Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? (I Corinthians 3:16).

 

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 (Romans 12:1).

 

 

Dallas Burdette

March 12, 1998

                                                                                                     

 

 

Thrust statement: Worship is presenting your body as a living sacrifice.

 

Scripture reading: John 4:23-24; Philippians 3:3[1]

 

 

TRUE WORSHIP VERSUS FIVE RITUALS

 

Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24).

For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh (Philippians 3:3).

 

Before one embarks upon Paul’s concept of worship in his Philippian letter, it would be helpful to ask questions about worship.  If someone were to ask you to define worship, how would you explain it?  If someone were to question you as to where worship takes place, how would you respond?  Is worship confined to a specific time frame?  For instance, does worship begin at 10:00 am and stop at 11:00 am?  Is worship like a faucet that one cuts on or off at will?  Is worship something that you perform once a week?  Is participation in preaching, singing, praying, giving, and breaking bread in the communion on Sunday morning spoken of as worship in the New Testament?  Is involvement in one of these five acts on Sunday morning called worship in the New Testament?  Or are these five rituals in and of themselves worship?

Is preaching worship?  Is not preaching a proclamation of the good news that Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners?  Does one proclaim the “good news” because he/she is a worshiper of God?  Are we not to tell people about God’s way of redemption through Jesus in our journey through life?  Do the Scriptures ever define one of the above five acts as worship?  Do we not engage in these activities because we are worshipers of the one true God?

            Worship among many Christians is generally identified with a so-called worship service.  But does the New Testament ever speak of a “worship service” or does it ever speak of one “going to worship”?  R. L. Kilpatrick goes right to the heart of what worship is all about when writes:

 

He didn’t say one single word about performing a Sunday a.m. ritual. . . .  I have come to the conclusion that God never gave any such instructions to the church, that it is not taught in the Bible, that there is not a single instance where God, an apostle, or any inspired writer ever instructed the church to come together to perform a worship service.  A corporate form of worship is not taught in the Bible.  There are a number of instances where the Christian community assembled, for a variety of reasons, but never for the express purpose of engaging in items of worship.  We are instructed to meet together to “exhort one another to love and good works,” for mutual edification, to encourage to admonish, to take care of brotherhood problems (like the man who married his father’s wife, taking brethren to law, resolving the Gentile question (Acts 15), and a number of other reasons, but never to perform public (corporate) “acts” which we call “worship” (emphasis mine—RDB).[2]

 

A solution to these questions about worship should rescue believers from a sterile, barren, fruitless, and infertile life in Jesus.  Further, a resolution to these queries about worship should expedite the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

 

TRUE WORSHIP

 

            In Philippians 3:3, Paul sets forth one of the many characteristics that is descriptive of God’s people.  In this passage he describes the believer as one who worships by the Spirit and glories in Christ Jesus.  The individuals to whom Paul wrote were those who had heard the gospel and responded through repentance and acceptance of Jesus as God’s way of salvation.  They were members of God’s community.  The Christians in Philippi were in danger of the circumcision party, that is to say, the Judaizers.  In fact, Paul warns, “Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh” (3:2).  These men who were mutilators of the flesh were the very ones that Jesus warned His disciples about in the conclusion of His  Sermon on the Mount: “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (Matthew 7:15).

            Repetition is sometimes necessary in order to reinforce certain teachings.  This is why Paul reminded them again of certain things even though they knew the things he was writing about: “Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you (Philippians 3:1).  Paul is troubled about the legalistic teachings of the Judaizers that could cause the Philippians to abandon their concept of true worship.  Christians today also need to be reminded of what true worship is.  It is not rituals performed on Sunday morning between the hours of 10:00 am and 11: 00 am, but rather worship is presenting one’s body a living sacrifice to God in his/her daily walk with God—twenty-four hours a day. 

 

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. Do not conform any longer 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 12:1-3).

 

           

THE TEMPLE OF GOD AND SACRIFICE

 

In the Old Testament, the Jews went up to the Temple to worship.  They offered their sacrifices at the Temple, which constituted their worship.  But today we are the Temple of God.  It is in this vein that Paul addresses the Corinthians: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).  Yes, we are the Temple of God!  The Holy Spirit dwells within this Temple. 

