WORSHIP SERIES

 

Romans 12:1-2

A LIFE THAT WORSHIPS

 

 

We have been talking about worship.

Worship is more than singing for a few minutes on Sunday Morning. 

Worship is more than a church service or two.

Worship is more than an occasional outburst of spontaneous praise to God.

 

Worship is to be a way of life.

Everything I do should be an act of worship to my God.

 

Colossians 3:17 - And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

 

All too often people practice Christianity for what they can get out of it.  Many a person has taken out what they think is a “fire insurance policy against hell”. 

People often come to church for what they can receive.

People measure a church by how good the choir, special music, worship team, or preacher are. 

People make being blessed the main goal of worship.

And one of the great excuses for leaving a church has been, “I don’t get anything out of it.”

 

I submit to you that being a blessing to God should be your first goal in church.  Being a blessing to others should be your second goal.   

 

I want to share A Life That Worships with you this morning.  This is a continuation of our thoughts from last week.  Last week we looked at the verses found just before Romans 12:1-2.

(See PRELUDE TO WORSHIP)

 

Our conclusion last week was that only God is worthy of worship.   

 

Paul continues his thoughts in chapter 11 with the word “therefore” beginning chapter 12.

“Therefore”, that is, because God’s Characteristics, because of God’s competence, because of God’s completeness.

 

Paul was commanding the Romans in the tenderest of ways.  And notice what he calls them – “BRETHREN!”

Paul is talking to born again Christians, those who have put their faith in Christ as their Savior. 

 

Don’t think you being a living sacrifice will get you into Heaven.  It is faith in the sacrifice that was already made for your sins by the Lord Jesus Christ that will get you into Heaven.

 

Paul is saying that our lives should be lives that worship because of God’s mercies, many of which were enumerated in Romans 1-11

 

Because of God’s mercy in sending his son to die for us

Because of God’s mercy in forgiving us

Because of God’s mercy justifying us or declaring us righteous

Because of God’s mercy of enabling us to live the Christian life

Because of God’s mercy in making us “accepted in the beloved

Because of all of these mercies, and more, we are entreated, we are encouraged, we are beseeched to participate in a life that worships.

 

A LIFE THAT WORSHIPS IS RESPONSIVE

   

Romans 12:1 - I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

 

A key part of worship for the Jewish people in the Old Testament was that of offering sacrifices.

In the temple, a sacrifice was offered to God both in the morning and the evening of each day. And besides these sacrifices there were many others offered, especially on holy days.

 

When a Jew came to God in worship he would often bring a sacrifice. Sacrifices were often offered as atonement for sin.

The Old Testament sacrifices were pictures and temporary coverings for sin until the great sacrifice for sin was made on the cross of Calvary.

 

Because of Christ’s sacrifice for sin, it is no longer necessary to offer animals. 

Hebrews 10:14 - For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

 

God has no need for a dead sacrifice.

But when we come to God, we should offer Him a living sacrifice. That living sacrifice is our own body yielded to Him out of appreciation for what He has done.  1 Corinthians 6:19-20

 

Your body is the temple of God, the Holy Spirit.

Through Jesus’ death on the cross, your body has been purchased. You are no longer your own.

When you give your body as a living sacrifice, you are laying down your life once and for all, and then daily for your God.  

 

This sacrifice is to be a “holy” sacrifice.

 

Something that is holy is set apart from sin.

Something that is holy is set apart for God.

 

When the Jews offered a sacrifice to God it was to be perfect, without any blemishes.

When the Jews offered a sacrifice to God it was to be the best they had, not leftovers.

When the Jews offered a sacrifice it was to be one that was acceptable unto God.

 

In fact when the Jews offered a sacrifice that was less than the best, God did not like it. Malachi 1:8

 

The sacrifices we offer to God are to be holy and acceptable unto God.  And considering all that God has done for you, being a living sacrifice is the reasonable thing to do as an act of worship before Him.

   

When we are living sacrifices we are actually dying.

