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 (Rom. 12:1 ) (KJV).
If you read this verse in some other version than King James you will notice a different wording than "reasonable service".
... which is your spiritual service.
... which is your spiritual service of worship. (NAS)
... this is your spiritual act of worship. (NIV)
The reason for the distinction is simple. The first word means "'reasonable", but not in the sense of "not outlandish". Thayer defines it as "that which is rendered by the reason or soul, (spiritual)". The second word is "latreia", which means to "pay homage to", or "worship".
According to this verse, worship is presenting our bodies a "living sacrifice". In the book of Leviticus, the people were taught to worship God through sacrifices. They would bring their sacrifice and the Priest would take it and place it upon the alter. It was then offered up by fire as a soothing aroma to the Lord (Lev. 1:13). Since every believer is now a priest (1 Pet. 2:5), and it is fitting for a priest to bring to God an offering, Paul urges us to bring "ourselves" and to place ourselves upon the alter for a soothing aroma to the Lord. (1I Cot. 2: 14- 15) This is New Testament worship. The sacrifices we bring are spiritual. For example, our bodies: we give God our entire being. Our minds and hearts are to be holy (set apart) for Him (Rom. 12: 1-2). Our bodies are now used to, "offer up a sacrifice of praise to God giving thanks to His name" and "doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased" (Heb. 13:15-16) (Phil. 4:1 8).
So you see that praise, good deeds and works of love constitute worship. Unless, of course, these things are done to be seen of men" (Matt. 6:1-4), in which case they would not bring God glory and honor (Matt. 5:16). But is this what you have been taught that worship is? I used to think we had to "go to church to worship." And if you missed it service then you have failed to worship. I do not believe that can be proved by the Scriptures. Anyway, this is something to think about. - Lee Howell