Worship in Romans (26)

God’s mercies, supremely expressed in the saving work of Jesus Christ, the gift of His Spirit, His perseverance with faithless Israel, and His gracious offer of salvation to the Gentiles (Romans 1-11), call forth the response of grateful obedience, with all the implications outlined in Romans 12-16. Paul’s ethic is theologically grounded and theologically motivated. Christian obedience is an expression of gratitude for the blessings received from believing the gospel. ‘God has redeemed us, therefore let us serve [worship] Him!’ (O. O’Donovan)

—David Peterson, “Worship and Ethics in Romans 12,” Tyndale Bulletin 44.2 (1993):280

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Worship in Romans (25)

Behind Romans 9-11 stand the first eight chapters, where ‘the reality of the mercy of God is never far from Paul’s thought’. [C.E.B. Cranfield] It is as if all God’s merciful deeds, expounded so far in the letter, make their own appeal in Paul’s exhortation. The invitation to join in the praise of God (11:33-6) leads to the challenge for his readers to respond to the mercies of God with the offering of their ‘bodies’ as a living sacrifice. The ‘therefore’ in Romans 12:1 is to be given its full force.

—David Peterson, “Worship and Ethics in Romans 12,” Tyndale Bulletin 44.2 (1993):280

Worship in Romans (24)

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

Worship in Romans (23)

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

The Concept of Worship

Nowhere in Scripture is worship actually defined. Prayer, praise, confession, sacrifice, faith, obedience, and many other terms describe different aspects of worship. But when three key word groups are examined in different contexts, it is clear that homage, reverence and service to God are central to the concept of worship.

—David G. Peterson, Encountering God Together, 29