Worship, a very holy word but most debated and misunderstood on religious circles. Christians from different traditions and background debate on this issue for the past centuries on how we worship God in a biblical and reverential way. Most, if not all of us are being subjective in defining and judging the other camps. Terms used such as "silent night" (referring to Reformed-Liturgical-Hymal style of service) and "joy to the world (referring to the contemporary-radical-youthful Evangelical style of service) to describe the distinctions of the style of worship.
But Church and congregational worship is only a part of worship and service to God. In this short paper we will discuss that worship does not confine on the 4 corners of the Church building but beyond. Worship extends to our everyday lives in obedience with the Word.
I will primarily use Romans 12 as our base passage but we will quote some passages from the Scriptures as our discussion goes by.
Let's quote first Romans 12:1
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. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy,
What is God's mercy ? Noticed Paul used the term "therefore". It means that Paul was discussing a topic before chapter 12. If we will look at chapter 11, Paul discussed here the salvation of Israel and how Israel has a big part of the God's plan of salvation. Paul advised the Gentiles not to think that they (Gentiles) are superior than the Jews (11:18). God is still giving and will give Israel chance to respond to the gospel. Since we are all sinners (Romans 3:23) no one is righteous to the eyes of God. But because of His grace He made a way to provide redemption (salvation) for both Jews and Gentiles (Romans 1:16). Now, based on that view that God is merciful. Paul urged the Christians in Rome to:
to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship
Now, this is the prescription written in the Scripture. Our true and proper worship to God is to offer our bodies as sacrifice, holy and pleasing. But hold your horses guys. Does this verse only referring to congregational or church worship only ? Does Paul have the church worship in mind when he is writing this passage ? Let's see on the next lines.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
What are the things that the world is doing ? Are we doing that ? Are we following their habits and worldviews ? Or are we renewing and changing our way in looking at things ?
As Christians, Paul admonished us to renew our minds. To be holy and to be stained by the sins of this world. In Old testament, the animal sacrifice should be blameless in the sight of the Lord. If we want to worship God then we should have our lives blameless by renewing our mind and not conforming on the pattern of this world.
Worship is not about just singing (or dancing). It's not just inside the four corner of the Church. Worship is a lifestyle. Making our steps that can bring honor to God. Changing our worldview according to what the bible says. If you want to do the correct worship, be holy since God is holy.