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Biblical Worship 03: Life-Transforming

In case you haven’t heard, God has a plan for your life.  Have you wondered exactly what that is?  Although the Bible doesn’t give us individual specifics for our lives other than His revealed will contained in the commandments, we can say one thing for sure:  if you are in Christ, God’s ultimate plan for you is to transform you into the likeness of Jesus.  God so clearly tells us this in Romans 8:29, For those whom [God] foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren.

So, if you are God’s in Christ, you are on a track to be completely like Christ, and one of the ways God is going to do this is through worship itself.  Worship is to be life-transforming.  To play off that standard invitation hymn “Just As I Am,” we are to come to worship just as we are, but we’re not to leave that way.  We’re to leave changed, transformed more closely to the image of Jesus Christ.

God reiterates this plan through Paul in Romans 12:1-2:

  • 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. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Presenting our bodies to God in worship means that we turn from the world and reject conformity to the world in all aspects of our lives.  Our bodies, our minds, our mouths are to be wholly devoted in holiness to God.  That’s worship in itself.  It’s crying out verbally and nonverbally to God that He is fully worthy of our complete dedication.

One of the biggest lies of modern philosophy is that we should just be satisfied with who we are naturally.  “Just embrace yourself,” pop psychology says.  “Don’t let anybody change you.  Become whomever you want to be, and do whatever your heart wants to do.”  That philosophical outlook is dangerous because who we are naturally is an offense to God, and what we naturally desire is an affront to God.  God desires to change you, and praise God that indeed He does.

In fact, one of our greatest motivations for worship should come from the transformation that God has wrought in our lives.  That’s why I love 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 so much.  It reminds me of what I used to be and what I would still be but for the grace of God

  • Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God, (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

But such were some of you…I love that because it points to God’s transformation of those in Christ.  May God change you through worship, and may that transformation lead to greater worship for our God who makes all things new!

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