Hohenwald Christian Research - Worship in Spirit IV

Rational worship is defined by Vine as LOGIKOS, pertaining to the reasoning faculty. Reasonable or rational is used in Romans 12:1 of the service (latreia) to be rendered by believers in presenting their bodies.

Somewhere I read the question: "Have you noticed that a pigeon walks like a drunk? It walks the way it does so it can see where it's going. Because it can't adjust its focus as it moves, the pigeon has to bring its head to a complete stop between steps to see clearly."

We are a lot like pigeons: we have a hard time seeing while moving, or listening while speaking. Our body often gets in the way of our mind. For instance,

When you're driving and looking for an address, why do you turn down the volume on the radio? How can the radio hinder your sight? Well, it doesn't but it takes critical thinking to "correlate" a house number to the place we want to be.

If we want to be "with Jesus" in spirit or in mind then it simply isn't possible if someone is "teaming up on us" with music.

We cannot really see or make important decisions while listening to the radio or the kids bouncing in the back seat. God knew that and came as our Shepherd to lead us away from the crowd so that we might find Him "in a whispered silence" beside quiet waters.

Christ declared Christian worship to be spiritual, rational and logical, because He is the Logos or God the Word (John 1:1). In Isaiah 11, we saw that because of His Spirit nature, He does not judge by either sight or sound. He does not even know who you are if you sing "Lord, Lord and do not do what He says." (Matthew 7:21)

Two Natures of Mankind

God created Adam in His own image to be body, soul and spirit in one person. His true self had an exterior or physical self and an internal or spirit self. Paul spoke of himself as able to live "in the spirit" or "in the body." God has no respect for "persons" but for what one does with the Word of Christ. (1 Peter 1:17).

Not only is each individual both internal and external, mankind is made up of people who are carnal -- like pure animals -- and spiritual people who are drawn to the quiet, inward and ethical life.

The Two Places of Assembly Under the Legal Monarchy

When Israel return to Osiris worship under the Calf image of Apis, they returned to musical worship. This is the meaning of the background and this is the meaning of the word "play."

As a result, God took away the covenant of grace and gave them a law which could not be kept but regulated the lawless. When the temple was established it was because the elders wanted to worship like the nations and live like the nations.

> Thereafter, the priests, Levites and civil leaders carried on a "like the nations" ritual of animal sacrifices just the way other nations did it. However, the people were excluded from this and were represented by "stationary men." When the musical noise began the gates were closed and the people were protected "outside the camp."

The people met in their own towns when a priest or Levite might be there and read the Word of God. This was never "worship" in the pagan sense.

> The synagogue was more organized when Jesus came but it still had no praise service but served as school exactly as did the early church. The synagogue had no praise service.

Therefore, it can never be said that the Jewish common people worshiped with "singing and instrumental accompaniment." The commands of Paul interpreted as "musical" are actually synagogue commands. The first command is to "preach" and the resource is the revealed Word of God.

The Two Places of Worship in A Spiritual Kingdom

Jesus defined the place of worship as the person's own spirit listening to Him in His revealed Word. Therefore, the Samaritan woman didn't have to wait until she got to some external place to worship.

Jesus confronted the external religion of the Jews, head on. They were successful at selling sick lambs for legal, external worship but refused to teach the Word. They knew what the rest of us suspect: people are just not aware or attuned to their God-given spiritual self. In fact, many just don't like it and will do about anything to silence it:

"Less than fifteen percent of the people do any original thinking on any subject. The greatest torture in the world for most people is to think." Luther Burbank

Paul found churches influenced by craftsmen selling idols, and temple magicians pretending to show people the real external "god who would even come into their physical presence." They directed their worship to what Paul called their carnal nature. Carnal is raw flesh without the skin and certainly without the mind. There is a class of mankind dedicated to making your body dance to their tune. They call themselves sheep but Jesus would call them wolves!

