Sacrifice as Worship
“Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you’re not really losing it. You’re just passing it on to someone else.”
Through him, then, let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name.
Hebrews 13:15 NRSV
True worship requires sacrifice
God’s grace allows us to have an intimate experience with Him. A lot of people spend eternity without having to realize and be in the presence of the God of the Universe. However, a lot of this intimacy is conditional and comes as a reward of obedience. A lot of people choose the good things but are unwilling to participate when there is already a cost. There are blessings and promises that require an altar and a sacrifice. There are things we need to consecrate and set apart for the Lord.
24 An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee. (Exodus 20:24)
Living as a New Testament people of God, we are not required to follow Old Testament Law in terms of actual altars and sacrifices, but they are there to teach us a mindset. The Old Testament instructions on worship and offering happen when our hearts are surrendered to the Lord. Oftentimes, we miss out on the truths of worship completely.
Too many believers neglect Old Testament worship regarding it as the past, and the New Testament as the present. On some level, it is true that we are redeemed from the Law by Jesus. However, the Old Testament is still significant and relevant to our spiritual walks. The whole Bible is the standard, not just the portions we chose from it. Everything in the Bible adds detail, example, and even practical principles in understanding how God interacts with His people.
We cannot write off the faith and principles of Old Testament practice to be archaic and irrelevant.
Grace does mark the new covenant. However, without an understanding of the truths in the Old Testament worship, we cannot fully grasp or live in absolute grace by learning about true worship. We cannot be extremes in such that we sacrifice actual animals on altars. However, we cannot write off the faith and principles of Old Testament practice to be archaic and irrelevant.
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