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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#887. True and proper worship - Romans 12:1-2 (30/8/23)

‘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. 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.’ (Romans 12:1-2)

Lesson: Worship is giving ourselves entirely to God as a result of new thinking about God and His will.

Worship is a response to God’s mercy

As we saw yesterday, as we live ‘in view of God’s mercy’ - keeping our eyes on God’s grace toward as seen most clearly in the cross - we will be inspired live a life of worship. Worship is, of course, acts of worship such as prayer and singing; however, worship is also all of life.

True and proper worship

The giving of our body ‘as a living sacrifice’ and our lives in their entirety to Jesus is described as ‘true and proper worship.’ In our era after Jesus, God doesn’t want us to give an animal sacrifice, He wants us to give ourselves - life and body - to Him. Many say they would die for Him but are we prepared to live for Him?

I wonder how you might define ’true and proper worship’? Many of us think of our preferences around buildings, dress-code, formal or informal styles, the use of spiritual gifts or not, teaching that is of a certain style…and many of these things are important. However, let’s never forget that it’s the hidden things - the heart - that is of greatest importance to God. Jesus condemned the worship of the religious leaders of His day when He said:

‘These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ (Matthew 15:8-9)

True and proper worship is translated from the word ‘Logikos’, which means reasonable or rational. Worship is to be the rational response to the truth. Worship that is simply emotional or habitual but without the engagement of the understanding is of no value to God.

‘Paul never wanted us to do something without a theological reason; he never wanted us to hold a theological reason without practical application.’ (C. K. Barrett. Quoted by Terry Virgo March 06)

All worship is to be the logical response to who God is. What we learn about God is to be turned back into praise, prayer and obedience. In the context of Romans 12, we are told that as we study God’s mercy to us in Jesus, and that our ‘logical’ response is a life of devotion. God’s mercy, properly understood, leads us to offer our bodies and give ourselves to a new pattern of life as set out in the Bible.


Worship is giving ourselves entirely to God as a result of new thinking about God and His will. Worship requires understanding about God. True worship is ‘reasonable’ or is the ‘logical’ response to God’s revelation of Himself in the Bible. Do we ensure that we turn what we learn into worship? Is our worship ‘logical’ do we praise with our understanding?

In case you missed it, here is a wonderful song that you might like to use in order to reflect on God's mercy:



Until September I'll not be producing a group study. However, if you meet with your group why not simply use one of the devotionals as a basis for your discussion together?

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