Summary: A look at true worship.
HOLY SPIRIT WORSHIP
READ ROMANS 12:1-2
INTRODUCTION… Beginning with Questions
What does Romans 12:1-2 mean and how does it impact our worship?
What is true worship?
Does John 4:23 when Jesus says to “worship in Spirit and in Truth” connect with these verses?
What role does the Holy Spirit play in our worship?
I. A COMPELLING REASON (verse 1)
Whether you realize it or not, Romans 12:1-2 is all about worship. Verse 1 gives us all the reasons we need to worship God. Do we need reasons to worship? In a perfect world, where everyone loved God to the utmost and always came to church to worship for all the right reasons, no probably not. In a perfect world, everyone would be here every Sunday on time, would attend the praise time before the service, would worship God with all their hearts in the service, and then would continue in worship in Sunday School. In a perfect world, our bible studies would be overflowing with people wanting to know about God. This is not a perfect world and so some of us need a reason to get out of bed in the morning and get here to church.
Let me give you the ultimate reason. Verse one makes such a convincing argument about why we should worship God. Really, the compelling reason is only 5 words long: “IN VIEW OF GOD’S MERCY.” The focus of the Apostle Paul at the beginning of this passage about worship is the compelling reason that God had mercy and continues to have mercy on us. In looking at worship, we first have to bring into focus all of the mercies of God and His love for us. Do you realize that we did not deserve to have Jesus come and save us--- this was all God’s idea! Do you realize that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8)? We did not earn any of this, but salvation and forgiveness and a relationship with God are a free gift to anyone who asks.
We have to keep the mercy of God in full view when we think about worship. Why? Because it demonstrates how worthy He truly is. The English word “worship” comes from the old English word “worth-ship,” a word that denotes the worthiness of the one receiving the high honor and praise (Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary pg 1321). If anyone is worthy of praise and songs and prayer and thanksgiving and to have an entire building dedicated to Him—it is the Lord God.
When you worship God, you are saying to Him that He is worthy to receive all our love and thanks and devotion because of who He is and what He has done in your life. It is all because of God’s mercy. True worship comes out of a heart that sees the mercies of God and is humbled and full of thanksgiving. True worship comes from a person who knows that God’s grace and mercy fills their life and is the only way they’re getting into Heaven. Why do you come here to church on Sunday mornings? Why sing hymns? Why pray? Why celebrate the Lord’s Supper? Five words: “IN VIEW OF GOD’S MERCY.”
II. A PERFECT GIFT (verse 1 and 2)
What then is our response to be in view of all this mercy from God? Paul seems to indicate that our response should be to worship God. Give Him honor. Give Him praise. Give Him love. Give Him devotion. Yet, how do we do that? How does this kind of worship play out in our daily lives or on Sundays?
Paul tells us without a doubt that we are to “offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God.” Paul is telling us that what God wants most is for us to give ourselves to Him. Paul is telling us that the response God wants from all the mercy and love and grace He pours out on us is a heart devoted to Him and given over freely. The most perfect gift you could ever give God is yourself. The most perfect gift you could ever give God is a life dedicated to Him and in submission to His will.
ILLUSTRATION… Olney Hymns, William Cowper, from Cowper’s Poems, Sheldon & Company, New York
O Lord, my best desire fulfill,
And help me to resign
Life, health, and comfort to Thy will,
And make Thy pleasure mine.
Why should I shrink at Thy command,
Whose love forbids my fears?
Or tremble at the gracious hand
That wipes away my tears?
No, rather let me freely yield
What most I prize to Thee;
Who never hast a good withheld,
Or wilt withhold, from me.
Thy favour, all my journey through,