Carnal is what you can feel, smell, taste, hear or see. A true carnal pagan depended upon these senses to prove that their god loved them or that they had forced him into his kingdom. Even as a Jew, Paul understood how depressing such worship could be. When it was all over, his body still wanted to do what his mind or spirit knew was wrong:

For when we were in the flesh, the motions (emotions) of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. Romans 7:5

But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. Romans 7:6

Remember that God offered Israel The Book of the Covenant. Because of their musical dance to Apis, God gave them The Book of the Law. The Covenant was the oral covenant made to Abraham. It had no priestly class and therefore no external rituals. The Law was to purify the flesh or body so that the people could just continue to live when they deserved to die. Therefore, Paul said to be in the flesh meant to be under the law. The Spirit is the Covenant and the Letter is the Law.

Paul connected the law and letter to "emotions, affection, suffering, passion and lust" of the external body. On the other hand, "spirit," in both Hebrew and Greek, means "the rational soul, vital principle, mental disposition." Legalism always used external ceremony which, according to Jesus, was the burden He came to remove.

Modern secular-religious groups have fallen in love with human phylosophy and the change agent methods of the commercial workplace. The boss has every right to motivate you into doing eight hours of work for eight hours of pay, including the use of mind-control or the threat of being fired. The commercial world works on the principle of earning a wage for work accomplished to which the boss is obligated. However, God works on the principle of grace and those who try to make the church worship service into a system of legalism will find God's grace being lost. For instance, Lynn Anderson is a leading Change Agent who knows how to attract the crowds and force church attendance. He will speak at Jubilee 99 and we anticipate further methods of coercing the "audience" into Lifting up the Name of the Lord, whatever that means. In his experimental research he explains the "old" form of "worship" which didn't propel the body senses into orbit and then, as change agent, says:

"In segment two, the tempo of the class shifted abruptly into celebrative praise and worship, with contemporary songs projected on a screen in colorful graphics. Readings, prayers, and singing clustered around a single theme. The worship team led directly from one song to the next without interruption,

intentionally moving the tone and content of worship in a specific direction,

gathering the congregation into the momentum of the experience.

A few songs included clapping and one or two worshipers actually 'lifted holy hands.'

The beaming expressions of the worship leaders spread to the class members.

"Several short Scripture readings moved quickly from one reader to the next, climaxing in a congregational responsive reading.... The feeler/creative right-brainers were transported while thinker/analytical left-brainers rolled their eyes, and their body language said, 'Oh, please! Give me a break!"

Note: "clustered" sounds a lot like the word "strait" which explains why it is so difficult to find the "gate" into Christ's presence. The maddening crowds are standing around creating a fuss keeping the spiritual person from getting into their spirit to worship.

In The Spirit

To be in the Spirit is contrasted with being in the body. Therefore, Paul did not speak of being inside of God any more than of God being inside of him. In 2 Cor 12:2, Paul couldn't tell whether he was in the body or out of the body. That is, his revelation may have been in his mind or Spirit where God reveals Himself except in rare "face-to-face" events (Num 12:6). Being in the spirit means in the mind:

Paul in the spirit

And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ. Acts 18:5

But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter (body); whose praise is not of men, but of God. Romans 2:29

John in the spirit on the lord's day

I was in the Spirit on the Lords day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Revelation 1:10

"As of" shows that John is using symbolic language: the language of parable, vision, etc.

"We," the real person, can live "in" spirit or "in" flesh. What does this mean? Matthew Henry notes that:

"You are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit. This expresses states and conditions of the soul vastly different. All the saints have flesh and spirit in them; but to be in the flesh and to be in the Spirit are contrary.

It denotes our being overcome and subdued by one of these principles. As we say, A man is in love, or in drink, that is, overcome by it."

Worship in Spirit

Burbank understood why Paul had trouble getting his external body into spiritual or rational service to God in prayer and in truth. Our carnal nature just hates to think. Both Judaism and Paganism knew that they must not give the "worshippers" time to think. We may believe that we are just lazy or uneducated, but perhaps Satan dulls our minds. Pagans even pretend that the mind and the Word are the enemy, and that "emotional madness" is pure worship worth forcing upon the spiritual -- even if you have to spend a quarter of a million dollars to perform childish practices to inculcate "new paradigms" into old wineskin heads.

