Conformed or Transformed
July 10, 2005
INTRODUCTION: Paul referred to our response to all that Christ has done as our "reasonable service." The RSV translates service as worship; notice, no high pressure, no forcing of the will, no bending of the personality to make it conform to the divine will. The reasonableness of the demand will be so evident that there will be an immediate and prompt response.
Originally the word service meant to work as a laboring man who gives his strength to an employer in return for the pay the employer will give him. It denotes, not slavery, but the voluntary understanding of work. It later came to mean generally to serve; later that to which a man gives his whole life. In the Bible it never means human service; it is always the word of service to and worship of God. True worship is the offering to God of one's body, and all that one does everyday with it. Real worship is the offering of everyday life to Him.
Isaac Watts –
"When I survey the wondrous cross (Rom. 12:1)
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all of my pride.
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all."
Like in Malachi's day, many today are perfectly willing to give God second-best, the leftovers that mean little to them; and mean even less to Him.
Only a living and holy sacrifice, the giving of ourselves and the giving of our best, is acceptable to God. Only in that way can we give Him our spiritual service of worship.
So the term reasonable service refers to spiritual worship. Keeping it in the context of the book of Romans, Paul is saying, in light of "the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God" and of His "unsearchable judgments, and unfathomable ways;" and because "from Him and through Him and to Him are all things" (Rom. 11:33,36), includi ...
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