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Morrish Bible Dictionary
As a technical religious term, 'sacrifice' designates anything which, having been devoted to a holy purpose, cannot be called back. In the generality of sacrifices offered to God under the law the consciousness is supposed in the offerer that death, as God's judgement, was on him; hence the sacrifice had to be killed that it might be accepted of God at his hand. In fact the word sacrifice often refers to the act of killing.
The first sacrifice we read of was that offered by Abel, though there is an indication of the death of victims in the fact that Adam and Eve were clothed by God with coats of skins. Doubtless in some way God had instructed man that, the penalty of the fall and of his own sin being that his life was forfeited, he could only appropriately approach God by the death of a substitute not chargeable with his offence; for it was by faith that Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain. Hebrews 11:4 . God afterward instructed Cain that if he did not well, sin, or a sin offering, lay at the door.
The subject was more fully explained under the law: "The life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul." Leviticus 17:11 . Not that the blood of bulls and of goats had any inherent efficacy to take away sins; but it was typical of the blood of Christ which is the witness that they have been taken away for the believer by Christ's sacrifice.
Christ appeared once in the end of the world "to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself;" and He having once died, there remains no more sacrifice for sins. Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 9:26; Hebrews 10:4,12,26 . Without faith in the sacrificial death of Christ there is no salvation, as is taught in Romans 3:25; Romans 4:24,25; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 .
The Christian is exhorted to present his body a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is his intelligent service, Romans 12:1 : cf. 2 Corinthians 8:5; Philippians 4:18 . He offers by Christ the sacrifice of praise to God, and even to do good and to communicate are sacrifices well pleasing to God. Hebrews 13:15,16 : cf. 1 Peter 2:5 . For the sacrifices under the law see OFFERINGS.
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Morrish, George. Entry for 'Sacrifice'. Morrish Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/mbd/s/sacrifice.html. 1897.