This struggle between body and mind goes on in both private and public worship. For instance, Paul had the witness of both Spirit (mind) and Law (flesh) in himself and understood the struggle. He clearly shows that the law which attempts to defeat him is the law of sin within his members or human flesh:


For I delight (rejoice within oneself) in the law of God after the inward man: Romans 7:22
But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind,
and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. Romans 7:23

When Paul said "speaking to YOURSELVES" the word most often means "speaking to yourself.

Heautou (g1438) heh-ow-too' (incl. all the other cases); from a reflex. pron. otherwise obsol. and the gen. (dat. or acc.) of 846; him- (her- , it-, them-, also [in conjunction with the pers. pron. of the other persons] my-, thy- , our-, your-) self (selves), etc.: - alone, her (own, -self), (he) himself, his (own), itself, one (to) another, our (thine) own (-selves), / that she had, their (own, own selves), (of) them (- selves), they, thyself, you, your (own, own conceits, own selves, -selves).

And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. Mt.3:9

For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. Mt.9:21

By Paul's definition, attempting to worship God "with my members" or body means that we are attempting to worship God using the principles of the Law of Moses.

Paul continued to be bombarded by the external forces acting upon him in every pagan city and even in some churches. However, he knew that it would mean the death of his spirit. Therefore, he prayed:

O wretched man that I am who shall deliver me from the body of this death? Romans 7:24

He knew the answer: by finding Christ in his own heart he could worship "in spirit" even as grace covered his human failures. In this spiritual worship, he would find the grace to control his external self.

When Paul (the self) prayed, his own spirit (spiritual nature) was making intercession on behalf of his body (carnal nature). He said:

I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God;

but with the flesh the law of sin. Romans 7:25

When he served with his mind he walked after the spirit. Spirit, here, is the opposite of flesh. It is, therefore, Paul's own mind or spirit which controlled his flesh as long as he was in Christ which means totally centered upon Him.

Jesus and Paul understood that attempting to worship Him with "body parts" or with human talent or carnal charisma could not change the external self and would destroy the spirit or mind. Therefore,

THERE is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus,

who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:1 (This defines being in Christ).

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus

hath made me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:2

As Spirit, Jesus spoke to Paul on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:5) and in Acts 26:16 Christ promised the same guidance He promised to the other apostles. That is why Paul repeats the truth stated by Jesus: that life comes from inside with spirit in contact with the Word:

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. John 6:63

Paul defined the Holy Spirit or Mind of God as the Mind of Christ (1 Cor 2). Now, he equates his mind or inward self to his spirit. Those who are in (wholly devoted to) Christ are not controlled by the body but by the mind or spirit.

Remember, that the "Spirit" which rested upon Jesus was not a person, but spiritual powers: the spirit of wisdom, of understanding, of counsel, of might (mastery), of knowledge, of fear of the Lord and of quick understanding. This is why "Spirit" leads us by quiet, silent waters of the Word. All of these are "spirits" or dispositions or attitudes of the mind.

These are "fruits" of the Spirit of God which He designed to carry Spirit power--

That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk (deport ourselves) not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:4

The grace of God "covers" our weak body only when we worship in spirit and in truth. He knows that if worship takes place in our spirit and depends totally upon His words as truth, His grace will cause us to fulfill His Spiritual Laws and the body will just tag along, not as a work of the body but of the spirit.

Paul makes it clear that when service to God uses (or abuses) the human senses to influence or create spiritual power, we can mark it down that we are being led by our external self:

For they that are after the flesh do mind (set the affections upon) the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, (do mind) the things of the Spirit. Romans 8:5

A spiritual person is not "soft and fuzzy" or tolerant of error, but delights in the Word of God in the mind, spirit or inward person. The Jewish clergy "took away this key to knowledge," but Paul used the word "dialog" as a mark of truth-seeking. Searching out the mysteries becomes a passion -- an act of worship. Paul knew that when he wrote:

For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: Romans 7:22

The body will die. Therefore, to attempt to prepare it for eternity is a massive waste of time. Even so, our carnal person delights in external busy work which stands beside the "gate" to Christ's presence to make it "strait" or difficult for us to get in:

For to be carnally minded is death: but to be spiritually (mental disposition) minded is life and peace. Romans 8:6

Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. Romans 8:7

Our Body Cannot Worship God

Paul understood the two ancient laws of worship: one internal and one external. The Book of the Covenant was a law of the mind and spirit. However, the Book of the Law was of letter and ritual controlling only the body. It was popular because it called out the crowds which Christ would never do.