Is this not what Paul refers to when he says, “For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God” (Philippians 3:3)?  When Jesus told the woman at the well that “a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24), did He not refer to a worship that is under the control of the Holy Spirit and a worship that is in and through Him, the Son of God?

            To “worship by the Spirit of God” and to “honor God with your body” appear to be parallel.  The construction of Philippians 3:3 and 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 seems to be similar to Romans 12:1-3.  Since the body is the Temple, then Paul informs the Corinthians to “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body” (1 Corinthians 6:18).  In the beginning of his letter to Corinth, Paul asked the Corinthians a question: “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” 

            Let us again reflect upon Romans 12:1-3.  Paul tells them “to offer your bodies as living sacrifices” (12:1).  What does “sacrifice” call to your mind?  Does it not indicate death?  The animal died as a sacrifice.  When we present our bodies as “living sacrifices,” then does this not also indicate death at some point in our lives?  The Christian not only dies to sin, but he/she is resurrected to walk in newness of life, thus every Christian is a continual “living sacrifice.”  There is a constant dying to sin.  In this letter to Rome, Paul pictures the death and resurrection of every believer:

 

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?  By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?  Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.  For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace (Romans 6:1-14).

 

The Christian dies to self and is resurrected.  Since this is true, then every believer must present himself/herself as “living sacrifices,” which, as Paul says,  is “your spiritual act of worship” (12:1).  There is a continual offering of our bodies as “living sacrifices.” 

One should never assume that one has arrived at a position in his/her Christian life that does not require reflection or reminders of what Christianity is all about.  All Christians need to be aroused to a proper understanding of worship.  As a result of the Judaizers seeking to adulterate true worship, Paul, as noted earlier, calls attention to the imposters by calling them “dogs,” “evil,” and “mutilators of the flesh” (Philippians 2:2).  Paul impresses upon their minds what it is that constitutes true worship: “For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh” (3:3).  This concept of worship is taken from the words of Jesus in His conversation with the Samaritan woman (John 4:21-24).

 

IN THE SPIRIT

 

The passage in Philippians, so it seems, refers to the eschatological significance of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  The coming of Christ has ushered in the new age of salvation, and the Holy Spirit is the sign of this redemption.  Christians have the Spirit and are able to offer worship that is pleasing to God (Romans 8:8-9; 12:1); the body is now the new temple of God.  One cannot help but wonder if “by the Spirit” in Philippians 3:3 is not an allusion to “in spirit and in truth in John 4:24.  Is Jesus and Paul referring to a life controlled by the Holy Spirit?  The phrase “in spirit and truth” may be contrasting ritualism versus the outpouring of one’s soul in confession to God through the Spirit.  In Jesus’ conversation with the woman of Samaria, He rejects the geographical location as well as the performance of liturgical worship.  Worship is now to be a worship that presents one’s body as a living sacrifice, that is to say, a life that is controlled by the Holy Spirit.

 

JERUSALEM AND SAMARIA

 

            To grasp the words of Jesus in John 4:24, a brief background of the worship of the Israelites and Samaritans is essential to a proper understanding of Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman. Jesus, in the course of his remarks, mentions two mountains: (1) Mount Moriah—site of the Temple in Jerusalem, and (2) Mount Gerizim—site of the Temple in Samaria.  The focus of Jewish worship in ancient times centered around the Temple.  The first Temple was built by King Solomon and by the era of Josiah was regarded as the only legitimate place of sacrifice.  This Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE.  Later, after the seventy-years of Babylonian exile, the Temple, under the leadership of Zerubbabel, was rebuilt and later enlarged by King Herod.

