Summary: In Romans 12, Paul instructs us as believers on what type of worship is pleasing to the Living God.
The Pleasing Aroma of Living Worship
Text: Romans 12:1-2
In Genesis 8, we see the life of Noah, a man noted by God as “a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God”. Noah was a man of God in the corrupt days and world in which he lived. He fearfully obeyed God in building a great ark that would rescue him and his family from the destroying flood. In chapter 8 we see Noah coming out of the ark 377 days after the flood began. When Noah came out of the ark, he did something very significant: “Noah built an altar to the Lord..” His first act was to build an altar of worship to the Lord and offer some animals as burnt offerings. Noah did this to express thanksgiving and worship to the Lord Almighty. Genesis 8:21 says “The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma..” Was it that the Lord was pleased by the aroma of a burning animal? No. It was more so that the Lord was pleased by Noah’s heart of worship and his offering of worship to Him.
Later in the Old Testament we see where God had commanded Israel to offer burnt offerings in their worship as a pleasing aroma to the Lord. The offering was laid across the altar, fire consumed it and the pleasing aroma reached heaven—and God was pleased.
Today, in the age of the Church, as believers, we are not called to offer burnt offerings of animals. We are not to bring a sacrifice—but now WE ARE the sacrifice. We now offer ourselves, our lives as sacrifices unto God. In doing so, there is a pleasing aroma that reaches the throne of God far greater than any animal sacrifice. This aroma is lifted up through believers who will allow their total life to be an offering of worship; whose lives are on God’s altar and consumed with holy fire. They cry out from their innermost being: MAY MY LIFE BE WORSHIP TO YOU LORD! MAY MY LIFE BRING GLORY TO YOUR NAME!!!
Through the words of Paul we will learn of the Pleasing Aroma of Living Worship.
Where does this “pleasing aroma” come from? How does it come?
I. The pleasing aroma of living worship comes from the life completely offered up to God.
Paul says in verse 1 “I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to OFFER your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God…”
In view of the mercy they received from God, Paul calls them to offer their bodies-their lives-their all to God as a LIVING SACRIFICE.
Dead animals won’t do it anymore. WHY? The Perfect Sacrifice—the Lamb of God—Jesus was offered on the cross.
Our sacrifice is living—it is to be constant, moment by moment—every day—not some days, some months or certain holidays.
God demands a life that is fully consecrated—fully separated to Him for His pleasure and purpose.
He demands a life that is totally given over to Him—offered up to Him in surrender and obedience to His will an His way.
God is calling for lives that will be lived as a daily expression of worship to Him.
This means a life that will worship Him in all of our actions, our attitudes, our motives, our words, our thoughts—everything.
Across our heart and life should read the words: “TO THE GLORY OF GOD”!
Our bodies—our lives –are to be offered as “holy and pleasing to God..”
Paul spoke in a day when immorality and perversion was all around. He spoke in a day of loose morals and ungodliness—not only in the world—but also in the Church.
Paul preached a message of complete commitment to God and His holiness.
Paul boldly called for bodies and lives to be given over to the will of God—not the ways of this evil age.
LISTEN TO THIS CALL IN ROMANS 6:11-13
Notice, Paul says “Count yourselves dead to sin…do not let sin reign in your mortal bodies…Do not offer the parts of your body to sin..”
Then what does he say in verse 19: “..Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and ever-increasing wickedness, SO NOW OFFER THEM IN SLAVERY TO RIGHTEOUSNESS LEADING TO HOLINESS”.
He was saying “Just as you used to live your life for sin and wickedness-and offered your body and life to ungodly ways—NOW offer your life completely to God—be a slave to righteousness—being made holy before God.”
This goes beyond the physical body—it goes beyond the outward parts. God calls us to offer every part of us in worship and obedience to Him.
Paul said “this is your spiritual act of worship”.
Worship is not just a Sunday and Wednesday activity—it is not a song and dance. It is more than singers, drums and tambourines. WORSHIP IS LIVING LIFE ABANDONED TO GOD EVERY SINGLE DAY!!! THIS IS THE ACCEPTABLE WORSHIP!!