As humans, we are all living in a body under daily attack from crowding. The body finds itself helpless against the emotions of the world. As a result, we all groan within ourselves. Jesus came to relieve, not add, more groaning burdens of the world.

For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. Romans 8:22

And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits (possession) of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. Romans 8:23

Only by putting on spiritual armor and resting totally upon the sword of the Spirit -- the Word -- is it possible to fight off those guarding the gate to the spiritual kingdom which is within us. Jesus warned:

But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Matthew 23:13

They, in effect, locked up the kingdom (in our hearts) and threw away the key. They were of the beast class who gained control simply because they had no spiritual nature:

Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering." Luke 11:52

What did this key control? It controlled knowledge. They could chain the Bible to the pulpit by allowing it to filter out only through the Levite-like "pastor." Or, they could supply you with busy work and noisy "worship" rituals to literally lock up the rational mind so that the truth cannot get in. Only the emotional feeling makes it inside and this causes the weak-willed to believe that "the gods are among us."

This is why the spiritual armor and weapons were necessary so that we can pray within ourselves:

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; Ephesians 6:18

Paul knew that "in the spirit" did not mean inside of the Holy Spirit as a separated third member of the Godhead. Rather, praing in the "spirit" when done "always" can only hapen inside of the inner man or spirit of man. This spirit is the "temple" of God where only we as virtual high priest meets God in the most holy place. There is only room for God and the individual worshiper in the spirit.

Clement of Alexandria notes that the "veil" of the temple is the head-dress:

But if one withdraw the veil of the temple, I mean the head-dress, the dye, the clothes, the gold, the paint, the cosmetics,-that is, the web consisting of them, the veil, with the view of finding Within the true beauty, he will be disgusted, I know well.

For he will not find the image of God dwelling within, as is meet;

but instead of it a fornicator and adulteress has occupied the shrine of the soul.

And the true beast will thus be detected-an ape smeared with white paint.

And that deceitful serpent,

devouring the understanding part of man through vanity, has the soul as its hole, filling all with deadly poisons;

and injecting his own venom of deception, this pander of a dragon has changed women into harlots.

For love of display is not for a lady, but a courtesan.

Paul also knew that it was not the Holy Spirit groaning inside his dead, carnal body. He knew the difference between the "me" and the body in which "he" lived:

For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 2 Corinthians 5:2

When we have "presented our living body as a sacrifice" Paul said that it must be crucified and put to death.

Our spirit searches ourselves

God does not respect our "person" and Isaiah said that Jesus would not react to sight or sound. Therefore, if we are to "come into the presence of the Lord," it will be in the place of spirit and truth. In a fellowship sense, Jesus promised to be found in the "midst of two or three gathered in My name." Even then, it is our spirit in our helpless body which expresses our innermost thoughts to God.

Likewise the spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26

To groan means "to meditate or pray inaudibly."

Stenazo (g4727) sten-ad'-zo; from 4728; to make (intrans. be) in straits, i.e. (by impl.) to sigh, murmur, pray inaudibly: - with grief, groan, grudge, sigh.

This is a quality of the human spirit or mind and not of God. Even in singing, Paul put the emphasis upon the internal as we: "speak to ourselves with Psalms, hymns (prayers) and spiritual (revealed) songs." The singing will be "in the heart or spirit" and directed "to God" and not to a worship facilitator.

