Worship 22

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;

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.'”

While being guilty of repetition, it is so vital to grasp the biblical fact that it is not worship when people say things about God and yet their hearts are far from Him. All that a person does is in vain if they teach as doctrines the precepts of men. All that men offer up in the name of God that comes from the flesh is not worship in spirit. All that men teach about God, doctrine, and worship that is not from God and is not centered upon God as God-centered is nothing more than the precepts of men. The Scriptures are quite clear that worship is not something that is in the power and ability of man and as such it is dangerous business to bring worship down to the level and ability of man.

When Isaiah 57:15 tells us that God dwells with the contrite and lowly of spirit, that tells us a lot about two vital issues regarding worship. One, God dwells among His people. Two, a lowly heart is necessary for God to dwell among people. While this has been discussed, it has not been discussed in the context of worship being God-centered and God-focused. Worship is not man coming to God in man’s own strength, but worship is when God brings His people into the joy of exalting Him and in Him. God brings His people into the joy of exalting Him when He comes down and dwells in His people and communicates truths to their minds and joy to their souls.

Exodus 40:33 He erected the court all around the tabernacle and the altar, and hung up the veil for the gateway of the court. Thus Moses finished the work. 34 Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. 35 Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.

Exodus 40 has a lot to teach us about worship if we have ears to hear. In the earlier part of the chapter we see the particulars of animal sacrifice and of the ceremonial aspects of Old Testament worship in the tabernacle. What we should take notice of, however, is that after the Tabernacle and the priests were as the Lord had commanded and the proper sacrifice had been offered, the glory of God came down and filled the tabernacle. There is a cleansing of the people and an appropriate sacrifice and God came down in glory. We see this in another way in Leviticus 9:24 that when the fire of God consumed the sacrifice the people shouted and fell on their faces. True worship does not come from human flesh as such, but instead true worship can only occur when there is an acceptable sacrifice offered to God and He comes down among His people.

When the congregations of God assemble they should seek to worship the living God. This means that they must seek to worship Him in a way that is built on the perfect and acceptable sacrifice of Christ. This means that they must seek for humbled and broken hearts for God to come down and dwell among His people. The Gospel of the glory of God is the good news that God has accepted a sacrifice in the place of His people and the people should shout and fall on their faces (at least figuratively). The Gospel of Christ is in one sense how Christ has opened a way into the Holy of Holies and how the people of God have access to Him and now He can come to His people and dwell in them by and through Christ. The Gospel is the Gospel of the glory of God and as we behold His glory in the Gospel we behold the beauties and glories of a satisfied God who is satisfied with Christ. In the Gospel we can behold the glorious truth that the “riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col 1:27). We must seek to worship in light of the Gospel of a crucified Savior and in light of a Savior who saves sinners that He might dwell in them and manifest His glory to them. Then we worship.

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