Everybody agrees that worship is a central aspect of the church’s mission, but we do not always agree about what we mean by worship. The so-called worship wars of recent decades are really a conflict about musical style and personal taste. Although today’s conflicts over worship largely revolve around music, it is important to note that the biblical concept is far more expansive. In view of our text today, we probably shouldn’t think of worship as an event but as a lifestyle. The church’s worship service is really just an extension of our larger offering of the whole self to God.
Paul provides three descriptions of this sacrifice. He calls it a living, holy, and pleasing sacrifice (v. 1). When we offer our lives to God, we do so with the understanding that we ourselves have been given new life through Christ. This is a lifestyle shaped by the reality described in Romans 6:4: “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”
Since we have been united with Christ in His resurrection, we are able to live the kind of life that the Bible describes as holy. We recognize that we are now consecrated to God. We let His standards shape our choices and actions. This does not mean that we live a sinless life. Our experience of redemption is progressive. A consecrated life is also a life of struggling against sin. Jesus has paid for that sin on our behalf. As a result, the life we offer God, even with its imperfections, is one that He can accept. It is pleasing to Him.
Dr. Timothy Arens, VP and dean of Student Life, invites you to join him in prayer for the staff he leads serving our students. Their dedicated work for students’ growth and maturation outside of the classroom is respected and appreciated by all.