Inaudible prayer was more the rule than exception. Remember, that Hannah prayed in her heart and her lips moved but no sound came out. (1 Samuel 1:13). Others knew the place of intimate worship:

MY soul is weary of my life; I will leave my complaint upon myself;

I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. Job 10:1

I remembered God, and was troubled:

I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah. Psalms 77:3

I call to remembrance my song in the night:

I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search. Psalm 77:6

Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me;

my heart within me is desolate. Psalms 143:4

I stretch forth my hands unto thee:

my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah. Psa 143:6

Hear me speedily, O Lord: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me,

lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit. Psa 143:7

Jesus commanded and practiced private prayer:

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites (actors perform acts) are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. Matthew 6:5

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. Matthew 6:6

In Psalm 149 Augustine "The exultations of God are in their mouths" (ver. 6). In such wise shall they "rejoice in their closets," as not to attribute to themselves that they are good, but praise Him from whom they have what they are, by whom they are called to attain to what they are not, and from whom they hope for perfection, to whom they give thanks, because He hath begun.

"The saints shall exult in glory,

they shall rejoice in their beds:" not in theatres, or amphitheatres, or circuses, or follies, or market places, but "in their chambers."

What is, "in their chambers"? In their hearts. Hear the Apostle Paul exulting in his closet: "For this is our glory, the testimony of our conscience."

Someone has said that "we begin to pray only when our mouth runs out of words." This allows God to listen as our spirit speaks for us. However, the pagans never ran out of words such as "Lord, Lord."

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Matthew 6:7

God or Spirit Then Searches our Heart or Spirit

The Lord is the only One who can search and read our minds or spirit. He will not be seduced by our sight or sound or dance because He created all things. To offer Him his own things is true legalism.

And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:27

This has always been where God met those who worshipped Him in the heart, spirit or mind. Even though God permitted Solomon to build the temple "like the nations" because that is what they wanted, the people prayed silently and God heard from Heaven. The "pattern" was given by God but it was not for spiritual worship:

Now therefore, in the sight of all Israel the congregation of the Lord, and in the audience of our God, keep and seek for all the commandments of the Lord your God: that ye may possess this good land, and leave it for an inheritance for your children after you for ever. 1 Chronicles 28:8

And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever. 1 Chronicles 28:9

Prayer without ceasing

The assembly in Jerusalem was not a normal "congregation" but contained new believers from all parts of the world.

Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing (fervent) of the church unto God for him. Acts 12:5

A miracle resulted in Peter's release from prison but it appears that the prayers didn't expect his release. The prayers were not held in an assembly divided into prayers and on-prayers and there was no "laying on of hands" because none of the people had supernatural power:

And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying. Acts 12:12

Paul was a busy man and did not have time for "prayer meetings." However, Jesus commanded secret prayer or prayer not liable to be a spectacle.

For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; Romans 1:9

For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. 1Th.2:13

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. 1 Thess 5:14

See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. 1 Thess 5:15

> Rejoice evermore. 1 Thess 5:16

> Pray without ceasing. 1 Thess 5:17

> In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thess 5:18

Wouldn't it be amazing if we made ritualistic "acts of worship" out of warning, comforting, supporting, being patient, rejoicing? Prayer, even in a collective sense, is something an individual must do. The "leader" can pray and we can do a legalistic "amen" but prayer must flow out of our heart to God and others need not see it or "add fuel" to make the prayer "drive."

Spiritual Worship in Romans Twelve

We have seen Christian worship at three levels:

First, the human body with its senses tries to dominate or take control. Because it is to be considered dead (Romans 6) there is no way to worship with our external selves. Christ does not call us out, because our "citizenship" has been transferred into His presence. The kingdom in which we live spiritually is "within you."

Second, our spirit wants to worship God and force our bodies to go along. However, our lives are so filled with anxiety, like the prophets of Baal, that we groan within our selves. Only the "spirit of a man knows the thoughts of the man." Therefore, our spirits understand our human thoughts and attempts to worship an Infinite, Incomprehensible Spirit God. Only God can tell us how He wants to be worshipped. Our rules of worship creates vain worship.

