Worship 3

John 4:24 “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.

Isaiah 57:15 For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly And to revive the heart of the contrite.

Matthew 15:8 ‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME 9 ‘BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.'”

Isaiah 1:13 “Bring your worthless offerings no longer, Incense is an abomination to Me. New moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies– I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly. 14 “I hate your new moon festivals and your appointed feasts, They have become a burden to Me; I am weary of bearing them.
15 “So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; Yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood.

Malachi 1:10 “Oh that there were one among you who would shut the gates, that you might not uselessly kindle fire on My altar! I am not pleased with you,” says the LORD of hosts, “nor will I accept an offering from you.

The appropriate idea of worship is not that it consists of a proper form, but it is in accordance with the truth of God and that those in worship have proper hearts toward God. As usual, it is necessary to point out that a proper heart can only come from the hand of God. Only He has the sovereign hand over hearts and only He can tune the heart to be in accordance with His love for Himself and His own glory. It is true that in the Old Testament that specific things were stated, but the purpose of those forms was so that they would give an accurate picture of Christ. Now that Christ has come and has revealed the Father, we don’t worship according to forms but according to Christ. However, the heart of man is cold and hard and it is easier to use forms than it is to seek Christ. In order to truly seek Christ as opposed to seeking a false Christ or seeking Him for things, God must work self and pride out of the heart and work Himself in that heart. Worship is not what is worked up by man, but instead it is what is worked in man by the Divine hand.

Regardless of what is going on in a true service, whether it is preaching or prayer or singing or reading Scripture, it must be done according to God. In these things it is so easy to be tripped up and just do those things without thinking what the purpose of them are for. For example, the purpose of man is to be an instrument of the glory of God. If the chief end (purpose, goal) of man is the glory of God, then preaching is to be to the glory of God and is to be a means that God uses to work in man to be an instrument of His glory. If the chief end of man is the glory of God, then praying is a means that God uses to make men instruments of His glory. If reading the Scriptures or singing is to be done in a way that is in accordance with the chief end of man, then the Scriptures are to be read to the glory of God and man is to read and hear them with that goal in mind. If the chief end of singing is for man to glorify God, then man should write songs, choose songs, and sing songs to the glory of God.

What we must see is that the purpose of worship is the glory of God since the chief end of man is the glory of God. It does not glorify God for men to stand around singing songs from the tops of their brains rather than the bottom of their hearts. God created the whole man to worship Him in seeking His glory and not just for them to sing songs with His name in them. Fallen and unconverted man can sing songs and praise God for all that he thinks that God has done for him since men will love those who love themselves. Sermons that are focused on self and songs that are focused on self will fire the feelings of man up for a god that he thinks has saved him and does great things for him. True worship, whether in song or in preaching and prayer, must be focused on God and His glory. After all, the first petition of the Lord’s Prayer is for His name to be hallowed and glorified.

We must be hit over the head over and over with the great truth that God is not man-centered but God-centered. He does all for His own glory and He will never do anything that is not for His own glory. When men worship a man-centered god, even if it is according to an orthodox creed as such, they are in full idolatry. When all I can think about and hear about is self when I am in a so-called worship service, the true God is not being worshipped and the self is. True worship is when self is denied (denied any right) and God is adored while on the throne. However, we must understand that the throne of God is the heart of His children and His Church. This is why only the humbled heart can truly worship. This is why the proud can think that they worship, but in fact they worship themselves using the name of God. One thing that is absolutely needful for worship is a humble heart. Until churches and people in those churches recognize that and seek that, they will not worship.

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