Today’s message summary of February 15, 2015 from Bro. Travis Jackson:
When I was a teenager I remember a church that my family was attending. Many of the members attend this church today. It was a service with hyper-Pentecostalism with cogent doctrinal beliefs. You can imagine how their style of worship would have an effect on me. As a teenager, after being in a church from 11 am to 2 pm, I was ready to go home. Their style of worship was frightening to me, and honestly because it was unspiritual according to James 3:15, but this was the way that they worshiped.
Such wisdom does not come from above but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.
In the mid-18th Century there was a Christian sect known as the Shakers. Part of their belief was that they could shake the impurities out of their bodies. That was their form of worship. Their style was similar to how I was raised with the dancing, jumping and gyrating that took place.
My wife, Crystal, and I are very particular about how we worship and how we view worship. While my wife enjoys getting involved with the music, I am much more intellectually involved in worship. In either case, worship is what sets the stage for how God is to speak to those who attend the church.
A church worships God within its cultural context or setting as long as the worship is biblical and based upon biblical truths. It can either be one or the other.
But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship Him.
It is important to remain dedicated to worshiping God within the church service.
Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
In Romans, Paul is declaring what is proper in worship and what is not. The theme of Romans is justification and the saving righteousness of Jesus Christ. Christians were not only to believe in Jesus Christ, but to live according to His Word, as well. There needed to be a distinction between how Christians lived and how the non-Christians (the pagan worshipers) lived. Paul was capturing the culture of the day in how Romans were worshiping, yet he made the distinction that holy worship of God is distinct from their worship of the gods.
Idolatry is not only worshiping false gods, but it is also worshiping God in a false or insincere way.
These people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.
In order for us to worship God in a holy and acceptable manner, we need to understand the nature of holiness. If we are not holy, we cannot present ourselves as a living sacrifice before Him. He will not accept it.
To be holy is to be placed aside and be pure.
He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless.
Paul uses this same example of holiness in Romans 12:1-2 in the Ephesians passage to show that Jesus wants to present us, the church, which is the universal body of believers to God as holy and blameless. This means that, for each of us, we are holy and blameless in Jesus Christ. Note, however, that if you choose to live a life of sin, you cannot be offered as holy before God. You have to decide to be holy as He is holy.
Paul defines how you are to present yourself as a living sacrifice as a matter of holy worship.
…for if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Will your worship of God be hampered by those things that can get into its way? Worldly possessions? Money? Time? All of these things can get into the way of your complete worship of God.
Paul implores each of us to put ourselves on the altar in order to be a living, sanctified testimony for Jesus Christ.
As part of worship, God provided instruction to the Israelites different offerings as a method of preparation and prayer; the burnt offering, the grain offering and the peace offering, the sin offering (purification) and the guilt offering (atonement of committed sin).
Christ is the atonement for our sin. We worship God with prayers and praises today. We do not need to make any offerings as noted above under the New Covenant because we are in Christ and in fellowship with Him.
While we are under the New Covenant, Paul emphatically informed anyone who was in sin to not go to the Lord’s table because of the worship that it represents.
God said to His own Son, “This is my beloved Son. I take delight in Him!” (Matthew 3:17) His words reflect the nature as to how we are to worship Jesus Christ. He allowed His Son to be our perfect example as to how we are to worship and praise Him.
Worship involves the renewal of your mind. Renewal of your mind is to be mindful of what we watch, or what we take in. God has given you, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the ability to discern what is good and pleasing to Him, and that includes what you should allow or not allow in your life.
We have discussed what it is to partake in holy worship, being a living sacrifice, and allowing yourself to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. These are all of the important elements of worshiping Jesus Christ in spirit and in truth.
Worship is also any activity that takes place outside of church, as well. How you live in everything that you do are acts of worship, for you are a steward of what God has provided you.
If you are reading and studying God’s Word, He will provide answers to questions that you have about worship and being obedient to Him. It begins with the knowledge of His Word and being sensitive to His will for you.