C - TRUE WORSHIP – 3
A very good saying is this: “Worship is to Christian living what the mainspring is to a watch.” Christian living won’t go far without true worship for this is the deep response of a Christian to God. We go back to our definition for we want to be sure we understand just what worship is. It is recognizing the worth, value, majesty, honor, and glory of God. We must know who He is and give Him what is due to His name.
As we do recognize just who God is and the awe and wonderment of it all, how are we to respond? We adore Him. Adore is kin to a deep admiration and love that we want to exemplify.
8:38,39 Little children admire their parents and so they play “dress-up” with the shoes, etc. of mommy and daddy. We want to be Christ-like for this will please the One we adore and love. As we recognize all He has done for us, we are forever thankful, but we don’t keep it to ourselves. We tell Him. This is worship. Rom.
Even though worship starts with the heart with our spirit open to God and we develop knowledge of the Truth in His Word, there are many outward signs of attitude and action that are characteristic of true worshippers. If our life does not contain these attributes, then we are not ready to worship with “clean hands and a pure heart.” (Psa. 24:4)
How do we treat fellow Christians? This covers an array of attributes. Let’s think of a few.
14:13 We couldn’t truly be thinking of all due to His name if meanwhile, we are being a poor example and causing a fellow Christian or anyone for that matter to stumble. We are to be a headlight that leads to Jesus, not a dim back-up light that causes someone to backslide or no light at all that causes them to fall. Rom. 14:17-19 This describes what we are to be in order to be acceptable to God so we can worship Him and He won’t have to shut his ears and cause Him to turn away from us as He had to do in the O.T. So many places in Scripture we are told to build up one another. We can’t do that if we are holding grudges and being unforgiving, unloving, unforbearing or impatient. Eph. 4:32; Rom. 3:13 We cannot have a “clean heart” without these attributes and therefore cannot be pleasing to the One we want to worship. He will turn away from us. Col.
Eph. 5:8-10 This passage mentions Light again—Light in the Lord. These Ephesians had been walking in darkness of sin. They had been guilty of many dark deeds. Then came the knowledge and acceptance of Jesus as the Son of God. Their lives changed and now they needed to walk as children of Light. What did that mean—goodness, righteousness, and Truth. What would this accomplish? They would then be pleasing and acceptable to God. God would not have to turn away from them for empty worship for they would please Him with their lives.
Spreading the light to others is also pleasing to God. We are to confess His name before others. Matt. 10:32 This is one form of worshipping. We are given the outcome in this verse. In confessing Him, we are giving Him honor and recognizing the salvation that is available through Christ only. In fact before Jesus left this earth, He said to make disciples—teach others about Jesus. Matt. 28:19,20 We stop because we can’t go into all the world; consequently, we don’t even go to our families and neighbors.
Phil. 4:18 Paul was so thankful for the gifts from Christians that had supplied his needs. This gracious giving was a form of worship that was well-pleasing to God. When we share in turn what God has given us, we glorify His name. It honors Him. Matt. 10:8 We can’t heal the sick nor raise the dead as Jesus gave power to His apostles to do. But we can freely give what we have freely been given. Certainly we have been given much. We start thinking that “we did it.” But it all comes from our Lord and our God.
2 Cor.9:11 (2 Cor. 9:10-15); Col.4:2; Phil. 4:6 We don’t just make requests as we pray but we pray with thanksgiving.
Phil. 1:9-11 Righteousness is important to be pleasing to God, but righteousness bears fruit. We have studied the fruit of the Spirit. Here Paul wants them to have love that will grow or abound in knowledge. We not only have to have love for people (even the unlovely), but Paul wanted their love of God’s Word to grow into knowledge and discernment. To discern is to perceive clearly with the mind and senses. It is to show good judgment and insight. The next verse tells us in what we are to show discernment. We approve those things which are excellent. Phil. 4:8 This is all to the praise and glory of God—worship.
1 Tim.2:2-4 Paul desires that we pray for all men, even those in governmental authority. Then he leads into the next thought—that we lead a peaceful and quiet life with godliness and dignity. One version says, full of worship and respect for God. Again there is the acceptable in the sight of God. Paul then stresses how God wants all to be saved but God wants them to come to knowledge of the Truth. This all goes hand in hand as we worship in spirit and in Truth.
Heb. 13:15,16 Notice these are things we do continually. Again we say, “Worship is a way of life.” Sacrifices were some of the major ways that those of the O.T. worshipped. Even then it had to be from the heart. Now we have a new type of sacrifice—praise and thanksgiving. It, too, must be from the heart. It doesn’t stop there. The next verse adds doing good and sharing. These things we are not to neglect. It is much easier to praise and offer thanksgiving, especially when we are lead to do so by a worship leader. It is easy to neglect doing good and sharing when it is all up to us. God watches us. He knows what we do and don’t do and He also knows what we are thinking while we do it. We are to have a heart for doing good and sharing—not because it is our duty.
The above discuss personal ways of worshipping that perhaps we do not always think of as worship. These have been both outward and inward. We have not dwelt on the obvious at this time: prayer, Bible study, meditation. We now need to turn our minds to what we call corporate worship—that is worshipping in a group. The first we think of is church, although it could include a prayer group or Bible study group.
Acts 2:42 The church was established on Pentecost with the first gospel sermon at which time 3000 repented and were baptized so their sins could be forgiven and then they were given the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Lord added them to His church. Acts 2:47 They did not “join” a congregation. It is of value to keep a list of Christians and friends that are attending a congregation today. This helps us keep in touch. In no way does that enter us into Christ’s “Lambs Book of Life.” The Lord only does that. Rev. 21:27 Notice what these first Christians did in Acts 2:42. They worshipped together continually. Acts 2:44 We notice that they were together.
Hebrews explains the reason why this “togetherness” must continue. Personally we follow Heb. 10:22. As we come to worship, alone or together, we must have a faithful and sincere heart that is a “clean heart” and bodies washed with pure water. Because of this salvation and a clean heart, we can hold fast to our confession of our Lord who is our hope because He is always faithful.
Heb. 10:24 Now we come to the time we must be together because in being together we stimulate one another. We arouse, excite to action, awaken, increase, kindle a desire in one another to love and good deeds. Sometimes we don’t think of something good that we can do until we get together and are reminded about some need or situation in which we can share and help. Christian love grows by being together and sharing our lives. By being transparent (not being afraid to let people know) with our needs, we will increase the ability of someone else to be transparent with theirs and hence we pray and share for and with each other and our love and concern grows.
Consequently, we find an important command in Heb. 10:25. God knows what we need. Evidently, just like today, there were some that could have been to the assembly but for some reason, didn’t go. There is a song, “Excuses,” that is so true. We deceive ourselves with some feeble reason. We find excuses. It’s like some of these jokes that give excuses of why my child was absent or why my homework is not done. The fact is that the inspired writer of Hebrews says to not forsake or neglect being with the saints or Christians when they gather together. Why? It is because of the encouragement and stimulation we get from our worship together. “The day” of the coming of the Lord is at any time. It is approaching. Heb. 10:26 We can’t just keep doing or not doing when we know what the Truth is or there is no more sacrifice for our sins. This is assuming we don’t repent and change. All of the Christians to which Paul wrote assembled together. We need to do likewise and do it faithfully.
We do need to say that God sees the desire of our heart but he also sees and understands our physical capabilities. Some are sick and/or homebound. All the more they need the encouragement of worshipping with someone. It behooves us to see that need and spend some time visiting, reading the Bible, praying with them and brightening their day. This would be most pleasing to our Lord. Heb. 13:16