Summary: Paul will teach us what real worship is
Romans 12:1-2 – The REAL meaning of Worship
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect
“The REAL meaning of Worship.” Let’s Pray…
WHAT is worship? We call this “the morning WORSHIP service,” but what does that mean?
Is worship about a building?
Is it merely an emotion?
Or singing, giving, praying?
Certainly those things are involved… but REAL Worship IS so much MORE!
REAL Worship IS the unreserved offering of oneself to God in response to WHO He is and ALL He has done for us!
It is a premeditated act where we exalt Him and yield our lives to Him.
In his book, WORSHIP: Rediscovering the Missing Jewel, Robert Allen says “worship is the celebration of God! It is not the casual chatter that we occasionally hear in church… it is not the mumbling of prayers or the mouthing of hymns… it is not our grudging gifts or compulsory service or music done poorly or music done well – worship is NOT the distracted endurance of a sermon… NO – it is a time where we come together to celebrate the Lord, Who He is, how He loves, and what He does. It is a time to give ourselves back to the One who FIRST gave Himself to us!”
Paul defines worship as, “present(ing) your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.” For worship to occur, then, we must give ourselves to God. Holding nothing back – all that we are, all that we have, all that we ever hope to accomplish – again and again and again - offered to the Lord as a living sacrifice. THAT is true worship. THAT is the only fitting response in light of all HE has done for us!
Have you given yourself to Him? All that you are?
Before you went to bed last night, did you pray that God would be glorified in your life, in your church … today? As we sang the songs, did you actually contemplate the meaning of the words? As the scriptures were read, did you ask God to speak to your heart … to give you ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church? Understand! Just because we came to A “worship” service, DOES NOT MEAN that we are worshipping.
When you got up this morning – did it occur to you that WE are God’s people and from the bottom of our hearts owe Him our very best?
Paul will help us understand the true meaning of worship in this text. As we sit in Paul’s classroom, he will shape our thoughts on how best to glorify God:
1. First, I want you to see how REAL worship CHALLENGES Us. Listen to verse 1, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
Paul offers a very graphic depiction of worship that his original audience would have understood immediately. Their minds were transported to the worship of the Temple… how God’s people would go to the altar in a spirit of reverence and fear… how from a desire to worship God they would bring an animal for sacrifice… how the High Priest would lay his hands on the animal, praying that the wrath of God would be appeased, that His holiness would be satisfied, that the worshipper’s sins would be transferred to this animal… and THEN, he would place the animal on the altar and kill it.
For centuries, THAT was what defined worship in Israel. Blood sacrifices… offerings of death. But God is no longer satisfied with DEAD sacrifices. He demands LIVING sacrifices.
While we come today with the same sense of awe and thanksgiving THEY had, we aren’t here for the purpose of sacrificing an animal – we offer Him EVERYTHING WE ARE as LIVING SACRIFICES. Mind, body, spirit – our dreams - our aspirations – past, present and future - ALL of it, we offer to God in worship. According to Paul, this presentation must be:
An Unbridled Sacrifice. A FREE WILL offering – not as a requirement, but an act of Love. For it to be worship, we must give ourselves to God, not because we are compelled to… NOT because we are shamed into it or pressured – but as an expression of love and gratitude – willingly – we offer everything that we are to God.