WS Update: Living Sacrifice

September 27, 2021

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in his classic book The Cost of Discipleship, defines the call to follow Jesus this way – “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” This stark definition confronts our modern view of freedom which calls us to follow our own paths and define our own identity. And a Christian’s tendency to bristle at this call confronts us with two possibilities about the world into which we are about to plunge ourselves on this Monday. Either we live in a a world in which Nietzsche was right and God is dead (or never existed), and therefore religion is just another oppressive form of control. Or our resistance is evidence of our resentment of God’s presence in our lives and his call to offer ourselves as living sacrifices to Him. Paul argues for the latter in Romans 6 when he points out that we are either slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness, one leading to death the other to life. In other words, as Bob Dylan wrote,

You may be an ambassador to England or France
You may like to gamble, you might like to dance
You may be the heavyweight champion of the world
You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

This is why we find that in the Bible a fool is defined as someone who says that “there is no God” (Psalm 14:1). Where does that leave us on this Monday morning? It is said that John Stott, the brilliant pastor and theologian, woke up each morning and before he got out of bed grabbed his bible and read Romans 12:1-2 and asked God to help him live that day as a living sacrifice, seeking to love God and neighbor. Not bad advice as we start another week.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:1-2

P.S. If you would like to listen to yesterday’s sermon on this topic, visit our YouTube channel.

Volunteer at Redeemer West Side

Volunteering is more than just filling in a need. It can be a form of discipleship. It contributes to community building. You can make people feel seen and appreciated. You are being the hands and feet of Jesus to people around you.

As we continue to open up in this new season, there are ways that you can love and serve adults, young people, and children within the church family!

West Side Kids

  • Nursery, Preschool, Elementary, Club 56
    • Nursery, Preschool, Elementary, Club 56
  • Wednesday afternoon opportunities
    • Kids Community Groups

Interested or have questions? Contact

West Side Youth

  • Friday Night Youth Group

Interested or have questions? Contact

Sunday Service Teams

  • Usher Team
  • Book Table Team
  • Info Table Team

Interested or have questions? Contact

Coming up

  • Faith & Work 101 starts tonight: Work and faith can feel entirely separate, divided into categories of “secular” and “sacred”—but Scripture offers a different take. Discover how your everyday work fits into God’s own work of making all things new.
  • Attend The Gallery at W83 exhibit opening, September 29: “Truly, I Tell You” features the works of Hannah Robinett: grids of patient observation and a careful reading and documentation of sacred texts with implications in modern life. Inspired by her faith, Robinett pieces together the repetition of words from the Bible, bringing to life patterns and visual cues that may otherwise be overlooked.
  • Premarital Seminar, October 2: Join a lively day of biblical teaching on marriage, exercises that help couples learn more about each other, and a time of Q&A. (You don’t have to be engaged to participate.)
  • Membership Class, October 3: Helps those interested in becoming members learn the gospel theology and ministry of Redeemer West Side, what’s behind the five membership vows, how PCA church is led and how you can step into our sacred call to love our neighbors and heal our city.
  • Questioning Christianity Group, October 12: Join this dinner group with others who have questions about the Christian. We’ll meet weekly at a local restaurant.
  • Following Jesus Class, October 17: For all Christians – whether brand new to faith or have been journeying for a while. Learn practices that navigate how to live out a holistic discipleship
  • Build your community: Large groups for moms, women, and men have all started this fall! Each group is accepting new members throughout the year. There are also Community Groups that meet around the city that provide a small group that provide a support system to process life and faith.
  • Admin support needed at Avail: Volunteers needed to provide weekly administrative support to office staff, ideally during business hours. Training will be provided. All new volunteers need to go through a screening process.
  • Pray on Wednesday with Do For One: Pray intentionally with and for adults with disabilities in NYC. On every other Wednesday of each month, take turns leading prayer through the Gospel of John.