What is needed for worship?
It is common for people to think that the necessary components of worship are lighting, a band, instruments, and perhaps a good voice etc., but does that create spiritual worship? Paul declared to his readers,
“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” (Rom. 12:1).
At the end of this verse Paul speaks of “spiritual worship“. This is a reference to the kind of worship that is reasonable, genuine and spiritual in contrast to ritualistic or man-made manipulation. What are the necessary components of this genuine God exalting spiritual worship?
He begins this text by saying, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God“. The “mercies of God” refers back to God’s gracious provision of salvation in Christ (3:21-11:36). This is where true worship begins – you must be a recipient of God’s mercy in salvation. For the people of God, God’s mercy provided the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ and many other blessings as found in the previous chapters of Romans. This gift becomes the basis and first necessary component of true worship (cf. Psalm 24:3-4).
Next, he goes on to say “present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship“. True worship occurs when there is service. Such service consists of presenting our bodies “as a living sacrifice“. The reference to “bodies” here refers to our whole being (Rom. 6:6, 12). It is the duty of God’s people to devote their whole being to “spiritual worship“. How is this done? It is done when we offer ourselves as a “living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God“. This occurs when we are obedient to God’s word (cf. 1 Sam. 15:22).
If we are going to worship the Lord it is necessary that we have received salvation in Christ and that we offer our lives to Him in service to His will. In my next post, we will consider what is wrong worship.