           

MOUNT GERIZIM

 

The Samaritans were the descendents of the Jews of the Northern Kingdom that was decimated by the Assyrians in 721 BCE.  When the Jews returned from the Babylonian exile under Ezra and Nehemiah, they were not permitted to worship in the Temple in Jerusalem because they were not full Jews.  They were of mixed blood—Jewish and Assyrian.  They were now mixed blood because of intermarriage with the Assyrians.  Since they were not permitted to worship in Jerusalem, they built an alternative shrine on Mount Gerizim.  They retained their own liturgy and customs and developed their own Codes of Law.  They kept all the biblical festivals and sacrificed the paschal lamb at Passover.

MOUNT MORIAH

 

The Temple in Jerusalem centered round the offering of sacrifices.  The priests made sin offerings on the festivals as propitiation for the nation’s sin and for individuals.  Burnt offerings of animals were made twice daily with two additional lambs offered each Sabbath.  Also, to accompany the animal offerings, meal offerings were also made and libations were poured out.  But after the exile, the Samaritans offered their sacrifices on Mount Gerizim.  And after the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE, prayers and fasting took the place of sacrifice.  Today, the synagogue liturgy is based on the times of the Temple sacrifices.

 

ESCHATOLOGICAL AGE

 

Even though God commanded ritualism in the Old Testament, Jesus is now saying that in the eschatological age, worship would no longer employ a mechanical form such as the rituals performed on Mount Moriah and Mount Gerizim, but rather a worship that flows out of a grateful heart for salvation made available through Jesus Christ and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  In other words, His people would no longer “live according to the sinful nature but live lives that are led by the Spirit of God(Romans 8:4, emphasis mine).  True worship is no longer located in a particular geographical place and the performance of certain rituals, but it is something that takes place in every Christian on a daily basis—twenty-four hours a day.

            It seems, from the context, that the worship that is “in Spirit and Truth” is a worship that is lived within the sphere of God’s Holy Spirit.  True worship involves one’s walking in the Spirit.  In other words, it is a life that adheres to the teachings of Jesus.  It is a life that seeks to keep the commandments of God. Jesus instructed His disciples about keeping His commandments.

 

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another (John 13:34-35).

 

If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.  He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.  All this I have spoken while still with you.  But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you (John 14:23-26).

 

Paul also expresses this truth in Romans:

 

You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.  And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you (Romans 8:9-11).

 

Even though Israel offered up their sacrifices at the Temple, this responsibility did not release them from offering their lives in holiness to God.  But in the Christian age, God has not legislated concerning rituals—such as, five acts to be performed on Sunday morning—but rather, the presenting of one’s body “as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship” (Romans 12:1).  Worship takes place in the Temple.  Christians are now the Temple of God.  We have too long identified worship as the performance of certain rituals discharged on Sunday morning.  But there is not one Scripture in the New Testament that ever identifies worship as the fulfillment of five acts.  Worship in the New Testament is never defined as what happens on Sunday morning.  Not one time did any writer of the New Testament ever tell Christians to “go to worship.”  Nor did they ever specify five acts as worship.  For the writers of the New Covenant Scriptures, true worship is the presenting of one’s body as a living sacrifice.

 

SPIRITUAL ACT OF WORSHIP

 

The means whereby one presents his/her body as a living sacrifice is presented in Romans 12.  It is this ethical behavior that God, through His prophets, warned the children of Israel to practice.  Even the performance of rituals without ethical behavior that is descriptive of God’s holiness is not acceptable to Him.  Consider the following citations from the Old Testament.  God, through Amos, goes right to the point of ethical behavior:

 

Seek good, not evil,

that you may live.

Then the LORD God Almighty will be with you,

just as you say he is.

15 Hate evil, love good;

maintain justice in the courts.

Perhaps the LORD God Almighty will have mercy

on the remnant of Joseph (Amos 5:14-15).

Again, through His prophet Isaiah, He says,

 

Wash and make yourselves clean.

Take your evil deeds

out of my sight!

Stop doing wrong,

17 learn to do right!

Seek justice,

encourage the oppressed.

Defend the cause of the fatherless,

plead the case of the widow (Isaiah 1:16-17).

 

God also describes true worship in His definition of fasting:

 

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:

to loose the chains of injustice

and untie the cords of the yoke,

to set the oppressed free

and break every yoke?

