Thankful self-offering to the true God in response to His mercies is reasonable, right-minded worship [Romans 12:1], in contrast to the topsy-turvy mentality that withholds thanksgiving and trades truth for a lie (1:21,25).
—Michael B. Thompson, “Romans 12.1–2 and Paul’s Vision for Worship” in A Vision for the Church, 125
The beginning of the second ‘half’ of Romans [12:1] amounts to a call to participate in the reversal of the downward spiral described at the beginning of the first ‘half.’
—Michael B. Thompson, “Romans 12.1–2 and Paul’s vision for Worship” in A Vision for the Church, 124
Worship terminology is reintroduced at this key point in Paul’s argument [Romans 12:1] to demonstrate how the problems created by humanity’s failure to worship and serve God appropriately (Romans 1–2) have been dealt with by God himself.
—David Peterson, “Worship and Ethics in Romans 12,” Tyndale Bulletin 44.2 (1993):278
Foundational to the apostle’s thinking about worship is his teaching about humanity’s refusal to glorify and serve God acceptably (1:18–2:29). Here Paul reflects the OT perspective that the knowledge of God should lead to appropriate worship (1:25). Associated with the failure to acknowledge and glorify God is a futility of thinking and a darkening of ‘their foolish hearts’ [1:21]. Humanity is fundamentally impaired at the level of understanding and judgement because of the rejection of the true knowledge of God. It is significant, therefore, that Paul later links the renewing of the mind with the notion of right worship being restored through the work of Christ (12:1-2; cf. 1:28; 2:18).
—David Peterson, “Worship and Ethics in Romans 12,” Tyndale Bulletin 44.2 (1993):276
In Revelation 14:7 the sum of the eternal gospel is described: “And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come, and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”’ The language in the first part of this verse reminds us of Romans 1:21: “For although they knew God, they did not honour [glorify] Him as God or give thanks to Him,” on which we have commented previously. Human sin is fundamentally a refusal to glorify God, a rejection of our created vocation to worship Him.
—Noel Due, Created For Worship: From Genesis to Revelation to You, 223
Pride is self contending with God for preeminence. [Romans 1:21]
—Charles Bridges (1794-1869)
Worshiping God by affirming God’s worthiness flies in the face of the Fall. In the Fall, humans got hung up on our “self-worth.” We wanted the status God had. [Romans 1:21; Genesis 3:5] We failed to perceive our proper place in the created order, and so we threw that order out of alignment.
In the first book of the Bible, Adam and Eve say to God, “We are worthy.” In the last book of the Bible, the elders say to God, “You are worthy.” God is back in God’s appropriate place, we are in ours, and the cosmos is right again. In a way, our public worship each week is an exercise in this eternal act of putting God in God’s proper place. Michael Lindvall describes worship as “weekly practice at not being God.”
—Nathan Bierma, “Worshipful Service,” Perspectives Journal June 2006