Is basically what Paul is saying…I never got that until today…
That became readily apparent as I came upon the chapter “Paul and the Service of the Gospel” in David Peterson’s book “Engaging with God, a Biblical Theology of Worship.”
The author translates Rom 12:1-2 as:
Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercies, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, which is your understanding worship
“Understanding” worship? Where the heck did he get that?
Even the mighty ESV has “spiritual worship.” (KJV says “reasonable service…” a clue here…)
First, it’s important to realize that Paul is saying “therefore” – in other words, ‘because of the last 11 chapters I just explained to you about the amazing sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus…think this way about worship’
On the one had you had the traditional Jews who still were advocating the traditional animal sacrifice for worship. On the other hand you have the Greeks saying “Animal sacrifice? Yikes. How gross. Let’s be ‘reasonable’ about this.”
Reasonable. Logical. The words in question here in the Greek are “logike latreia.” Looking it up on BlueLetterBible.com – – ‘logiko’ agreeable to reason and ‘latreia’ – the service and ministry of God.
So, what is Paul saying we should be rational about?
In light of the fact that God sent His Son Jesus to die for my sin, in light of the cross, the amazing mediation, in light of the Gospel of Jesus – your worship should be the giving of your whole bodies – an ‘extreme realism’ as it is referred to in the book.
I’ll close with a direct quote from Peterson –
It may be best to read ‘understanding worship’ and to recognize from the context that this means ‘the worship which is consonant with the truth of the gospel, or the service rendered by those who truly understand the gospel and it’s implications‘
In other words – look what God has done for YOU. The least you can do is offer your whole lives – every bit of them, every inch and dark corner of your heart, to him in service as worship. I mean…let’s be rational here.