7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry

and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—

when you see the naked, to clothe him,

  and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? (Isaiah 58:6-7).

 

Through Micah, God again calls attention to what really matters:

 

8 He has showed you, O man, what is good.

And what does the LORD require of you?

To act justly and to love mercy

and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).

 

The Jews were to participate in ceremonial ritual as well as internal devotion to God.  Even though the Israelites expressed their worship in ceremonial forms such as sacrifices and festivals; nevertheless, they were to learn to do right, seek justice, and encourage the oppressed.  The book of Samuel and Psalms address ceremonial forms:

 

Year after year this man went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the LORD Almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the LORD (1 Samuel 1:3).

 

“Let us go to his dwelling place;

let us worship at his footstool—

8 arise, O LORD, and come to your resting place,

you and the ark of your might (Psalms 132:7).

 

Their worship, in addition to sacrifices and festivals, still required upright behavior, submissiveness of spirit, and confession of sin.  The rituals themselves were of no use if the person did not worship God in his heart and life.  God complained to the children of Israel about their ethical conduct: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men” (Isaiah 29:13).  But, today, in the eschatological age, rituals are no longer employed in true worship.  Is this not what Jesus is dealing with in John 4:24?  Is not Jesus, in this passage,  drawing attention to the absence of rituals and focusing on behavior that is under the control of the Holy Spirit.  What is the contrast?  Jesus is saying that true worship in the eschatological age is not in rituals, but rather is a life that is under the control of the Holy Spirit. 

 

RETURN TO RITUAL WORSHIP

 

Today, our Church of Christ journals are filled with ritual worship.  We have substituted ceremonial rituals of the Old Testament with five ritualistic acts to be performed on Sunday morning in a specific manner.  We have perverted true worship.  There are approximately twenty-five divisions within the Churches of Christ, and these divisions are over prescribed rituals that God did not command in order for worship to be true.  Can Christians sing with or without the instrument when they assemble to strengthen and encourage one another?  Can Christians participate in Sunday school classes for adults and children when they assemble?  Must believers use wine only or grape juice only when they assemble?  Must individuals use one cup or multiple cups in the observance of the Lord’s supper when they come together?  Is it wrong to practice solo singing or must there be strictly congregational singing?  Can there be quartet singing?  Can Christians clap their hands during an assembly?  If God has not commanded a worship service with five acts to be carried out in a fixed manner, how can Christians impose all the restrictions that are currently being enforced by certain interpretative communities?  The divisions within many Christian communities are over how to conduct a “worship service” that God did not address. 

            Paul did not want the Philippians to allow the Judaizers to separate them from true worship.  Paul prayed that this would not happen.  He begins his letter with a prayer.

 

In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy  because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,  so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God (Philippians 1:4-10).

 

The Judaizers went around teaching that it was not enough to believe in Christ.  In other words, they were saying that you must be circumcised.  They were saying that you cannot do away with the rituals:

 

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ (Colossians 2:8).

 

Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.  These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ (Colossians 2:16-17).

 

Paul counters this philosophy of the Judaizers with:  “For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh (Philippians 3:3). 

 

LITURGY VERSUS TRUE WORSHIP

 

Again, I ask, What do you mean when you say you are worshipping God?  It seems that many Christians do not clearly differentiate between liturgy and true worship.  There is still a tendency on the part of many to go back to mechanical forms of the Christian life and worship through rituals.  And these rituals are identified as true worship—not the presenting of one’s life as a living sacrifice.  Today, so-called Christian worship has been reverting to a set forms; Christians have been persuaded that this is true worship.  But true worship is not adherence to assigned rituals discharged in a defined manner.  The litmus test to apply to true worship is to look at one’s ethical behavior.  Jesus describes this kind of course of action in His Sermon on the Mount.   Worship has nothing to do with the geographical location of a particular building or certain rituals performed on Sunday morning.  Today, we are the Temple of God and worship takes place within us.  The true worshiper is not one who goes devotedly to early morning celebration and then claims the rest of the week to live any way he or she wishes.  The true worshiper is one whose life is controlled by the Holy Spirit.  The first characteristics of a true worshiper is: “For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh (Philippians 3:3).

