20180225 Sunday Worship Sermon
"Worship, to offer and to live"
We are all Christians.
There are some different definitions as to defining what a Christian is.
Some people might say, “a person who belive in Jesus is a christian,” others might say, “a person who attends church is a Christian.”
And those who are unsure might say " people who are nice are Christians."
A Christian basically means holy people, and the word holy means set apart.
Then what sets apart the Christians from non-Christians?
Although there are many reasons as to what sets apart Christians from non-Christians, you can probably guess what the answer is baed on today's text.
Yes, the answer is worship.
Christians and non-Christians are distinguished through worship.
Christian means a person who worships.
Today’s bible message is about worship.
As you know, there are 16 chapters in the book of Romans and it can be divided by two major parts.
Chapters 1-11 can be referred to as the doctrine part, and chapter 12-16 can be referred to as the application part.
So, today's text is the conclusion of a logical explanation of God’s love and grace, from chapter 1 to 11.
And as I mentioned before, story-wise, it makes natural flow to go from Chapter 8 to Chapter 12.
Let’s look at how Chapter 8 finished.
“nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:39)
And today's text, chapter 12 begins: "Therefore…"
Yes, Paul Is telling us the conclusion.
What is the conclusion?
What is the conclusion of the doctrine part?
It is to worship.
What is the main point of faith?
It is worship.
What is God’s purpose in loving us?
It is to worship.
What is God’s purpose in giving us faith?
It is so that through us God may receive worship.
So, now what does worship mean?
What is the definition of worship?
Is it just “Coming to church and sitting down for one hour.”?
The definition of worship is pleasing God.
Yes, worship is all about pleasing God.
What does that mean?
That means, “Worship with your body, worship with your heart.”
This is how we should understand today's text.
If there is one important thing about our Christian life, it is worship.
In our Christian life, worship should be the first and the last.
How did you start your Christian life?
Probably through worship.
It starts with worship.
It starts with coming out to church and worship.
How do you end your Christian life?
It will end through worship.
These days there are many church members who passed away.
When we come to the end of our lives, we eventuarlly will experience worshipping while ending our lives.
If you look in Revelations, it talks about this message.
In the last days, the heavens will open and even heaven is where we will worship in front of God’s throne.
Yes, it is true that we will start with worship and end in worship.
And when we meet again in the kingdom of heaven, we will also meet in the place of worship.
That is why no matter how much I enphasise it, it cannot be over-stressed.
"God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us…" (Romans 5:8)
"For just as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous." (Romans 5:19)
"O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!" (Romans 11:33)
Yes, the conclusion of everything is worship.
The conclusion of our faith is worship.
That is why Christians do not succeed in anything else, but worship.
When worship falls down, everything else falls apart too.
When a faithful man falls in his worship, his life falls as well.
Worship does not fall when life gets hard, life gets hard when worship falls apart.
God had set the Israelites free from Egypt and has led them to the promise land, Caanan.
What is God’s purpose in letting them free from Egypt?
Was it for them to build the kingdom of Israel in the land of Cannan?
No. It is to build a country that worships, create people who worship.
That was God’s purpose.
What is the reason that the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judea perished?
It is because their worship had collapsed.
So God wanted to rebuild the broken worship through the prophet Ezra.
Then, what is worship?
Today’s text shows us the true meaning of worship.
I hope we can learn what worship is through today's text.
Verse 1 starts with, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy…”
What is Paul urging?
Paul is urging the members of Roman Church "to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice…”.
Here, the words “to offer” comes first.
Therefore, Paul is urging “to offer.”
"Therefore… offer" / "therefore… offer your bodies" / "therefore… offer as living sacrifices" / “therefore… offer holy and pleasing to God.”
Yes, the core of worship is "to offer."
Specifically, it means "to offer" our bodies.
Brothers and sisters, God always gives us only what is good to us and fills us up with joy.
Yes, God always gives.
Thinking about my past, I can say that I am so thankful for the grace God has poured out to me.
God has allowed many things in my life.
I cannot express how thankful I am.
God has given me a precious family, He has allowed me to study aborad, He has allowed me to be a pastor, and He has sent me to this wonderful Olive church.
God has also allowed me to meet all of you and work together with you.
Yes, I give thanks to God who has given me all of these things in my life.
However, sometimes we take God’s grace for granted and forget the whole truth.
The truth is that God does not exist to give us joy, but it is actually the opposite.
God does not exist for our happiness, but rather, we exist for God’s happiness.
We often forget about this fact.
God is not obligated to give us joy.
He is not our joy bank.
Rather God obtains joy through us.
What do you think is the most important part of worship?
When people are asked what the most important part of worship is they usually say the sermon.
So, people think that it is OK to come to church late as long as it is before the sermon.
And then they would evaluate and judge the sermon saying, “I really liked today’s sermon, or I didn’t really enjoy the sermon.”
Most people listen to a pastor’s sermon and are happy if they can get something out of it, but if they don’t like the sermon, they fall asleep, or as young people say 'space out'.
However, that should not be happening.
I am not saying that the sermon is not important.
It is very important to proclaim God’s word and realize the miraculous works God has done throughout the preaching.
