In the Old Testament, sin could only be cleansed through the sacrifice of blood. When Jesus came and died for our sins, His blood became the final sacrifice for all. The need for sacrifices to cleanse us from sin was removed forever. Jesus paid the price for all. The act of sacrifice was part of the physical worship experience.
Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.
When I look at worship, I see two acts - The spiritual act and the physical act. When we gather as a congregation on Sundays, we see a host of people offering up their physical acts of worship. They are singing, lifting up hands, praying, shouting and dancing. It is a awesome site to see...hundred of believers engaged in the act of physical worship.
The act of the physical is a valid part of our worship. In doing so are dying to self to give what is do to the Lord. When we raise our hands or sing, it takes energy. It is not something that is not accomplished without effort. Therefore it can be see as a sacrifice. When I first raised my hands in worship is was an act of sacrifice. It was uncomfortable to me and took a lot for me to do it. I had to sacrifice my feelings and inhibitions to do what was right in my personal worship.
Romans 12:1 speaks of our spiritual act of worship. It states that our bodies are to be living sacrifices holy and pleasing to the Lord. This is the difficult part of worship that many fail to see and practice. It's easy to come to church and worship with the physical act. Everyone else is doing it...it's a whole lot easier when you blend in with the crowd. The spiritual is a bit more involved and takes a bit more committment.
Mark 7:6-8 reads, He replied, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: "'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.' You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men."
These men and women appeared to be worshiping with the physical acts. "They honor me with their lips" implies they were worshiping with a physical act. Wasn't this enough?
To the meat. When we come on Sundays to worship together, we are in a sense incomplete if we have not worshiped the Lord during the week in the spiritual. If we are not living lives in obedience and faithfulness, our worship falls short to the physical act and nothing more. Jesus saw this time and again with the Pharisees. They were good about proclaiming things with their mouths and falling short in living it out. There are a lot of Pharisees in our churches today. They are good at saying and doing the right things. When they leave the building, back they go.
I pray that as we seek God this week we will commit to living lives that are holy and acceptable to Him. Living our lives in obedience to His Word and will. Living faithful lives that are true and holy. Then, when we come together on Sundays, our worship will be spiritual and physical as we glorify the the King of kings and Lord of lords. He is worthy. Amen.