Deserving of Service
By Heath Jarrett
God is the creator, the king. All-powerful. All-knowing. Uniquely holy and beyond all comparison. He is from everlasting and his splendor never fades. God, by right of who he is, deserves our service…but doesn’t get it.
Though God isn’t hidden or distant, man revolts against him. God reveals himself to mankind but we suppress the evidence.
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things” (Rom 1:18–23).
Instead of our affection, God gets rejection; instead of our service, he gets our idolatry. This is not because God didn’t communicate clearly. Everywhere man roams, God speaks plainly through nature. Internally, God puts his law on our hearts and gives us a conscience (Rom 2:14–15).
Man knows more about God than we give him credit for. In universities and jungles, polar cabins and space stations, we’re never isolated from God’s three witnesses: creation, conscience, and canon. Yet this is not enough. It is enough to condemn but not to save. For that, “God put forward” Jesus Christ “as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith” (Rom 3:25).
From the end of chapter 3 of Romans, through chapter 11, Paul unpackages the gospel: salvation by grace through faith in Christ. Though all have sinned, the gospel transforms all who believe. And at the crescendo of these chapters, Paul asserts the application in light of what God has done for us:
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (Rom 12:1).
“Worship” here could be translated rational service. Because of who God is and what he’s done, the only thing that makes sense is to serve him with all we’ve got!