moses to kill innocent birds in such a painful manner? And, what purpose does it serve?

Refer to the Book of Isaiah (Verse 1: 10-16). Here, God says that to sacrifice innocent animals is evil worship. He says that the multitude of sacrifices doesn’t mean anything to Him. Here, God is weary of all these vain rituals and says that the hands of priests are full of innocent blood when they spread it out in front of His altar.  

However, the New Testament presents the greatest spiritual sacrifice ever. God sacrificed his own son, the Christ on the Cross. He let his blood flow to pay the ransom for the sins of his followers. Then, after passing through the passage of this terrible crucifixion, He raised Jesus from the dead.

Let’s see some New Testament verses on spiritual sacrifice. 

what is a spiritual sacrifice

Offer your body as a spiritual sacrifice

Apostle Paul implores his brothers to present their flesh as a spiritual sacrifice. He says that only by this can one find the true meaning of God’s Will, and what is acceptable to God. Using the word ‘living sacrifices’ may seem like a suicidal idea though. 

It is unacceptable to you, but note that the apostle also uses the word ‘holy and acceptable’ to God. It’s probably safe to assume the metaphorical meaning of the word. The Bible implores the follower of Christ to give up all evil desires of the flesh that obstruct the communion with God.   

A beautiful reference to this is in the Book of 1 Corinthians. In describing the Way of Love, the Book speaks about sacrifices.

“You may give away all your possessions and deliver the body to the fire. But, you gain nothing if you do not have love in your heart.” (1 Corinthians 13:3).

Follow the way of love and offer a fragrant sacrifice to God 

The verse in Ephesians 5:2-6 reciprocates the same sentiment. It implores the followers of Jesus to walk in love, just as He did. Then, it says that one must be ready to give up all the things that hold Him back from spiritual communion. The sacrifice has been compared to a fragrant offering on the altar of God. 

The verses continue with explicit descriptions of what must be given up. They speak of sexual immorality, covetousness, and foolish talks. The Book also says that the sexually impure are forbidden to enter the everlasting Kingdom of God.  It does seem like a radical statement, but neither is sexual immorality an easy thing to digest!

The verse in Revelation 22:15 also says that the sexually immoral and practitioners of falsehood will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven! 

These verses can serve as a wake-up call to cleanse your life and sacrifice your moral qualms to God. After all, the blood of Christ redeems all souls from the bondage of sins.

To think of it, souls may get lost in sexual misadventures as they set out to find love in the first place. If you believe in God, you may find His signs everywhere.

Abstaining from Unholy Sacrifices 

Refer to the verses in Acts 15: 28-29. It shows the scenario of an apostolic debate, where the chosen ones describe the true nature of communion with God. It implores that the Holy Spirit intends to lay a great burden on the followers of Christ.

What is this burden? It requires all followers to abstain from innocent blood (the doves that were strangled) and from all forms of sexual immorality. It says there is the hope of reconciling with yourself if you follow these instructions.   

praying bible sacrifices

Sacrifice the Fruit of Your Lips 

Let us refer to the verse number Hebrews 13:15-16. These are mystical verses that implore the followers of Jesus to offer the fruit of their lips as a spiritual sacrifice. This can be somewhat difficult to understand until you seek an explanation from the Bible itself. 

Do you know that the Bible condemns the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit as the greatest sin? These verses implore the followers of Christ to continually praise the Almighty God, and acknowledge his name in all deeds. To keep the testimony of the Holy Spirit in all actions and to live the good life is what Christian values suggest.    

Happiness comes with spiritual sacrifice

These wonderful verses from Philippians 2:17 extol the great virtue of sacrifices. Here, the apostle says that even when he offers himself up as a drink offering to the covenant, he is glad in that.

He also rejoices in this great spirit of sacrifice that brings you closer to executing the will of God. It also commands the great faith with which a follower of Christ pours out his lifeblood, to participate in the creation of the everlasting Kingdom of God.  

The Everlasting Kingdom of God 

Let us sum up this exercise in spiritual sacrifice with the verse number Hebrews 12:28. It says that all followers of Christ should stay grateful to the Almighty God for he offered His blood on the Cross.

It also evokes feelings of reverence and awe as an acceptable offering to God. The verse speaks of offering all that is due to God in the true spirit of the word.  

So, What Is A Spiritual Sacrifice?

A spiritual sacrifice is any action motivated by the desire to glorify God. It is a means of self-denial to serve others in the name of love.

There is no doubt that the divinity of Christ is present in everyone.

In fact, Jesus promised a reward for every keen deed done in His name. The reward may not be a shiny red sport car or a bundle of money.

It’s lasting peace and happiness instead. Did someone say heaven?

If you’re interested to start your spiritual journey, here are 5 essential steps to begin.