 

CHRISTIAN WORSHIP DEFINED

 

The apostle defines Christian worship as a worship that is controlled by the Holy Spirit.  And this worship is a worship of rejoicing.  It is no longer a matter of duty—it is a desire.  We love because He first loved us.   The consciousness of being moved inwardly and being gripped and being led by the Spirit constitutes the characteristics of worship that is by the Spirit.  To worship by the Spirit of God is not something cold and formal, it is always warm and loving and free.  Since the Holy Spirit is in us, there must be something of the love of God in us.  Paul says, “God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Romans 5:5).  As men and women worship God more and more by the Spirit, they become less and less dependent upon means.  By means, I mean buildings, liturgies, preachers, or even other people.  The man who worships in the Spirit realizes the presence of God.

Remember, as stated above, that Jesus told the Samaritan woman that “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).  Anyone who realizes the presence of God realizes something of His holiness and feels unworthy.  The Hebrew writer expresses it this way: “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe” (Hebrews 12:28).

Since God has not commanded a worship service on Sunday morning, then when Christians bind upon other Christians their particular brand of orthodoxy they are enslaving where God has set us free.  It would be well for Christians in every interpretative community to recall the words of Paul to the Galatians: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery(Galatians 5:1).  Again, Paul complained about their making certain days and festivals as mandatory an indication of their failure to comprehend what Christianity is all about: “You are observing special days and months and seasons and years!  I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you” (Galatians 4:10).

Once more, Paul, in this same vein, writes to the Colossians: “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ” (Colossians 2:16-17). And, finally, Paul writes to the Romans: “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind” (Romans 14:5).  True worship is not in the keeping of days; it is not in practicing circumcision; it is not in singing with or without the instrument; it is not in the manner of breaking the bread in the Lord’s supper; it is not in the use of wine only or grape juice only, and so on.

Prior to this admonition about days, Paul encouraged all the believers to “offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer 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).  What does it mean to present your body a living sacrifice?  Listen to Paul as he enumerates ways in which one worships God:


Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.  Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.  On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:9-21).

 

For Paul, the doctrine of worship and ethics converge.  Worship is not replaced by ethics, but rather ethics are turned into worship.  Many Christians know little about true worship.  Pick up the newspaper and read the advertisements by the churches: morning worship, 11 am.  But frequently “morning worship” is nothing more than “morning liturgy.”   But for the Christian, his whole life is to become spiritual worship.  It is a worship of reasonable service. The only acts that God has ordained for the Christian in worship is to exemplify God in his/her daily walk with Him.  May God help us not to enslave God’s people with ritualistic worship ever again.

 

 

 

Oakwood Hills Church

DeFuniak Springs, FL

Date: 3-13-1999

Time: 11 a.m.

Responses:  1: Casey Galloway expressed a desire to be baptized.

Present: 49

Scripture reading: Timothy Williamson

 

 


On March 7, 1999, I spoke on the faith of Wanda Rutan who went to be with Jesus on March 5, 1999.  During this morning gathering of God’s people (59 present), Jeremy Russell responded to the “good news” of God’s way of salvation, namely, faith in Jesus.  He was baptized about 10 am.  His wife, Michelle, as well as other believers from another congregation in Crestview, FL met with us.   I am not the one who led him to the Lord, but I was privileged to assist him in his obedience in baptism.  I praise God for those who shared the Messiah with him.

 

Casey Galloway came forward to confess her faith in Jesus as God’s Son and Savior of those who put their trust in Him.  Casey was baptized following the local gathering of the Saints at Oakwood Hills.  She was born on 11-24-1983 and reborn on 3-13-1999.

 


 

 

 

 



[1] All Scripture citations are from The New International Version, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) 1984, unless stated otherwise.

[2] Pat Kilpatrick, “Editorial: Thirsting for a Pattern?” Ensign 21 (January 1993): 2-3.