If we no longer offer literal sacrifices, why are we told to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice in Romans 12:1–2?
You correctly note that we no longer offer animal sacrifices today because of the finished work of Christ on the cross (see Heb. 10:15–18). But while Christ is our Great High Priest according to Hebrews 4:14–16), it is also true that every believer in Christ is a priest and has the privilege and responsibility to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Christ (see 1 Peter 2:5). Examples of these spiritual sacrifices are praise (Heb. 13:15), doing good and sharing with others in need (Heb. 13:16), and providing financial and practical assistance to full-time Christian workers (Phil. 4:18–19). In Romans 12:1, in response to God’s saving mercy in our lives, we offer our bodies as a living sacrifice to God. The word body in this text encompasses our hearts, minds, souls, and all that we have. Out of love and gratitude to God, we devote ourselves to Him without reservation.
By Dr. Winfred O. Neely, Professor of Pastoral Studies