Romans 12 (Focusing on v.1)
SO MUCH TO SAY IN ROMANS 12 I don’t quite no where to start… so I’ll start at v.1, yeah?
I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
The words “spiritual worship” here are τὴν λογικὴν λατρείαν. λογικὴν has the same root as logos, so a better translation might really be something like “reasonable.” λατρείαν means something like “service,” but its uses are talking about liturgical service. Service to the temple etc. Worship is a pretty good translation, though “act of worship” maybe captures the thought better. Think “liturgical act” here. So Paul might be saying something like this:
“Look, I beg you, offer yourselves as living sacrifices… holy and acceptable… THIS is the only act of worship that makes sense.
So let’s just get this said, shall we? Where does “I don’t like that ___________” fit in that definition of worship? How does that definition somehow confine worship to a worship gathering? Where does “I go to church because I like _________” fit with that? Where does “I’m not getting fed” or “I want to be uplifted” fit here?Where does church hopping fit? Where in this definition of worship does getting my way fit? Where does the almighty sovereignty of the individual fit here?
Fact is, they don’t fit. None of them do. We’ve all seen those attitudes and even embodied them from time to time… sometimes even in worship gatherings (or after them…). And while we may call them a lot of things… “Authentic worship” is not one of them.
Paul keeps hammering away in Romans the way of Jesus is the way of life through death. And like it or not, the death is ours, as we identify with Jesus, die daily, pick up our cross and follow him. Me Church doesn’t fit that paradigm.
Paul says, in light of all the mercies of God… who redeems Jews and Gentiles who go from the faith of Abraham into the faith of Jesus… it’s time to get yourself out of the way. Offer your very self, every day, to God.
I am so thankful the attractional, seeker-sensitive, market-driven movement in the church is going the way of the dinosaur (Except perhaps in certain places where the church seems to cling to 1994 for dear life). I think there’s something better. Something more authentic. Something that will last. Something that has a voice in our culture. Something deeply, truly worshipful. I’m thankful to be a part of it, and I’m excited about where it will lead.