Third, The Spirit God searches our spirits for signs of worship and accepts spiritual worship even when our bodies are helpless in His Holy presence. Jesus Christ is the only Intercessor or "gate" between our spirits and His Spirit nature.

Spiritual worship happens only when the body is delivered up as one sacrifices the purely living animal as a live (zoe) victim. This involves rejecting appeals to the human senses or "programs" as worship.

Paul said:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present (deliver up) your bodies a living sacrifice (make it a victim), holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1KJV


I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1RSV

A spiritual person cannot get in spirit to worship God in truth unless the human body is reckoned as dead. It cannot respond to outward, mind manipulation if it is dead.

Therefore, any efforts to move or manipulate you is proof that they do not consider you spiritual.

Living is from the word zoa or ZOE which includes human life while spirit is the "rational and immortal soul." It is compared to:

Caar (g5590) saw-ar'; a prim. root; to rush upon; by impl. to toss (trans. or intrans., lit. or fig.): - be (toss with) tempest (- uous), be sore troubled, come out as a (drive with the, scatter with a) whirlwind.

If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 1 Corinthians 15:19

However, spiritual ZOE is given only by Jesus Who said:

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. John 6:63

Jesus is called the Logos who, in the Greek world, was the Word or messenger of God. A reasonable or spiritual sacrifice, therefore, is related to the rational mind or human spirit. We cannot worship with our sacrificed body.

The body life must be put to death or sacrificed.

Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Romans 6:6

Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:11

If the external body has been offered up as a sacrifice, it cannot serve God in rituals directed to the external body. On the other hand, spiritual worship is from:

Logikos (g3050) log-ik-os'; from 3056; rational ("logical"): - reasonable, of the word.

Vine notes That Rational is: "LOGIKOS, pertaining to the reasoning faculty, reasonable, rational, is used in Rom. 12:1, of the service (latreia) to be rendered by believers in presenting their bodies..

in contrast to those offered by ritual and compulsion; the presentation is to be in accordance with the spiritual intelligence of those who are new creatures in Christ." (Vine, p. 935).

Pneuma (g4151) pnyoo'-mah;.. by analalogy or fig. a spirit, i.e. (human) the rational soul, (by impl.) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, doemon, or (divine) God, Christ's spirit, the Holy Spirit: - ghost, life, spirit (-ual, -ually), mind. Comp. 5590.

Worship to Rebuild the Spirit

Both Jewish and pagan systems of worship were directed to the external body. This was always a sign of total lostness trying to find a god.

Therefore, being "conformed" is related to the word echo. Now, parrots echo our words but they do not think very well. The external world always has a new scheme to revive or renew. However, Paul would say, "Don't just be an echo chamber." The only way to prove or examine the will of God which can make us into "butterflies," is to renew our minds

And be not conformed (patterened after) to this world: but ye transformed (metamorphose) by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2

Metamorphose happens when the ugly, meaty, grub worm suddenly turns into a beautiful butterfly able to leave its old "shell" or house and fly away to sip the nectar of life. We must "reckon" our body to be dead before we can metamorphose.

To prevent "exercising" the human spirit by thinking about deep, Spirit words is to reject God's method for spirit renewal. While physical events may dazzle our external senses, the renewal of the spirit of the mind takes place by understanding the Mind of Christ which is Spirit. Paul told the Colossians how to turn from an ugly worm into a "butterfly"--

Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; Colossians 3:9

And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Colossians 3:10

Using different words, he told Titus that the renewal of the Holy Spirit was by renewing of the knowledge of Christ which is the Spirit promised in Isaiah 11:

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Titus 3:5

In another example, he warned against external "show and tell" or put-on (drama) by either women or men:

Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 1 Peter 3:3

But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 1 Peter 3:4

When the individual "bodies" are given up as a sacrifice of human life, the collective body of Christ can function only when everyone understands their limited roles:

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure (limited share) of faith. Rom 12:3

Grace includes "the divine influence upon the heart." Paul then describes how the self-sacrificed body is able to give to others only that which they have given up for themselves.

The Series [1][2][3][4][5]

Kenneth Sublett

Piney Christian Research Home Page