A Living Worship (136)
James R. Davis
When the Christian world thinks of worship, what do we think about? Styles of worship, order of worship, place of worship, mood of worship, the object of worship, the songs of worship, the sermon, etc. What is the heart of a worship service?
When Jesus came, he rebuked the religious leaders because they failed to worship God with their hearts and lives.
Mt 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
I. "Their hearts are far from me."
A. What is meant that "their heart is far from me"?
1. They thought it was important to be in the right place.
2. They were interested in cleaning the outside of the cup and platter.
Mt 15:17-20 "Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man `unclean.' 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man `unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him `unclean.'"
3. They were interested in tithing.
Luke 18:12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
Prov 21:3 To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
Micah 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
John 5:42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.
4. Loved preeminence.
Lk 11:43 Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets.
Prov 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Luke 20:46 Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts;
Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
Phil 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
James 2:2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
3 John 1:9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.
5. No compassion.
Luke 11:46 And he said, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.
6. They killed the prophets.
Luke 11:47-51 Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers: for they indeed killed them, and ye build their sepulchres. Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute: That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.
7. They had taken away the key to the knowledge of knowing God.
Luke 11:52 Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.
Acts 5:40 And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
8. They rejected Christ.
Lk 11:53 And as he said these things unto them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge him vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things:
9. They were teaching commandments of men.
II. Worship "in spirit and in truth."
A. The words of John 4:23-24 should be deliberately and carefully studied.
Worship is not confined to praise or a worship service in a church house. Formal worship can be as distinct as commemorating the Lord's death in eating the Lord's supper but it must be prefaced with the subjecting of one's will and life to Christ by consciously keeping his commandments from the heart.
B. We worship with heart. Have you ever done something but your heart is not in it.
Singing & praying
Eph 5:18-19 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
1 Cor 14:15 So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind.
2 Cor 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
1 Cor 11:20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.
1 Cor 11:27-29
C. Worship must be sincere. Worship consists of a life of devotion. Christian worship has a distinct identity.
1. God is not "worshiped with men's hands."
Acts 10:34-35 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
2. Now God desires to live within the hearts of men.
1 Cor 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1 Cor 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
1 Cor 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
2 Cor 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
D. What is involved in spiritual worship.
1. Worship is a manner of living.
1 Sam 15:22-24
2. Proper relationship with our brethren.
Mt 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
3. Proper relationship with wife.
1 Peter 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
4. Obeying God.
1 Sam 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
Psalms 51:16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
Deut 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
Deut 12:32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.
Exodus 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
Ecc 5:1 Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.
Mark 12:33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.
5. Doing justice.
Prov 21:3 To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
Matt 9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
5. Pure religion.
James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
E. Formal worship with the saints is the culmination of a lifestyle that results in bringing glory and honor to God. Then we can come sing with our hearts, giving from our hearts and partaking of Christ body in communion because we have been making the same kind of living sacrifice in our daily lives.
Worship must be prompted by the right motive, actuated by the loftiest purpose, with a deep desire to meet heaven's approval.