Page 7 - January 2019 - Truth & Tidings
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Son has gone up the hill for us and there   His perfect worship enables us to worship:
        has offered a sacrifice infinitely acceptable   Will not “the blood of Christ, who through
        to God. Now, because of His perfect act of   the eternal Spirit offered himself without
        worship, we can turn from our idolatry   blemish to God, purify our conscience from
        and worship God instead.             dead works to serve [a worship term] the
        CHRIST’S WRATH-AVERTING WORSHIP      living God” (9:14 ESV)?
          The book of Romans eventually leaves  ONLY BELIEVERS IN CHRIST CAN
        off exposing our false worship and begins  WORSHIP
        to tell us how we can offer “true worship”   By now it should be clear that in this
        (12:1 CSB). And the way it changes from   NT era only believers in Christ can truly
        the false to the true is via the “redemption   worship God. As Christ explained to the
        that is in Christ Jesus” and the “propitia-  woman of Samaria, those who worship
        tion by his blood” (3:24-25 ESV). As created   the Father must do so in spirit and in truth
        beings, we need revelation to worship, but   (John 4:23-24). Christ is the truth and the
        as idolatrous beings, we need redemption.   exclusive way to come to the Father (14:6).
        We also need propitiation. How else will   “Whoever does not honor the Son does
        God’s righteous wrath against our false   not honor the Father who sent him” (5:23
        worship be averted? All that we needed   ESV). God rejects any worship that rejects
        God has provided through the blood sac-  His Son.
        rifice of His Son - through Christ’s worship.  It is true that the Gospels record a few
          This is why Paul labors in the priestly   instances where unconverted people are
        service of the gospel. As he heralds the   said to “worship” (e.g., Matt 9:18 KJV).
        good news of Christ’s work upon the cross,   But the word proskuneō  means to bend
        idolaters from among the nations come   low and doesn’t always have worship
        to faith in the Lord Jesus for the fame of   overtones. Other translations use “knelt”
        His name. They respond to God’s mercy   in this context.
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        in Christ by presenting their whole life
        in submission to God as a living sacrifice,  YOU CAN WORSHIP
        and God finds such worship acceptable   If you’re a believer in Christ, you can
        and good (Rom 1:5; 10:17; 12:1-2; 15:16).    worship! Your heart is sprinkled clean
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          Two things implicit in the discussion   and your body is washed with pure water.
        of  Romans  above are made explicit in   Christ has opened up a way for you to
        Hebrews. First, the Son’s work at the cross   enter the holy places through His blood
        was an act of perfect worship and, second,   and through His flesh. You can draw near
        His worship provides for our worship. “He   confidently (Heb 10:19-22). Because the
        has no need, like those high priests, to offer   Lord Jesus went up the mountain, you too
        sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and   have been brought “to Mount Zion and to
        then for those of the people, since he did   the city of the living God … Therefore …
        this once for all when he offered up him-  let us offer to God acceptable worship”
        self” (7:27 ESV). His worship was perfect   (12:22, 28  ESV).
        because what He offered was Himself. And   ² Ibid., 85. See 1Sam 2:36 in the LXX for one
        ¹ David Peterson, Engaging with God, 173-182. I   example. Also, the story of Cornelius does not
        am indebted to Peterson (note the spelling!) for   overthrow the point I’m making here, if Acts
        several points in this article.      10:35 is read carefully in context.

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