Tabletalk Subscription
You have {{ remainingArticles }} free {{ counterWords }} remaining.You've accessed all your free articles.
Unlock the Archives for Free

Request your free, three-month trial to Tabletalk magazine. You’ll receive the print issue monthly and gain immediate digital access to decades of archives. This trial is risk-free. No credit card required.

Try Tabletalk Now

Already receive Tabletalk magazine every month?

Verify your email address to gain unlimited access.

{{ error }}Need help?

Hebrews 13:15

“Through [Jesus] then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.”

Animal sacrifices came to an end with the death of Christ, for He fully and finally atoned for the sin of His people (Heb. 9:1–18). However, that does not mean Christians have no sacrifices to offer. Paul, for example, tells us that we must present our bodies to God as a living sacrifice (Rom. 12:1). In other words, we must give all that we are to the Lord for His use.

Hebrews 13:15 describes another sacrifice that we are to offer to the Lord—the “sacrifice of praise.” Moreover, we are to offer this sacrifice through Jesus, as today’s passage also explains. Worship of God in Christ is the natural result of our redemption by Him. Old covenant Israel worshiped the Lord for His great act of salvation in redeeming His people from Egypt in the exodus. New covenant Israel—the Christian church—worships the Lord not only for the exodus from Egypt but for the exodus from sin and death that has been accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. Such worship is integral to what it means to claim Jesus as our Savior. As Hebrews 13:15 also notes, the sacrifice of praise to God through Christ is the fruit of lips that acknowledge the name of Jesus. Trusting in the Lord and worshiping the Lord go hand in hand. Only those who worship God truly have trusted in Christ, and only those who have trusted in Christ worship Him truly. Such worship is private and individual, of course, but it is also public and corporate. Thus, we are not to neglect meeting with other believers for corporate worship on the Lord’s Day (Heb. 10:25).

The sacrifice of praise includes such things as recognizing Christ as Lord, extolling God for who He is and what He has done, and offering Him thanksgiving (see, for example, Rev. 4–5). Particularly important is thanksgiving; as ingratitude is the root of sin, so is gratitude the root of righteousness (Rom. 1:18–32). We cannot live holy lives apart from thankfulness for all that God has done for us in Christ, for holiness begins with recognizing the Lord’s salvation and thanking Him for it (2 Cor. 4:13–15; Eph. 5:4). John Calvin comments on today’s passage that “it is the highest worship of God, justly preferred to all other exercises, when we acknowledge God’s goodness by thanksgiving; yea, this is the ceremony of sacrificing which God commends to us now.” When we offer thanks to the Lord, we acknowledge Him as the source of every good gift and that we are wholly dependent on His favor. We recognize our place as creatures and His place as Creator. We affirm the truth about who He is and who we are.

Coram Deo Living before the face of God

Worship is so central to the Christian life that Hebrews 13:15 says we should offer the sacrifice of praise continually. Our whole lives must be lived in worship to God through Christ. Of course, there is something special and unique about the corporate worship of the church, and it cannot be neglected. Still, we are to remain ever conscious of God and worshipful toward Him in whatever we are doing.

For Further Study
  • Psalm 95:6–7
  • Colossians 3:17

Going Outside the Camp

A Source of Blessing

Keep Reading Time

From the September 2020 Issue
Sep 2020 Issue