D – TRUE WORSHIP – 4
Worship is a way of life. If we adore/love someone, we want to please them. If we want to bring honor to someone, we not only please them, but obey them. This is our worshipful relationship to our Lord and God. We want to imitate our Lord in being Christ-like. A lot of our worship is personal and private. On the other hand, a lot of our worship is corporate or with others in togetherness.
As we realize how all-encompassing worship is with clean hands and a pure heart and that it must be done in spirit and Truth, we must understand that it is a commandment and not a choice. Matt. 4:10 Jesus used these words to answer Satan. We, also, must answer Satan in the same way when we are tempted to serve ourselves in our own interests or are tempted to stay in our comfort zone. We were not made to please ourselves as self-worshippers, but we were made to please our Maker – God. Jhn. 4:23
God is a spirit…Jhn.4:24 God cannot be reduced to an image. One of the revealing scriptures that shows this is Isaiah 40:18-31. This is the God we worship. This is the God we serve. He is supreme. There is no other. Since God is a spirit, worship of Him must be of a spiritual nature. Civilizations have pictured God as something material with parts. Acts 7:48 God does not dwell in temples made with hands. Even when God was leading the Israelites to the Promised Land, He was a spirit. His Presence was with them in various forms to guide them—such as fire by night and cloud by day. But God is everywhere all of the time. God is not One who needs things, but One who gives all things. Acts 17:25 God wants our spirits—our hearts.
Jhn. 4:22 There are times we worship—we know not “what.” We do not think about the One who even gives us breath and more importantly—salvation. Salvation came through Jews for Christ was born a Jew. Acts 13:26 Now it is for all—both Jew and Gentile.
1:16 Jesus explained to the Samaritan that it was no longer the place that counted but true worship was in spirit and Truth. Psa. 51:6 The Galatians were going backwards. They had been converted to Christ and were worshipping in the spirit but now they were going back to the flesh or earthly forms of worship. Gal. 3:3 True worship is not confined to a magnificent edifice or elaborate ceremonies. It consists of clean hands and a pure heart. Rom.
Jesus came to declare God to us. Jhn. 1:18; Phil. 2:6 Since Jesus came down to us, we worship both the Father and the Son. Jhn. 5:23 True worship is the response of God’s Spirit in us to that Spirit in Him. Outside factors may stimulate and incite us to a spirit of worship but can never take the place of worship itself.
Being a spirit, God cannot be confined to a location. Jer. 23:23,24 The Samaritan woman was distinguishing the “place” where the Samaritans worshipped and
where the Jews worshipped. Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD. What then? Worship was to become possible for all people everywhere that would accept Jesus as God’s Son and obey the gospel. As Jesus hung on the cross, the veil was torn from top to bottom to indicate that the method, place, and time of Jewish worship had ceased. Matt.27:51 Jerusalem
God is holy. John MacArthur gives us a good thought: “He is flawless, without error, without sin, without mistake, and fully righteous—utterly holy. His unlikeness to the human creature” sets Him far above what we can ever attain except through the blood of Christ. 2 Cor. 5:21 We must worship a holy God and recognize the holiness that He possesses.
When we worship God as a holy God, it produces a godly fear in us. We must recognize ourselves as being totally unholy. Do we really perceive ourselves as unholy? Too often the perception of self is in contrast to someone else. That “someone else” usually doesn’t do as much as we do. We look on the outside and consider ourselves “better.” Our pattern is Jesus. This should make us have an overwhelming sense of unholiness in the presence of God. This causes us to have a godly fear. Heb. 12:28,29 David expresses this godly fear many places in Psalms. Psa. 96:2-9 Isaiah accurately saw himself as completely unholy as compared to God. Isa. 6:5
We need to enter worship with a broken and contrite heart. Psa. 51:17; Isa. 66:2 Today’s culture has become “casual” with everything. Worship to our holy God has become casual as well. When we worship in a casual way (if such can be called worship), we loose that godly fear of a holy God. He becomes no more than a friend to whom we can turn in time of need. God is our friend and we can turn to Him in time of need and He wants us to do that. We cannot look to God as we would look to another earthly friend. We must look to God with awe and trust, but also with godly fear.
Ex. 20:20 Moses tells the people to not be afraid—but fear. This seems to be in opposition. The fear was to keep them from sinning as they realized what God could do. As long as they obeyed God, they need not be afraid for He would take care of them. A child might fear the discipline of a parent, but this might keep him from disobeying. However, he knows the love the parent has for him and trusts his parent for his care. We are God’s children.
We have many examples of godly men who expressed fear of the Lord. Ezra 9:6,15 (10:1) Ezra realized his unholiness and that of the people. He also realized the holiness of God and had godly fear. Habakkuk heard the voice of the Lord and this was his reaction. Hab. 3:16
We also find examples in the N.T. The disciples had godly fear as Jesus calmed the wind and the waves. Their fear of this awesome power was greater than the fear of the storm. Mk. 4:41 Peter, who had caught no fish during the night, was told by Jesus to cast his nets into the deep. Peter may have thought, “What good will that do?” But he obeyed and then realized the power of Jesus and realized his own unholiness. Lk. 5:4,8,10
God loves us and desires our fellowship, our obedience, our efforts to please Him. At the same time, He holds us in His hand for protection and salvation or for destruction as we deny Him. We can’t be casual or insincere in our worship. He is worthy of godly fear. 1 Sam. 12:24; Psa. 33:18; Prov. 9:10; Matt. 10:28; 2 Cor. 7:1