Yesterday I wrote about worship. I want to continue to muse on worship, probably say some things terribly, but I want to try and think more clearly and thoroughly about this. For as we read in Romans 12:1, spiritual worship is us presenting our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God. If we want to worship God, the we must be presenting our bodies to God, and we must make sure our bodies are holy and acceptable. If our bodies are not holy and acceptable, then we must not fret for that is why Paul appeals by the mercies of God, because we too appeal to God by the mercy He gave us by the death of Jesus Christ, our savior and second person of the trinity.
Worship ought to be central to our lives. It must be what we seek to do and Romans 12 is telling us what worship is. Yesterday I wrote about what other things we may be presenting our bodies to instead of God. Both good and bad things. Now we need to define things better, because I didn’t do a good job at that.
So we need to notice some things. In Romans 12:1 it says “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.” First, is that Paul is appealing to the people he is writing to, and he is calling them brothers. These people are not unbelievers or nonbelievers. He is writing to those who are followers of Jesus Christ.
This is important because in our age today I have spoken with people and Christians who think that everyone is really one of Gods children. This is false. A child does what the father does, which is why Jesus called the pharisees children of Satan. So no unbeliever or idolater can ever worship the triune God.
The second thing we need to notice is that the word therefore means that Paul is basing what he is about to say on everything else he said. Paul is chapter 1-11 basically laid out a clear and in depth theology of the gospel. So Paul is basing what he’s about to say upon the gospel and truths that he just wrote.
The third thing we need to notice is Paul is appealing to them by Gods mercy, and he’s appealing they do these things by Gods mercy. The Christian cannot do anything apart from the mercy of God, and Paul is both saying he’s appealing to them by Gods mercy and that they need to do these things by Gods mercy.
The fourth thing we need to notice is that their spiritual worship is these things Paul is appealing for them to do. Spiritual worship is to do this thing he is talking about.
The fifth thing is what I’ll be focusing upon is the section about presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.
The first thing I want us to notice about this part is that we are presenting our bodies. We are presenting all that we are. Our bodies is apart of our worship. Worship isn’t just ethereal thought and feeling stuff. Worship has to do with hands and toenails and eyelashes. Worship has to do with hand grips, facial hair and muscles. All of our body is apart of worship. There is not one aspect of us that isn’t apart of worship.
The second thing we need to notice is that what we are presenting our bodies as is a living sacrifice.
Talk about an image. God gives us an image. The image of a sacrifice. An image of an animal being placed upon an altar, sliced, killed, bled out, and burned. But this body isn’t going to just be dismembered, but it’s going to remain alive. That is a living sacrifice. That is the image. A body that is cut up, and burned, and yet remaining alive.
The third thing we need to notice is that we are presenting living bodies as a sacrifice, which are to remain alive, and which are to be holy and blameless. These bodies of ours ought to be holy and blameless. They ought to have no spot or wrinkle or blemish. No defect. No imperfection. Perfectly holy, perfectly blameless.
There is a blending of spiritual and physical. They cannot be separated. And that is central to this. Worship isn’t to be divided up. But more on that tomorrow.