In Hebrews 12:25-27 we find the final and most terrifying warning in the epistle where the author warns about the One whose voice is so powerful that it shakes heaven and earth. He admonishes his audience considering this powerful voice, in verse 28: let us offer to God acceptable worship. This is followed in the first half of chapter 13 with specific instructions that show us how to live a life of worship that pleases God. These instructions are summarized in our text, Hebrews 13:15-16: let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
Our text provides a frame using the same word acceptable in 12:28 and pleasing in 13:16 which are derived from the same verb euaresteó – a word associated with worship in the Old and New Testaments. This word reveals that worship can be offered that is acceptable and pleasing to God or unacceptable and displeasing to God. What is it that makes worship acceptable? Is it related with one's sincerity or zeal? Is it purely the object of worship – God or idols – that makes worship acceptable? Is it possible for our worship of the One True God to be offered in vain? Does the form of worship matter at all? How important is our heart in worship? Is it safe to say that whatever we do that feels right in our heart is acceptable to God? Where can we learn what is and what is not pleasing to God in our expression of worship?
We examine the Scriptures to answer these questions with the goal that we might better understand how to please God with an acceptable offering of worship.
A native of New York, Pastor LoSardo was saved by the grace of God in 1986 after hearing the Gospel from his brother, while pursuing a career in scientific research. He was ordained into the ministry in 1995 and served as the Associate Pastor of a large messianic congregation...