Worship 24

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.'”

1 Peter 2:9 But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

In essentially any verse one turns to regarding worship, when looked at with any degree of care the focus is on God and the purposes of God. If we look at I Peter 2:9 we can see the purposes of God. Why did God choose a people so that they are called a chosen race? For His purpose of them proclaiming His excellencies.. Why did God make a royal priesthood out of His people? For His purpose of them proclaiming His excellencies. . Why did God make a holy nation out of His people? For His purpose of them proclaiming His excellencies. Why did God take a people and now they are His own possession? For His purpose of them proclaiming His excellencies. Why did God call a people out of darkness into His marvelous light? For His purposes of them proclaiming His excellencies.

This may seem to many a rather startling conclusion, but the text does not really leave us an alternative. God saves sinners and makes them into great things for the purpose of proclaiming His excellencies. This text does not teach us what to sing or preach or anything like that, but the focus is to teach us why God saves sinners. The context demands that we take this view as the chosen of God are contrasted with the previous verse where it speaks of a doom that some were appointed to. We are not just to bow before God and thank Him for saving us, but the purpose of Him saving us is to declare the wonders and the glories of the excellencies of God. It is the Gospel of grace alone that sets forth the beauty and wonder of God in Christ. It is in the Gospel that we behold the glories of a free-grace by which Christ saves sinners to the glory of the Father.

It is the Gospel of free-grace that frees sinners from self-love and pride (not perfectly, but just as He has ordained) that their hearts may be loosed from the things of self and the world that they may proclaim the wonders and excellencies of God that He has demonstrated and manifested in the Gospel. It is in the face of Christ that God has manifested His glory in the Gospel of the glory of Christ (II Cor 4:4-6). The Gospel is not just some bits of information we tell people so they can make a decision or pray a prayer in order to be saved, but it is the good news of the glory of God in Christ. The true Gospel is filled with and manifests the excellencies of God. Therefore, we were saved in order to praise those excellencies.

True worship, once again and perhaps to beat a dead horse, is not about human beings and their feelings being the central thing in worship, but true worship is about the glory of God. True worship is about proclaiming the excellencies of God that has been and is continuing to be displayed in the Gospel and in and through His Church. Sinners are saved by the acts of God set forth in the Gospel and sinners are to worship the excellencies of God as set forth in His acts that have manifested His glory. Because of who God is, a God-centered God, the Gospel is all about God. Those who are saved by Him should praise Him because of who He is and they are saved in order to be all about Him as well. It is only when the churches are all about God that they are like Him.

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