Service is doing!

September 3, 2012 admin

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Romans 12:1(NIV)

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1 (NKJV)

Take a look at the last clause of the verses above – same verse, 2 different Bible translations.

Think about it: how can “spiritual act of worship” (NIV) mean the same thing as “is your reasonable service”(NKJV)?

It all hinges on the Greek word latreia, the last word in the verse.

In 1st century culture, latreia was work done, a service performed – often in exchange for payment. Think of someone being paid to perform a task.

But if someone showed up at your door to vacuum and wash a sink full of dirty dishes, and then tackled the laundry – and did it all for free? You’d think there must be some catch!

And they told you it was done simply to express their love for you?

That is latreia!

And that’s what we are to do to express our love for the Lord. When I consider what Christ has done for me, my service to Him and to others is my “reasonable service”. It is my “spiritual act of worship”. Another version combines the two, putting it this way: “spiritual service of worship” (NASB).

You get the idea.

Takeaway: Like any biblical concept, the key is to put it into practice: I am called – and privileged – to serve Him by serving others, motivated primarily by my love for the Lord Jesus.