There must be the proclamation of the word during the worship service.
However, the essence of worship is "to offer."
If you break down the word "worship," ‘wor’ means worth or value, and ‘ship’ means to move, which means to offer God what is worthy and valuable.
Yes, worship… is "to offer."
We are to offer humbly ourselves to God for the glory of god.
That means that the most important part of worship is when we give praise, prayer, and offering to God.
If we fail to offer to God, we fail in worship.
Brothers and sisters, since when have we become judges of worship?
Since when, have we expected to get something out of worship?
The essence of worship is to offer.
We are to give God the confession of our hearts through praise.
When a person has failed to offer, that person has missed the main point of worship.
Let’s take one more step ahead.
If we were to offer to God, we must offer what is worthy to God.
In verse 1, it says, "this is your spiritual act of worship.”
The original meaning in Greek, which means, “a worship that is worth giving to God.”
Specifically, the message is telling us to offer our bodies.
If you look at the Old Testament, in Leviticus, there are certain conditions in which we must offer offerings to God.
It says. “We must offer an offering that is of no blemish and clean.”
When we worship God, we must worship God with our bodies.
Through our bodies we must certify our faith.
We must learn how to speak through our bodies.
We must make sure that our attitude, our praise, our prayers, and our offerings is worthy and pleasing to give to God.
We must be restored through the thoroughness so that worship may come alive inside us.
We prepare many different things for worship service, such as the worship order, the staff members and the praise song order.
Why do we prepare so much?
To make it convenient for us?
To satisfy us? No.
It is because we must give worship wholly to God.
It is to offer a worthy and pleasing worship to God.
You are not in front of a pastor, but you are standing before God.
You may do whatever you like in front of a pastor, but you cannot in front of God.
We must look back at ourselves to see whether we are living a way that pleases God.
We must reflect on ourselves whether we really are ready to give worship to God.
Some may ask, “But, pastor, does not God say that our heart is important? God does not look at appearance, but looks at the heart. Does he not look at the center of our hearts?”
However, before we offer worship with our hearts, I hope that we can succeed in giving worship through our bodies.
I hope that you may all reflect on whether you are giving a worthy enough worship to God.
We must make sure there is no blemish or flaw in our worship.
I would like us to prepare it, so that it is a pure and beautiful worship.
If the core message in verse 1 was “to offer”, main message in verse 2 is “not be conformed, but be transformed.”
What is the important word here?
Yes, it is “transformed.”
You are probably wondering, “How did we get to 'transformed' from 'worshipping'?
So, let me explain… verse 1 talks about the form of worship, and verse 2 talks about the worshipping life. How?
It says, “do not conform to the pattern of this world.”
This means to “testify”.
Therefore, “be transformed, and go against the pattern of this world, becoming a true worshipper and test and approve what God’s pleasing and perfect will is.”
It is basically saying to worship God with your life.
Therefore, verse 1 talks about offering true, whole worship with your body.
And verse 2 talks about living that way, to worship with your life.
Yes, "Therefore… offer / therefore… live"
Worship is "to offer" and worship is also "to live."
Brothers and sisters, a true worshipper does not just worship at church, but worships God outside of church in spirit and in truth.
I know that it is not easy to do this.
However, do not give up.
When will Sunday worship service end?
Sunday worship service does not end after benediction, but worship starts again with your life.
If the sanctuary is a place you meet God, then your every day life is where you are accompanied by God.
If a sanctuary is a place where you restore your broken relationship with God, then the place of your every day life is where you testify your restored relationship with God.
We commonly think that God will be pleased in our religious acts and spiritual acts.
So, we thought, “I believe God is pleased when I read and meditate on the Bible. God is pleased when I pray to him. God is pleased when I attend worship service on Sunday...”
Yes, that is true.
God is pleased.
But, there is some confusion.
God is not only interested in worship in the sanctuary, but he is interested in our every day lives.
It is because he hopes that through the guidance of God you may start reading the Bible, attending worship service, praying every day, in which God’s word starts to appear in our every day lives.
Where should we reveal our faith?
In church? No.
We must reveal our faith in our every day lives.
Rev. Charles Conson had once said this, “The reason why people refuse to work is because they do not worship.”
Then he gave this example.
There was a Christian who was a carpenter.
He would worship in spirit and in truth on Sundays.
So, when does his worship become certified?
It is certified through his every day life of the week.
His worship is proven when he is sincere and faithful in his work of carpentry.
So, Rev. Conson said, "not to do work is not to worship. When worship falls aparts, so does the work portion…"
I think his example is true.
I think we can apply this to our very own lives too.
Our life and our faith cannot be separate just as our worship and our work cannot be separate.
Our worship is displayed through our lives.
How much have you offered God today? This will be answered and proven through how you live your life throughout the week.
Yes, your life will prove your worship.
Worship must be revealed in our lives, our family, our workplace, so that everything may be aiming towards worshipping God, which will help us bear fruit and radiate the scent of God.
I believe that is our calling.
Brothers and sisters, we are all worshippers.
We are set apart as worshippers.
We are people who please God.
I really hope and pray in God’s name that you may give a worthy and pleasing worship to God and also give glory to God by worshipping through our every day lives. Amen.