Worship 16

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.

Amos 5:21 “I hate, I reject your festivals, Nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies. 22 “Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them; And I will not even look at the peace offerings of your fatlings. 23 “Take away from Me the noise of your songs; I will not even listen to the sound of your harps.

Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;


In the previous post the statements of Matthew 15:8-9 were looked at briefly regarding worship. The second part must be dealt with and dealt with seriously. When the text tells us that “in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men”, we must learn not to blow that off and just assume that our doctrines are the doctrines of God. When two people believe teachings that contradict each other (badly) and then both say that their doctrines are the doctrines of God, either one or both of them are deceived.

A doctrine is not just some intellectual teaching forced on the Bible, but a true doctrine is a teaching of the Bible and as such is a teaching that God has breathed forth by the Spirit in Holy Scripture. If we worship a god that is not what God has revealed in Scripture, then our worship is the worship of a false god or idol. If our worship is how a god has saved us and we have a false gospel, then our worship is really of self and for self and is not the worship of the true and living God. It is not enough to have a doctrine that has the name of Scripture attached to it, but the doctrine itself must be developed from and flow forth from Scripture itself.

The name of this BLOG is God Loves Himself. That is a fundamental truth which is to guide each and every doctrine. If we don’t have a God who is God-focused and God-centered, then we will have a god that is focused on us which is precisely what the fallen and self-centered heart wants. While this may sound odd to us, it is only odd because of our fallen nature. We are self-centered and given to self-love and we cannot imagine the true God who is not centered upon us and loves us as we are and for our own sakes. We think of ourselves as very lovable and so think that a God of love (as defined by us) will surely love me (and us). This subtle (in a sense) shift means that our worship will always be focused on self in the ultimate sense.

If the Greatest Commandment is to love God with all of our being, then our doctrine must be consistent with that as well. If the chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever, then our doctrine must be consistent with that as well. True worship must be, then, when God brings men to love Him in a way where man shares in the love God loves Himself and where man glorifies and enjoys God. The focus of worship must be on God or it is on self. The focus of God must be on God or His focus will be on man and that is idolatry even for men. There is a very real sense, then, were our doctrines must all lead us to worship the living God. Our doctrines must be focused on how they manifest God and on how they will enable men to glorify God. When men take true doctrines and bring man-centeredness is, they have brought in vain worship as well. Even when the doctrine is ostensibly about God, a focus on man can ruin the doctrine. The precepts of men or the focus on man will take a true doctrine and keep the externals of it and yet ruin the true heart of it.

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