Monday, July 11, 2016

IS CARNAL WORSHIP POSSIBLE?

WORSHIP Part 4

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (Rom 12:1KJV)

Let’s consider some of the more modern translations.
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. (NLT)
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. (NIV)
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. (ESV)
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. (NASB)
The word translated “service” in the KJV, and “worship” in the other translations, is also used four other times in the following verses in KJV, all translated ‘service’— (John 16:2; Rom. 9:4; Heb. 9:1, 6).

Notice that in Romans 9 and in Hebrews 9, the obvious reference is to ‘worship.’
This takes us back to the first article and our reference to worship being 24/7/365.
“The reality is that our entire life is to be an expression of worship (Rom. 12:1-2). Everything that you say, think and do should come under the umbrella of worship.”

If we are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, is that not worship? At least, it is a reference to the OT form of worship.

However, one wit has said that the only problem with this is that “the sacrifice keeps jumping up off the altar.”

(We will be looking at modern sacrifice as a form of worship later on in this series.)

In our last article we saw that we are to worship “the Father in spirit and in truth.” (Jn. 4:23) And we are bringing this concept around to the idea that it is a ‘spiritual person’ (Gal. 6:1) who is best suited to offer worship “in spirit.”

Paul is very clear on this (Rom. 8:5-8) as he writes of the two qualities of ‘spiritual’ or ‘carnal.’ He says in verse 8 that those who are “in the flesh cannot please God.”

The word rendered ‘cannot’ in that verse is the word that means ‘impossible.’ It is not a matter of legality. It is a matter of ability.

To say “you cannot drive faster than 70mph on the highway” is not the same as saying “you cannot run faster than 70mph on the highway.” One is a matter of legality and the other is a matter of ability, yet both are rendered ‘cannot.’ You can do that which is illegal.

One simply cannot please God from, with or in the flesh.

(This will become clearer later on in this series.)

Therefore, to worship the Father “in spirit” requires that we be ‘spiritual’ as opposed to ‘carnal.’

We concluded our last article with the verse from Colossians—
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. (Col 3:2)

The word “affection” is the Greek word φρονω (phronéō). Strong’s definition is:
to exercise the mind, i.e. entertain or have a sentiment or opinion; by implication, to be (mentally) disposed (more or less earnestly in a certain direction); intensively, to interest oneself in (with concern or obedience)

So we see that becoming spiritual has quite a bit to do with one’s thinking.

(I have dealt extensively with the mind, thinking, thoughts and spiritual in many other articles. If you are interested, go to the right side of the blog, and under “Categories and Tags” find one of those keywords listed, and it will bring up all that I have written on the subject.)

I know that some of those reading this already have their mind in a swirl thinking I’m saying that only a truly spiritual person can offer true worship.

That would be an incorrect thought. I’m not saying that.

I’m saying that only those who are spiritually minded can offer such praise and worship, and this brings up an interesting situation.

Many people live their lives as if they can simply turn spirituality on and off. 

They think they can live carnally all week long and then come into the house of the Lord and switch their spirituality to the ‘on’ position.

James puts the spotlight on this when he writes “a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (Ja. 1:8) Instability is not a characteristic of a spiritually minded person.

So, no, you cannot have both. You are either spiritually minded, or you are carnally minded. One or the other.

This is not about what you do. It is about how you think—the main focus of your life.

Hopefully, I have now answered the question put forth earlier
Did the possibility of false, vain, or ineffective worship cease when Jesus died?


Of course not.

3 comments:

  1. Good points. I find it interesting, though, that your discussion of "in spirit and in truth" only addressed the spirit part.

    I have come to realize that many Christians take the "truth" part to mean doctrinal beliefs. I disagree and think it is an incredibly important part of this discussion. When we intentionally lie in any form, no matter the motive and way, we are choosing to not worship and honor our Lord at that moment. When, as a believer, we reject lies and choose to walk in truth (honesty), it is a form of honor and worship to our Lord. Our culture has come to embrace and even encourage lying so much that actually being honest is often punished. Just something to think about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is me, Dale. The preview showed my name but the posting did not. I'll keep signing things, I guess. Charlotte

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  2. Charlotte, you are correct in that I did not fully address the idea of worshipping in truth. I dealt with it only a little in the previous article to which I referred in this one. I've also dealt with the concept in previous articles. (click on 'truth' under Categories and Tags over on the right here, and you will be taken to those articles.)
    Your points are well-taken.
    Part of the reason I did not go into any length on the subject is that I see "spirit and truth" as being the same—as alluded to in the previous article. The verse would read, " in spirit, even truth."
    It is not possible to have the 'spirit' part without the 'truth' part.
    Absolutely, it is not about doctrinal belief.
    Thank you for bring this up.

    ReplyDelete

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