The dying that we are doing is dying to ourselves.

And that’s exactly what Jesus wants us to do. Luke 9:23-24

 

And as we die to ourselves, we are allowing Christ through his Spirit to live through us. Galatians 2:20

 

So what do I say to God when I, as a Christian, present my body to Him as a living sacrifice?  I have had said something like this.

 

·        Lord, here is my mind to think as you would have me to think.

·        Here is my heart to beat only for you.

·        Here are my eyes to see what you would have to see.

·        Here are my ears to hear what you would have me to hear.

·        Here is my mouth to speak for you and to speak and sing praises to you.

·        Here are my arms to embrace others in love.

·        Here are my hands to serve you in doing good.

·        Here are my knees to bend to you in prayer and adoration.

·        Here are legs to stand righteously in this world.

·        Here are my feet to go wherever you want me to go.

 

My friend, you can not truly worship God unless you are truly surrendered to God.

 

A LIFE THAT WORSHIPS IS RENEWED

 

Romans 12:2 - And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

 

The world’s way of thinking is nothing like God’s way of thinking.

·        The world tells us to look out for #1, ourselves. God tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves and to love the Lord our God with all hearts, souls and minds.

·        The world tells us to do whatever feels good.  God tells us to do what is right.

·        The world tells us to get even, God says to turn the other cheek.

·        The world tells us to build up wealth. God says to share our wealth with others.

·        The world tells us there are many ways to Heaven. God says that there is only one way to Heaven.

 

The world’s system is so powerful that it is easy for us as Christians to think the way the world thinks and to act the way the world acts.

Instead of being conformed to this old world, God wants us to be transformed.  He actually wants us to undergo a metamorphosis. 

 

Metamorphosis means “to be changed into another form”.

It is what happens when a tadpole becomes a frog and a caterpillar becomes a butterfly.

 

We will stop letting the world squeeze us into its mold as we allow God to transform our thinking.

So how do we go about having our minds transformed?

 

Please turn to 2 Corinthians 3:18

    But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

 

A glass is a mirror.

Have you ever studied yourself in the mirror, taking the time to look at wrinkles, pimples, and or gray hairs?  Have you ever examined your looks intently?

 

God wants us to gaze into a different mirror.

He doesn’t want us to gaze in a mirror to look at ourselves.

God wants us to look into a mirror to gaze at Him and His Son and to be transformed by that gaze.

He wants us to gaze into the Word of God which is like a mirror.

The more I gaze into the Word of God, the more I will see the glory of the Lord Jesus.

The more I see the glory of the Lord Jesus, the more I will become like Him.

This will be a gradual change, from “glory to glory”.

It will be a change that will be caused by the Spirit of God.

 

The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to change us.   Psalm 119:11, 80

Only the Spirit of God can truly change us as we live a life that worships, one that responds to Him  and becomes a living sacrifice and one that is transformed by the renewing of the mind. 

 

Such a transformation by the word of God requires discipline. 

There is the discipline of actually trying to learn when the Word of God is taught or preached.

There is the discipline of memorizing and meditating upon the Word of God.

There is the discipline of personal Bible study. That means we spend time in the Word by ourselves. 2 Timothy 2:15  

 

A LIFE THAT WORSHIPS IS RESOLVED

   

Romans 12:2 - …that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

 

A life that worships requires discipline.

The discipline to respond to the call to being a living sacrifice every day

The discipline to have our mind renewed through our examination of God’s Word

 

Another word for discipline is resolve.

Because I appreciate what God has done in my life I must be resolved to prove in me, what is the good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.

 

Did you get that?

God’s will is good.

God’s will is acceptable.

God’s will is perfect.

   

If you believe that, you should be resolved to prove it true in your own life.

 

Worship should be a way of life for you as a Christian.

 

A LIFE THAT WORSHIPS IS RESPONSIVE

A LIFE THAT WORSHIPS IS RENEWED

A LIFE THAT WORSHIPS IS RESOLVED