Worship is a Christian’s Lifestyle
Romans 12:1-2 (Pastor Heo)
12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing, and perfect will.
This morning, chp 12 in Romans. This is the greatest turning point in the study of Romans. I mentioned several times, but here again. This book can be divided into 3 (or 2) parts.
- chp 1-8 Revelation of God’s righteousness
- chp 9-11 Vindication of God’s righteousness
- chp 12-16 Application of God’s righteousness
- chp 1-11 Fundamental basic doctrine of Christianity
- chp 12-16 Christian lifestyle
Theme of the book: The Righteousness of God
This book is very doctrinal, systematic, logical, but also very practical. This book is the book of “therefores” (because of previous things).
- In the NIV, “therefore” is repeated 20 times.
- In KJV, 27 times.
Some very important “therefores”:
- chp 3:20 Therefore of condemnation (“all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… therefore no one will be declared righteous”)
- chp 5:1 Therefore of Justification (“therefore since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God and gained access by faith into grace”)
- chp 8:1 Therefore of Freedom (“therefore there is now no more condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”)
- chp 12:1 (one of the biggest and greatest) Therefore of Worship (“Therefore I urge you, … to offer your bodies as living sacrifices…”)
This therefore = “because of God’s great compassion through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ”
Last Sunday, we saw in chp 11 Doctrine becomes Doxology (all the depths of the wisdom of God – unsearchable, unknowable fully – becomes worship).
Doxology = “Through him, and to him, and by him, and in him are all things. Amen”
In chp 12, Doxology becomes Dedication
Doctrine results in Worship, Worship results from Doctrine. Believing and Living go together. What you believe in your hearts is to be revealed and testified by what you produce. Our faith provides action, activity.
We can know we are called to church to worship God.
“Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy…”
God has handed all people over to unrighteousness so that he can have mercy on all people. “God who is rich in mercy has made us alive in Christ – even while we were dead in our sins.”
- We are called to church to worship God.
- We are sent into this world to worship God.
- This is church.
In Genesis, God separates Able from Cain, Jacob from Esau. God accepted one group and rejected the other. What made God accept one group and reject the other? Worship.
- Able was the first true worshiper – and God accepted him and his worship. But Cain was a false worshiper, and God rejected his worship.
- The first patriarchs – first priority – was the worship God. The first thing they did when they moved from one place to another place was to set up an altar to God. (Abraham, Moses, Jacob, etc.) There is no record of Ishmael, etc doing so.
We are called to worship God.
“I’m going to church to worship God.”
Question is: IN THIS WORLD – OUTSIDE THIS BUILDING – “I’m going to work, school, hospital, garage, etc to….?”
We must be able to say, not only about church, but also about ALL places we go, “I’m going THERE to WORSHIP GOD.” If you think it is not possible to worship God there, do not go.
“God is looking for worshipers who worship in spirit and in truth.” These are the worshipers God is looking for. God is looking at our personal (not only group – in church) worship. May God bless you that your personal worship is acceptable in his sight.
How can we become TRUE worshipers? Holy and acceptable by God? 3 things:
#1 Do not conform to the pattern of this world
“2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world,”
Do not follow the trend / fashion of this world. This is a BIG challenge – almost impossible without the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit.
- Worshiper = “saint” = holy one = set apart for a special purpose
- World = “sinful” = wicked, adulterous generation (Jesus calls this world these things)
1 John 2:15 “Do not love the world or anything in it. If anyone loves this world, the love of the Father is not in him. Everything in this world, lust, evil desires, boasting, comes not from the Father, but from this world. This world and its desires pass away, but only the man who does the will of God lives forever.”
James “Do you not know that friendship with this world is hatred toward God? He who becomes a friend of this world becomes an enemy of God.”
As true worshipers, we are not conformers, followers, but transformers of this world.
A Christian is a boat in the sea. A boat must be in the sea, but cannot become a part of the sea if it is to remain a boat.
Jesus says, “You are the light / salt of the world” (not of the church) – we shine in darkness. We are in the world, but not OF the world.
Say: “I am in the world, but the world is not in me.”
#2 Be changed
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
2 Cor 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new Creation. The old has gone, the new has come.”
In Christ, we received a new nature, position, standing, status, we are TOTALLY NEW in him. We have been transformed, and must be transformers of this world.
Without personal transformation, it is impossible to transform others.
Our value must be changed according to God’s will. Our lifestyles must be changed according to God’s will.
What is your #1 priority in your daily life?
- Brush teeth?
- Take a shower?
- Go to work?
Our priorities must be RE-ordered according to God’s will.
#3 (Conclusion) Give our bodies as living sacrifices
“Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy to (present) your bodies as living sacrifices. This is your spiritual act of worship.”
This is very clear. Worship is not an occasional event – not a sometimes performance, not a liturgy, not ministry, but it is LIFE itself. This is a lifestyle – not only IN church, but also OUTSIDE church.
Remember: Worship is not TAKING, it is GIVING.
“Worship is Giving” (Worship is not Receiving)
In the OT, nobody is to come before God empty handed.
You know, even today, why do so many Christians have such LITTLE power in this world? It’s because their first thought is to RECEIVE blessing, comfort, consolation, peace from God. Of course, this is not bad. Through worship God will GIVE something great that you need. God loves his children, that’s true. But remember, worship is not RECEIVING, worship is GIVING.
Matthew 2: Magi story (Wise men)
They came from the East for a LONG distance to worship the baby Jesus. As soon as they saw him, they bowed down and worshiped him and gave him Gold 황금, Frankincense 유향, and Myrrh 몰약.
- Worship is GIVING.
- Without GIVING, without OFFERING, worship is not worship.
What is the main function of offering?
KEY: Making reconciliation between the receiver of the worship and the worshiper (making a close friendship between God and man (you))
Through the receiving of offering, there is a CLOSER relationship and friendship built between the giver and the receiver (you and God).
2 Cor 5:17 “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new Creation. The old has gone, the new has come. All this has come through God – he gave us the ministry of reconciliation and the message of reconciliation.”
What is the meaning of “living” sacrifices? (not dead)
Through “living” sacrifices, 2 reconciliations happen:
- Reconciliation between the giver and the receiver
- Reconciliation of the lost back to God
So, how can we become “living” sacrifices?
If reconciliation happens between God and the lost through your love and activity, then you are regarded and accepted as a living sacrifice. This is your “living” offering, your “living” sacrifice.
Worship is a Christian’s lifestyle.
God bless us to have this lifestyle so that reconciliation may happen between God and the lost.
Let’s pray (individual time).